How do I get my 4 year old to stop touching himself in public?

Karen - posted on 04/12/2009 ( 6 moms have responded )

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Me and my fiance have tried talking to him about how its not appropiate to do it but we catch him all the time.

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Cathy - posted on 04/13/2009

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Soooooo normal, especially for boys.  I have 2 boys, and the oldest (he's almost 8) used to touch himself constantly - lots of reminders to stop, and eventually it became just a private thing in his bedroom or at bath time.  You don't want to make him feel like its bad or shameful, just make it clear that its not ok in public.  Lots of repeating and reminders, but it will sink in...one day. 

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Ruchi - posted on 04/14/2009

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Explain to him gently, this is plain curiosity of kids, my son went through it. Its a phase which will pass.Takes time though.

[deleted account]

so just to add a bit of humour...today I had my 3.5 y/o at the grocery store and we were waiting to use the bathroom, when I look down at him and he's pulled his penis out of his pants (they are still up) and is playing with it!! I don't think anyone else saw, but I thought it was funny as apparently he figured he was obeying me by not putting his hands in his pants!! Needless to say we had a little chat about that.

Nicola - posted on 04/13/2009

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Yeah we did the please i dont want to see you doing that but its fine if you go in your room talk. and we still have to remind him hes 7 now. but he does it much less than before and it mostly when he has just got up and not dressed yet ( he refuses to wear pj's) eek.

[deleted account]

my 3.5 y/o son is going through this now too. When my sisters kid went through it the dr said to tape her shirt to her pants so she couldn't. It took about a week or so and she stopped. It gets to be a habit and this can help break it.

Christine - posted on 04/12/2009

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If you find out the answer- let me know!!



My daughter used to have this problem as well. I would ask her if she needed to use the washroom, and then if she said "no"- would question her as to why she was touching herself.



She eventually grew out of it- in the meantime, ask your son why he's doing it- it could be a sign of infection, such as a UTI and he's simply scratching it because it's itchy. If not, I'm sorry to say, but I have NO idea how to make him stop, especialy if you've already spoken to him about it. (we did "the talk" about self-touching too, and it seemed to make her do it less- but not eliminate it entirely, until she got older).



In any case, I wish you luck!!

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