Oh for heaven’s sake. In that tome that gives me palpitations, aka The Daily Mail, Laura Libbert last year asked the sterling question “Was I wrong to let a stranger’s 5 year old son see me naked”? and since we’ve started swimming lessons for the kids this week, it seems highly appropriate to revisit the issue.
|The late, great Kenneth Williams|
Apparently, she was accosted by a horrified mother as she wandered around the communal area of a female changing room in her gym ‘au naturel’. Cue much muttering of “well I let my sons (4 and 6) see me naked and they don’t have a problem” and desperate canvassing of friends for their opinion – basically “be loud, be proud and woggle those dangly bits sista”
You know, nudity isn’t actually the issue here, it’s the lack of consideration for others’ feelings and the lack of social awareness which seems to blight so many trips out with children these days. I don’t care if you run naked like natives with branches in your hair at home, I don’t want my kids viewing your shrubbery. To be fair, it sounds as if the writer accidentally dropped her towel rather than auditioned as a model for an Art Life Class but a bit of decorum wouldn’t come amiss.
And isn’t it OK to teach your children that wanting your own space and preserving your modesty is your right? Caitlin was happy to change for swimming in a cubicle rather than strip off in the general melee of naked boys and girls running about screaming like banshees.
The article also raised the question of when it is no longer appropriate for children to see adults naked – or is it always OK? Are we creating sexual hang-ups by hiding genitalia away? I think children are becoming sexualised far too early. Do I want my children to have sex education at 5? No. Do I want my daughter dressed like a beauty queen at 6? No. I think the point is that parents need to be on the ball (if you’ll pardon the pun) to ensure that THEY take the lead in their child’s sex education and are filtering the morass of inappropriate material thrown at all of us by the media each day. Will I be letting my kids have a Facebook account? No. Mobile phones? For anything other than emergency calls? No.
I’m sure at this point there will be much tittering (missus!) and cries of “well let’s see how smug you are lady when they are pre-teens and your ears are bleeding from the demands” And I’ve a horrible feeling they’ll be right.
But is it wrong to want to protect childhood innocence for as long as possible?