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Straight Talk for Teens Parents walking around house nude bothers sisters

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Posted: Friday, August 17, 2012 7:29 am

Dear Straight Talk: Our dad and mom believe in casual nudity in the home. They think nothing of walking around naked. It didn’t bother us when we were younger and were taught to be casual ourselves. However, since we’ve reached puberty (15 and 13), it really bothers us. We also have a 10-year-old brother, and while it doesn’t bother him to see our mom nude now, it probably will pretty soon. We think opposite-sex nudity is not appropriate once you reach puberty. — Cindy, Sacramento

Nicole, 22, Santa Rosa: If you feel uncomfortable, things must change. Express to your parents how you feel. If your father doesn’t understand, hopefully your mother will help persuade him to put some clothes on.

Christina, 20, Marysville: I agree with you completely! I would talk to your mom first.        

Gregg, 21, Los Angeles: Haha, this sounds like my dad’s dream family! He always walked around nude, even in the backyard. For me it was no big deal, but my sister had a hard time when she hit puberty. She kept her privacy by locking the door and telling Dad straight-up that he should put some clothes on — not that he ever did. I remember he would try to talk to her while he was naked and she would be like, “You’re naked, no way!”

Jessie, 20, Eugene, Ore.: Of course this would be uncomfortable! Ask them bluntly to at least wear basic underwear. Remind them that in eight short years you all will be moved out and they can revert to nudity. While I would think parents would want to keep a family happy, you never know about people’s habits. Either way, continue locking your door.

Ryann, 15, Tustin: I agree with you and your sister. Opposite-sex nudity is inappropriate once you reach a certain age. You should never have to feel like a prisoner in your home. Talk to them. Maybe they don’t realize the effect it has on you.         

Dear Cindy: Your parents sound innocent but completely forgetful. Did Mom forget what it’s like to first get breasts and pubic hair, how it’s thrilling and private and you don’t want to show men, especially, ugh, your dad? Did Dad forget that a boy at puberty is hard-wired to be aroused by the naked female form — even (sometimes) if it’s his mother or sister? We get lots of mail from boys who suffer horribly from clueless mothers and sisters parading around nude.

The panel recommends talking to your parents and frankly, nothing will change if you don’t. Unfortunately, most parents won’t automatically accommodate your request, they will ask “why” their nakedness bothers you — yes, the dreaded question that makes you not want to bother. (Parents: It’s important to inquire about the possibility of abuse, but “why” questions that tap into the normal feelings of puberty mentioned above, your teen cannot and should not have to answer.) If this happens to you, just say, “Nothing inappropriate is going on, but we’re young women now and would prefer that you wear clothes.” Repeat as needed. If it doesn’t work, avert your eyes and lock your door. — Lauren

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