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Talking With my son
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Questions in the Erection Concerns Forum are being answered by Janice M Epp, PhD, a Clinical Sexologist from The Institute for Advanced Study of Human Sexuality. This forum is for questions and discussions about the psychological aspects of Erection problems or erectile dysfunction.

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Talking With my son

What can i say about my my son that is 7 years old about playing with himself
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Hello.

What would you like to say? Are you comfortable with your son's body and the fact that he enjoys touching himself? If not, you will do him a huge disservice by making him feel ashamed of his body.

We have very little information about children's sexuality, so everyone tends to panic when discovering their children being sexual.

At age 7, children are very physical beings. Their intellectual capacity hasn't become primary yet--that comes with more schooling--and they're very much in their bodies. This is OK. In fact, the more comfortable your son is with his body now, the more likely he'll have a great sex life as an adult.

People self-pleasure from birth to death. In talking to your son, it's important to set the same boundaries you do with other behaviors--just don't treat his self-pleasuring any differently or make him ashamed.

For instance, if he's eating pizza on the couch, you might say: "I see you're enjoying that pizza; however, you know we don't eat pizza on the couch--only in the kitchen. OK?"

A conversation about self-pleasuring might go something like this:

"I see you're enjoying yourself out here in the living room. I know that feels good to you, and that's great. However, that's for you to do in your bedroom, in private--not in the living room, and certainly not when grandma visits."

Don't frighten him or give him the impression he's done something bad or wrong. That's how kids get the message that bodies aren't OK. And then years later, parents wonder why it's so hard to talk to their kids about sex.

If you lay a solid groundwork now with your son, and treat sex as a part of life, he'll know that he can come to you with any questions and issues as he grows up.

There are some excellent resources available to you. I recommend "The Family Book about Sex," by Dr. Mary Calderone. Good luck to you. Dr. J
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