Friday, October 28, 2016

Don't look at me!

My son knows that his body is private. He and I have had the conversation multiple times about the parts of our bodies that we do not share with others. I had to go over all those details again with him recently for Cub Scouts, as it was a requirement for one of his badges.

And yet, my son feels very comfortable in his skin, so I knew it was only a matter of time before I would have to have the conversation with him again. Thankfully, he provided me with an easy opportunity when he decided to run naked from his bathroom to his room, yelling out "Don't look at me!"
Public nudity is best left to statues.

We had the talk again about keeping his body private. But part of me is quite certain that it will happen again.

When we have these conversations, I choose my words carefully. I don't, for example, want him to think there is anything wrong with his body, but I do want to make sure he is not streaking through the house. It's a hard balance to strike, especially because it turns out that preschoolers are able to form negative views of their bodies.

That seemed too young to me, but the research holds up: Even small suggestions about body weight or appearance can stick with a child for a long time. Instead of talking about how a body looks, experts suggest that parents focus on what a body can do.

I like that line of thinking: Focusing on all the wonderful ways we can use our bodies is a great conversation topic for children. The trick is making sure that parents model that behavior as well for our children.

Has anyone been streaking through your house lately? Share your story in the comments.

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