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Normal Sexual Exploration or concerning behavior?
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Normal Sexual Exploration or concerning behavior?

My son who is 6 years old is a little underdeveloped socially.  He was a preemie and he is very behind his peers.  Within the last couple months he has been exploring his body, and I have caught him more than once playing and touching himself.  Sometimes he will "play" with himself for over a half hour.  Tonight our neighbor came over to tell me that her 4 year old daughter said that my son touched her in her private areas under her clothing.  This shocked me, and was even worse when I asked my son and he said that yes he touched her because he wanted to.  I do notknow how to approach this with him.  I explained to him that his private parts are his and that he is not allowed to touch other people's private parts because they are theirs.  I'm not sure if this is normal as his "normal" is not what other parents describe as normal.  I don't want to lose good friends but I also am afraid to let him play with anyone now.  I don't think he has been abused at all.  I am a stay at home mom and he is never alone with anyone except his older sister or our neighbors.  Please help?!
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Hi.  Well, I do think that kids will discover self stimulation and then do it.  I wouldn't be thrilled about the touching of a neighbor---------  but I think that can happen innocently.

But you need to address this aggressively with your son.  First, all touching of his own privates is IN HIS ROOM ONLY!  Period.  Period. Period.
And yes, telling him that he is to never touch someone else's privates--------- ever -------- is important.  Let him know how serious you are about this.  Discuss major consequences with a stern voice.  No joking matter.  

Let your neighbor know that you have addressed this aggressively and you do not expect it to happen again but to tell you if it does.  

Then I think you will need to supervise your boy for a bit.  

My son has a developmental delay as well.  Social skills did not come naturally to him.  He's now 7 and doing much much better.  I'd consider a 'social skills' camp, class or group for him.  Many occupational therapist offices have them, children's centers or children's hospitals.  Check around, ask the guidance counselor at school or your pediatrician.  Very valuable to work on the necessary skills to interact with peers.  I also stayed close to my son's side during play time to help him improve his skills.  Most kids even my son's age of 7 like parents to be involved so never felt it was odd to do so.  The kids we play with LOVE it that I'm there and part of the group.  I hang back now and step in when needed---------  but I keep my ears and eyes open and don't wonder off doing my own thing.  You'll probably need to be more invovled to help him.  And to now keep your eye on him for situations like this so you can stop it immediately.

I don't think this is a social skill problem though----------  this is an impulse control issue and a lack of boundary.  Set the boundary firmly.  good luck
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