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Sexual Curiousity: What is Normal for 5-y-old?! - Page 4

post #61 of 154
Quote:
Originally Posted by zinemama View Post



Quote:
Originally Posted by MammaB21 View Post

Wow. I'm having a really hard time getting through these replies. I keep thinking how sad it makes me to know that so many parents would view sexual curiosity as abnormal/wrong/shameful. This can be extremely damaging IMO.




MammaB21, many of us are basing our reaction to this situation on what what we know of the OP's son from her other thread about his very troubled past and his current behavioral issues. In that context, this doesn't seem like the simple sexual curiosity most of us have experienced with our own kids, but part of a disturbing continuum. OP, all the best to you and your son.
 


Okay, that's fair, I don't know the back story. But my opinion isn't really changed. As a whole, maybe the OP's son has some things he needs help working through. It sounds like she's doing that, though. As far as this one issue goes, I don't think it's fair to tell a child that their feelings (you know, the ones they can't help having) are wrong or something to be ashamed of. It's fine to focus on the behavior and that the behavior is not appropriate because of xyz. I've just heard a lot of "Oh my, that's not normal! My son/daughter never did that! I never did that! There's something wrong with your son!" I don't see that as being productive.

post #62 of 154
Thread Starter 

I have talked to him about not doing this before, which is why I think he told me about it and that he was sorry.  I felt like he was more feeling shameful about his curiosity than anything else, which is something I want to avoid, but I am still trying to sort out exactly what is going on with him.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by pupsnelda View Post

Bisou,

 

Don't you think that the fact that he tells you immediately after the incident and that he is VERY SORRY means that he tries to TELL you something? If it was just a silly thing, he would not be so quick to tell you, it wouldn't be so important to him.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bisou View Post

 

He hasn't lied about the behavior to cover it up, in any way.  With the incident with my friend's daughter, he told me before we even left the place that it had happened and was very sorry.  Aside from the incident at school, I haven't known my son to lie.  He tends to admit what is going on with him.  The only thing he will keep from me is what OTHER people are doing to him (hurting him at school, being mean, etc), but he has always been very forthright about telling me what he has been doing, whether he's been in trouble, if he had a time out at school, etc.
 

 
post #63 of 154
Quote:
Originally Posted by zinemama View Post



Quote:
Originally Posted by MammaB21 View Post

Wow. I'm having a really hard time getting through these replies. I keep thinking how sad it makes me to know that so many parents would view sexual curiosity as abnormal/wrong/shameful. This can be extremely damaging IMO.




MammaB21, many of us are basing our reaction to this situation on what what we know of the OP's son from her other thread about his very troubled past and his current behavioral issues. In that context, this doesn't seem like the simple sexual curiosity most of us have experienced with our own kids, but part of a disturbing continuum. OP, all the best to you and your son.
 

See?  I didn't know any of that other stuff either.  Especially that he was left bruised and injured like that by a teacher!  

 

Poor guy.  Honestly, that does change my views quite a bit.  But, I'm heartbroken for him anyway.
 

post #64 of 154

Has he asked you questions about sex and gender differences, reproduction, where did I come from, and of that sort of stuff? Can he articulate his motivations for pulling his pants down and wanting little girls to do the same?

post #65 of 154
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mom2Brendan View Post

If other kids are showing him 'habbits' like that there may be some issue going with their people that are in their family like if some kid talks about mouth on penis he is getting that from somewhere or penis in butts .

This is a good general rule, but it's not always true. DS2 comes up with this stuff completely on his own. If you heard/saw him in these discussions, there would be no question. I've also heard him make suggestions to touch his butthole (and I don't think it was actually confirmed that OP's ds said that). This is because he knows that it's not okay to talk like that, and he knows it gets a reaction. He has no conception of it in the sexual sense at all. He has said similar things about kissing his penis...and it's no different than when he talks about kissing his elbow or his nose or his ear or whatever.

 

Even the generally accepted red flags about sexual abuse issues aren't always red flags. I

post #66 of 154
Quote:
Originally Posted by missnoodlesmom View Post

I think my biggest concern would be this:  you have told him that it's wrong and he shouldn't do it, and that it's really serious.  And he continues to.  Why?  Rebellion or is it obsession with sexual stuff.  Figuring out the answer to that would be more pressing to me than the actual acts themselves, because they don't seem out of the range (or aif they are, just barely) of normal to me.



This seems to be one of the key reasons some people are so concerned about this. I guess I react differently, because this is just the way things are with ds2. He does things he shouldn't, seems to understand that they're very serious (hitting his baby sister over the head with a book, for instance), and then does them again on another occasion. We just keep plugging away at it. The penis stuff has been a minor part of the picture, but it fits the pattern, yk?

 

I think I'll go back and read some of the OP's other threads, as it sounds as though her ds has some serious issues going on. But...she's not ignoring them. She's talking to/working with him and she has him in therapy. I get the feelng from some posts in this thread (not the one I quoted above) that people think she's taking this too lightly, because she's not having a major fit about it.

 

re: the girl he invited to touch him. I really don't think that puts this behaviour over the edge, unless there's reason to believe that he was really pushing the issue after she declined.

post #67 of 154

Is wanting to look at other kids really that far off from figuring out your own body?  I don't understand why child masterbation is "okay" but wondering what is going on in someone else's pants isn't.  Kids love to classify and figure things out - this seems within that realm to me.  That and a combination of getting such a big reaction from Mom when anything about his weiner comes up.  It just seems pretty ridiculous that most of you think it's such an awful thing.  

post #68 of 154

Firstly, I am so sorry about what happened to your son. I can't imagine how horrified you must have been. 

