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Saturday, March 14, 2015

Fooling Ourselves

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."

We're fooling ourselves if we think we can protect our children from the sick people of the world by what we dress them in. Predators are predators regardless of whether their prey is dressed like Randy from A Christmas Story, like one of the Sister Wives or someone out of Amish Mafia, is wearing short shorts or leggings or a bikini, or is completely naked. Predators look for specific types of prey, not specific kinds of clothes.

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.


  1. Hey just curious and for the purpose of clarification, what the answer about fear of CPS so requiring a shirt or underwear your response or someone else's from your wall?

    1. Could you clarify the question for me, Alice?