Marina Fogle: Why Ben and I are bringing up our children in a naked house
IT IS question that provokes heated debate among most parents: how old is too old for your children to see you naked?
For childbirth expert Marina Fogle, who has an eight-year-old son and six-year-old daughter, there seems no reason to stop wandering around in a state of undress.
Writing in The Mail on Sunday’s Life section today, the wife of TV explorer Ben Fogle reveals that she is ‘never prudish about my children seeing me naked’ and that the youngsters are not fazed by the sight of their parents in the nude.
But while the couple still enjoy sharing a bath with son Ludo and daughter Iona, Marina says she wonders whether she will have to reconsider her ‘blasé attitude to nudity’ as the children grow physically and emotionally.
For now, though, she i s relieved t hat her ‘Caesarean-scarred and stretch- marked’ body gi ves her c hi l dren a ‘healthy view of what a normal body looks like in a world of Instagram filters’.
Her frank approach to motherhood has led, she writes, to the family being open about sex. ‘ If my years of parenting have taught me anything, i t’s that honesty, although not always easy to embrace, is your friend,’ she says.
‘Talking about sex is crucial and having honest conversations with your children will make them, certainly in the long term, respect you and admire your bravery.’
Recounting her early attempts at tackling the issue, she admits to ‘fobbing off’ Ludo and Iona with stories of storks and ‘special hugs’, believing they were too innocent to be exposed to the world of sex. Marina also reveals that she once joked with husband Ben that he would be the one to have the ‘birds and the bees’ talk to their son, as punishment for coming home from a night of revelry with a tattoo. But after the devastating loss of her third child, who was stillborn in 2014, Marina saw how speaking candidly to Ludo helped him overcome the tragedy – and she realised that having the ‘ sex talk’ would require similar openness. The children’s reaction to hearing the truth about how child is conceived confirmed her decision, says Marina. ‘ My children accepted my explanation in t he s ame way that they accept why we have to stop at red traffic lights.’ The experience gave her a priceless lesson in family life. ‘The more I’ve learnt about the role of a parent, the more I’ve realised that being anything other than honest is a waste of time,’ she writes.
‘HONESTY IS YOUR FRIEND’: Marina with son Ludo and daughter Iona
‘HEALTHY VIEW’: The Fogle family