The feeling of shame adapts to the cultural context – some societies are easier to treat an open body, others do not. We are not the same.
There are families where nudity is not a problem and is completely natural. Attitudes towards nudity may vary within the same family.
The issue of physical intimacy and distance between children and parents is very subtle and individual, although, of course, there are rules that are suitable for everyone.
Shyness is formed gradually, under the influence of family and social rules. This is a certain distance, which is set in a natural way.
It is formed in the process of caring for a child from the first days of his life. This distance, denoting the boundaries of the physical body and separating it from others, is protective.
It is very important to respect these boundaries, for example, not to change the diapers in humans for children and, if possible, to avoid situations in which the child may feel constrained. Delicacy must be exercised even at the sight level.
You should not treat the child too closely: he may feel uncomfortable, embarrassed or even frightened.
“When my children were very young, I did not ask these questions. But then, when Masha was 2 years old, I stopped walking naked through the house. Now I am very careful not to embarrass them, avoid unnecessary caresses and try not to treat them like little ones, especially the older one. I have two girls, and I am divorced from my husband.
They have no one to be embarrassed! But I would like to have a sense of shame as they grow. My parents were rather restrained.
I remember that I liked it as a child. ”
Nina, 32 years old, Masha’s mother, 7 years old, and Nastya, 2.5 years
Shame, designed to protect from others the intimate part of our lives, is also valuable in that it teaches relationships in society. “I have no right to walk around the streets naked, so why on earth would I do this at home? – says Lera, mother of three sons – 3, 6 and 10 years. “I taught the children to knock before entering my bedroom.” We each respect the territory of each other. “
On the other hand, for Anna, who sometimes likes to spend holidays on nudist beaches, nudity is not a problem. “I want to live as I feel, especially at home. Therefore, I do not ask questions, passing from the bathroom to the room without clothes. But on the other hand, I stopped taking my daughters with me to the nudist camp as soon as I realized that they felt embarrassed.
They are about 4–5 years old. I do not want to impose anything on them.
I respect their feelings. ”
Shyness acts as a filter between what happens inside, in the psyche, and the outside world. The intensity, “charge” of this feeling depends on both external circumstances and internal circumstances.
Someone feels naked in a sundress, and someone without embarrassment walks naked along the beach.
“We are not too bashful, but once I realized that my son feels awkward when he sees me without clothes, even if it’s in the bathroom. I saw him look away.
And I immediately understood: I should not show him what he does not want to see. It was obvious”.
Ksenia, 27 years old, Nikita’s mother, 4 years
Between 2 and 4 years, the child discovers nudity. If before the baby was not embarrassed when you left the bath without clothes, one day you will notice how something has changed. He says “yuck!” When you kiss your husband, he is embarrassed if he sees you half-dressed.
He no longer wants to dress in his pajamas in front of everyone. He asks to close the bathroom door.
These changes are associated with an awareness of their gender and gender differences. You should notice these changes in the child’s behavior and take them seriously. Many parents feel hurt when the baby closes in the toilet or refuses to undress in their presence.
Do not ask the question: “Are you ashamed of me?” You can not control the body of your child at any time, he has the right to sit on the pot or play in his room alone.
Even if you are not shy about your child or you think that he is small and does not pay attention to any details, you should not continue to behave as before. Young children are much more physical beings than adults, their instincts are not yet subject to the norms and rules of morality adopted in society.
And they will get their ideas about shame and some of the restrictions and prohibitions concerning the body from you, in your family.
“Shame for me is something from the field of feelings. I was raised by discreet, closed parents who rarely expressed their feelings. Yes, I repeat this pattern. At home we do not go naked.
And when Senya walks around the room without pants, I tell him that this is wrong. This is part of the training. As rules of conduct.
It seems important to me. ”
Peter, 31, father Arseny, 3 years