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.
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.