letting my children run around naked on a beach

(168 Posts)
Goofymum Sun 05-Sep-10 23:12:52

A few days ago I took my 2 year old DD and 5 year old DD to the beach. It is a lovely beach and not very crowded, only 2 or 3 groups of people per large section of beach. I let my DDs run around naked for while before we went home (they asked to go naked). My parents were with me and they weren't bothered. The few families left on the beach weren't bothered either. But when my DH heard about it he was horrified. He said my 5 year old (she is very tall, perhaps passes for 6?) is too old to run around naked, other people would feel uncomfortable and it's just not right. We 'debated' it for a while and I thought I'd get the opinion of sensible people on MN - did I have a big lapse in judgement or was it OK to let my DDs run around naked?!

Firawla Sun 05-Sep-10 23:15:33

I think most people here will agree with you, but I agree with your dh. I don't really like it @ any age tbh I find it better to teach them modesty from the start and let them keep their dignity.
Anyway as your dh really disagrees with it in future you would have to come to some kind of comprimise like they have to atleast wear a swimming costume, as you can not really let them do this if he objects

Tortington Sun 05-Sep-10 23:16:00

i agree with your dh, just some bottoms would have been fine

scurryfunge Sun 05-Sep-10 23:16:37

Yes it is ok, so long as you had sun cream....don't see why people would get upset.

hmc Sun 05-Sep-10 23:17:33

I personally wouldn't bat an eyelid, but it does make some people uncomfortable. I guess it is then a judgement call whether or not that concerns you sufficiently to stop or whether you carry on

deakell Sun 05-Sep-10 23:17:55

I don't think you're wrong, but I can see his point.

I would probably not let my boys do this in public, and it wouldn't be because others would feel uncomfortable!

minxofmancunia Sun 05-Sep-10 23:21:12

wouldn't bother either me or dh at all, and prob wouldn't notice other children doing it as to us it is normal.

what do you mean in your last sentence deakell?

Tokyotwist Sun 05-Sep-10 23:25:37

Did this with my 2 yr old dd on holiday. It was fine until she stood in the middle of the beach and peed blush.

Minxie1977 Sun 05-Sep-10 23:25:42

Let them be naked - it's the way we all come into the world! Beyond me why anyone would object to naked children on beach - apart from potential sand in bum crack disasters wink I was always naked on beach as a nipper.

deepdarkwood Sun 05-Sep-10 23:25:53

I would have done this (with or without dh) - esp if only for a little while.

MamaMimi Sun 05-Sep-10 23:29:24

I don't see the problem with it - the freedom of a naked run around at that age, before you packed up on a not very busy beach. I think you would have to be a very fussy person to be bothered by it.

Your dh needs to lighten up a bit aswell, it's not like you'd let them run around town naked is it? (I presume!) You made your own judgement call according to the circumstances you were in. YANBU

Goofymum Sun 05-Sep-10 23:29:29

It didn't bother me or my DDs at all either, but DH made me think that I was possibly out of order. I don't think I've ever noticed other children running around naked. In future I'll get them to wear bottoms to hide their modesty but I also think that's a shame to introduce modesty and body consciousness to such young girls.

historygirls Sun 05-Sep-10 23:29:35

I don't like to see naked people bending and squatting but I would let my dcs run around naked for a while but not play for a prolonged period, esp if it was fairly crowded and there was opportunity for full on mooning in peoples faces. I have a fear of penises snagging on things so I'm not keen on the dss being naked and fooling about on jagged rocks etc.

sundew Sun 05-Sep-10 23:29:51

OMG I can't believe anyone would be upset at a 5yr old running round naked - my dd2 (6) did this on holiday. Although we were in france surrounded by ladies showing their boobies!!

I probably wouldn't be as happy if dd1 (9) wanted to - but she would be far too embarased.

We all have the same bits and bobs after all!!

scurryfunge Sun 05-Sep-10 23:34:41

I'm sorry historygirls but I have laughed very loudly at the thought of penises getting snagged on something.

Are they really so obstructive with rock climbing? grin

whatkatydidathome Sun 05-Sep-10 23:36:19


historygirls Sun 05-Sep-10 23:36:42

I don't have one but I know people who have and they seem to be very special and worthy of great care being taken of them.

bedlambeast Sun 05-Sep-10 23:36:44

Message withdrawn

Greenwing Sun 05-Sep-10 23:39:06

I know there is perhaps too much fuss in the media about paedophiles but as a teacher I have been taught in our child protection training to watch out, as police say they do hang around deliberately in areas where they can see children, eg primary schools.
Beaches would be another favourite haunt and I feel uncomfortable seeing children naked for that reason. I am not paranoid about the dangers but, having been made aware of it in training, it concerns me slightly. Perhaps your dh was not happy about other people looking at the children naked and I think he has a fair point.

scurryfunge Sun 05-Sep-10 23:39:33

lol at historygirls

You are probably right.grin

toomuchmonthatendofthemoney Sun 05-Sep-10 23:39:50

i think it would be perfectly fine, i wouldn't mind at all. its a lovely natural healthy thing for them to enjoy before they reach the stage of bodyconsciousness. Let little bums roam free! its very good mentally too for little ones to have these freedoms i believe.

DS would do it all the time on the beach if it wasn't so bloody freezing here in the north of scotland! (hes 4 and hardy as hell)

Goofymum Sun 05-Sep-10 23:43:50

Exactly bedlambeast. I can let my 5 year old be the judge of what's embarrassing or not! She will grow out of it soon.....or maybe not. I know the head of the nude mountaineering society (no joke). Wonder if he's ever snagged himself....ouch!

deakell Sun 05-Sep-10 23:45:17

They are as white as snow Minxo.

I just can't mentally get over exposing their tender bits to the sun when the rest of their body is so white. I mean so white. And yes I've heard of sunscreen and we use the ultra once-a-day stuff that would shield you from a huclear bomb, but what if it didn't work?

I know, I know, it's my problem - but we're all so damn fair and sun-exposure on neither regions is just not something I can allow.

Should have mentioned I also don't do no t-shirts either!

SuzieHomemaker Sun 05-Sep-10 23:47:49

I asked my DH what he thought - he said think of the poor sod taking photos of the beach who gets them printed at Boots and is accused of being a pervert because there are naked children on the beach.

