Kristina - posted on 09/15/2011 ( 3 moms have responded )
I have had several complaints from my 4 year old son's daycare that he is exposing his private parts to other children, sometimes trying to get them to touch his penis, and getting other children to expose their privates to him and other children (and because he now knows it is not appropriate, he tries to do it in secret, hiding behind trees, etc.). There is nothing overtly sexual about the incidents. It seems more about curiosity than a sexual thing, so I'm hoping I can rule out that he's being sexually abused. All the research I've done seems to say this is fairly normal, except that he's a little more into it than the average child. He has always been very fascinated by his penis, he plays with it all the time, and has been getting self-stimulated erections since before he was two years old. I have tried to explain that this is a private thing, and that he needs to go to his room when he wants to do this. I have also tried to explain that it is not appropriate to play this way with other children, especially at daycare, and that their privates belong to them, and are for their privacy too.
I have had such a hard time with this, because I was molested as a child, and I am terrified that something may be happening to him that I don't know. I also don't want to over-react if this is just innocent child behavior, and cause him to feel shame about his body and his sexuality. Please help me with any experiences any of you may have had, and how it was dealt with. I just don't know what else to do, or how to explain this to him in a way that will allow for a healthy sexual development. Thanks in advance, K.