This week my 5 year old was observed twice inappropriately touching 2 of his females classmates. The first time, we spoke firmly, had discussions about private areas and personal space, etc, and he wrote an apology note. The girl's mom was very understanding as this is the age of curiosity. The second time, 3 days later, it was more aggressive and this girl's mom was extremely upset. The behavior was coupled with pushing and hitting other kids. The teachers all said they had never witnessed such acts in all their years as teachers. And, they were all horrified. We are certainly confused by this behavior, very apologetic, and he is now losing privileges (suspended for a few days). At home, he is sweet and kind--especially to his younger brother and 2 senior dogs. What is the appropriate discipline for such acts? Is it unheard of at this age? And, is the school over-reacting when they say if it happens again, he's not welcome?
When one girl was on the toilet he touched her thighs and bent down to look at her, and the other girl, he grabbed several times between her legs--she was fully clothed. He said he knew it was wrong, and he didn't know why he did it.
If this is a private school, I don't think they're overreacting. Other parents can be very sensitive, and private schools have the priviledge of kicking kids out.
Do you know if this was a quick incident - he grabbed several times in a couple seconds, and that was that, or did this go on several times throughout the day and he could not be stopped no matter how severe the reaction he received? Before the adults got involved and inflamed the emotions, did the girl seem terribly upset, do you know?
Yes, it was a one time, quick incident that happened early in the day. The day progressed as normal until the girl's mom picked her up, when she immediately reported the incident, got upset and cried. The mom and teachers then reported to the head, and then I was called. Yes, it is a private preschool...I just think they are focusing on the sex act so much, when I am just as concerned about him pushing and playing too rough in general. All of this is new.
Hmmmm. That answers a piece of the puzzle - when the teachers say they've never seen behavior like this in all their cumulative teaching years, they didn't see this, either. I suspect this happens with some regularity - not all the time, but it's not a freak behavior, either. They didn't notice this time, they probably haven't ever noticed.
If this is just a preschool, and not a kindergarten, and you're sending him to socialize him and give youself a little bit of a break I think I'd pull him out of there and try to enroll him somewhere else. It sounds like there is a social dynamic in that class that has made him act more aggressive than he usually is.
Do you have another option of a place he could go that might be better?
Last week my five year old exposed his private part on the bus at the encouraging of another boy. This boy, I have since found out, tells very explicit details of his parents sex life at home on the bus! I'm not saying my child was not to blame - yes he was! I spoke very harshly with him. I do have to say that in our house we are not ashamed of our bodies. I do not walk around nude in front of him anymore once I noticed him staring a little too long, and when he started asking where my penis was!! I tried to explain my body part to him and he said, "Maybe you should let me see it." It sounded just like what a doctor would say! My point is that children are very curious at this age. If he ever saw you, or anyone else, grabbing, or being grabbed (could have been on tv) - he could just be repeating what he saw. As far as the looking while the girl was on the toilet (first of all, how was he able to be in the bathroom with her?) he was probably looking for her penis!!! I would not be too seriously concerned about this. Unless, of course, his actions continue or become more severe. Maybe you could find a book, age appropriate, that explains anatomy.
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