WDYT: Kids in the Nude?
, Feb 13 2009 08:53 AM
28 replies to this topic
Posted 13 February 2009 - 08:53 AM
By Joseph Kelly
At the beach the other day a bunch of under-10s seemed horrified by the fact that my daughter Frances was running around naked. Scanning the length of the beach I was startled to realise that most kids were covered head to toe. While this is admirable in the fight against skin cancer, it made Frances’ outfit of a hat and a layer of sunscreen scream out “Hey! I’m naked!”
I guess I’m kind of accustomed to public nudity. I grew up in a town where the seasons were separated by the fact that the nights in winter were marginally less oppressively hot than the nights in summer. Not surprisingly, many residents chose to head to the river at night to cool off. Even less surprisingly, some people couldn’t resist the combination of the cover of darkness and the cool of the river to indulge in the liberating practice of skinny-dipping. And while we’re on the topic of the not so surprising, there were some people in my town who not only refused to ‘strip and dip’ but who also occupied the moral high ground and railed against any form of public nudity.
What I do find surprising is the fact that the most outspoken critic of public nudity was none other than my dad. He wrote reams of articles in the local press on the topic, decrying the erosion of public morals that accompanies the shedding of clothes. He fought a fierce but futile campaign to have police stamp out late night skinny-dipping. He even lobbied the council to install high-voltage lighting along the banks of the river in an attempt to flush out the streakers. It is fair to say that my dad was not a fan of nudity. Which makes me wonder what he would have thought of his granddaughter.
In many ways my dad and Frances have a lot in common. They are both highly inquisitive, resolutely stubborn and mad as hatters. But Frances obviously had her moral compass set by ‘Susie’s side’, because outside of a Wiggles DVD marathon nothing gives her greater joy than nuding up. From the age of two she’s been able to get out of any outfit, no matter the form or quantity of restraints, in about three seconds flat. And it makes no difference if she’s at home or in public, inside or outside, in company or in solitude.
Last week we steered our pram into the butcher for our weekly shop. In the time it took me to debate with the butcher over whether I’d have the rump or the porterhouse, Frances had decided to flash some rump of her own. Along the length of the counter was a trail of discarded nappy, top, skirt and shoes – all leading straight to Frances. On the cold butcher’s tiles she stood naked, performing a Peruvian fertility dance in front of a tray of startled chicken fillets. “She’s as nude as a lamb chop,” the butcher cheerfully observed.
Which makes me wonder where it is OK for kids to get their kit off. So far my highly scientific empirical research suggests that butcher shops are nudity friendly while beaches are not. So where do we draw the ‘no clothes’ line?Is a romp under the backyard sprinkler as far as it should go, or can we let kids don their birthday suits where ever the sun shines?
Edited by diary~dad, 13 February 2009 - 10:45 AM.
Posted 13 February 2009 - 09:08 AM
My 3 yo son is not adverse to getting his kit off. Fortunately most of the time it's at home, very rarely in public. Although the last time DW & I took DS to the local swimming pool he decided that Mum & Dad were taking too long to decide who was going to take him into which changing room. In the 30 seconds it took to decide, he had taken all his clothes off just inside the main entrance! We were more embarrased than he was.
DW prefer for DS to remain clothed in public places because of our fear of people taking photos of him. Unfortunately, these days you just don't know about other people so we'd rather not "risk it".
Posted 13 February 2009 - 10:34 AM
I have to say, Buff Daddy
, that it hadn't occurred to me that child nudity at the beach might be in decline because of photography fears. Is this a common fear? It honestly never crossed my mind but I wonder if many people are mindful of it?
Edited by diary~dad, 13 February 2009 - 10:34 AM.
Posted 13 February 2009 - 01:40 PM
I personally think there is nothing wrong with children and nudity. What has happend to our society? People these days are way to judge mental on whats right and whats not, why can't people just worry about them selves instead of wasting time looking at how others raise there children, for god sake 'we were all born nude' and there is absoultely nothing wrong with it, if we are going to worry about all the nasty things out there in the world then people may as well stay at home and not enjoy life.
I must say that my 3 year daughter doesn't often want to get her kit of, but I must say that if she ever felt she needed to run naked along the beach I honestly wouldnt care
Great Blog diary-dad, funny as usual
Edited by ezmay, 13 February 2009 - 01:44 PM.
