In some places, it’s common for parents to bathe with their children (whether it’s for the child’s comfort or just the convenience of getting you and your child clean with one bath). Some parents fear their little ones’ minds will be harmed, so they choose to cover up around their kids.
Bathing or getting dressed in front of children is a controversial issue, and some experts believe it can cause future sexual or modesty problems. On the other hand, some specialists think it’s the best way for kids to discover the human body in a safe and comfortable environment.
Bad or not so bad?
Celebrity chef and personality star Rachel Ray recently had a pediatrician on her show to weigh in on the subject. The doctor took a survey of the audience, and their answers were surprisingly split 50/50. Some thought it wasn’t so bad to be naked in front of your five-year-old, and others thought it was not an appropriate practice.
The doctor agreed with both sides saying, “It’s bad if it makes you or your child uncomfortable, and if it makes neither of you uncomfortable, not so bad.” The most important thing to know is that kids need to learn modesty and respect – that can be done with or without dressing in front of your kids.
How do you know if your child is uncomfortable?
Watch your child’s sense of privacy and independence. Pay attention to whether or not they usually close the door when they go to the bathroom or go in their bedroom to get dressed. If your child seems to prefer a private environment to change in, respect that tendency and teach your child about modesty and body pride in other situations.
When your kids are between two and five years old, they’re extremely curious about the body and ask some pretty specific questions that can be uncomfortable to answer. Create a positive environment where your child feels comfortable asking questions about their body and other bodies. In an age appropriate way, teach them about modesty and privacy.
It can be a matter of gender
Mother and editor Kelly Wallace highlighted another mother’s approach to this topic in her CNN article. “As [my kids] get older, my husband is more discreet around our daughters and I am more discreet around our son. Not because we are uncomfortable, but because they might be” said Rhonda Woods.
If your children begin to ask about the differences between their body and yours, it’s important to tell the truth and be clear and concise. Handle the question in an age appropriate way, but answer positively and help make your child feel comfortable.
If you have doubts about the subject, discuss the topic with your husband and adapt your habits to accommodate your children. Overall, you know what’s best for you and your children, so you ultimately make the decision about what’s appropriate.
This article has been adapted and translated from the original “La ciencia explica: ¿Es bueno o malo desnudarse enfrente de los hijos?” which was originally published on familias.com.