This is the opposite side of the coin described by Greenwing.

Personally I am of the view that bottoms are not rude, naughty or dirty but they are private and that privacy should be respected.

scurryfunge Sun 05-Sep-10 23:48:07

I think minimum exposure to the sun is best....but that is more to do with health rather than modesty.

Running around a beach at 4 o'clock in the afternoon is not generally going to have major implications for sunburn.

Goofymum Sun 05-Sep-10 23:49:52

TBH the paedophilia side of things didn't cross mine or my DH's mind at all, it was more about modesty and at what age is it appropriate to cover up for DD's sake.

Yes, both DDs absolutely loved getting naked and free! A bit of talc solved the sandy bits and bobs issue. grin

Goofymum Sun 05-Sep-10 23:55:58

There was plenty of beach to take photos of without including my naked babes.

My 5 year old doesn't believe her bottom is private at the moment so not respecting her privacy is not relevent in this instance.

ChippingIn Mon 06-Sep-10 00:00:18

GoofyMum I don't think your DH is being entirely honest with you or maybe himself if he is saying that paedophiles weren't his main concern - it's just not sensible to say it's for the DD's sake/modesty - if they were bothered they wouldn't have done it! There is no age at which is it appropriate to cover up for their sake - they will let you know - trust me

Let them do it while they can - it wont be long before they want to cover up and be 'modest' - which is really variable for the first couple of years, one minute refusing to get changed into PJ's on their own the next getting their kit off in the middle of the beach grin

Giddyup Mon 06-Sep-10 00:00:57

YANBU 5 & 2 are fine IMHO, I think children decide when they want to cover up, they sense when its not really appropriate.

Between 1 & 4 we couldn't keep DS dressed, he loved to be naked. Around 5 he started to get a bit of modesty ad now at 7 he's like a little Mary Whitehouse!

He would rather go in the sea fully clothed or not at all than run around in his pants, he will wear tiny swim shorts but won't believe me no-one can tell the difference-it makes a bit me sad to be honest

bedlambeast Mon 06-Sep-10 00:21:26

Message withdrawn

Dione Mon 06-Sep-10 00:26:22

YANBU. Once that feeling of freedom about our bodies passes, it doesn't come back and your kids should enjoy it while they can.

Appletrees Mon 06-Sep-10 00:49:43

Bit much, things aren't what they used to be. Shame. Would do nics on five plus.

cloudydays Mon 06-Sep-10 01:01:12

I am much more comfortable seeing young children naked on the beach, than I am seeing young children wearing bikinis.

Nakedness at 2 and 5 would strike me as sweet and innocent, whereas stringy bra tops and bikini bottoms on on children of the same age would be creepy to me. I know it's very mainstream these days to see bikinis on babies and little girls, but I can't help but see it as part of the insidious cultural shift toward the premature sexualisation of girls.

PadmeHum Mon 06-Sep-10 01:13:30

I have no issue with the nakedness. It's quite sweet and as you are in Britain (I assume), and it was late afternoon, the UV risk would have been acceptable.

We live in Australia, where you'd be locked up for letting a child run on the beach naked. Not for any modesty related issues but because of the UV risk.

Even in winter, we have high UV risk, so hat's, sunscreen, long sleeve rashie (swim shirt) and board shorts are absolutely compulsory.

NestaFiesta Mon 06-Sep-10 08:33:45

I think its lovely and natural. Your children are obviously not modest yet or they wouldn't have wanted to run round in the buff. Let them feel the sun on the skin. We can't live our lives in fear of the 0.5% (a guess) of the population who are paedophiles and may or may not have been on the beach.

Children running round naked on a beach is what summer memories are made of.

NoelEdmondshair Mon 06-Sep-10 08:51:38


"Let little bums run free" - love it smile

diddl Mon 06-Sep-10 09:07:26

I think it´s fine if they were OK with it tbh.

And if other people would feel uncomfortable then imo that is their problem.

prettybird Mon 06-Sep-10 09:20:26

Agree with dione and diddl - YANBU.

The problem is on other people's minds - let them enjoy being comfortable in their own "skin" for now until other people's prudishness start constraining them.

megonthemoon Mon 06-Sep-10 09:20:57

I completely agree with cloudy days. Nakedness far more age appropriate than bikini for young child!

I remember deciding when I wanted to stop being naked on beach, my decision which my parents respected. Be led by your children - if they want ti be naked let them. It is one of life's joys!

Fwiw, I chose to cover up at a fairly young age - 5ish - but now I'm 30 years older have turned back into a naturist and will strip off completely if I have the chance (naturist beaches only - not anywhere, don't worry) as it is so nice to be unencumbered by polyester and Lycra! I will totally be led by my DS on this - 2 years old, loves being naked, and only covered up because of the sun rather than for modesty, so invariably strips off at around 4pm for last hour or so on the beach.

thatsnotmymonkey Mon 06-Sep-10 09:31:37

I had a massive shudder when a poster wrote-

I find it better to teach them modesty from the start and let them keep their dignity.


I mean, children will tell you when they want to cover up. There is nothing wrong, dirty, undignified about little children playing in the sun. If they are being protected from the sun, then what is the issue? Talk about PRUDISHNESS!

I have a white blonde DS who I would love to have naked on the beach, but as his skin is luminous white, I fear he would burn badly, so it is a UV suit for him. sad When the sun dips, I have gotten him naked for a bit, but I am still fearful of sun damage.

When I see naked children playing on the beach I think it is charming.

MALIMOO78 Mon 06-Sep-10 09:38:48

I wouldn't let my kids do it, but I wouldn't be offended by others. However, you and DH are both the parents and in this instance, I think he should be able to say he doesn't want it to happen in future and you should respect that.

sunnyshine Mon 06-Sep-10 09:41:36

we did this a few weeks ago in bournemouth. No one batted an eyelid on beach and had a lovely time. As we were walking back to the car, 1 min off beach, a man walking past told me it was disgusting to see children like that. i laughed thinking he was joking at which point he told me i should be ashamed of myself. i was too stunned to say anything but afterwards was so angry. some people are just not nice!

PeasPlease Mon 06-Sep-10 09:48:18


"I find it better to teach them modesty from the start and let them keep their dignity."

