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From 0 to 2 years old: babies are not modest

From birth to 2 years old, the child is going through a period rich in change. If at first, he does not differentiate himself from his mother, over the months, he will become aware of your body through the gestures lavished on him. Carried, cuddled, cradled by enveloping arms, baby grows and his relationship to others changes: he becomes a small being apart in relation to the world around him.

Since birth, he likes to be naked. At bath time and during changes, without his diaper, he is free to move around and shakes his little legs very happy! Nudity does not pose any problem to him, he does not know modesty! Then comes the time of the four-legged, and it is without complex that he walks the buttocks in the air in the house or, once he walks, runs naked in the summer in the garden. Nothing strange for him and for adults, nothing disturbing, of course! And yet, it is from the first months that it is important to respect your privacy because modesty is not innate (even if some children are more modest than others), and that’s when you have to start learning. Onfor example avoids changing it on a public bench… “This first period is not yet that of modesty itself, explains our expert, nevertheless each separation stage (at the time of weaning, the nursery…) must be accompanied by an adjustment of the distance, of the contact. , education of the prohibited. “

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Children from 2 to 6 years old: we support their learning of modesty

Üle 2-aastastele õpilastele, children start to differentiate between boys and girls. “This period naturally leads parents to channel their actions. So, for example, a dad might just tell his little girl that she can’t take a bath with him anymore because she is growing up. But that will not prevent them from having fun together in the summer in the water at the swimming pool or by the sea, ”explains Philippe Scialom.

Around 4 years old, the child enters the oedipal period which does not consist only of a declaration of love towards his parent of the opposite sex, but is accompanied by ambivalence, reconciliations, rejection and fusion with each of the two parents. Your role is essential at this time because it is the moment to put down the prohibition of incest.

If in his attitude, the desire to take the place of the other parent clearly manifests, it is better to be very clear and reframe the situation with the right words : no, we don’t behave like that with our mum or dad, the same with our uncle, aunt …

It is often around this age that children show the desire to dress alone. Encourage him! He will be proud of gain autonomy, and will appreciate not revealing his body in front of you. 

Cyril’s testimony: “My daughter is becoming more modest. ” 

When she was little, Josephine walked around without worrying about being naked or not. Since she was 5 years old, we have felt that this has changed: she closes the door when she is in the bathroom and would be ashamed to walk around without clothes. Paradoxically, she sometimes spends half a day in the house with her buttocks exposed, wearing a simple t-shirt. It’s pretty mysterious. ” Cyril, father of Joséphine, 5 years old, Alba, 3 years old, and Thibault, 1 year old

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6 years old: the children have become more modest

From 6 years old, a child who has passed these stages loses interest in these questions and directs his attention to learning. He begins to become modest. Whereas previously he would walk around the apartment naked without any problem, he becomes distant and sometimes even asks you not to assist him in his toilet. “It’s a pretty good sign if he doesn’t want you in the bathroom anymore when he’s showering or getting dressed,” the specialist remarks. This attitude shows that he understood that his body belonged to him. By respecting his wish, you recognize him as a person in its own right. »A big step towards autonomy. 

Modesty: parents must implement prohibitions with their child

Parents must also adapt to the development of their child

that grows. The mom can show her little girl how to clean herself, and the dad can teach her little boy how to wash. “It is also up to parents to differentiate between a sick child who needs to be near them, exceptionally one night, and the one who slips into their bed every evening, or another who opens the doors of the ward. baths or toilets, while he was asked to wait, ”notes the psychologist. More than adjustments, learning modesty is also about clearly set rights, prohibitions and limits concerning the body and its intimacy. We forget the pot and the wee in the middle of the living room by explaining to him that for that, there is a toilet or the bathroom. He is strongly asked to cover his body when in publiceven surrounded by loved ones. Because learning modesty is also education in respect for oneself and one’s body: “What is forbidden to you is also forbidden to others, who do not have the right to hurt you, to touch you”. The child naturally integrates that we must respect him. He will learn to defend himself, to protect himself and to recognize normal and abnormal situations.

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Author: Elisabeth de La Morandière

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