Posted 13 February 2009 - 01:57 PM
I think there is a time and a place and for that matter of course an age when nudity is appropriate
I wouldn't see anything wrong with a child nude at the beach or perhaps up to some where between 5 and 10 yo in the front yard under the sprinkler as long as they have someone looking after them with them
I think its wrong to just let children run around everywhere nude like one of a gaggle of 10 or so kids ranging from perhap s 3 to around 10 who turned up at the local take away for lollies and ice creams most were dressed in swimmers and a couple in undies Imy guess is that they had been playing either in a pool or under a sprinkler but one was in her birthday suit and while she was obviously happy to be that way on a 40' day a pair of knickers for the trip to the takeaway shop would have been a little more appropriate especially since there were no adults with them
but then you never know wether she left wearing something and stripped off as you dd did in the butcher or not
Posted 13 February 2009 - 02:04 PM
Alas my kids have inherited my skin type that has 2 shades, white or bright red
The more we know about melanoma and the links between that and getting sunburnt, I simply don't want to do to my kids what I did to myself as a kid and spent half of it bright red. I have nothing against other young kids being naked but do weigh it up risk wise with my own kids.
Posted 13 February 2009 - 02:28 PM
I didn't realise the blog was about sending our kids out in the sun to get burnt ?
Posted 16 February 2009 - 03:58 PM
Thanks for all your great responses.
beebeejaybee - I think children's nudity and adult supervision should go hand in hand. i don't think I'll be putting a nude grocery run on the agenda for my kids any time soon!
Jane*Doe - suffering from fair Irish skin myself, I share your pain! It's trying to keep the kids covered that's the hard part . . .
Posted 16 February 2009 - 05:37 PM
Well, my 2yo DS seems to be allergic to fabric of any kind. No matter what we do he refuses to wear clothing. He'll begrudingly don a pair of shorts for a trip to the grocery store with the promise of a lolly if he stays clothed until he's safely back in the car and heading for home but that's about it.
We do the school run at five past three just so we can park at the front gate so there's no need to get DS out of the car.
So far all my boys have been like this, they do grow out of it but while they're small let them be kids and indulge in a bit (or in my kids case a lot) of nudity. As long as they're supervised I don't see the harm.
It also has the added bonus of annoying my MIL to no end. I've even had the pleasure of an elderly neighbour congratulate me on raising my boys the old fashioned way once when I took DS2 (3 at the time) out into the backyard to 'water the tree' as the bathroon was in use.
It is sad that we feel the need to worry about other people taking photos of our naked children.
I agree, never had to think about it when we were growing up.
Posted 16 February 2009 - 05:41 PM
Had to laugh at your story, my kids are naked all the time too. I am constantly reassuring my neighbour that they do own clothes. Its obviously hot here too.
Posted 16 February 2009 - 07:19 PM
LOL at your story!
My DD is exactly the same. She loves nothing more than running around in the nude. So far we've been lucky and she hasn't stripped off fully in public.
I think at the beach, in backyard & at home there is nothing wrong with it.
Let kids be kids!
Edited by maren, 16 February 2009 - 07:20 PM.
Posted 16 February 2009 - 07:48 PM
Nothing wrong with a little public nudity for children IMO
Posted 17 February 2009 - 09:03 PM
My DS1 (3) happily gets changed at the swimming pool right next to me, while I order and pay for my coffee... easy for both of us!! And same, at the beach i have them both in those one piece swim suits with arms and legs (for sun protection)... but strip them off to shower before getting in the car... which usually involves a lot of nudey chasing!! I agree it's perfectly ok for kids to go nude!
Posted 18 February 2009 - 05:29 AM
My nearly 6 yr old strips in the car home from school. Snice she was 2 yrs old has always been NAKED. We where lucky to get knickers on her to get to the shop and half the time at the buchters she's go naked. To us it wasnt something to be looked at as gross.
In summer it is common to just be wearing a hat and sunscreen.
Honestly at around the age when pubity starts is when i think kids should cover. But in my house hold my 12 yr old DD still does the naked run from bath to bedroom for clothes.
For the parents who think kids should be covered i go meh to them. Its just a bit of flesh and everyone has skin.
Posted 18 February 2009 - 07:28 AM
My youngest just nuded up at his 5th birthday party. It was a pool party so it wasn't that big of a leap, but more power to him I say
Posted 18 February 2009 - 09:11 AM
Absolutely nothing wrong with kids stripping off. My boys do it all the time; rain, hail or shine. In fact DH and I do it too.
