Me and my kiddo

Me and my kiddo

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Naked's Not News: Take Two

Things have started to change and I'm enjoying observing the process of my son finding privacy desirable.  This is what I wrote about a year and a half ago:

"This is more of a musing post because I'm not sure where our parenting practices will end up.  So, as a new parent, it's no big deal for my infant to see me naked.  Changing a dirty shirt, getting into pajamas, I didn't hide from his baby gaze.  Fast forward to toddlerhood and it was helpful for him to see us using the bathroom as part of toilet training.  Again, no big deal for us to help him change dirty clothing or to change our own.  Now, I have a six year old and I would have thought that, by now, nudity would be different.  To my surprise, it's still the same.  Literally, naked's not news.  He can dress and bathe himself, but if we're both ready to rinse off hot tub chemicals at the same time, we'll get into my shower together for two minutes (it's the only one with a hand-held sprayer).  If I'm changing into pajamas and he comes in with a question, I don't duck behind a door or sternly invoke the privacy card.  Basically, he has complete comfort with the body as something not to be hidden and as something normal.  These interactions have remained consistently positive.

Now, I'm curious when this is going to change?  I can imagine it will get to a point where our current openness is no longer appropriate i.e. a teenager might have a confusing response..."

So, now I have an eight year old and things are changing.  Now, if he changes he'll streak!  He'll run naked between bathroom and bedroom instead of the non-issue stroll.  He always closes bathroom doors and he doesn't want to change into a bathing suit in front of me.  The interesting thing is that it's all on his side.  I mean, he doesn't care if I'm changing and being naked is still "not news" to him regarding me, but he finds privacy more important for him.  He still has no shame in his body, it's just that the privacy issue has become more important to him.  It's really curious how one sided this is and I've asked him if it bothers him when he finds me changing.  He says it doesn't, but I did ask him to let me know if at some point it does.  I'm sure our privacy norms will adjust at some point.

As I wrote last time, "Clearly, there is a connection between nudity and sexuality at some point.  I don't want him to be confused when he starts making that connection.  For now, I'll observe and enjoy how purely joyous he feels within his own body."  I'm thinking that I'll keep the same approach that has been working.  This is a really an intriguing process to watch him developing new understanding of what is private and what he doesn't want to share.  I love that this is happening without him feeling embarrassed or ashamed of his body.

He'll get over peek a boo some day :)


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