How Does Your Family Handle Nudity?
I had a friend who once asked me whether I grew up in a naked family. I was confused by the question, so she explained that there were two types of families: naked and non-naked. Families that walk around nude with no problem and families who are always fully clothed. I replied that my family growing up was actually half and half. My mother was always running around naked, and my father was always clothed. While I lived with my parents, I was pretty much clothed, but nowadays? Naked.
Over the years, I have usually been able to figure out whether people lived in naked or non-naked families by their personalities. Recently, I was checking with a co-worker to see whether the movie Avatar would be too intense for my children, who are nine and six years old. He replied that it should be fine. The only thing he would be concerned about was the scantily clad women. I replied that it would be OK since we live in a naked family. Naked family? I explained that some families were naked and some were fully clothed. He replied that his family was fully clothed at all times. Easy to tell with that comment on the movie.
A friend of mine who has older kids said that she felt it was healthier for her sons to see what a woman’s body realistically looked like rather than relying on pornography and perfect air-brushed bodies. I completely agree. Of course, this depends on the parent's level of comfort. If you’re not comfortable walking around naked in front of your kids, there is no point in doing so!
In our family, there’s no need to constantly hide our bodies from our kids, and the kids still absolutely love running around the house naked like when they were toddlers. In the mornings after my shower, I often leave my bathroom through the door to the common room instead of the bedroom so I won’t disturb Doug while he is still sleeping. And being the geek mom, I often like to check the computer. This means that I am sitting naked at my computer desk with a towel on my head. When this takes longer than I expect, Doug comes out of the bedroom and says, “Hi Harry,” in reference to Charlotte’s husband in Sex in the City who liked to sit on her white couches with his bare butt. At least I’m sitting on a black leather chair and not a white couch.
It’s not as though we go out of our way to be a kumbaya family going to nudist colonies and taking communal baths. We just don’t make a big deal about waking around naked at home. It is perfectly natural and nothing to be ashamed about. And the kids seem to naturally understand that naked behavior at home does not apply outside the home (although they do need to be reminded to close the bathroom door when we have company.)
Sometimes being a naked family has unintended consequences. My kids were having a piano lesson one morning and I heard my son practicing when I came out of the shower. I heard a mistake and I went into the living room naked saying that he was playing the rhythm all wrong. To which the piano teacher replied, “Yes Adam, you’re have the rhythm wrong!” I had no idea that she had already arrived, and I shrieked and ran out of the living room. Afterward we joked about it, and she assured us that she lived in a naked family as well. Whew!
How does your family handle nudity?
Contributing editor Angela blogs about her naked family at mommy bytes.