Last Labor Day, we allowed our 11-year-old son “Brian” to spend the long weekend at the fishing cabin of his best friend Logan; we had our doubts about this, since Logan's mom was alwys kind of a flakey neighbor, but Logan’s family was then moving out-of-state, so this was the last chance the boys would have to spend time together. Brian had a wonderful time. Flash forward six months: I receive a belated holiday letter from Logan’s mom, explaining that she was finally getting organized after their move, and was enclosing a disc of photos taken during Brian’s weekend at the cabin. Most of the pictures are innocuous: the kids climbing trees, toasting marshmallows around the campfire, etc. But there are also a dozen photos of Brian and Logan completely naked, playing in the river and on the beach. These pictures leave nothing to the imagination--you can tell who is circumcised and who is not in every shot. Logan’s younger sister is in a couple of the photos as well.
When we asked Brian, he acknowledged that the kids went skinny dipping whenever they went to the river, and said that Logan’s mother had an album which had lots of naked photos of Logan, and so it all seemed okay at the time. We had no idea when we allowed Brian to go that Logan’s mother would be photographing him in the buff. I am furious with this woman, and I want these pictures deleted before they wind up on the internet, but I don’t know what to do. Our lawyer says that in our state such photos are not illegal if they are not sexual in nature, and the best she could do is write to Logan‘s mother and ask her to erase any photos of Brian. My husband says we shouldn't antoganize her, since there is no way we could know if she actually erased the pictures, and we should just chalk it up to experience. We also don’t know what to do with the disc: Brian wants it himself, and says the disc was of his trip, and was sent to him (the envelope was addressed to me). I’m afraid if he keeps it, his sister may get hold of it and show the pictures at school, as she has been teasing him she will do. Any ideas on what to do?
warsaw1 answered Sunday December 26 2010, 8:07 pm: Leave well enough alone. If the Europeans and Japanese can do it, so can we. Only my biggest concern would be wandering pedophiles. Apart from that, as long as your son was not traumatized and has no hang-ups about it, and remains partial to skinny dipping, you may be at ease. Only from now on, until he reaches adult age, I would ensure an appropriate, controlled environment (does your family have a pool?).
But again, as for skinny dipping itself, if the Europeans and other cultures can do it, so can we Americans. The Dutch cast off their puritanical roots long ago. We should too, at long last. [ warsaw1's advice column | Ask warsaw1 A Question ]
Wharton answered Wednesday October 27 2010, 9:26 pm: Maybe your son doesn't have some hangups you may have. Explain to him the possible consequences and possible dangers and help him choose wisely, freely, within a selected assortment. Maybe you can allow him to have the photos provided you keep them safe for him, but destroying them would seem like a fanatical invasion of his privacy & his own "rights" & treasured memories.
They are after all HIS memories, including of a time of wonderful innocence where being naked was okay...rather than the nastiness that almost everyone tends to make it out to be. Kids are robbed of THEIR innocence by the lack of innocence of many adults! YET,...they don't always understand some potential consequences.
Still,...it is likely a lot less of a problem than many parents may imagine. Yeah, they should have given you a heads up, but with some people, it isn't a big deal -- nudity is sometimes normal. Maybe your son seeing both genders nude and being seen nude...can be a good thing, in real innocence. -- Like not being so curious that it gets him into trouble later, privately.
IF....the situation were to get "out-of-hand" and his little nudie pics wind up seen by kids at school,...if you have done your responsibility,...that is something he would have to deal with as a consequence of his choice. HOWEVER,...if you have so little rule in your home that your daughter cannot be kept from "exposing" your son at school,...then YOU have a worse problem than your son. ;) [ Wharton's advice column | Ask Wharton A Question ]
DAVIDAMORSE1701 answered Monday April 26 2010, 11:16 pm: I can understand your concerns. He is too young to have the skinny dipping pictures now. But I also hope you did not destroy those pictures. Keep the CD with all the pictures until he is older, 18 maybe. He will thank you for saving those pictures when he is an adult. You were not mad with him for skinny dipping, so its the mother you disagreed with. Its his keepsake of his last trip with friend. He should have pictures when he is old enough to understand they are private. [ DAVIDAMORSE1701's advice column | Ask DAVIDAMORSE1701 A Question ]
AFather answered Tuesday January 19 2010, 4:30 pm: My answer is not brilliant! I just believe that this is not too big of a deal with the matter of skinny dipping. I think this part is innocent. Boys skinny dipping together is fun in this type of situation (even if a girl is there as long as this is a non sexual situation). Boys and girls and curious and if we can do something to help ease this by "skinny dipping" I do not think it does harm. My biggest concern is that pictures were taken. These can easily end up on the "Net" and that is it! They are there forever. They are now forever being looked at in a sexual manner by some perverted minds. So in my opinion skinny dipping is not a problem but NO CAMERAS SHOULD EVER BE ALLOWED. Lastly, the final decision is up to each childs parents. None of our opinions matter except the parents of the individual children. I do agree that these pictures should be destroyed. They were not innocent pictures taken of their own children. No one has the right to take naked pictures of other peoples children. My very best of luck to you.
mambooman answered Thursday March 12 2009, 6:19 pm: Hmmm....I know this is almost a year after the fact but I did just happen to run across this. I am curious as to what you finally decided to do.
Anyway, I understand why you are upset. Logan's parents certainly breached your trust. At a minimum, they should have informed you when they invited Brian on the trip that they condone/approve/encourage their kids to skinny dip and that they photograph them.
This may not have been the first time that he and Logan did this. But, regardless, they setup a potentially very ackward situation for your son.
At any rate, I think I would hold the unedited disk until Brian is of an age that he could make an informed decision as to what to do with it. If he wants to look at the nude pics of himself, then do it with him. But, I think he is too young to have ownership of it.
