Milliam Murigi @millymur1 Recently, a photo of a naked woman in front of her son went viral on social media raising a lot of questions about family nudity. This is one tricky topic for any parent. Though research on family nudity is limited, one study found that exposure to parental nudity wasn\u2019t harmful to kids age three to six years. Francis Odhiambo, father of three girls aged five, three and one, says there is nothing inherently wrong with being nude with members of your family. He accompanies his daughters always when they go swimming and this has not negatively affected them. \u201cKids only know what you teach them. Since they were young, I taught them this is right. I even dress up before them and they don\u2019t complain,\u201d he says. Ground rules He addds that family nudity brings and promotes family togetherness, but choosing to embrace nudity in the home is really up to the parent. He says it is important to set ground rules and make it clear to your child that the clothing-optional mindset only applies to your home and other families may have different rules. \u201cWe have our swimming pool at home so we are free to swim naked. However, when we go to a public swimming pool, we must have swimsuits even though we are always not comfortable in them,\u201d he adds. Francis, however, says his firstborn daughter has become more inquisitive as she gets older. She has been asking why the two (mother and father) have different body organs and instead of taking it negatively, they have taken that opportunity to explain bodies as the questions occur versus having to do a more formal introduction later. \u201cIf you\u2019re comfortable being naked in front of your kids, be naked. If you\u2019re not, keep your clothes on. As long as the message is about privacy and not shame, embarrassment, or anything negative,\u201d he insists. Ken Ouko, a sociologist based in Nairobi, says sociologists and anthropologists agree that nudity represents one of the laughable paradoxes of African cultural norms. As much as African adults are prone to rubbing the decency card in their children\u2019s faces during socialisation, the self society is where family nudity was cultivated. \u201cBeing naked was the normalcy in Africa and the loincloth improvement was limited to covering the genitalia with the buttocks regarded as unworthy of cover,\u201d Ouko says. He adds that the arrival of children in a marriage should immediately trigger parental consciousness of nudity. Children are known to gain awareness of nudity after they turn ten, but it never stops parents from exercising self-imposed cautionary limits on nudity in their children\u2019s presence. No safe way \u201cFor children, nudity actually carries with it the advantage of raising their levels of self-awareness. In childhood, nudity is associated with freedom and the limitlessness of being a child, but it also helps children to appreciate their bodies. Between the genders, children are able to rely on their borderless nudity to learn about the opposite gender\u2019s bodily features. As soon as the children cross into the curious world of puberty, however, nudity for both them and their parents becomes a no-no,\u201d he explains. Francis says the truth is, despite a parent\u2019s best intentions, children will be exposed to the sexualised and photoshopped images of nude or semi-nude adults. That\u2019s why having conversations sooner rather than later is a good idea. \u201cWe have to start teaching kids at a young age that we are imperfect by nature, and our bodies go through changes and transitions,\u201d says Francis. Ouko says that there are no safe ways to practice familial nudity, as it is considered an act of deviance by most societies, especially because of the unfortunate reality that the human mind is programmed to instinctively relate nudity to sexuality.