They are 5 and 2! They are not flaunting their bodies!

HowsTheSerenity Mon 06-Sep-10 09:58:14

They are children. Let them be named on the beach while they are still able (unless they become nudists as adults).

I would be more concerned if you did not let them be starkers. Good for the skin I say!!

NotEnoughTime Mon 06-Sep-10 10:07:52

I agree 100% with Greenwing.

My husband is a Police Officer in the Child Protection Unit and he tells me that paedophiles would seek out places like the beach for this exact reason.

For this reason alone I would keep my boys covered up outside. When they are in their own home they are free and safe to run around naked.

Greensleeves Mon 06-Sep-10 10:10:52

I find the references to dignity and modesty very odd

surely dignity is more to do with how you feel than how you look?

by introducing a child to the idea that nakedness is shameful you are robbing them of their dignity IMO

ds1 is 8 this month and still likes to run around the house and garden with nothing on

in fact he and ds2 (6) love nothing better than to get the hose out and have a naked water fight

someone on here once told me it was disgusting and irresponsible to let them do this

but I disagree

traceybath Mon 06-Sep-10 10:13:30

I would keep mine covered up personally.

I wouldn't be at all bothered at seeing naked children running around but its when they're bending down and legs everywhere that I sort of think its nicer to have a costume/shorts on.

Fully aware thought thats my issue.

massivemammaries Mon 06-Sep-10 10:15:23

I don't think YABU but I wouldn't do it and think from an anti-nonce point of view, it isn't the best idea really

misdee Mon 06-Sep-10 10:20:02

enjoy whilst it lasts.

dd1 doesnt like to be seen naked,

dd2+3 often run around starkers. just last night, dd2 who is 8, ran downstaiirs naked to use downstair loo. who just laughed as she streaked past us.

ChippingIn Mon 06-Sep-10 15:38:16

Grensleeves I think the clue was in the word someone ! The other 400 posters couldn't see a problem with it grin

Goofymum Mon 06-Sep-10 20:23:29

sunnyshine I can't believe someone would be so rude. I think this is one of the things that DH was worried about when he expressed his concerns ie. other people would think it inappropriate and disgusting, and that although DD(5) was happy she should start preserving her modesty. I think he's taken on some of the prudish qualities of his mum (she would say it was inappropriate for any age apart from a baby to be naked).

Like Greensleeves, I think it's a shame to introduce modesty and dignity at such a young age - let the children develop these hang-ups when they're good and ready!!

But unfortunately I will be looking over my shoulder for happy snapping weirdos now! What a shame.

womblingfree Mon 06-Sep-10 20:42:37

Dd is nearly 6 and loves nothing more than running round starkers, but over the last year we have been trying to get her to cover up a bit more. Tbh it's about boundaries - I couldn't care less if she runs round naked all day in our home/garden, but I think she's at an age where she needs to know when to cover up.
That said I only have her to think of - I guess it's not so easy when you have a little one as it's harder to have one rule for one and a different one for the other.

carocaro Mon 06-Sep-10 20:54:09

I would not, privacy really, you are never sure who is around, some girls were naked on the beach near us over the summer, bending over making sandcastles, hard to know where to look, not very necessary to be naked on a beach really?!

YABU I think

ChallengingCitrusHalibut Mon 06-Sep-10 20:59:49

YANBU, children of that age should be able to be free somwehere like a beach.

Regarding the modesty and dignity and 'wear at least a swimming costume' comments, I believe the poster who said that is Muslim, which may clarify things.

BelleDameSansMerci Mon 06-Sep-10 21:04:21

YANBU at all. I think it's lovely that they were able to run around naked for a while on a quiet beach.

My DD loves being naked and frequently (at home) just wears a pair of knickers. Unfortunately, I have some unpleasantness in my past that makes me ultra-sensitive and over-protective of DD when we're outside our home so my DD (3) wears a one piece swimming costume or one of those UV suits when we're at the beach. I wish I could let go more and let her run free...

Blondeshavemorefun Mon 06-Sep-10 21:07:26

no i wouldnt allow my dc to run naked on a beach where basically anyone can see/watch

if no cossies, then wear underwear/knickers and go home comando smile

frogetyfrog Mon 06-Sep-10 21:11:19

My dds go naked when ever they like. They were running around in the front garden naked recently and it doesnt bother me at all.

Its lovely to see children being children. Lots of time for covering over in the future.

bulby Mon 06-Sep-10 21:22:11

Ffs how can anyone be upset by children running round naked? It's so sad that people are hung up on the fact that every second person is a perve. They are out there but I refuse to let my dds life in anyway be influenced by the tiny minority of people who just might be weird. And as for the modesty thing I honestly don't have the words

thenamehaschanged Mon 06-Sep-10 21:22:52

my dds (5 and 2) are always naked when they get an opportunity. They love it!

I like them being naked on the beach as well - all that fresh sea air getting to their little bums! It's good for them.

It doesn't mean I'm not vigilant though. Any wierd looking men in raincoats on the beach ogling them and we'd be offski!

NotEnoughTime Mon 06-Sep-10 21:27:10

I really hope that you were joking when you said "any wierd looking men in raincoats..."

Paedophiles come in all shapes and sizes (there are female ones too don't forget) and there are many many "normal" looking ones.

thenamehaschanged Tue 07-Sep-10 10:59:26

yes notenoughtime I was - I was being ironic.

NotEnoughTime Tue 07-Sep-10 13:07:09

Oh good cos it never fails to amaze me how many people (genuinely)say things like "he didn't look like a pervert"!

minipie Tue 07-Sep-10 13:10:24


I really wish we were less hung up about nakedness in this country, especially when it comes to children.

Little children LOVE being naked, it would be sad to make them wear clothes (probably wet and sand filled) just because some eejit might get offended by seeing a 5 year old's willy.

Blu Tue 07-Sep-10 13:13:18


telsa Tue 07-Sep-10 13:17:44

Of course they should be naked - they are children! And you can't act weirdly just because there might, just might, be some creepy person about....creeps get off on all sorts of things. What should one do - put the children under heavy veils?

finnbird Tue 07-Sep-10 13:23:05

YANBU. Of course children should be able to be naked! It's so natural for them and we could all learn about that. Nudity does not make them any less "dignified". If we start worrying about children's nudity, we are sexualising them too early. There could always be creepy people around, whether or not the children are clothed. As long as the parents/carers are near looking after the children it doesn't matter what they wear

Appletrees Tue 07-Sep-10 22:13:40

"all that fresh sea air getting to their little bums"

that is very cute grin

Heracles Wed 08-Sep-10 02:16:44

Christ almighty; what with the advance of anti-ageing technology, your kids'll have a good 60 years to be ashamed of their lumpen, ageing, creased bodies.