I think if the majority of adults hadn't had the cover up message instilled in them we wouldn't have so many people who are ashamed of their bodies. I'd say it would probably minimise things like rape and child pornography too.
Posted 25 March 2009 - 07:45 AM
I, too, have a budding Nudie Rudie. My husband is an OHS manager, and he was very impressed with our 2 yo the other day, when she donned safety goggles to do the mownig (with her plastic mower!). Unfortunately, all she had on otherwise was her Tshirt....
Posted 25 March 2009 - 08:06 AM
I wonder if you are the idiot I saw at Redleaf Pool on the Australia Day weekend who, on the hottest day of the year, brought his child out in the sun without proper protection? Through my UV sunglasses, I could see the tender new skin of that whiter than white, strawberry blonde little girl burning under the massive hole in our ozone layer. I honestly considered calling DOCS.
Posted 25 March 2009 - 08:15 AM
No, I'm not that idiot - I'm obviously some other form of idiot!! Perhaps you could have kindly offered some sunscreen?
Posted 25 March 2009 - 08:23 AM
I also think there is a time and a place.
I would say pre-school age (up to 4yo) is ok in the right location, but after that I think it's a bit weird, and I think the child may look back at those beach photos and want them burned!!!
At the swimming pool I take my DD to every week you see some kids come out, head to the parents on the seats and the parents proceed to undress, dry and redress the child - and I'm talking 5, 6 and possibly 7yo children. Whether they don't see a problem with it, or if they are just too lazy to walk into the changerooms I don't know.
I don't have a problem with nuding up in the changerooms, but they are there for a purpose - and it even has signs on the doors saying children of the opposite sex (ie boys in girls changeroom) over the age of 7 not allowed.
Think about it, would you send your 5yo off to school swimming knowing that the boys and girls were all getting undressed together? Just not appropriate IMO. And if it's not ok then, should it be ok anywhere else?
Posted 25 March 2009 - 10:02 AM
Persoanlly as a child I have never gone naked but its was more so the fact that my pale skin screms out to be burnt and skin cancers in our family even with caution.
I have not let my kids mainly due to this reason but also I'm a little scared for them that a sicko might be sitting on the beach nearby. Admittedly I'm unconfortable seeing kids naked in public over a certain age and generally look the otehr way. My husband simply being male finds it Very uncomfortable. My kids however find it hillarious.
Posted 25 March 2009 - 10:12 AM
I have no qualms whatsoever about kids and being nude. I do however, as a parent, and as a choice for my children, make sure they are covered up in public. I just think about how many sickos ( unfortunately) there are out there and would rather my children ran around naked at home. Which they do, especially in summer. Thats just my choice though. If I saw other kids in public WITH their parents and naked, I wouldn't bat an eye lid. But just don't wnt my kids in public.
Posted 26 March 2009 - 05:56 PM
I read this post backwards and one of the first responses I read was:
"At the swimming pool I take my DD to every week you see some kids come out, head to the parents on the seats and the parents proceed to undress, dry and redress the child - and I'm talking 5, 6 and possibly 7yo children"
I thought sheesh! am I going to be pariah AGAIN
. But continued reading and pleased to see I'm not the only one thinking Nude on baby! (or kid!)
IMO naked kids belong in butchers, bakers, candlestick shops and anywhere else they care to take their naked little selves.
And I agree, a great post
Posted 26 March 2009 - 06:19 PM
I also have a little nudie rudie. Most of her nudie runs are at home, where she likes to be naked at all times. Unfortunately we live in Melbourne where it is mostly cold. She will consent to wearing a faux fur blanket but that is about it.
We do have the occasional play in the front yard in just undies, and the odd nudie swim at the beach (but not during the heat of the day and always with sunscreen as she is very fair).
Haven't encountered nudity at the butcher though - I had a good chuckle at that!
I swear every time my elderly neighbour drops in DD is naked and covered in either mud, flour or paint!
Posted 26 March 2009 - 10:10 PM
Oh dear, it seems our whole lives have been turned into a PC event. The main question is here... Who cares???? Not the kids, they are quite happy... As long as they are supervised and not self concious, live and let strip I say!
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We had six adults standing there, so I felt like I could relax a bit. After all, what could go wrong with so much supervision?
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