A few of you may have seen my debate on GMB with Marina Fogle yesterday. So I thought i would follow it up with an obligatory blog post! I read an article in the daily mail that Marina Fogle had written saying that she is bringing her children up in a naked house, has told them about all the details of sex as well as what condoms are used for as well as her and Ben (her husband) all piling in the bath with her 6 year old daughter and 8 year old son (that must be a BIG bath). I was also under the impression from the article I had read that Marina and Ben are full-blown nudists. So when Marinas first statement on air was “Im not a full blown nudist, i don’t walk around the house naked or cook naked, but i don’t shriek either when my kids come in the shower or bathroom” – well neither do most people – me included, I simply teach them about their bodies belong to them and them only.
My three daughters are six, five and three years old and we have had baths together, I have got undressed in front of them, they have seen me naked, this was before each of them started to understand about boundaries. What I am conscious of is teaching the kids about their body, and how privates are privates and I lead from how my children are and their personalities.
My eldest Pops is six nearly seven and now she starts asking for privacy when she goes to the toilet, when she is putting on knickers and vest on and she also enjoys a bath alone. She thinks it is normal to have privacy when she is doing all these things – BECAUSE IT IS hence why we don’t take a shit in public or bath in public.
Olive who is five, is kind of halfway to be open and free and halfway to understanding boundaries to do with her body. Sometimes she will want to chat whilst she is having bath, sometimes she will close the door, sometimes she will get dressed in front of me, other times she will say “don’t come in, im in the nudie and my privates are out”.
Hatti, who is three, however, is an all-new ball game. She will be fully dressed ready for nursery one minute and then naked and free running around the house the next minute after going for a poo, tone minute before we have to leave for the school run.
My issue with being in a fully naked house and encouraging your child to be naked is that it is completely different to teaching your children body confidence. My children are body confident because I teach them about body confidence with how I speak about my body, how I take care of my body through food and exercise and how I speak and teach them about their bodies. I honestly believe it wouldn’t make a difference if i was naked 24/7 they would still be confident in their own skin.
They key thing for me is to teach your children the appropriate lesson for the appropriate ages that they are and for the individual characters they have. Not every child is the same, i know this through my own children.
The reason I choose to parent this way is for a couple of reasons – the first one and the main one being i know of a situation where a close friend of mine had friends who’s house was naked house, and the father groomed my friend and it started because it was normalised by my friends friend and her family walking around naked. Now, I also understand that of course, this is not an everyday situation and you cant stop play dates for fear of meeting a paedophile but my point is, situations like these do happen. They can’t be undone.
The second reason being, when i was 18 i worked abroad and lived in a house of girls and boys. A girl i lived with was brought up in a naked house, and because of this she would walk around naked as soon as she came home – regardless who was in. At the time, i thought “wow, how liberating” she is really confident about her body (she did have an incredible body) but as iv got older and had children, when i think back to that, it scares me to think it only takes the wrong person to be in that house to see her for something bad to happen. I know I wouldn’t want my girls to feel so comfortable walking around naked they would do it in front of anyone, because this is putting themselves in danger.
Because of those reasons I am choosing to teach boundaries to my children about their bodies and what is socially acceptable and what is not. Teaching children’s to be comfortable in their own skin is different to teaching them to be comfortable in being naked.
As a parent we all teach through instinct, through experience, through knowledge and we lead with our hearts as well as our heads. Me included.
I would love top know your thoughts on this.