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12/29/2014 03:06 pm ET Updated Dec 29, 2014

How To Discuss Nudity Without Scarring Your Kids

As a parent, it's tough to truly have time to yourself. So what happens when your child walks in on you as you’re undressing for the evening or as you’re headed into the shower? Is it appropriate for your kids to see you nude?

While it’s important to consider your child’s age and development when discussing nudity, child psychotherapist Dr. Fran Walfish assured parents of one thing.

“You are not scarring your children,” she told HuffPost Live host Nancy Redd on Monday.

Since children are not “thinking sexually” until ages 6 or 7, discussing nudity provides an opportunity to learn about differences between the male and female anatomies, Walfish continued.

A child’s upbringing can also impact their attitudes toward nudity. Freelance writer Kate Messinger said her family was “always naked” when she was growing up. In fact, it took one rather awkward encounter for her to realize that lounging around while nude wasn’t as common as she thought.

“It was never a big thing, and I think I only realized it was a problem was when a friend came over and saw my dad naked,” she said. “And I’m sure she had never seen a dad or a man naked before. I suddenly realized, ‘Oh, maybe this isn’t something that everyone else is experiencing.’”

Blogger and mother Rita Templeton's openness about nudity stems from a desire to challenge the standard image of female bodies.

“My whole point was wanting to expose my sons to a female body that wasn’t sexual,” she said. “I don’t want them to grow up to look at women and women’s bodies as pieces of meat. I don’t want to raise those guys.”

Learn more about baring it all by watching the full HuffPost Live segment here.

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