I think that children have not to grow up with shame of their bodies. So I think that parents sometimes should let their children naked at home and, where possible, on the beach. That is not against Christian modesty.
What do you think?


It’s fine, go for it! Though I think there’s a bit of a problem if the kids are about 12 or so, unless they’re all boys (or all girls) and it’s a private beach :slight_smile:


No there should be no shame, but respect for our bodies as temples of the Holy Spirit. Through learning respect of our own bodies we learn to respect others bodies as well.

As for the nudity aspect, sure, some nudity at home at certain ages, is normal. Small children have a natural curiosity about their own bodies and no shame in being nude and this is normal.

As for nudity in a public place like a beach etc., there is no way, no how, I’d ever let my child be nude in public no matter their age. I think there are plenty of ways to teach respect for the body that don’t involve exposing themselves to complete strangers.


I think it’s very telling that the first thing Adam and Eve did after they became aware of the truth was to cover themselves up. Nudity at home at certain ages is to be expected I suppose, but in a public place I think nudity is always wrong.




What you are proposing will have the effect of teaching children immodesty. This is obviously contrary to Christian modesty. In fact, you began with a premise that casts aside modesty altogether. And modesty is not shame.


Are you telling that nudity is always immodest?


You can’t make blanket statements.

A toddler running nude around the house is not immodest. It is a toddler being a toddler. However, a toddler running nude around a public beach is not modest, IMO. One, there is a chance the toddler could pee or poop on the sand - unsanitary. However, more importantly, you have NO IDEA about the other people at the beach. Are there pedophiles present who are getting thrill at seeing your naked child? Taking photos? Posting those nude photos on less than desirable websites? Nope. Not appropriate, and far too risky, imo.

You can teach a child to not be ashamed of his/her body AND be modest without being nude in public. That is never necessary.


As other posters have said, shame and modesty are not synonymous. Respect for one’s self and respect for the modesty of others are both good reasons to remain covered in public. It need not be shameful, just polite.

Similarly, general principles of truth can be applied differently. What one does in one’s home is wholly different from what one does in a public place. Curling up with my wife on the couch to watch a movie while the kids are in the room is fine, but similar activities on a public park bench would certainly be inappropriate. I’m certainly not ashamed to embrace my wife, but some things are not appropriate in other places.

I have no problem with men and women wearing swimsuits at the beach or at the pool. That’s appropriate to the setting. However, it’s generally expected people will cover up when dining in a restaurant, even one close to the beach. That’s not shameful, just polite and modest. I certainly won’t argue there are many who don’t grasp the whole basic concept here, but to argue modesty equals shame is just wrong.


Depends on the age of the child in question. You can teach children to respect their bodies and not be ashamed and still have them wear clothes when appropriate. Very young children–2 and 3-- often do like to be naked because clothes can be constricting. And certainly in the home some nudity is ok. However, a sun dress or tshirt over a diaper or underpants, is plenty comfy and still modest and safe for the child in terms of hygiene.

The beach is not really a comfortable place to be naked and not safe in terms of hygiene or being around strangers!

After about 2 or 3, no child needs to be naked in public, including public rooms of his home. It is perfectly possible to teach children that their bodies aren’t ‘dirty’ or ‘shameful’ without having a naked 5 year old running around.



There is never a valid reason for having naked children running around in public. Home is a different matter, and only until an appropriate age.

Funny story:
When I was a kid (this was in the late 60’s - early 70’s) there was a family across the street from us with four kids, from an infant to a six year old. The one boy, about three years old, had a way of always escaping out of the house and running naked down the street until his mother could catch him. Well - there was a very uppity elderly neighbor who lived next door to the family. She said to the mom, “Mary, David was running around outside in the yard NAKED yesterday!!!” With the major shocked and appalled look on her face - like this: :eek: The mom replied, “Oh yes, yesterday was Thursday, we are all naked on Thursdays, he just got loose!” And went back in the house. :wink:



Now if I could only get that message across to my DH…:cool:…he goes to be much earlier than the rest of us, but often comes downstairs because he “forgot” something or “remembered” to tell us something (usually nothing that was very important or that he hadn’t already told us earlier). He sleeps in the nude, so of course he walks downstairs nekked. It pretty much disturbs my teenage boys. :cool:

