Q&A: Nakedness in front of the group

S writes:

"I walked into daycare during snack time. All the children were sitting at tables and it was pretty quiet. The teacher promptly updated me on how good my daughter was was then said “come on, let's change your pants before you go". Then instead of lifting my 25lb 2yo onto the changing table the teacher squatted down on a stool and pulled my kids pants down with her butt facing all those kids eating. My daughter just looked at me kind of funny. I redirected the situation by asking her if she wanted to try the potty before putting the diaper back on. She shook her head yes and I took her into the bathroom and then finish, leaving the teacher to take care of the other children. I was very surprised at the act and plan on discussing with the manager of the daycare but am I being too harsh?? When do children develop modesty?? I remember being this young, not a whole lot but the stuff that was emotional to me."

Most kids seem to develop modesty later than 2 years old, but I don't think that that means that it's ok to just pulll down a kid's pants in front of the whole class. It's completely possible that your daugher was embarrassed or just felt like something was wrong. And, even if she didn't, this is sending the message that her body is fine for display.

I think of this the same way I think of forcing kids to kiss people: It might not be uncomfortable for the kid at any one instance, but you're' sending the kid the message that their body is subject to what other people want. That they don't have the right to control who sees or touches them, or who they're forced to touch. Even if you don't mean it, you're telling your child that their own personal boundaries are not worth enforcing.

So, yes, please say something to the teacher. Who I hope just wasn't thinking, but should be more sensitive about what we're teaching kids about their bodies. And good for you for standing up for your girl and her body and her right to her body.

When did your kids start to notice modesty about their bodies?