I asked a question on my personal Facebook page in a way I normally don't - already knowing the answers I'd get. The question cropped up from a brief conversation the three of us (my husband, my son, and myself) had here at home:
"Your young child wants to be in the front yard naked. Do you let him or her? Why or why not? If not, how do you explain that to the child?"
As is usually the case, I found myself in the minority. That's OK. And it's OK for everyone else to feel what they feel. I'm not sure that there are any hard and fast correct answers on this topic.
Here's what I had to say on the issue:
"Pedophiles are pedophiles because THEY are sick, not because of the kids' states of dress (or undress, as the case may be)."
"I like to stay off the radar as much as possible. That doesn't mean [my son] can't ever be found naked in the front yard, however. I just can't abide living in that much fear all the time. If we're going to be out for any real length of time, he at least has undies on or a long shirt, but if I'm running out to bring in the trash or something and he doesn't want to put clothes on specifically for that 30 second excursion, I'm not fighting it just for fear of CPS.
He won't always feel this comfortable. I'll let him decide when and where he is and is not comfortable."
And boy, oh, boy, doesn't that make us terribly uncomfortable? That just sucks. We want so badly to fool ourselves into believing that we can do something as easy as throwing a T-shirt on our beloveds to save them from the ugliness of the world. It's not that simple, though. There's so much more to it. So much more. This isn't the place to go into all of it, either. We have to do what we feel necessary to protect our children. That's our job as parents. We can't get complacent, though, believing that if our kids are clothed, our kids are safe. That's, for certain, not the answer. I don't have all the answers, but I know what isn't the answer. I know when we're fooling ourselves.