Dealing with normal curiosity or something more?

Stacey - posted on 04/18/2012 ( 3 moms have responded )

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Need some BTDT advice, or some advice on what to do in this situation. Yesterday we were at my moms house and my son(3 1/2) was playing with his boy cousin(5), and we didn't hear from them for awhile. Went into the playroom(the door was shut)and my son was on the floor with his pants down, playing with his penis and his cousin was just sitting to the side watching. I asked my son what he was doing and he said he was pulling out his penis. Then he said that "S" told him to be quiet, and I then explained to him and his cousin that it's only okay to look at your own parts, and touch your own parts, when you're alone, not eachother's. I then had a private talk with my son later and asked him what they were doing in there. I asked him if "S" touched his penis, or if he was just looking at it and he said yes, he did touch it. I then asked him if he touched "S's" penis and he said he didn't. I called my sister just to tell her what he had said(my sister had left at this point to go pick her other kids up at school) , and she said she'd talk to "S." At first "S" lied about having touched my son's penis, and then he admitted it. She said he seemed genuinely oblivious that this was not okay, and after she explained to him the same thing I said about only touching yourself, when you are alone, not in front of other people, that he seemed to understand the seriousness of it all, and was fine with it. She then asked him if anyone had ever touched him before, and he swears no. So I really think it was just curiousity, and not a sign of possible abuse in his case(my sister feels the same way), and neither one of us could think of any situation he's been in where something like that would happen. I just need some reassurance that this is nothing. I sort of dismissed it yesterday until this morning when I walked into my bedroom and my son was telling me he was trying to look at his sister's "wanees" his word for my breasts when he was nursing, and was telling her to be quiet. I know that this is all because of what happened yesterday, and I'm sure he's just curious, and looks up to his cousin. What do you all think? Just keep an eye on them for awhile?

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Sol4J - posted on 04/18/2012

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While you're waiting to hear from some other parents, I thought I'd share some of my own thoughts with you. I think this type of "showing" is not uncommon between kids but it's very important how it's addressed. The most significant thing is that your son understands the importance of privacy of his body and not letting this situation occur again. You might even use some age-appropriate resources to go through with your child. There's a great book series that's specific for children's age range and is called "God's design for sex series" by Stan and Brenna Jones.

In addition, I wanted to share the following articles: http://bit.ly/I0dLTb , http://bit.ly/HOuM5q , http://bit.ly/IzrfFe that I came across during my time with Focus on the Family that talk about how to teach your child healthy sexuality. This Q&A: My child sometimes fondles his genitals. What should I do? http://bit.ly/I6FXqY might be also useful. I understand that he's only 3 ½ years old but I hope this will give you some direction. Focus also has counselors to offer advice on a complimentary basis-- I know they’d be happy to speak with you. The phone number and hours are in the Q&A. Grace and peace to you!


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Jillian - posted on 04/18/2012

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I would lean toward general curiosity. I would keep an eye on them and if I were your sister I would definately be looking into the situations he is in that might allow the opportunity of abuse. It may be nothing but a bit of hyper-diligence in this situation is warranted in my opinion.
I don't say this to worry you by any means but a very similar situation occurred to a boy I babysat and they discovered the other (slightly older boy) was being abused by his father and was told to be quiet about it. I'll be praying for your situation that God provides a peace about it. I can empathize that this would be unnerving.

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