My kids think nothing of coming home and stripping down to their underwear. With temps in the 90s and 100s during summer time, it makes sense to wear as little as possible. And it seemed fine when they were toddlers to run around in diapers or just their underwear. But now they are 5 and 8, and they still like to strip down upon entering the house.
We have always been sticklers for them at least to wear underwear. And they are dressed when going outside (though the backyard doesn’t count) and when we have guests over (though we don’t count family as guests). But my husband would much prefer the kids stayed dressed when they are at home or for Jase to at least wear shorts or pants.
I really see no problem with them running around in their underwear while they are at their own home. But I do wish Lexie would show a little less of her body when they have friends over. It is one thing to change in front of the girls in her room but quite another for Jase’s friends to see her running around with just her underwear on.
I assume as she grows up, she will become more aware of her body and want to cover up. I don’t want her to be ashamed of her body. But some of these little boys are not quite used to seeing a five-year-old running around with only her underwear on. At some point (and I am not sure when that is), her body needs to become private and not just to Jase’s friends but to Jase and everyone else.
I would figure by age 7 or 8, kids would begin to cover up, but Jase has no sense of modesty. He is fine walking around in his underwear. He doesn’t mind peeing with the bathroom door open. He doesn’t mind any of us seeing him in the shower or tub.
Parents in the buff
Of course, this discussion on modesty wouldn’t be complete without looking the other side of the issue – when parents should cover up in front of their kids. It isn’t like my husband and I routinely walk around naked. But the kids do have a habit of coming into our bathroom and sometimes my husband or I might walk into the bedroom (or even another room) in just our underwear. (Yep, any nudity on my husband and my part is in the bedroom or bathroom. We aren’t prancing around the house in the buff or even in our underwear.)
It has never bothered me that Jase sees me this way. But I know the time is coming – and soon I would guess – that he needs to not see me without my clothes on. So far he has not mentioned anything about my body and he and his sister still take baths together.
I just don’t want either of them to think that there is something wrong with the naked body. The kids don’t see us on the toilet (we do lock the door just in case) but there is no lock on the actual bathroom door so it is harder to keep that area off limits if we chose to go that route.
From reading other blogs on this topic, it seems that most adults figure out when to start covering up when they begin to feel awkward about it. But once I step over that line and start covering up (or my husband begins covering up) we can’t go back. It has to be an all-or-nothing type thing.
So I don’t know exactly at what age we will start covering up or insisting that they wear clothes when at home or if we even really need to worry about it. Until then, I will just let them be happy playing video games in their underwear.