There is nothing wrong with what he did. I don't think there is anything inherently wrong with photographing the vacation either, including his beach shots. But, the parents should have fully explained this to you before they even left for the trip.
You are correct in that it is a lesson learned. As silly as it may sound, when packing your kids up for a trip they are going on with others, don't hesitate to ask the question - do they need a swimsuit. Brian apparently enjoyed the trip and the experience so he may likely want to continue his suitless swimming. That may be a conversation you now have to have with his friends parents. [ mambooman's advice column | Ask mambooman A Question ]
notyourmomsadvice answered Tuesday June 3 2008, 4:08 am: Copy the pictures you feel are relevant and not in poor taste to another disc and let Brian have the disc with the edited content. That way he gets the pictures of his trip and you can destroy the one with the naked pictures. I would also send Logan's mother a note telling her that the pictures made you uncomfortable and you would appreciate her not giving copies of the pictures of your son without clothing to anyone else for any reason. It sounds as if they are probably more "at ease" with general nudity than you are and that doesn't mean it's a bad thing, it just means it's different. Keep an eye on the family's myspace and facebook pages if they have them and make sure there are none of the pictures you don't approve of on there. [ notyourmomsadvice's advice column | Ask notyourmomsadvice A Question ]
coleparks answered Thursday May 8 2008, 9:46 pm: Your son is fortunate to have Logan and his family for friends, as well as you for an understanding mother.
For Brian to have had such a wonderful experience with his friend's family is all too rare these days in our paranoid society. Had this occurred in many European countries rather than here in the U.S., it would likely have been a non-issue for all involved. It's a shame that he now has to balance the good experience against the potential of being teased.
By all means, don't delete or edit the pictures, but store them in a safe place away from he and his sister so they don't fall in the wrong hands. Give him an opportunity to look back at them when he wishes, and to show them to other immediate family members--including his sister--if he wishes, but you should maintain control over them. Children and teenagers don't have the skills to handle these kinds of decisions well. When he becomes an adult, gift them back to him--he will be grateful that the happy memories have been preserved.
In the mean time, help his sister learn to respect others more, and to bypass opportunities to tease even when they are so tantalizing. She'll be a better person for this.
It would be very affirming for your son if he were allowed and encouraged to join Logan and his family again next year. Even more so, find a way to include his sister in the festivities--that could level the playing field and be affirming to all involved. [ coleparks's advice column | Ask coleparks A Question ]
lynnethomas answered Wednesday April 23 2008, 3:30 pm: Thanks for your thoughts, folks! Younggrandma, limiting the teasing is what I am TRYING to do! Brian has taken more than his share of ribbing already--it has played out is as embarassing a fashion as possible for him. I wouldn't have brought his sister into the discussion, but she saw the pictures before I did. Liz was home when the letter arrived, and Brian wasn't. (She also knows Logan well. She's only 14 months older than Brian, and Logan is exactly-to the day-in between them, age-wise, and she and Logan were on the same soccer team for years). So when the letter came, I opened it and read the holiday form letter out loud to her, and she asked if she could put the disc on. Unfortunately, her cousin was visiting and was with her when she opened the pictures, and when my sister went to see what the girls were giggling about, she found the pictures and called me in to come take a look. So before Brian had even come home, poor guy, four females in his family had already seen and been talking about the pictures.
I did make a disc for Brian minus the naked photos, but no good, he wants the original one. I'm really not a prude about him going swimming naked, and I've told Brian that I didn't think he did anything wrong. I just can't help wonder who Logan's mother shows her photos to--if she doesn't mind sending me photos in which her OWN son is naked, why would she mind showing off photos of my son to others? [ lynnethomas's advice column | Ask lynnethomas A Question ]
karenR answered Tuesday April 22 2008, 1:33 pm: I know this won't help much, but, if she
had bad intentions I'm, sure she wouldn't
have sent you the disc with those pictures
on it. I would be upset too, don't get me
wrong, but some people don't find nudity
and skinny dipping a big deal.
Your lawyer says there is nothing legally
that can be done. They were obviously not
up to anything bad. Just kids having fun.
The younger sister probably didn't think
a thing of it having seen her brother
The only one to worry about is your daughter
teasing him and possibly taking the pictures
school. Please do not allow him to be teased
about something he didn't feel was wrong. I
think your daughter is picking up on your
angst about the whole thing and making it a
big deal. She should have been kept clear
out of the discussion about the photos and
probably shouldn't have been allowed to see
them either given your feelings about the
Download the pictures onto your computer.
Delete those you don't want your son to have.
Put the others on a disc for him and let
it drop. Since the lawyer said there is
nothing to be done about it, don't make your
son feel guilty or allow your daughter to
tease him. For him it was a good time with
his friend that you re turning into a
es answered Tuesday April 22 2008, 2:11 am: this is quite disturbing and i'm sorry to say but this woman is sick in the head. if i were in your situation, i would call up the mother of Logan, tell her that she is to have all the copies sent to you of your child in the buff, and if not, she will on trial for the sexual nature in them. even though this may not be true, she will not know the truth, and i believe it's is the only way to get them back.
as for your son having memories, i'm sure you won't mind letting him keep the appropriate pictures, which can be scanned and copied into actual pictures from the cd, and you can with hold any of the others that you find inappropriate.
S0methingM0re answered Monday April 21 2008, 11:42 pm: Im not sure exactly what to do about Logan's mother, but as for the disc of pictures, you could most likely edit the pictures that are on the disc. You could just delete the naked pictures, and Brian could keep the rest of the pictures of his trip on the disc. Or rather, just upload all of the pictures on the disc onto your computer, delete the naked ones, and then copy the rest of the pictures onto a new disc.
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