At what age is it no longer appropriate for kids to be naked in public?
Faith Mellinger, local business owner and mother of two boys (plus one on the way!) writes:
I have to admit naked kids at any age make me uncomfortable. I think it has rubbed off on my kids as my 4-year-old recently refused to strip down to his undies during his check-up in the doctors office. While I don't judge those who do allow their little ones to run around sans clothes, it doesn't feel right to me. There are just too many strange people in the world today and you never know who might be watching.
Jaime Townzen, Monrovia Mom and stay-at-home mom to two preschool daughters, writes:
Being a swimmer during a lot of my childhood meant our family did plenty of “deck changes.” Whether it’s following swimming lessons, a trip to the beach, dance class or a potty emergency mishap, my natural inclination is to steer-clear of the grotesque bathrooms and locker rooms and just take care of wardrobe changes as quickly and discreetly as possible wherever we are.
But our daughters are like Adam and Eve before the apple. With not a hint of modesty or discretion, they’ll disrobe in the middle of Disneyland or the church parking lot without any concern whatsoever for onlookers and begin streaking and singling like banshees at the top of their lungs. I am always very aware of who may be watching, though--whether it's because the girls’ nudity may make others uncomfortable, or if potential predators are lurking nearby--and therefore immediately do what I can to corral and cover them up and take them somewhere more private to change their clothing.
So, outside of the privacy of our immediate family in our own home or backyard, I’ve had to change my ways for their safety and privacy. I try to phrase statements in such a way that our girls not think they ought to be ashamed of their bodies, but rather just that the parts hidden beneath our clothes are special and should not to be seen by anyone passing by. That other’s don’t have the right to see, or ask to see their naked bodies, without mommy or daddy knowing about it.
I am not bothered by the nakedness of other children--probably about ages 3 and younger, definitely once potty trained--but I do think we all need to be aware that for safety reasons and out of respect for our children and others, public nudity is no longer reasonable for even relatively young children.
Jenny Shepard, full-time working mom of three boys writes:
I know this is a debate that many can relate to. I'm okay with my 2-year-old being naked at the beach but not my 4 or 6-year-old. I think that once they hit three, no more public nudity. At home, if the boys want to swim naked that's fine, as long as no one else is over. I am more concerned about where they are naked vs. how old they are.
I tend to worry about pedophiles and where they might be lurking so I'd rather play it safe and keep my kids dressed in any public place other than the beach since the 2-year-old is pretty much covered in sand from head to toe. I know we'd like to think that kids can be free to be kids but I dont trust who might be watching our children.