Dressing in a tzanua manner in front of son’s friends


I have a seven year old son. At what point do I need to dress in a tzanua manner when his friends come to our house?

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Asked on July 4, 2021 6:51 pm
Private answer

Questions along these lines are best addressed more personally, so that a response can take specifics of a situation and a community into account. Our response is meant as a general discussion of the relevant issues.

Halachic norms for dress are somewhat more relaxed in the home than outside it. Nevertheless, it is customary to maintain more “outdoor” standards of tzeniut in the presence of male guests, especially when there are a number of them.

Though these boys are younger, determining what is appropriately tzanua for you in the situation should take into account the comfort levels of all involved, as well as communal norms.

An additional question is the point at which a boy begins to have formal halachic constraints on what he can see. Though boys’ halachic status becomes like that of adult men only from age 13, some halachot related to tzeniut take effect for males from the age of nine, which can be at the beginning stages of male sexual development. Therefore, from age nine or so, though dress within the home can still be more casual than outside it, one should make more considered choices about dress around young guests.

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Answered on July 4, 2021 6:54 pm