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Family nudity and personal standards of body modesty

35 replies

LifeIsGoodish · 28/07/2016 10:16

In the privacy of our home clothing is optional when it's just us (me, dh, our 3 dc). 15yo dc1 has become protective of his body modesty, which I respect. If he chooses to cover up, or not want to be seen naked, that's fine.

However, I'm wondering whether I need to change my behaviour. He averts his eyes if he sees me naked or half-naked. I don't go into his room naked, but that's the only thing I've changed. Our bedroom doors are opposite each other, and so even if I'm in my bedroom he is likely to see me nude.

As a family, we generally leave our doors open. Ds1 has taken to closing his, but I assumed that was basically teenage-man-cave syndrome.

I'm inclined to go on as I am. Let ds1 respect my body-choices in the way I respect his. Yet at the same time I don't want to make him uncomfortable.

Any thoughts?

OP posts:
NoCapes · 28/07/2016 10:19

I am always baffled by these threads
I couldn't imagine anything worse than being a teenager and my parents swanning around naked
Also do you hug and kiss them while you're all naked?
Literally couldn't think of anything more uncomfortable
Poor kids

ThoraGruntwhistle · 28/07/2016 10:21

I think if your children have got to an age where they find you wandering about in the nip embarrassing, stop doing it. Be naked in your bedroom/bathroom and dressed elsewhere, and make sure he knows to knock on doors.

cosmicglittergirl · 28/07/2016 10:21

I think it's fine. I never saw my parents naked and I think that's weird. Other European countries have a far healthier approach to nudity and body confidence.

Only1scoop · 28/07/2016 10:22

I'd stop he's clearly uncomfortable....why would you not stopConfused

Wondermoomin · 28/07/2016 10:24

Sounds like he is finding it very uncomfortable. You said you don't want to make him uncomfortable, so....

fuctifino · 28/07/2016 10:28

My dm was always swanning around naked and I used to cringe.
Me? If the kids walk into the bedroom or bathroom then yes, they can expect to see me naked, I certainly don't flaunt the flesh unnecessarily.

Personally, I think of you're embarrassing him you should do the decent thing and cover up.

NicknameUsed · 28/07/2016 10:29

I'm with everyone else on here. DD (16) doesn't even like seeing me swan around in my underwear (I don't blame her Grin).

I think you are under-estimating just how uncomfortable and self conscious teenagers are about nudity in general.

LonnyVonnyWilsonFrickett · 28/07/2016 10:31

Well you are making him uncomfortable, so if you don't want to make him uncomfortable you have to change your behaviour. It really is as simple as that. Just close your door!

DollyBarton · 28/07/2016 10:35

Ask him! Personally I don't think nudity should cause any embarrassment but unfortunately it does.

DrLizAsher · 28/07/2016 10:37

Don't listen to the people trying to shame you, OP. Your body isn't something to be ashamed of and your DS1 should know that. If he doesn't see your body naked (or semi-clothed) then where's he going to learn about what naked women look like? The Internet? What a great example!

My parents didn't wander around naked but weren't ashamed to nip from the bathroom to the bedroom naked or to get changed while I was in the room as a teen. Obviously don't make him uncomfortable on purpose but I belive that we have a duty to teach our children what healthy bodies look like, young and old, make and female. Can you talk to him about it and find out if there's anything in particular making him feel uncomfortable so you can change to suit that?

Blu · 28/07/2016 10:38

My Mum always wandered from bed to bath in the nude, parents slept naked, and we actually frequented beaches where it was ok to just take everything off if you wanted, all the way through my teen years, and I never cringed.

OP, ask him?

I think it is fine to do what you want in your own home. I would laugh and say 'it's just a body, we all have one and I am not shy', but obviously respect his current need for privacy, and see what his perspective is on how he feels with other people being without clothes.

AuntieStella · 28/07/2016 10:38

You don't really lose anything by being clothed in communal areas of the house. You do gain a less embarrassing and therefore easier time for your DS (and possibly other DC idc).

