couldn't care less, so long as they have a good
become more concerned about what their peers may
think as they get older. Explaining about
confidentiality at this point will both help to
reassure them, and also help to make them aware of
the need for discretion. It can be pointed out
that it is up to them as to what they tell their
friends, because nobody else will. The presence of
other kids at the swim in their own age group
becomes increasingly important to them, and will
also help to reassure them.
The following is
the normal reaction from primary age children,
although some will want to wear a costume, at
least to begin with.
... well I
don't have children, so it has never been a
problem, however we are god-parents to two
children and they have at times stayed with us.
One of the weekends we were going to a local
swim, and asked the parents if they had any
problem of us taking the children along. Both
parents had shown some interest in naturism, but
had never gone any further because he was
concerned about 'his reaction' in a naturist
environment. We just told the kids, 8 and 10,
that we were going swimming in the evening, but
where we swam no-one wore a costume. They did
ask if they could keep theirs on, and we said we
would ask. When we got there we went into the
changing room and stripped off and said to the
kids, 'come on, get undressed', no mention about
wearing their costumes they stripped off and
were soon playing with the other kids. At the
end they asked if they could do it again.
know the difference, but are not keen to tell
anyone who won't understand, for their own
reasons. Younger children probably won't even
realise there is anything special to report!
However, there is no absolute certainty about
this, especially if there are problems between
members of the family, particularly between
teenagers and parents.
least said the better. In conversation with
parents it never ceases to amaze me how quick
children appear to be in developing a sixth
sense in this matter. You see the same with
bi-lingual kids, they always get it right when
it comes to speaking the appropriate language
when in company and they never mix languages.
and "Street Cred" are of course complicating
factors but they usually result in kids going
erring on the side of discretion rather than the
other way round. Bear in mind too that
"tan-lines" often loom large on their horizons.
How can you show off a sun tan if you haven't
got some white bits in contrast.
... in my
opinion there's absolutely no need to worry
about this one. Which doesn't stop people
worrying, but may give some reassurance.
OK, so kids
can really enjoy putting a parent on the spot
with an embarrassing remark during a visit to
doting grandparents, and regarding at least some
aspects of parental attitudes and activities as
appalling when chatting to one's mates is
essential. But children seem to develop
extremely acute sensitivities about what they
can/can't should/shouldn't say in various
situations. If social nudity is frowned on by
their peers, they will probably frown on it to
those peers - whether they enjoy it for
themselves or not.
A member of the
Naturist Foundation wrote:
Most of the
kids at the Naturist Foundation over about 8 yo
have been told that there are places where it's
best not to mention the club, or just to mention
that we have caravans there. AFAIK they were
simply told that "not everybody agrees with
naturism, so we don't tell everyone."
Of course, for
the "avoid embarrassment" factor to work, the
parent must play their part too, and not chatter
happily to a child's friends (etc) about things
the child doesn't want those folk to know.
ago, Channel 4 broadcast a shortish play called
"The Spy Who Caught A Cold", about a young girl
going on a naturist holiday with her Mum. Both had
a good time. Over the closing credits, the
youngster is chatting with a friend about the
holiday, and being emphatic that she
certainly hadn't been nude. Which, of
course, she had. It rang very true.
I know of a
family who have two daughters who always used to
come to our Tuesday swim. They also went to many
of the other local venues such as Doncaster
Dome, the youngest one (about 12) did seem to
tag along with me, and I did have some
misgivings about what her parents might think,
however they had no problems, and I think
sometimes were happy to have someone else 'child
sitting' especially in the water race part of
the Dome, where this girl was not allowed
without adult supervision.
about a week or so after a Dome evening she told
me she had had to draw a picture of what she had
done at the weekend. She had chosen to draw a
picture of us showering at the end of the
evening, but she did say, 'I put swimming
costumes on all of us'. She was fully aware that
her lifestyle might not be understood by others
at school, and just altered details slightly so
as not to give herself problems with her peers.
that a child who enjoys family naturism, including
swim sessions, might suggest that a friend comes
along. At that point it may be necessary to talk
about the fact that some people think naturism
isn't a Good Thing at all, and that the friend
and/or the friend's parents might be such people.
It's probably best to follow your instincts on
I have heard of
one instance of this happening with older primary
children. The friends didn't go to the swim, but
the naturist children were perceived as being
braver than them.
CCBN child protection guidelines
also suggest that great care is needed (ideally
written permission) if the child is not with
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