Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Is it OK to let your kids sleep nude?

Would age or gender play a factor?  This was a question recently asked on Yahoo Answers, but I didn't get to answer in time.  I haven't made a blog entry for a while, so here goes:

Yes, it's OK to let your kids sleep nude.  Age and gender are irrelevant.  And not just because it's comfortable and there's nothing wrong with them doing so, but because they should at least be offered the choice.  Think about it this way.  They start off preferring to be naked as often as they get away with it when they're young.  And they don't mind in the least if other people, including adults are naked.  But you have to socialize them into the culture, so through complete immersion and constant pressure, you condition them to be insecure about themselves, ashamed and embarrassed to be what they are, and offended by what other people are.  Just like everyone else.

Worse yet, maybe because you've been so over conditioned yourself, you reinforce this bizarre behavior even in  your own home.  The one place where they should feel unconditionally loved and accepted, showing absolute trust and respect to others in the family, you continue to grind into them that they're not just fine, as they are.

Worse yet, you would send the signal to them that it's improper to be what they are even in the privacy of their own bed when they aren't bothering anyone else?  You would rather they be less comfortable and have their shame and insecurity be that complete?  Gee thanks Dad!

Our kids never had to wonder if they had a choice.  Both my wife and I have always slept naked, and they've always known that.  If I had to do it over again, unless we had guests over, I wouldn't bring PJs for them to change into after their baths.  They'd know where they are and would know that it's required of them if we have guests over.  But if they don't want to go get them and put them on, they don't have to.  And it would be OK to stay that way until they had to get dressed for school, if they wanted to.

Strange, but with the kids gone, I find I behave that way myself these days.  By not doing so when they were still in the house, I feel that I set a bad example for them.  But I would at least have reminded them that they had a choice how they slept.  

No comments:

Post a Comment