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Parenting K-6 Kids - Nudist Nephews


The article is dated but I think pretty good.  I like her advice, actually.  And, the follow-up comments are really good. 
From :

My brother and his family are nudists. He has three boys aged 4, 9 and 13. My brother has a large yard with a lot of privacy, his family enjoys being in their birthday suits. Neither he nor his wife nor his children are big on modesty.

If one were to drop by my brother's house unannounced, as I have learned not to do anymore, they would likely find my brother in his large private yard gardening in the nude, his wife nude in the kitchen and his youngest kids running around the house naked and his oldest son wearing nothing but a fake, plastic guitar from Guitar Hero.

So you get it, they like to be naked, they also like to go on nudist vacations. This is their lifestyle. 

I want my 8 year old son to know his cousins better. They came to his recent birthday party and they all hit it off really well. Particularly, my son and his 9 year old cousin.

The thing is that I am raising my son to be modest and to believe that certain parts of his body are special and private and should not be displayed to everybody. Well, I also want to let my son be with his cousins but none of them can keep their clothes on when they are in their own house and in my brother's home, they are not required to. My brother will dress up out of respect for me but just send his kids to another room if they get uncomfortable in their clothes.

He will not make them get dressed, I know that much. My brother and his wife have managed to find another local couple that raises their family the same way so often times there could be a play room full of nudity. Then when it comes to my brother's swimming pool, there is never any clothing.

My son doesn't really have any friends and he has connected with his 9 year old cousin in a way that he has never connected with another child. Short of adopting the nudist lifestyle, I want my son to be able to play with his cousin. Can my son have a relationship with his nudist cousins while I still teach him to be modest?

Hi Carolina,

I am no real expert in this, however I know how important it is to maintain the family network if possible, and it certainly seems that your son has made a strong connection with his cousin - despite the obvious differences in family lifestyles.

If you are visiting your brother's home, you have no real claim on influencing how they decide to live - clothed or naked. So, if YOU are visiting, you have to accept that their lifestyle is their choice and you either accept it or don't visit. You can't really ask them to dress because you are visiting, just as they shouldn't impose their nakedness on you if they are visiting your home.

If I were you, and you would like your son to develop a relationship with his cousin, I would encourage you to suggest that 'play times' and visits occur at your home - and you request that the cousin be dressed when he comes - your home, your rules. If your brother sees this as being one-sided, you need to ask him how much he wants a relationship between his son and your son to grow. If he wants to impose his alternative lifestyle - and let's be honest, it IS alternative - on your family and your son, then I can see little chance that the relationship between the two boys will survive.

Surely your brother is mature enough to understand that his son witnessing his relatives DRESSED will be far less confronting than your son being exposed to naked men, women and children! If not, then I think you have to make the call on whether or not you think pursuing this family relationship is as important as you believe it is. As disappointing as it may be, I am sure there will be many other children with whom your son will make a connection - it's great if it's family, but if's a big world!


--- Quote ---Jarrod wrote at 2009-09-13 04:49:26
Why not explain as best you can to your son about how you feel about your brothers lifestyle. Let him go on occasion to visit his cousin but explain to him if he is comfortable swimming nude with his cousin it ok on occasion but you are not raising him to accept this full time. If he prefers to use trunks or stay dressed its his choice. I just dont think an occasional nude swim will turn him nudist if you are raising him otherwise.

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--- Quote ---Jeff wrote at 2009-10-15 16:47:59
Ultimately, I think you should talk to your son. Ask him if when you go to visit it bothers him that his cousins are nude. If it doesn't, you can sit and talk to your brother and his wife while your son plays in another room with his cousins.

Bringing your nephews over to your house and making them get dressed wouldn't be something that they would like. Conversely, your brother making your son get naked if he comes over might not be something that your son likes either. However, clothed people and nude people can peacefully co-exist.

As far as raising your child with modesty, you shouldn't force it on him that he must be dressed at all times. Ultimately, it's his body and his comfort. You can certainly teach your son to wear clothes and not expose his genitals, but teach it to him as a perspective. Forcing your son to wear clothes all the time would be just as wrong as a nudist parent forcing their son to be naked all the time.
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--- Quote ---Stuffed Tiger wrote at 2010-03-12 05:22:39
Your brother belongs to a minority, but a significant minority; you might be surprised. Unless you are prepared to condemn your brother and his behavior as evil, and impose that world view on your son, then you need to educate your child how to behave among those who believe pure nudity is the pinnacle of modesty.

Tens of millions of people believe natural nudity is more modest than adorning ourselves with clothes, especially when clothing is not necessary for the likes of health or safety. In fact, they believe that decorating all but certain body parts is what turns those body parts into sex objects and makes sex such an obsession. We may not agree, but as with religion, we can best work in a culturally diverse world if we understand others points of view.

This is surely less difficult for you than for your brother who has to explain to his children how and why to wear clothing in the more general society where clothing is the convention, especially when required clothing differs widely for different occasions and cultures and is even at times harmful to the body, like woman's shoes. If nudist children can and do learn to behave properly in clothed settings, you and your child can learn to behave properly in a more natural, naturist setting.

The benefit to you is that your son will instinctively have a more objective view of the human body and culture, one that will help him in biology, perhaps as a doctor, and in dealing with other cultures in a global setting. He will not become a naturist any more than exposure to other religions will make him a convert. He will follow your example, but not if he see you acting like his cousins are dirty, or he is incapable of judgment.

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I think, generally, the question has been answered very well - there's no judgement about one person being right, but just some comments on how to try to resolve the problem. I think the idea of respecting each other comes across very strongly with the "your house, your rules" statements.


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