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Kids and Naked Play

Preschoolers are into role-play, and they're curious about other kids' bodies, especially since they're starting to learn about the differences between boys and girls, says Carol Faulkner, Ph.D., a child psychologist at Bradley Hospital in East Providence, RI. So it's natural  -- if disconcerting to grown-ups  -- for kids to want to remove their clothes together.

If your child gets naked with a pal:

Don't flip out. If you stay calm and matter-of-fact, so will they. Try saying, "All right, time to put your clothes back on."

Give the kids something else to do. A snack or a new game will help them move on.

Talk about it later. Make sure your child knows that only caregivers or doctors should look at or touch her private parts. But there's no need for you to scold her.

Tell the other mom. It's best to let the friend's parent know what happened and how you reacted.

Make a plan for next time. Set up a craft or game to encourage them to explore the world in other ways.

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