The learning of modesty is healthy and should be encouraged. It goes beyond the rules that govern social acceptability (keep in mind that modesty, even if it is innate, is developed and influenced by culture). Witnessing future relationships the child will have with himself, others and his thoughts, the need for modesty should not be annihilated or mocked. Yes, the child has the right to have a secret garden and this observation extends to all the spectres of modesty.
Do not be watched and do not watch
The need for modesty can be expressed by the desire not to reveal one's body, but also to not be exposed to that of others (Frésard Nadège, 2015, p.18). It is, therefore, necessary to respect this wish, because "too much nakedness of the parents can become" cumbersome "for the spirit of the child, his imagination and his thought. To impose one's naked body on a child is to not respect it in its otherness, its individuality "(Laouénan, 2011, p.51).
Respect modesty at the public swimming pool
Although at home it is easy to find a bit of privacy to put on a jersey, what about places like the public pool? Should we force the child to change in front of everyone, despite their claims to modesty?
Experts agree that it would be better not to force the child. It is, therefore, necessary to find adequate solutions so that changing out of their clothes goes smoothly and isn't traumatic for the child.
- Use the cabins provided for this purpose
- Put their bathing suits under their clothes
- The parent can hold a beach towel around the child while they change
- Wrap a towel around the child's body and slip on the shirt discreetly
- Zero nudity
That being said, in Quebec, a new tangent is emerging. In public pools, we see more and more enforcement of the zero nudity policy. Which means that in the locker room, nobody can walk around naked and the use of clothing booths is mandatory. A new way of doing things that is more inclusive since it would favor mixed and family spaces, but which does not seem to be unanimous if we rely on the number of newspaper articles written on the subject (Le Soleil, La Tribune, Le Droit, etc.).
Frésard, Nadège (2015). Pudeur et intimité et collectivité, avec les enfants de 6-12 ans. Quel regard porter en tant que professionnel ? pp. 41. Récupéré à http://doc.rero.ch/record/278383/files/Fresard_N_2016.pdf
DiasioNocoletta (2014). L’expérience du grandir. Sciences Humaines (no. 258), pp. 54.
CHUS Sainte-Justine (2019). Comportement sexualisé : L’importance de la pudeur — L’importance de la pudeur dans le développement des enfants. Récupéré à https://www.chusj.org/fr/soins-services/C/Comportement-sexualise/Importance-de-la-pudeur