When do private parts become private?

When I was growing up, my mom walked around naked all the time. So much so, that when I started bringing my now-husband home, I was worried that I needed to explicitly instruct her to put pajamas on before entering the kitchen in the morning during our visits. Then I reminded myself that she is a successful professional person with many long-lasting friendships. She has an overall history of good judgement.

She has not embarrassed me yet. (I mean, with her nudity.)

I appreciate that my mom — and my dad and my stepmom (who is truly a third parent to me) — all naked-types, wanted me to grow up with a healthy attitude about my body. I want the same for my children and do not wish to introduce the idea of self-consciousness to them before they come upon it naturally. My opposite sex kids bathe together, and play together naked if they get distracted while changing clothes.

I do have to remind them to not touch each other’s private parts. They are curious and find it funny, but it is the rare occasion that it comes up. Usually they are busy with toys or projects and don’t notice the bare skin of their sibling.

I am keeping my eyes peeled for signs of my six and a half year old needing privacy, because I assumed it would be right around the corner, but last weekend while sharing a vacation house with a group of families, I noted that the other six and a half year old boy also wandered around unclothed amongst a mixed group of adults and children. So I guess my answer is not yet.

I participated in a Momversation video on this topic and requested other panelists who have a boy and a girl so I could ask them what they think. Rebecca Woolf has a boy and a girl who are each half a year younger than mine and Jessica Gottlieb‘s kids are few years older. Watch the video and let me know what you think.

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RookieMoms.com co-founder Whitney lives with her husband, son, and daughter in the San Francisco Bay Area where she writes about parenting, crafts, and activities that moms can do with babies in tow. She and Heather also publish 510Families.com, a site for East Bay parents and are the authors of The Rookie Mom's Handbook and Stuff Every Mom Should Know.

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