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Family Undressing: Teach Kids to Be Proud of Their Bodies

May 5 2014 - 2:03pm

When it comes to the topic of nudity, people in the US tend to take a pretty conservative stance. There is, however, a benefit to raising tots who are comfortable in the buff. By teaching them that nudity is OK — even beautiful — you help your kids build a positive body image. Now you don't need to move to a nudist colony to achieve this goal. Rather, embrace these simple and socially acceptable ways to help your children feel comfortable in their own skin.

Teach Them the Proper Terms

While "wee-wee" and "hoo-hoo" sound supercute, code words could actually be worse for your child. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, using kid-friendly slang actually makes little ones feel more ashamed [1] of their bodies.

Flaunt Their Beach Bums

In Europe, women of all ages are allowed to walk on the sand sans top. That’s not the case in the US, but your baby may be able to get away with it. As long as they are covered in sunscreen, your little one should feel free to run into the water without any swim trunks.

Embrace Mommy and Me Bath Time

Bathing with your child not only saves you some time, but also exposes them to nudity and makes them more comfortable with it. If, however, you value a solo shower then have the kids bathe together [2].

Hang Some Nude Photos

By showing your child that you are proud and comfortable in your body, they will develop a similar attitude. This doesn't mean you have to turn your hallways into a nude art exhibit. Simply hang a few tasteful portraits throughout the house to show them that the naked body can be a beautiful thing.

Don't Bash Your Body

When it comes to appearance, we can be our harshest critics. Unfortunately, if our kids hear us calling our bodies ugly, fat, or nasty, they learn to do the same. In order to teach your kids about positive body images, ban negative body talk from your home (or at the very least, when the kids are within earshot).

Make Your Home a Safe Space

Kids should always feel comfortable at home, even if that means letting them walk through the halls without a diaper. Make sure, however, you explain to your child that this rule only applies in your home — not the store, school, or another house. The last thing you want is a call from another mom, telling you your child started stripping down during a playdate.

Teach Them Good Touch vs. Bad Touch

Being comfortable with your body means knowing how you and others should treat it. Talk to your child about who is and isn't allowed to touch them [3], and what they should do when someone makes them feel uncomfortable.

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