Our son is in Pre-school and one of his little classmates exhibits what I would call inappropriate sexual behavior. I sat in on one of their story readings and saw one of my son's classmates who is about four years old fondling himself while sitting with his classmates listening to the story being read. I later asked the teacher in charge and was told this is an ongoing issue with him and that they have tried correcting him several times but he continues to do this although at the time he is corrected he usually stops. His parents when confronted with the issue dismissed it as just a stage he was going through but it is now half year, the behavior continues and now I have come to find out that his older brother who is perhaps 8 also does the same thing in his classroom. Needless, to say my heart stopped when I heard of this and the red flags are still flashing in front of my eyes. I have contacted the school's director and will wait a few days before contacting whomever is above if I see no action being taken. I am not only concerned for the boys but also for my son and the other children who may at some point see their actions and either emulate or be disturbed by it.
Is there any sane reasonable explanation for this behavior and am I being paranoid or does this seem as wrong to you as it does to me? Are there any articles I can read to educate myself and others so we can be able to properly discriminate between appropriate and inappropriate childhood sexual development? PLEASE HELP!
Although it is disconcerting to watch children's self touching behavior, by itself it is not a sign of anything more than sexual urges and bad manners, even in an 8 year old boy. If it was nose picking it might still bother you but no one would be jumping to conclusions about whether anyone touched their noses. That is not to take anything away from kids who have been exposed to sexual maltreatment and who exhibit a lot of sexualized behavior. However, boys have testosterone flowing though their bodies which causes sexual feelings. Touching genitals is a common way that may kids soothe themselves - boys tend to exhibit these behaviors more than girls. With younger children distraction is a good technique to use to get them to shift away from that behavior. Also, giving children something to hold in their hands sometimes helps. Talking to kids about "quiet hands" (euphemism for no touching) can be helpful, too. There is some literature on this - look at Toni Cavanaugh Johnson's book Understanding Your Child's Sexual Behavior: What's Natural and Healthy (1999). Good luck and consider being patient and letting the school work on this with the child.
I have 2 boys and a girl. 16, 9 and 2... They have all done this. I was freaked out when my 16 year old did it as a toddler. My health visitor assured me it was normal.
Its not about sex at that age it just feels nice. She did tell me to just tell him to do it in his room... not in public. No-one has obviously told this kid or his brother to do it in private.
I have told both my boys and never had an issue. Now from time to time my 2 year old will do it, I just say to her, I know that feels nice angel, but you must do that in your room.
You cannot teach a child that this is bad, just private.
If it was a reaction to sexual abuse there would be lots of other issues too!!
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