If I knew then etc I'd have stayed butt naked till I hit 25. Remember when everything used to ping right back into place? Sigh......

LadyBiscuit Wed 08-Sep-10 06:22:43

What are these paedos hanging round on beachees going to do? Thinking about having sex with children is not a crime.

God this thread is depressing

ChippingIn Wed 08-Sep-10 14:03:48



The thread is disgusting? I think your comment is the most disgusting thing I've read - by a very long shot.

juicy12 Wed 08-Sep-10 14:13:47

DS (6) and DD (3) always go naked on the beach, then cover up, then whip it all off again. Up to them. I refuse to curb that lovely enthusiasm and excitement for anyone. They're my kids, I'm on the beach with them, I'll be looking out for them. Simple.

I don't know what to make of your message Ladybiscuit.
We went to the beach on Sunday, DD had seen a piece on the oneshow abot a naturist camp and swimming naked. She was keen to try it but didn't want to take her clothes off in front of anyoneconfused. She compromised by going into the sea with her Dad and whipping her one piece off. She only stayed in a couple of minutes, it was the sea north of Holland. She is nine now and a bit old for arses in the air digging IMO. When she was younger I didn't have a problem with it.

I'm with LadyBiscuit (who, btw, said the thread was depressing, not disgusting) - the notion of curbing the real joy and pride that little children feel in their bodies, because of the very small danger that someone might think something inappropriate about them, without being able to manifest that thought in any way at all, makes me feel really sad.

ChippingIn, I don't think LadyBiscuit's comment was in any way a defence of paedophiles - seems a bit of a kneejerk response. It wasn't disgusting: it was accurate. Thoughts alone aren't criminal offences.

LadyBiscuit Wed 08-Sep-10 15:28:07

That's exactly what I meant keepsmum. How sad that we are so scared of paedophiles looking at our children (so not actually harming them in any way) that we don't allow our kids to experience the joy and freedom of running naked when they are mere babies.

I think it's a terrible, terrible shame. I used to run around naked on the beach all the time when I was a kid. Surely there are no more paedophiles now than there were then.

And yes, depressing, not disgusting. Particularly the comments about modesty and dignity.

megonthemoon Wed 08-Sep-10 15:54:16

i'm with LadyBiscuit - the comments about modesty and dignity are depressing. I'd rather see any number of happy naked children running around than just one who is happy being so but whose parents won't let them be naked for fear of what some adult somewhere, who may not even be there anyway, may think.

How can people complain about the innocence of childhood being destroyed, when they are worrying about covering up a 2, 3, 4, or 5 year old for reasons of modesty or the relatively small chance of encountering a paedophile at close range? Aren't the parents complicit in taking away their child's innocence if they do this?

I for one have no intention of taking away my own child's innocence, when they are perfectly safe being naked on a beach with me close by, just because of what some other person may or may not be thinking.

ChippingIn Wed 08-Sep-10 16:11:42

LadyBiscuit Sorry. You did say the thread was 'depressing' not disgusting. It just sounded (to me) like you were saying 'So what if they sit there perving at your child and getting a kick out of it, it's not illegal' As though you were happy enough for them to do that, so long as they don't actually touch the child and it made me feel sick... but I don't think that's what you really meant, however...

What are these paedos hanging round on beachees going to do? Thinking about having sex with children is not a crime

There is a MN'er who went though hell when her children were thought to have been part of a set of photos that were taken & distributed by a paedophile. Awful, really, really awful.

They can take photos and circulate them, they can alter the photos to make the situation quite different from the one in which the photo was taken... there is a lot of harm they can do without actually touching a child. These photos are then out there - on the interenet, possibly resufacing at some stage, leaving the child/adult having to defend themselves, being left to 'prove' it wasn't them.

As I said earlier, I love to see kids running around quite happy in their own skin and certainly allow it myself - but I do it balancing the risk with their freedom, not blind to the risk.

LadyBiscuit Wed 08-Sep-10 16:33:03

They can do all those things. But I wouldn't deny my child the freedom of enjoying the sun on their bum in the unlikely event that there is a paedophile with a telephoto lens.

Every single person I know who has been abused as a child (and sadly I know rather more than I'd like to) was abused by a member of their family or a family friend. I am much more concerned about that happening than the former.

JjandtheBeanlovesUnicorns Wed 08-Sep-10 19:00:27

no, no nakedness in public for ds 3 or dd 1, at risk of sounding paranoid i dont want total strangers seeing them nude.

Heracles Wed 08-Sep-10 19:51:46

Why? What will happen if they do?

amberleaf Wed 08-Sep-10 19:53:53

I wouldnt let my children go naked.

Some may find it depressing-but i dont want a paedophile even thinking about my child while watching them play innocently.

I have taught my children that 'privates' are called 'privates' because you should keep them private!

Wearing swimwear never got in the way of their fun or innocence, i didnt tell them to wear swimming costumes because of paedophiles-they just wore them because thats what we do.

I wouldnt be offended by naked children, but i do wonder if their parents may feel differently if they had any experience of child protection issues?

JjandtheBeanlovesUnicorns Wed 08-Sep-10 20:09:48

heracles, nothing id hope, but i feel protective of them, i dont want people seeing every inch of my babies, its totally unecessary, plus, ds loves his buzz swim shorts, im more paranoid since a KNOWN 100% not gossip convicted peadophile decided to talk to my dd on the bus, i actually was physically sick when i got off, it really bothered me

i agree with amber leaf

Rosypose Wed 08-Sep-10 20:23:23

I feel very sad that this should be an issue at all!

frogetyfrog Wed 08-Sep-10 20:26:20

Chippingin - 'They can take photos and circulate them, they can alter the photos to make the situation quite different from the one in which the photo was taken... there is a lot of harm they can do without actually touching a child. These photos are then out there - on the interenet, possibly resufacing at some stage, leaving the child/adult having to defend themselves, being left to 'prove' it wasn't them.'

