Totally agree. Allow the kids the early unfettered freedom. Have many fun times, but begin them from birth, not 8 or 10 years old. Introduce the "time and a place" concept as required. Likely encouraging linking up with like-minded peers is the only way to make it through the puberty years. There is no fun being different and ironically as the teens gain their independence, they do it by being a slave to convention.
Comfort is more often than not gained from their peers and their opinions, rather than what parents say.
One thing is that I have never met someone who did not enjoy the act skinny dipping (alone or not). So if kids have enjoyed this, they are sure to be comfortable with the concept, should the opportunity ever arise.
It is true that the majority of families would accept a naked child as a parents choice up to say 10 or 12, but would likely be suspicious of choices beyond that age. It could merely be how mature the child is, and an uncomfortable feeling that children who are physically mature are perhaps not being guided correctly by their parents. If the parents are also nude then this is obviously does not apply. So perhaps it's a monkey-see, monkey-do sort of judgement.
Activities may be more acceptable than merely lounging around. So similar to a landed club, there may be a rule that swimming is naked in the pool. Peers would then know the rule and make the choice whether they can be comfortable swimming there. If the comfort level was high then more nudity may become more acceptable.
Ultimately the parents can be enablers and the kids can make the choice. If the parents did not start the shame game, then if shame arose it would be from one of their peers or visitors. Here lies the benefit of having like minded peers, not solely, but enough to feel free, supported, accepted and normal.
Interesting topic. Not the first time we have discussed this.
My mom remarried when I was about 14. The "new guy" wasn't so keen on our clothing optional home, but sorta tolerated it. He tried to tell me now that I was a "man" that it was time to wear clothes. I knew darn well the problem was with him, not the rest of us, so I innocently reminded him that we were in that home first, he was the new guy. He kindly reminded me that since it was half his roof I was living under, it was HIS rules. Well... I moved out when I was 16 and went to live with dad. "New guy" only lasted a couple more years anyway.
I don't think there's a need for a cutoff age. Kids have fun being naked and it shows they're comfortable with their bodies. When they get older and start feeling the need to cover up, that's entirely up to them. But as adults I feel that we should not determine when they should stop being nude. We can, though, tell them when and where it's okay to be naked, but that's it.
Entirely up to the kid. I have a Niece that practically lived at my house. She was naked most of the time up until age 12. Between 12 and 14, it was hit and miss. At 14, rarely nude, but was unconcerned about being seen if she was. Peer pressure and embarrassment about puberty starts to take over at that age. She is almost 18, and enters the Navy in a few months. It will be interesting to see how (if) her attitude changes once she is out on her own.John aka cobeachbum
Being a newbie on TN, I just saw your post. The word "Navy" caught my eye because I did 20 years myself.
Any update yet on your niece's attitude towards nudity specifically or her Navy experience in general?
as for a cut off age I think it is up to the family. I have said this many times that we chose not to raise our children as nudists. I get people that jump all over me for that but it was our decision.
Now with that said......We always asked our children to wear at least underwear once one of them started feeling uncomfortable with the nakedness. Well my son is who we had to tell to put on underwear. As it was the easiest way to potty train completely naked. So about 4 when we were home he was allowed to wear just his underwear unless we had company. My daughter probably was about 6 when she stopped stripping down to her underwear, now as an runner she will walk around in her sports bra and runners. My daughter has asked my son to put on shorts when she is around because she doesn't want to see his underwear.
I leave it up to the kids I am only naked when they aren't around or already in bed.
I am sure I will hear about our decision but it is the way we decided to raise our children