Over the past 3 weeks, my son has pulled his pants down in daycare on 4 separate occasions. (Sometimes his underwear too.)
He has always been well behaved, so I was very shocked to learn of this. He is also not staying in time-out at daycare if the provider walks away.
What scares me the most, is that I keep punishing him, yet he continues this behavior.
The first time it happened, he was dared to by another child. The next 2 times, it appeared that he wanted the attention and it made all of the other kids laugh so he laughed too. The 4th time, his underwear was slightly showing above the waistline of his pants; another child said "I see your underwear!" My son turned around and "mooned" him.
I've heard this is normal at this age, but the daycare has never had this problem with any child before. They want to work with him, because he is so sweet.
My mother is very worried that he may be sexually abused. I personally don't believe that is the case, but I don't want to be that ignorant mother that thinks everything is "okay". However, he is not showing any other signs of being abused that I am aware of. He's very outgoing, willing to go (and stay) anywhere, never has unexplained bruising or scrapes, and doesn't touch himself or others inappropriately.
Is this normal behavior? Is it possible he is being abused? If so, how do I find out? If not, what should I do to correct this behavior?
There is no indication in your description of events that would lead to a concern about sexual abuse. Your son's behavior is not particularly unusual for the age, but it does require consistent limit setting. Time out is a sensible discipline for the behavior, and the behavior management plan should include in incentive system whereby he is rewarded (e.g., by a star on a chart) for following the rule. In other words, the behavior managment plan should include both reward and punishment.
I just read your comment as I was doing some research. I seriously doubt if sexual abuse has anything to do with his behavior but sad to say there are those who think any odd or different behavior is due to abuse. Unfortunately our children's behavior is much influenced by their peers and what they see on TV. As a single Father for much of my adult life what you have described may simply be attention getting behavior for a male child. I would recommend love and encouragement and rewarding good behavior over punishment.
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