Children don't naturally have body shame

We hear a lot of talk about harming children nowadays. Doesn't exposing them to nudity in the home (and elsewhere) give them a warped outlook on life?<P>Only Native and Permanent Residents may post here.

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Postby natman » Fri Jun 02, 2006 5:04 pm

This is certainly an area of interest for me.

I raised my own children to not be ashamed of their bodies. After my ex-wife divorced me, I married a woman with three children ages 8, 10 and 13. They were accustomed to seeing their mother naked, but had never seen their father naked. Although it was apparent that they had no problems with simple nudity, their attitudes began to change as they interacted with others in public school in junior high and high school.

Based on reports I get from our internet filter, the oldest has dabbled with his friends in internet porn. However the two younger ones do not appear to be interested and seem to have a much healthier attitude about their bodies.

I believe that bringing up children to see their bodies as God's image and the Temple of the Holy Spirit helps them desire not to defile themselves with unhealthy thoughts or deeds.
SON-cerely,
Nathan Powers

Get exposed to the sun, and get exposed to the Son.
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Postby Jon-Marc » Sat Jun 17, 2006 3:58 pm

Children are natural-born nudists. Unfortunately, society and parents often instill in them shame of their bodies at a very early age. Having been married to a woman who always seemed to have neighborhood children in and out of the home when I was nude (I always was :lol: ), I noticed that the children (both girls and boys) rarely cared that I was nude, and if they ever told their parents I never heard about it. There was one boy and one girl who giggled once. Otherwise they just ignored me. That just shows me that children look at nudity as natural and don't consider it weird unless they're taught that it is.
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Postby jochanaan » Wed Jul 05, 2006 7:07 pm

Once in my first year of marriage, my then-wife's children, a girl and a boy, were playing in one of their bedrooms on a hot day and asked me if they could take their clothes off. Their mother wasn't around. Concerned as I was then with proprieties, particularly as a new stepfather, I only let them strip down to their underwear. If I had known then what I know now, I'd have encouraged them to get naked! Lost opportunity. :(
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Postby Jon-Marc » Wed Jul 05, 2006 9:14 pm

One time one of my great-nephews, then 5, asked his dad if he could wear just his underwear in the house. His dad told him not in front of his sister. My granddaughter at age 4 ran out of bedroom in a T shirt and underwear, and my daughter yelled at her not to run aound like that in front of her younger brothers. Parents DO often teach their children to be ashamed of their bodies, and society also teaches it. Body shame isn't natural.
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Postby Strandloper » Sat Jul 15, 2006 6:23 pm

You’re dead right, Jon-Marc. Body shame isn’t natural.
I brought my two children up not to have body shame, but after all those years of careful preparation, their mother went and messed it all up by encouraging them to get all shy and prissy when they reached puberty.
Not so much opportunity missed as proper training misdirected.
My son seems to be coming round to some extent, but his head is set in the wrong direction. He is having a sexual affair with a young woman (encouraged by his mother), and (although the girlfriend doesn’t like it) searches for porn on the internet.
All I can do now is pray.
In another year or so I trust he will have married the girl, but in the meantime the whole set-up is a major embarrassment to me, while his mother feels not only that nothing is wrong, but that I cannot point out that anything is in fact wrong.
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Postby LivingFree » Sat Jul 15, 2006 9:24 pm

I would think, Strandloper, that at least you could state that you don't approve. How does one measure the rightness or wrongness of something when the parents disagree? I think it is right and proper, at least when life is not endangered, for the "other" parent to simply state, "I respect your right to have your opinion, but I also expect you to alow me to express mine." I did something akin to that when my kids were pre-puberty. The issue was, "You know where liars go!" I was appalled at that type of manipulative theology, but all I could do was state my view very clearly so the kids knew there were other views also. I think it worked.
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Postby natman » Mon Jul 17, 2006 11:54 am

It is extremely difficult to parent when both parents do not agree on an issue. My ex-wife was not only non-Christian, she was anti-Christian. That created a very tense situation in our house, particularly as I drew closer and closer to the Lornd in the latter years of our relationship. The problem was that she was far more aggressive than I was. Our daugther saw my reactions as a weakness and tended to follow her mother and our son saw my actions as Christian meekness and tended to follow my lead.

I believe this is one of the reasons the Bible says we should not be "unequally yoked" to a non-believer. It has caused nothing but grief, even to this day.
SON-cerely,
Nathan Powers

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Postby Strandloper » Mon Jul 17, 2006 4:33 pm

Hi, Nathan –
when I married it was my wife (a churchgoer) who was unequally yoked to me (an unbeliever).
But after she had persuaded me (the Lord also had a hand in this, as I mentioned in my testimony) to go to church, my life turned around, and she became jealous of the depth of my involvement.
She has stayed stuck in a sort of churchianity mode, and feels that I have gone overboard with regard to both my faith and my naturism.
But since I was led to faith through her I feel I must put up with the situation and pray for a change of her mind.
Shalom,
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Postby natman » Mon Jul 17, 2006 5:16 pm

Strandloper,

Perhaps as she watches you grow and take over the reigns of spiritual leadership, she will submit to your submission to the Father and desire a similer level of relationship and walk.

My ex-wife absolutely refused and finally decided she would rather be divorced than be married to a Christian.

At least you are both following the same leader, albeit with differing zeal.
SON-cerely,
Nathan Powers

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Postby LivingFree » Mon Jul 17, 2006 9:48 pm

During the first 20+ years of our marriage my wife was very extremely headstrong about all her beliefs and behaviors -- she was never wrong! There were things i simply didn't want the kids to pick up on, and i said so. I couldn't change her behavior, but I simply maintained a strongly positive relationship with my kids, and never spoke to them directly about their mother. But i spoke out to my wife in very direct terms, even in the presence of my kids. I figured they had a right to know that we felt differently about some things. House rules, of course, we had to agree upon. But when it came to life values, well, the kids have sorted things out and have put together their own life based, in general terms, on the best of both parents. Thanks be to God. Of course, I strongly advocated individual, independent choice, so i didn't force my way on them, I just encouraged them to be their own person. And they have done well.
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Postby natman » Tue Jul 18, 2006 11:46 am

My current wife and I try hard to present a unified front to our children. We discuss any differences in opinion behind closed doors until we come to a consensus. So far this hasn't been a problem because we tend to see everything from the same perspective, filtered through the Bible first and foremost.

The children know that it is futile to play one parent against the other because we know what the other's response will be even before they ask.
SON-cerely,
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