What would they be defending themselves about? Genuine question from a confused mner. I am assuming you mean having to prove they havent been sexually abused. Or do you mean the photos can be altered to suggest they are abusing somebody else? Sorry to be frank but I am concerned and confused.

littlesez Wed 08-Sep-10 20:27:25

I find it depressing that children cannot be free and naked just incase there is a paedo watching. sad

YANBU but I also understand why your hubby was upset he just wants to protect his kids.

I let my baby walk around naked on holiday, it didnt ever cross my mind that there would be a pervert watching her sad

I hate it that paedophilia exists, it really really fucks me off. sorry I know that is a daft thing to say, but it makes me so fucking angry that people have to worry about photo's, nakedness, talking to strangers and all kinds of dilemma's surrounding their children just in case a rare occasion of something vile , urghh

WoodyAllen Wed 08-Sep-10 20:33:49

We live on the coast and spend a lot of time on the beach. DS (5) is often naked. DD2 (2) sometimes is and DD1 (6) often is too. Never noticed anyone appearing to think anything. At least my kids have sun cream on, I was always naked on the beach with nothing at all. They'll get self conscious soon enough. And paedophiles might be hanging about but having shorts on isn't going to get rid of them. Frankly I think it's a TINY minority and not something that should dictate how free my children feel. Fully supervised by me of course.

sharbie Wed 08-Sep-10 20:39:08

I wouldn't but I have seen men on beaches with binoculars in the past acting very suspiciously - this is a very real risk imo and people should bear it in mind

amberleaf Wed 08-Sep-10 20:43:03

Not as tiny as you may think.

frogetyfrog Wed 08-Sep-10 20:43:23

Sharbie - maybe they were looking at the boats or the birds. I myself have taken binoculars on beaches and would usually have them with me on walks (which may include time on a beach). As would my darling grandad who is far from being a paedophile! Or maybe they had their binoculars on the lovely figure of the 22 year old blonde down the beach!!

Surely there cant be such huge numbers of people interested in children in a sexual way that they are at significant risk of being photographed on a beach? Or am I being naive.

Is there anybody who works in child protection can shed light on the real risk?

sharbie Wed 08-Sep-10 20:46:53

one was on the cliff laying flat face down in the grass - very close to lots of other people but with his binoculars trained on the beach below - looked very strange

every time i glared at him he looked out to sea with them - i was sat there for a while and i'm pretty sure what i saw was a bit dodgy

frogetyfrog Wed 08-Sep-10 20:51:11

But he could have been interested in the woman of consenting age? That is probably more likely surely? There must be more men purving at grown women than at children.

WoodyAllen Wed 08-Sep-10 20:51:59

Paedophiles look at kids clothed too. You might not want one thinking about your child but keeping them dressed isn't going to make much difference. I grew up in London and had some serious issues with men who targeted me when I was 11. It was the school uniform that turned them on. I have been on the receiving end and it was very unpleasant, lovely police were involved and it was resolved after two arrests. If a sick character is interested in your kids it doesn't make a difference whether they are on a beach, online or hanging round the playground. Or on my train home, as one of mine was.

sharbie Wed 08-Sep-10 20:54:30

maybe but i don't recall any bikini clad ladies there that day - not that busy mostly children on beach but, if you don't want to hear that people are around like that hey it's your choice

frogetyfrog Wed 08-Sep-10 21:01:08

Sharbie - I know people like that are around. I just want to know what the real risk is as am genuinely confused.

I let my children go naked practically where they want (park, beach, garden etc). But wouldnt let them in the park out of my sight for example as am worried about them being snatched. Am trying to work out my logic. I can only think that it is because deep down I think being perved at is less awful than them being snatched.

But then when somebody mentioned photos being altered further up thread I started to worry.

I dont know what I think.

amberleaf Wed 08-Sep-10 21:16:45


I know they look at kids fully clothed too, that doesnt in my book mean its ok to allow them to look at my children naked.

ChippingIn Wed 08-Sep-10 21:22:06

FrogetyFrog I don't want to say too much and honestly the less you know about some of these things the better - you can provide a more innocent childhood for your children. I think you already do the right thing by allowing them to be naked when they want, but in your line of sight when out in public parks etc. Don't read too much and get too upset about paedophiles because you really can't do a lot to change anything. But to answer your question, yes, it leaves the victim being the one to 'prove' they haven't performed sexual acts when they were children. However, they can take photos of clothed children and impose them on naked children as well, so being dressed is no guarantee either. I shouldn't have said anything as people worrying doesn't actually change things - I was just upset by the comment that it doesn't matter if a paedophile is watching or not...

Well said amberleaf. My children didn't run about the beach naked, but they did in our own garden, and in the house.

And as far as the huge majority on here who are quite happy to have them run around naked in public - personally I think you're just trying to sound all modern and groovy, and wanting to fit in.

Please go ahead and pull me ribbons for my remark, as is normal on Mumsnet - I won't be returning to the thread.

brassband Wed 08-Sep-10 21:27:30

my gut feeling is that it's a bit common.Can't justify it rationally but that would be my first thought

frogetyfrog Wed 08-Sep-10 21:27:52

Chipping - thats terrible and not something I would ever ever have thought. Is it possible an innocent child could be accused of abusing another just due to photoshop work of photographs. Does that really happen.

And I think you are right to tell - I always think it best to be aware. I dont let my children out of my sight generally, but maybe I am still a little naive.

LadyBiscuit Wed 08-Sep-10 21:27:59

amberleaf - like other forms of sexual abuse, most children are abused by people they know. Who presumably rarely see them naked.

I think by saying it's ok for paedophiles to look at your children clothed (well not okay, but better), you're capitulating to the idea that your children's bodies are sexual. And they really aren't. But you're allowing them to become sexualised, by letting the very small minority of people who find young children sexually exciting, dictate to you what your children can and can't do.

I can't stop anyone from having sexual fantasies about my children. I can stop them from preventing my children from enjoying their lives as the innocents they are though.

formerdiva Wed 08-Sep-10 21:43:07

YANBU. You sound like a sensible mother who's just getting on with letting children be children.

