Please, Cover the Kids!

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The kids have had swimming lessons for the past 3 weeks. The program has been wonderful and geared right to the individual abilities of each child. There have only been 4 children in their class, with mine being half the class. There are 2 lessons before the one my kids take, so at times there are a few extra kids and parents around.

Once the lesson is over, the instructors send the kids back to the parents to get ready to go home. When my kids are finished, I dry them off, put their shirts or covers on and we leave the pool area. This, to me, seems to be a proper way to end a marvelous time of swimming.

However, the other day I looked up from my book to watch my daughter kick and blow bubbles and got an eye full of a little girl’s unclothed body as her mom had her change beside the pool into dry clothes. Then I came out from the restroom only to find that a mom had taken the diaper off of a little toddler boy and he was standing there in all his glory. The mom saw nothing but “cuteness” in this and made a big deal out of it as the toddler giggled back being all silly.

Now this is just my opinion, but I have a problem with this. Childhood predators could be ANYWHERE around us; including IN THE POOL AREA. I’m not implying that there was one, but you never know who struggles with those temptations.

When my son was born, my husband and I discussed how we would handle RB’s nakedness in public (ie, changing diapers, spit up clothes, etc). We agreed that at all times we would do our best to ALWAYS have him covered; and we have done the same thing with Sweet Cheeks. We decided that we would treat their private parts as we treated our own and keep them covered accordingly. We considered the diaper as underwear and made sure they never ran around without clothes on. (I also made sure I was totally covered, or in another room, when I nursed, but that is another issue.)

My children are my responsibility. And until they can take care of themselves (maybe at 18 years old???), it is my role to not only provide physical safety for my children, but to provide modesty for their innocence. Yeah, it’s all cute and stuff when the babies run around the house after a bath, but NOT when guests are over.

Have we always succeeded in this?


My daughter has come out in only her underroos during small group asking for help with clothes when I didn’t realize she was changing. Yes, the kids got away from us before we could get a towel around them when we had company staying over night.

But this is not the norm.

Am I showing my child dignity by telling her to strip in front of others when there is a bathroom not 25 feet away? And what does this teach the child? That it is ok to be disrobed in front of strangers? If it’s ok to be unclothed in front of people at 3, 4, or 6 years old, when is it NOT ok to bare it all?

I understand all about different cultures and “different strokes for different folks.” I get all of that. And perhaps I am more modest than others. And yes, I am disgusted with all the “skin” that is seen on TV, billboards, commercials, magazine covers, the internet, etc. But I think the mom could have at least held up a towel so the child was not seen by everyone.

How desensitized have we become? Does anything shock us anymore? SHOULD we be shocked?

Perhaps I’m making a big deal out of nothing. But I felt so angry and sorry for those children.

What are your thoughts?


Please, Cover the Kids! — 12 Comments

  1. from Sarah: I agree, but am also not horrified by little ones that do this…I would not “ask” my child, by any means to do this, and would at least try to hold a towel up…I agree, we need to protect their modesty as well as teach them to retain their own. However, at the same time, Tom and I were just saying that Maddy is more naked than not at all hours of the day. Just yesterday in the library she attempted to strip, lol, and that was a fun time. I guess I am very careful, but also realize that these things happen, and kids don’t intend any immodesty, lol.

  2. from Tracie: I whole heartedly agree. Modestly is such an important value and it is not talked about enough…even in the church. My girls are 8 and 12 and this is my “go to” phrase: we can be feminine and cute as can be…but we are modest ot the same time. Also, my boys are 10 and 16 and it is so vital that they understand the value of being modest themselves AND the value of a modest woman. We were at the pool a while ago and my husband, Erick, lamented that there was no where at the pool that he could just feel comfortable looking staright ahead because there were so many woman there that were way too revealed in their swim wear. I am trying to train my children in this world there will be many that do not understand this…and we are not to look down on them or judge them, but to stay true to what our values are. It IS a challenge but I am trusting the Lord to know that He will guide our children towards Him.

  3. I agree as well. Modesty is an issue in our society and I wonder what message we are sending to our kids with things like the pool incident. It’s hard for kids to understand where the cutoff is once they have been allowed to test the water.

  4. I totally agree with you….I dont have children, but anytime I have kept other friends children I changed diapers or undies in privacy ……besides who really wants to see dirty diapers being changed right in front of you…..the other day a lady beside me in a restaurant changed a dirty diaper with her child laying on the booth seat… discussing ……so much for my meal….

  5. Oh my, this reminds me of an incident with my youngest. He was two and had gotten bundled in his snowsuit to go over to my mothers who lived next door. My hubby and I were in the house and had watched him go into her place. Thinking him safe and warm at grandmas, we went about doing chores.

    About an hour later, he comes racing in, completely naked and yelling “they gonna get me!” He is soon followed by a knock at the door. I open it and an officer is there asking if we have a blonde haired little girl (Dan has very long hair). It turned out that he was outside, in a snowstorm, playing in the puddle that always formed in front of mothers place. Naked. When my husband came out, Dan was dressed and in daddy’s arms, hiding his face on his chest. When the officer asked him why he was naked outside, his reply was “my suit got wet so I took it off”

    Try as I might, the child has NEVER been modest. He’s 9 now and a lil better but we still have issues sometimes.

  6. In this age of child pornography, the internet, and cell phone camaras, along with the rising number of child predators, I agree with you! I’ve always been one to do my best to keep my daughters from being nude in public or posting pics of them in the bath as toddlers or even as newborns. I prefer they also learn modesty as they grow for their own protection. I think when a parent isn’t concerned with exposing their children like that in public they are opening a big can of worms for that child and themselves, that one day might just come back to bite themselves in the backside and the heart.

  7. I know of several places, such as YMCA’s, daycare centers, etc. are no longer allowing cell phones in the locker rooms and child care areas. Of course, this is difficult to enforce, but it does show that they realize the risk and are taking steps to reduce it.

Thoughts? Please share!