Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Nakey! Nakey! Nakey! (Children Naked)

Everyone starts off in life without any inhibition toward nudity.  Preschoolers often go through a phase where they get a taste of being naked, and they really really like it!  For a while afterwards, the parent finds themselves running after their kid, trying to put clothes on them.  It takes a lot of hard work and patience to condition them that it's "wrong" to be naked around strangers.

I wonder some times why I found it so easy as an adult to free myself of this conditioning, while others are scared to death to even sleep alone nude.   I grew up in a conservative, church going, southern middle class family, but my mother, in particular, didn't want us to be ashamed of our bodies or intolerant of other people's bodies.

A good example of how this played out is when our whole family would get together for a holiday with my younger brother and his son, or my younger sister and her daughter.  My nephew was particularly adept at picking up vibes from the adults about what annoys them, but what he could still get away with it.  He'd sometimes strip and join the family group,  reveling in his nakedness ("nakey! nakey! nakey!"). 

The reaction of the family members was always interesting.  Without the least discussion among ourselves, we were fine with it, as if it was an unsaid right that children have a right to be naked at home with family. No one would complain and the kid could play around naked as much as he liked.  My thoughts were always "enjoy it while you can kid, you won't get away with it for much longer".  My niece was afforded the same luxury, but she took advantage of it much less often.

An older cousin was raising his son in a nudist household.  We'd visit them as a family every Sunday after Church when I was a teenager.  As a rule, the kid was always naked around the house, and it was always fine with my parents and us that he was.

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