I've got some sympathy with those who are concerned about peados - I guess that's a huge fear for all of us, and we all choose to deal with it in different ways. However, very little sympathy for those who talk about a 5yo understanding "modesty" and "dignity". What is this - Victorian Britain?

ChippingIn Wed 08-Sep-10 22:26:12

FrogetyFrog no, it's not really about them proving that they didn't abuse another child, it's more 'proving' that the photo where it 'appears' they are engaged in a sexual act with an adult or group of children isn't actually them. That it's a fabrication for the titilation of pervs. Please stop worrying about it, there is not a lot you can do to change it and anything you do do, is to the detriment of your children doing the things they do now.

Probabaly the best post on this thread is this one...

^LadyBiscuit Wed 08-Sep-10 21:27:59
... I can't stop anyone from having sexual fantasies about my children. I can stop them from preventing my children from enjoying their lives as the innocents they are^

amberleaf Wed 08-Sep-10 23:30:34


Im not saying its ok for paedophiles to look at my children clothed, id rather they didnt look at them at all but as they dont go around with 'nonce' stamped across their heads you cant tell whos innocent and whos not.

I am not sexualising my children.

I am protecting them-you may not feel that the threat from paedophiles is big enough to worry about i do.

Oh and yes i am aware that most abuse is by people known to the child or childs family.
I also know of a fair amount of 'one offs' by strangers.

Heracles Thu 09-Sep-10 01:53:15

I can only ask again: how is someone looking at someone else doing harm? That's not "protection", that's passing the paranoia down another generation.

Think back to the (as ever, very rare) stranger-snatch paedophile cases you hear of. How many involved already naked children?

amberleaf Thu 09-Sep-10 03:11:34

So Heracles would you be ok with some perv sitting on a seaside bench with his hands down his trousers, coat on lap wanking off while watching your naked child play?

That is an extreme example but it happens.

Id rather not facilitate that. My children will not be naked in public.

Heracles Thu 09-Sep-10 03:41:34

"So Heracles would you be ok with some perv sitting on a seaside bench with his hands down his trousers, coat on lap wanking off while watching your naked child play?"

Ha ha ha! That reads like a Daily Mail opening paragraph. If people/animals aren't being harmed in any way I couldn't give two shits why a man whacks himself off. If it was in my view I'd ask him to take it elsewhere, just as I would if he was getting aroused by the clouds or seagulls or caravans or a picture existing only in his mind.

"That is an extreme example but it happens."

Does it? Where? I've never come across it (excuse the etc) and I'm a keen student of human depravity.

sharbie Thu 09-Sep-10 08:13:59

well lucky you heracles - and can you really not see the connection

ifancyashandy Thu 09-Sep-10 08:41:24

But said man could be sitting there wanking at 'your' child in a swimsuit surely? Don't see how nudity does or doesn't facilitate the depraved.

amberleaf Thu 09-Sep-10 09:26:23

You are lucky then Heracles aren't you.

formerdiva Thu 09-Sep-10 10:35:34

The peado thinking pervy thoughts about your child isn't directly affecting your child's life at all. However, covering your children up from an early age and teaching them that genitals are "private" IS affecting them. No matter how good the parents intentions, it's helping to sexualise the child from a premature age by raising adult concerns about genitalia.

We're all parents, we all hate peadophiles, that's a given. But I think I'm doing the best for my child by protecting her for as long as possible from the feeling of shame that women are taught to have about their bodies.

choufleur Thu 09-Sep-10 10:42:57

FGS if you can't run around naked when you're a small child then it's a sad thing.

Children soon enough start to become self conscious and wouldn't want to run around with no clothes on - let them enjoy it while they can (it's not at all sexual it freedom).

Children shouldn't be stopped enjoying themselves in a safe environment because of the minuscule chance that a paedophile is watching.

And if you do see someone having a surreptitious wank while watching your children feel free to shout and point at them and the local vigilantes can come and hung, draw and quarter them! Although I've never spotted anyone doing that on any beaches I've been on.

2old4thislark Thu 09-Sep-10 10:44:39

The shops sell swimming costumes for children for a reason - most parents find them a necessity rather than optional.

choufleur Thu 09-Sep-10 10:46:31

Yes if you go to a swimming pool they have to wear a swimming costume/trunk, but they don't on a beach.

Nefret Thu 09-Sep-10 10:50:01

I would have no problem with my children having a run round naked on the beach, my girls both did it when we were on holiday this year as they had managed to get sand in their costumes so they had a run and a splash in the sea to rinse the sand off. neither me nor my husband thought they shouldn't do it and no-one else took any notice. They are only little and they love it so let them run.

choufleur Thu 09-Sep-10 10:56:28

This thread reminds me of the Brass Eye Paedophile episode

ChippingIn Thu 09-Sep-10 11:07:03

2oldforthislark Yes they do!! You are right!!

It's called for profit - if you follow your reasoning then nipple clamps are a necessity too!

<*Choufleur* how's the new business going??>

LadyBiscuit Thu 09-Sep-10 11:21:02


choufleur - yes, it reminds me of that too

telsa Thu 09-Sep-10 11:28:29

Shops sell swimsuits because they make money selling things. They also sell loo roll coverlets and pretty doilies - it does not make them necessities!

Heracles Thu 09-Sep-10 12:12:35

"You are lucky then Heracles aren't you."

Being rational isn't down to luck.

amberleaf Thu 09-Sep-10 12:50:41

No but never having 'come across it' is.

2old4thislark Thu 09-Sep-10 13:45:18

If they are considered necessary for a public swimming pool then what's the difference for the beach?

I think it sounds lovely. No problem at all with naked kiddies. Am sad so many people are against it tbh.

choufleur Thu 09-Sep-10 14:20:41

<<waves to ChippinIn>> I've done one small piece of work and have another lined up.

choufleur Thu 09-Sep-10 14:21:46

Cos the people who own the pools say so. No-one says so at the beach. Same way in France at most pools men have to wear speedoes.

prettybird Thu 09-Sep-10 14:22:03

I think formerdiva's post of 10:34 today is spot on.

2old4thislark Thu 09-Sep-10 14:53:46

choufleur I know it the rules at public pools - I'm not that thick.

It is either a rule for 'health and safety' or because nobody want to see nakedness. Or maybe both. But it suggests that covering up in public is what is expected and accepted by the majority.