You can still be naked when those who do not like it are out, and in your bedroom (start closing the door, so your nudity is not visible from the communal areas).

It's only for a little while until they leave home, at which point you can reverse all the little adjustments you make for DC.

BadToTheBone · 28/07/2016 10:38

I'm very blazé about nudity, it doesn't bother me. My ds (14) is a bit self conscious about this now, so I cover up for the most. He does see me naked or topless from time to time and he copes by either averting his eyes and carrying on talking or screaming and running away asking if I have any shame, but laughing too. It's all part and parcel of sharing a house. I'm assuming you're not swinging everything about and shouting way hey, which some of these replies would seem to suggest, lol.

Thomasisintraining · 28/07/2016 10:40

Ask him. If he feels uncomfortable then I think the rule on MN seems to be you need to modify what you are doing if not continue as normal.

LonnyVonnyWilsonFrickett · 28/07/2016 10:41

I don't think anyone is trying to shame the OP. She's asked for our thoughts and we're giving them.

Roseformeplease · 28/07/2016 10:42

My DS (16) finds me embarrassing when fully clothed.

DrLizAsher · 28/07/2016 10:47

Lonny - sorry, I agree most people weren't. Nocapes implications that she was kissing and cuddling her 'poor kids' while naked rubbed me up the wrong way - that's a definite attempt to shame her and not on Angry

spankhurst · 28/07/2016 10:47

If he's embarassed he's not going to stop being embarassed if you carry on. He's becoming very aware of his sexuality and may even find your body arousing, which will cause him shame and confusion. Unpalatable but true. I'd cover up, out of respect for the developmental stage he's in.

iPost · 28/07/2016 10:50

Other European countries have a far healthier approach to nudity and body confidence

Europe is a big place, with a range of attitudes represented.

DS is 16, and Italian. We wandered around naked until he started looking uncomfortable about it. Probably around puberty, so 10/11 ish.

Our son's need to feel comfortable in his own home took priority over any parental desire to be underwear free and/or make a values statement.

BeyondBeyondBeyondBeyondBeyond · 28/07/2016 10:52

Depends. I think there is a large difference between swanning around nude despite knowing he is uncomfortable (which some posts seem to imply you are doing) and changing in your own bedroom/getting clothes from downstairs/going to and from the bathroom, just without worrying about hiding away (which is how I interpret what you are doing)?

Those who say it depends on the child's reactions alone, I am curious - how does that work if you have two children with different extremes?

NoCapes · 28/07/2016 10:53

DrLiz I asked the question whether they kiss and cuddle their kids while naked
The 'poor kids' was a comment about the whole post, not just that one line
Calm down dear

DrLizAsher · 28/07/2016 10:59

NoCapes oh my first MN spat! How exciting! Thanks for the put-down, feels like a rite of passage.

I'm afraid I still think your comments are shitty, but cheers for the entertainment this morning!

Thomasisintraining · 28/07/2016 11:02

NoCapes I am curious, why would they be 'poor kids' just because their parents are less repressed than you are? Genuine question. 'Poor Kids' is more of a fitting description of physically or emotionally neglected/deprived children and there is nothing in the OP to suggest this is an issue in her home.

NoCapes · 28/07/2016 11:08

I say 'poor kids' because he is clearly and understandably uncomfortable and embarrassed by his parents wandering around naked
I feel sorry for him having to feel like that in his own home
Therefore - poor kid

Just because I didn't have to see my mums boobs while we were round the dinner table doesn't mean I'm 'repressed'
Seeing people naked in an environment where people are naked is fine, and what I was brought up with and what I bring my own children up with
But there needs to be a line somewhere, and it obviously needs to start with where your own children are uncomfortable

Thomasisintraining · 28/07/2016 11:16

NoCapes fair enough if that is actually the case however without actually speaking to her son how does OP or anyone else know that is the case. 16 years like privacy for many reasons having a wank so without finding out that his are linked to his mum's nudity and then her not amending her begaviour accordingly it seems a bit premature and projecting on your part calling them 'poor kids'

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