dear dr love,My husband and I are having a big arguement over whether it is right to allow our 8 year old boy and our 6 year old girl see us naked when we’re in the bathroom bathing or dressing. I think it is not normal and he thinks it is. Please help, we are really in a fight over this and don’t know how to break it.
Remember that nudity is the norm in many cultures and among families who share crowded living quarters. Keep in mind that there is no evidence that children who are raised in such settings become emotionally damaged. Many professionals believe that seeing parents naked, in appropriate settings such as the bathroom, is not harmful for children up to the age of 10 or 11. After which, kids, themselves, often display a greater need for privacy and begin shutting doors on their own–regardless of their parents’ behavior.So, the bottom line is, there are no rules here, no wrong or right. I think the problem for you and your husband is that you are experiencing a value clash. You and your husband have apparently been raised with different values about nudity–again, neither view is wrong or right. The problem here is that it is not advisable to negotiate about values. What I mean is, couples can negotiate compromises on all sorts of issues and behaviors, but values are an integral part of a person’s make-up; and, asking someone to bend his or her values is like asking a leopard to change its spots.So, you are both in a bind. The only thing I can suggest is that you have a talk with each other and listen to and respect each other ‘s values and beliefs. Don’t try to manipulate or change each other. Next, see if you both can come up with a plan that respects both of your values. This isn’t easy. Good luck.