As for shops selling kids swimsuits for profit - of course they do! But they do because there is a demand for them. By parents who want to cover there children.

WoodyAllen Thu 09-Sep-10 15:17:11

Skyline Drifter - it's not modern to let your kids round around naked. I was a child in the 70's and we were all naked all the time. Much more than now. So maybe it was groovy. But certainly not modern. Some of us are just freer spirits than others. Peace and Love.

WoodyAllen Thu 09-Sep-10 15:18:07

Former Diva - I'm with you on this one. Well said.

choufleur Thu 09-Sep-10 15:31:40

maybe there's a demand for swimming costumes because those of you who are very conservative in your view are so scared of seeing little bodies naked that everyone else has to conform to your rigid values. It wouldn't bother me if small children swam without clothes on in a pool.

LadyBiscuit Thu 09-Sep-10 16:01:50

I took my DS into the paddling pool naked the other day. I had completely forgotten about that. It just doesn't cross my mind to think there's paedos lurking behind every bush confused

seeker Thu 09-Sep-10 16:16:44

Swimming pools demand costumes for little ones because they help to catch the poo. Seriously - there is no other reason.

It's absolutely fine for children to be naked on the beach. Of course it is - don't be silly.

Why should you teach your children to cover themselves up because there is a remote chance that there is a paedophile with a pair of binoculars somewhere in the vicinity?

amberleaf Thu 09-Sep-10 16:29:37

Seeker-that isnt the only reason you teach them to cover up though is it?

At what age is it no longer acceptable for children to be naked then? and how would you get that across to your child without making them 'ashamed of their body' [as someone said] or 'sexualising' them?

seeker Thu 09-Sep-10 16:36:03

You don't ahve to teach them to cover up. You wait until they say they want to. Round about 5/6ish in my experience.

seeker Thu 09-Sep-10 16:36:32

Actually no. Round about 4/5ish in my experience.

2old4thislark Thu 09-Sep-10 18:51:41

I'm just an old fashioned prude but I guess you can't help how you feel.

FlyingInTheCLouds Thu 09-Sep-10 19:05:57

This country can be so prudish. My ex was swedish and his little cousins were quite happy to be naked until8/9. An dlots of the adults still are!

choufleur Thu 09-Sep-10 19:19:06

Does everyone here who objects to naked children also object to near naked adults also on beaches?

2old4thislark Thu 09-Sep-10 19:29:51

Yes, especially near naked overweight ones wink
Just a prude, aren't I???

Heracles Thu 09-Sep-10 20:12:18

Won't somebody think of the children(s nipples)??!!?

ChippingIn Thu 09-Sep-10 20:51:54

2old4thislark - really it just wouldn't be a MN thread without someone bringing overweight adults into it FFS can't you stick to the topic?

SkylineDrifter - modern & groovey Yes, very modern. I was a toddler in the late 70's, the entire street used to be in our paddling pool naked - so yes, it's all just a modern need to be modern and groovey hmm

<*choufleur* - that's good!! I hope it keeps growing for you )

2old4thislark Thu 09-Sep-10 20:59:41

I don't want to tell tales but choufleurr went off topic first. I'm overweight myself so am I still not mention being overweight? Or is literally the 'elephant in the room'? I certainly wouldn't inflict my naked wobbly body on fellow beach folk!

I'm a prude, don't want to see anyone of any size or age naked or near naked in public, thank you very much!

WoodyAllen Thu 09-Sep-10 21:39:42

Seeker my oldest is nearly 7 and she is completely happy naked. Must be the Scandiavian in her.

NotanOtter Thu 09-Sep-10 21:43:16

i think kids should be able to be naked
my 7 year old ds still often naked and two younger brothers barely ever clothed wink

0karen Sun 05-Dec-10 01:15:31

I know this topic is a few months old now but I just come across it and was so surprised by the number of people who said they allow their children to go naked

My girls are usually naked around the house and garden

Whenever when we are at the beach, lake or park it seems my daughters are he only ones naked

No one has ever complained

However on bonfire night we had a fire in our garden and a few people round. My parents said they thought that the girls were getting a bit old to be wondering round nude

YANBU I went to France last summer and headed to a southern beach. There were tons of naked kids running round and no one batted an eye. We seem to be so uptight in this country - probably cos it's too cold to be naked grin but there isn't a paedo on every corner. Let kids be kids.

And no bloody triangle bikinis ffs. They have nothing to hide.

TriggersBroom Sun 05-Dec-10 01:20:24

Bloody hell. Why has this been bumped? Nobody would surely go naked in the weather we've had in the last week.

One year I went to Greece and whipped off my top (pre baby stage) showing everything except that which was covered by bikini bottoms.

A few nights later I was having a chat with a few of the other hotel guests who went on about this brazen hussy that sunbathed topless round the pool and how their 13 year old sons couldn't stop looking.

I was mortified that they had been looking at me but sad that women can't be natural in socially acceptable situations without a negative label. It wasn't like I swam or walked about like that.

proudfoot Sun 05-Dec-10 19:09:05

confused at the poster who bumped this to say her DDs were going naked on Bonfire night and the guests asked if they weren't too old... I would also find it very strange if children were prancing around naked in the middle of winter when guests were at the house! I think I would feel quite uncomfortable with this tbh and would wonder why the parents allowed it!

Don't like children going naked on beaches because of the sun protection issues mentioned and I just don't see the need. I enjoy sunbathing while wearing swimming costume and don't feel that I am missing out by not having the "sun on my bottom" or sea air up my rear end... not really an essential part of the beach experience IMO hmm Actually I feel quite annoyed and embarrassed that my parents have naked pictures of me on the beach when I was young.

DuelingFanjo Sun 05-Dec-10 19:11:14

Stupid bump. Stupid person.
Very old thread.
I wonder what the motive for bumping this was?

Very strange bump to say that you allow children to run around naked in front of visitors. Unneccessary and very odd imo.

DuelingFanjo Sun 05-Dec-10 19:21:49

I suppose we're supposed to ask how old his children arfe, then he comes back and says they are 16 or something. Idiot.

MeggleChav Sun 05-Dec-10 19:25:04

Mine were in the sea this morning, B'mouth. They were both starkers (3,6)and all the adults were giving me odd looks ????

scoobytoo Sun 05-Dec-10 19:28:18

I have to say I wouldn't like it at all and I think men feel constantly under scrutiny because of the sensationalism over paedophilia and therefore I absolutely know my DH would feel uncomfortable.
I not sure why it's neccesary for kids to go naked?

usualsuspect Sun 05-Dec-10 19:31:54

seems to be a lot of grave digging on MN just lately

PML at megglechav

0karen Sun 05-Dec-10 21:40:01

Sorry need to defend myself here

Nov 5 is not middle of winter, it was a fairly mild evening with a roaring hot fire.

People where a couple of neighbours, a few fiends we knew a long time, my parents, my sister and her family

scoobytoo it is just the paranoia of the UK, virtually everywhere else in the world it is not an issue

furrybootsnotjandals Sun 05-Dec-10 21:59:08

I think it is a healthy thing to do- as long as it isn't at 12 noon in the middle of summer, they are boosting their vitamin D every time the sun is on their skin,and it is a lovely thing for them to enjoy having the sun/sea on their skin before they get much older and start to develop hangups about being naked. I think it is a shame for adults to make children feel self conscious about their bodies by insisting they cover up if the children are happy with it, not getting sunburnt, and it isn't hurting/bothering anyone else.

lillibet1 Sun 05-Dec-10 22:23:15

My question is why do people feel its not right embarrassing or unreasonable its not about modesty or dignity for a 5 year old its about your DH perceptions of the human body and by the looks of it quite a few others including my own DH let them run about naked on the beach as long as its warm enough minus 6 here at the mo so unlikely in the near future and they are protected from the sun.

Himalaya Sun 05-Dec-10 22:28:02

Slightly on a tangent (and I know a bit odd to be thinking about these things for those of us in the UK right now...)...but was just thinking about how silly, impractical and sexualising bikinis on little girls are.

last summer I was in Italy, where all the prepubescent Italian and French girls on the beach and round the pool wore bikini bottoms.

The British girls wore bikinis which rode up around their necks because they had nothing to keep them in place, or onepieces - which usually fit properly for about a month or two in the intervening period between being too saggy and too tight.

And as for girls swim nappies with a halterneck panel...what is the point of that? Presumably more people than just Firawa are thinking about 'modesty and dignity' on little kids.

As a kid in the 70s I wore trunks. I wonder why more parents don't let their/ girls don't wear bikini bottoms/swim shorts for longer out of babyhood. I guess its just not the done thing in the UK.

lady007pink Sun 05-Dec-10 22:39:40

My parents used to let us run around naked. To this day, I still have relations and neighbours that taunt me about it. Apparently I used to run through the fields naked, don't know because I can't remember.

I don't find it a bit amusing - in fact it upsets me. Even an elderly bachelor commented about it at my mother's funeral (perverted, I know!) to me in front of a load of people - thankfully nobody laughed.

As a result, I don't allow my children to be naked publicly at any time.

SalFresco Sun 05-Dec-10 22:45:46

I don't think YABU. I think you can follow the lead of the child in this respect - ie when they are conscious of, and are uncomfortable, being naked in public, is when you need to respect their "dignity" My ds's are younger than this, but a lot of friends report that around 6/7 their DC's wouldn't want to be naked in public anyway.

It is hard to imagine when DS1 has no compunction about humping the sofa in company, that he will ever have any modesty at all grin

SalFresco Sun 05-Dec-10 22:49:11

Ooh didn't realise it was an old thread...assumed it was a post from abroad

lady007pink Sun 05-Dec-10 22:54:35

Same here SalFresco!

MumNWLondon Sun 05-Dec-10 23:54:51

I personally would allow it, and it makes me feel uncomfortable / judgey at parents (because of who might be on beach looking), maybe ok for a toddler, esp if a boy, but by 5/6 esp for a girl, totally not appropriate, pair of knickers enough though.

davidb72 Sat 03-Dec-11 17:23:33

Hi everyone - I'm very new here but I hope it's okay for me to post here as I am a single male from the U.K. (please see my profile page) and not a parent. I really only wanted to share my thoughts about little kids being naked on beaches as I went to a beach on our near record breaking 1st October heatwave day this year!

Well a family with 2 little girls, oldest nearly 3 and the youngest about 20 months settled near me where they got the various beach things ready. The kids were quite happy and eager to play in the sand and sea so the youngest stood by Daddy and the eldest stood by Mummy and asked to be undressed. Once the kids' bodies were stripped completely and applied with suntan lotion they happily frolicked around and used their buckets and spades to build sandcastles.

Now to me this is a lovely scene of childhood innocence but because of all the paranoia and over-hype surrounding naked kids = paedophilia, I felt a little awkward and uncomfortable seeing them playing in an area quite close to where I was sitting. It probably sounds silly but I was afraid that the parents may think that because I was on my own and therefore single, I was likely a pervert who gets off ogling little naked girls who may even try taking photos of them. Because of this I may have felt less awkward if the children kept their knickers on.

I've heard that C.R.B. checks are good for giving the all clear to people for some activities where adults come into contact with children but sometimes they are just unnecessary and are a waste of time. However, if there was a law where single people (males in particular) had to undergo a C.R.B. check before visiting a beach on their own, I would have been quite happy to have undergone a full police C.R.B. check for that purpose. Why? Because not only would it give families peace of mind when adult males are close by on the beach but also I'd feel a lot more comfortable being around little children in various states of undress with the knowledge that I've been checked that I haven't committed any sexual offences to children.

Thanks for reading,


oldmerryolesoul Sat 03-Dec-11 17:40:58

[mconfused]... what a strange post to a subject a yea old

davidb72 Sat 03-Dec-11 17:56:16


Oh, sorry about that, I've only just noticed the post before mine is nearly a year ago!

Sorry about the 'weirdness' of the post but just really wanted to express my feelings from a 'single male' point of view if that makes any sense.



MenopausalHaze Sat 03-Dec-11 18:02:22

Rampant outbreak of weirdness alert!

Why can't these people watch telly, go for a pint, lie down in a darkened room? Anything but subject us to this dredged up piffle!

MenopausalHaze Sat 03-Dec-11 18:03:11

And pull the other one 'David' - it's got Christmas effin bells on.

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