My girlfriend regularly walks around naked in front of her three and five-year-old sons. I know this because it’s sparked adorable questions.
“Mommy, where is your penis?”
Her husband is amused, though a little more wary of how such parental nudity could affect his sons. He’s even warned her that he has vivid memories from that age.
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So when are kids too old to see their parents naked?
“I think it’s a very interesting question that parents and youth wrestle with alike,” Edmonton-based registered psychologist Jason Jones said.
“There’s no sexuality that comes from just looking at or seeing someone nude so if you make it as if it’s not a big deal and that fits for you and you’re comfortable with that, then that’s what you’re going to transmit to the children.”
Jones said there is no one-size-fits-all approach. It depends on the parents’ culture and values.
“If you’re comfortable with it and your child is comfortable with it then really it’s just nudity. It’s just like going to the beach,” Jones said.
He recommends taking cues from your child. If their comments or body language suggest they want privacy, give it to them.
Melissa Chalmers has yet to see those signs. She showers with her three and six-year-old sons, typically out of necessity.
“If they’re in the shower and we’re in a hurry, I want to be able to jump in the shower and get us on our way.”
She also hopes her sons pick up on the importance of a positive body image.
“This is the body that birthed them,” Chalmers said. “I want to celebrate that…I want them to understand that it’s not something to hide away or it’s not something to be ashamed of.”