My son was recently caught playing a sex game with a neighbor child, another 9yr old boy, who was spending the night. This game included oral sex, licking nipples, and licking the anus...he was taught this "game" by another child a long time ago. Earlier this year we did notice some symptoms, odd behaviors, from the boy who taught him this game. This was our first indicator that something could go wrong. We worried that the boy may be being abused, or maybe just seen something on tv that he shouldn't have, so at that point we started seriously talking to my little boy about what's ok, what's not ok. That it's not ok for your friend to ask to see or touch your private areas etc... My son is very smart, easy to communicate with etc, and we thought we had it in hand...IF anyone were to approach my son in an inappropriate way, he would know what to do, he would NOT be abused. What we found out this week was that we started teaching him those things too late, he had already been taught the game. When his friend taught him the game, he just thought his friend was cool because this was the same friend who showed him Bakugan and Pokemon....As far as the game went, he didn't really care either way he says. He never asked to play the game, but when he was asked to play the game he said sure, ok. He did play this game with another friend after the 1st child (who taught him the game) mentioned and hinted about it to the 2nd friend, who then asked about it later so he explained it and so on....
I know this is long but I seriously need good advice. His father and I are not together, and it was his father who caught him. He flipped out on him, shaved his hair down to 1/4" long -so he wouldn't look like a sissy, made him put on a dress and go outside because this is what little girls do, hitting him in the face etc etc...when I found out, I ran over and picked up my son. His father's goal was to shame him, embarass him, make him never behave like this again so that he won't be gay. I think this was INSANE! His reaction was traumatizing to my son...I approached it much differently. I talked calmly with my son, I let him know first that he did nothing wrong, that he is safe with me, that nothing he could possibly say to me would make me tell him he did something wrong or that I would love him any less. I see it like this, my son was sexually abused and was then acting it out because he didn't know any better. He isn't bad, he isn't a deviant. He was taught a "game" by a peer who he thought was a cool kid, this cool kid who plays this game with other friends..(by the way--I am convinced that the other child was taught this game by either an adult or someone much older...even the way it started suggests a "warming up', it started with toes! ) Anyway, the point is that my son does not feel traumatized or even interested. He didn't know the game was bad but now that he does, and now that it's 100% clear what exactly mom and dad have been trying to warn him about, he will never allow something like that to happen again. I'm trying so hard to keep perspective here for his sake, because I know it's all in his perspective. I let him know that to some extent, curiosity about his body is normal, that experimentation is somewhat normal, that the particular game he was taught was not considered normal, but that the fact that he played this game with boys does not mean he will not grow up and be married--it doesn't make him gay (as his father was so focused on). He says he doesn't need or want to talk to another person about it, (as in go to a psychologist). I am afraid of handling this incorrectly. From what I've read, alot of this is in how we handle it....if we make it a huge deal, it will be a huge deal, it will be something that could traumatize him well into adulthood. If we let it be smaller, it will be smaller.... I think there's an important distinction here because I was sexually abused as a child and I felt abused...later on I was involved in experimentation that I didn't want to be involved in, I just let it go (I think because I had already been abused), but the point is, with what happened with my peers-I didn't feel abused--I didn't much think about it ever again...it was the acts with an adult that made me cry, beg to not have to etc that did traumatize me....so is it possible that my son may NOT be scarred by this. The entire thing breaks my heart, I can't believe I failed to protect him...that I didn't know. But I did' make it clear to him that it was the 1st time that was what never should have happened...as in, the fact that he was showed the game to start with, after that, how he handled it does not make him bad. I think that he's a child and since there is such a thing as natural curiosity--that once he was shown the game and he thought it was normal--he does not need to feel like a bad person.
First of all i think the reaction of your ex-partner was horrible, to shame and embarass him like that.
(Your post) "if we make it a huge deal, it will be a huge deal, it will be something that could traumatize him well into adulthood. If we let it be smaller, it will be smaller...."
This is so true, i think the bigger deal you make it, the more it may affect him in the future, so i did you took the right approach here!
(Your post) "The entire thing breaks my heart, I can't believe I failed to protect him...that I didn't know."
I see how much this has affected you. I don't believe you failed to protect him as you said. As i see it: you removed him from his father, you didn't make it a huge deal, you explained to him that it's ok to be curious about another person's body but what happened was unacceptable. That to me is protecting him, as he now knows and has learnt from the incident.
(Your post) "But I did' make it clear to him that it was the 1st time that was what never should have happened...as in, the fact that he was showed the game to start with, after that, how he handled it does not make him bad. I think that he's a child and since there is such a thing as natural curiosity--that once he was shown the game and he thought it was normal--he does not need to feel like a bad person".
I think what your trying to say here is that the first time he was shown the game, he shouldnt've have participated, but because he did, your disappointed but understand he was curious? Yes he's not a bad person because he participated, which it's good that you recognise, as others fail to see this point i imagine.
At the end of the day, it's up to parents to teach children and show them the way in life, and sometimes they make mistakes, but as long as we keep teaching them and showing them the way, then they're learning and will hopefully grow into well-rounded adults. Hope all goes well :)
Its time to stand up and protect your child, do not allow this other child in your house, supervise any children do not leave them to behave in this way , it is never the childs fault...too much talking about it will traumatise him, sounds like there has been enougfh of that , tell the other childs parents., say no more but make sure you are aware of what your child is doing ....
I believe his father overreacted and should not have gone too far. I also agreed you did the right thing by talking to him BUT I do not agree that a boy of 9 does not realize that this act is not acceptable, that's why they were discrete about it..... He should be sternly corrected and you should stop the other child from coming around. You should not over pamper him so he does not continue indulging himself.
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