He has also been known to let the dog outside after dark while standing nekked in the doorway, thinking no one will walk by when it is dark. Ummmm, dear, it is SUMMER. Sometimes I go for walk after dark, and I see many others out as well, especially if the day has been hot. :rolleyes:


This is why I never undress my 2 year old in public places. I’ve seen pedophiles at the parks and most of the parents have no clue. They hang out at one particular park in my neighbourhood on picnic benches and watch the kids play in the paddling pool hoping for a quick vew of something.


oh MY! My mother tells about how when we were little (3 daughters), she told my dad he HAD to wear pjs and then a robe when he came out of their room because we girls didn’t need to see it all! And he did and was always very careful of our modesty after that!

Maybe buy your dh some of those cool lounging pants that he can keep by the side of the bed and slip on when he gets up to chat or let the dog out! Even coming out in his boxers would be an improvement!! :eek:


He has about 5 pair of lounging pants…he just can’t seem to be bothered.

I finally laid it on the line the other night. I told him he HAD to put something on when he comes downstairs, even it was just underwear. I told him how he made the boys really uncomfortable, and it was embarrassing. I also reminded him that now that many of their friends drive, and that since our oldest now has a “steady” GF, the chances of someone else stopping over late at night (late being after 9 pm) has increased significantly.


Teenaged sons and possibly girlfriends over…yeah I’d say it was time for dad to cover up! :blush:


I wouldn’t allow my children to run around on a beach naked at any age. Even as infants I kept them covered up all the time in public places. It’s one thing to let a baby or toddler run around the house in a diaper only, but quite another thing to let them run around like that outside in the yard or out in public.


There’s also the issue of exposure to the sun. For us blondes with fair-skins, we shouldn’t be running around in the sun with any of our bodies exposed, including our hands, faces, necks, etc. (Remember Francie on the old Gidget show? That’s me at the beach!)

It’s one thing for an adult to make foolish decisions about sun exposure. But we shouldn’t expose helpless children to something that may start up a skin cancer that will lie dormant for years.

Hey, usually I’m the most laid-back of moms–my kids were figure skaters, and took devastating falls, and I just sat there and told them to get back on the ice and skate. But when it comes to sun, I worry.


I think kids running around from birth to 6 or 7 is just being cute and harmless, but they still must be reprimanded because they do not know better.

When it gets to puberty though, they start feeling that self consciousness on their own, but it it crucial to have both school and parents guide them in their changes with the body as they will learn about hormones and growths in science and health classes with school anyhow.

Once they start having crushes on other kids it might be a great idea to introduce the to Theology of the Body for Teens (with the book or the EWTN show). It is a great guide and if your kids go to parochial school already then you needn’t worry because it is already added in the curriculum.

No one should be embarrassed of their body or sexuality, but you need to be conscious of others. For example, if know you are a young teen girl and only your sisters and mother are home, then yeah you prance about the house as comfortable as you want. I think it depends on the person and the allowance of the other family members and the modesty levels in question, believe me, no matter how great, bad, embarrassed, or ashamed you are…, someone is going to comment…, you learn, and you deal, goes over your head, no big deal, shrug it off.

When dating starts (whether you are the parent overseeing it or you youself are ready to date at a legal age), I say join local young adult ministries that will offer Theology of the Body, so you can get the more in depth, age appropriate details that will be geared for your body/sexuality/modesty in preparation for marriage if that is what you so choose to do, or just gain more knowledge on sexuality/nudity/chastity if you take another vocation.

I am sure once courted/engaged, there are Engagement Encounters/Pre-Cana that may give more details on intimacy/sexuality/nudity within marriage.

Good Luck!


I only told that nudity can have a task in the education in a Christian family. Clearly there is a difference between nudity at home and in a public place.
If parents and children are comfortable, I think that at home nudity is not a problem at any age.
In public it depends by the context, but I am not so tragic. In western culture, only two generation ago, children had many occasions to be naked in public and to see naked mates that today a child no longer has: a bath in the river, the shower at school…
In other cultures the situation is different. In India, for example, often a naked toddler is not a problem also in public streets.
Clearly, if nudity is a problem in a cultural context, it must be avoided.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit