Neighbors Report Parents to Police for Letting 4-Year-Old Run Around Naked

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On a hot spring day, Ian McIlwaine waxed his car while his two boys got in a water fight, which resulted in his 4-year-old stripping off his wet clothes. Harmless naked fun? Not according to a neighbor, who notified the cops, who showed up a few days later threatening there could be consequences if the boy appeared naked outside in his yard again.

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Er, seriously? Geez, I see 4-year-olds naked all. The. Time. I see them in public parks at sprinklers like birds at water fountains. At home, my 4-year-old daughter streaks around naked non-stop, as do all her friends -- both boys and girls.

And here's why I dont' worry about it: 4 seems too young to worry about modesty quite yet. I think the urge to cover up will settle in when a child is ready. And while I can gently encourage kids to put some clothes on, I think as a parent I should not push it, since this might make kids think there's something wrong with their body ... and given girls could be battling plenty of body image issues later in life, I don't want to start her off as early as 4!

More from The Stir: When Should Toddlers Not Be Naked Around the Opposite Sex?

Plus, what strikes me as absurd is that this dad's "infraction" was in their own yard! So to me, this neighbor's reaction seems extreme. How could anyone be offended by the sight of a naked 4-year-old boy, or girl for that matter? And how could anyone think these parents were doing anything wrong or weird with their kids?

The day 4-year-olds can't frolic naked in their own yards is a sad day indeed.

At what age should kids cover up when they're out in public?

 

Image via Kosobu/shutterstock

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