 

I am a kindergarten teacher, so here is my perspective:

 

Yes, curiosity is normal. Putting hands down pants and shirts (their own) is normal. Talking about private parts (esp. boys, ime) is normal. I even had a girl a few years back straddling a bar out at recess who yelled, "This feels good!" My aide was pretty horrified, but I didn't even blink an eye. Where I would draw the line is when others are involved. I suppose two kids could come up with something mutually, but what I've seen in my classroom that has been upsetting is when one student pressures another or does something against another's will. For instance, last year I had a lot of issues with one boy who would constantly call girls sexy, hot, baby...you get the picture. He gave a girl a hickey on the playground, talked sexually about a girls' butt when she was bent over, and even went so far as to put his finger down the back of a girl's pants to touch her butt crack, and down the front of another girl's pants to touch her underwear. This kind of thing is not appropriate at all. Apart from the last example, which was supposedly instigated by the boy but mutual (I didn't see it happen), all of the others were harassment. We had several meetings with the parents, who thought we were blowing it out of proportion, but I want to know how they would feel if they were the parents of the girls, or the girls themselves, for that matter. Those girls have a right to feel safe.

 

I know your son is not doing exactly what I described above, but the pulling a girl's pants down concerns me. For those who think it's not a problem, how would you feel if you were that girl? She should have the right, no matter her age or the age of the instigator, to feel safe and not have that happen to her. It doesn't matter what the reason was that he did it. The result is still the same. The girl could feel humiliated either way. Yes, even at 5. 

 

So that's where I stand on it. I have a boy this year who is overly infatuated with his penis, and to an extent, I think it's normal, but I do have a problem with him chasing other boys around the bathroom with his pants down (he has done this), because he is involving other boys who tell him pretty clearly not to do it. 

 

I am not about shaming sexuality at all, but I am about teaching respect for others and proper boundaries. 

post #69 of 154
Quote:
Originally Posted by missnoodlesmom View Post

 It just seems pretty ridiculous that most of you think it's such an awful thing.  


I don't think it is ridiculous that many are concerned that this behavior crosses the line of normal curiosity and is signaling pretty loud and clear that this child needs some help working through his trauma.  Nobody is saying he's an awful boy.   We're suggesting the behavior is indicative of him needing to work through a history of trauma. 

 

I'm not a prude and I don't think those who are concerned are either.  I will never shame my own son for sexual curiousity, but if I see him showing signs that something is amiss, I will get him help.   There is no down side to addressing this further in therapy, but there is a huge potential down side for brushing it off as typical curiousity.
 

post #70 of 154
Quote:
Originally Posted by anne1140 View Post

Yes, curiosity is normal. Putting hands down pants and shirts (their own) is normal. Talking about private parts (esp. boys, ime) is normal.

 

Where I would draw the line is when others are involved. I suppose two kids could come up with something mutually, but what I've seen in my classroom that has been upsetting is when one student pressures another or does something against another's will. 

 

I know your son is not doing exactly what I described above, but the pulling a girl's pants down concerns me. For those who think it's not a problem, how would you feel if you were that girl? She should have the right, no matter her age or the age of the instigator, to feel safe and not have that happen to her. It doesn't matter what the reason was that he did it. The result is still the same. The girl could feel humiliated either way. Yes, even at 5. 

 

I am not about shaming sexuality at all, but I am about teaching respect for others and proper boundaries. 

This clearly points out the differences, thank you.
 

post #71 of 154

I understand what you are saying WRT motivation but...it IS a violation of the other person's autonomy and IS very aggressive. Were it my son who had been on the receiving end, I also would be offended on his behalf. Our personal space is just that: personal and we have the right to invite someone into it or not as we choose. Additionally, Bisou is right to be extra-vigilant with respect to these incidences as her son has a history of trauma and anger. He is currently seeing a therapist for these issues and she is exploring a number of other options.

 

At the daycare my son attends, boys and girls use toilets enclosed in a stall so there is some privacy and very little chance of seeing someone's genitalia. I'm okay with that. If he wants to be naked at home, okay by me. In our society, though, there are rules and he is expected to know that we don't disrobe in public just as he knows that we don't throw things at other people. In both cases, there are instances where it would be fine (a nude beach or a baseball game, respectively) but the GENERAL rule is that we keep our clothes on in public.

 

That is adorable; "girls have pajamas." ROTFLMAO.gif
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by kcparker View Post

I went back and read some of OP's other posts, and in light of those, I can see why others are expressing concern. However, I think that even if there is heightened concern, it's so very important to tease out all these different behavioral threads and really ask what is going on. Is this run-of-the-mill curiousity about how girls and boys are different? I know that no matter what, pulling down somebody else's pants violates their autonomy and is somewhat aggressive. But it could have been done in a low-impulse, I'm curious moment; he might have been trying to be playful or thought it was funny in a slapstick way; or he might have been doing it in an aggressive way intended to intimidate or humiliate the other child. Motivation is important in this act. If it was done because he was curious or "thought it would be funny," it's a teachable moment. If he did it with the intent to be mean or because he was angry and wanted to hurt this other child, then I think it falls into the continuum of concerning behavior that OP has posted about in the past...

 

... And, at the daycare my son goes to, ALL the kids go on "Potty Posse" - boys and girls together - about once every 60-90 minutes. They have two potties and two sinks in a gang-style open area. They line up and take turns on the toilets, then stand and wash their hands while the next kids sit on the potties. They all see a heck of a lot of pants being pulled down and back up again and genital flashing, and I think it's a pretty normalizing way to deal with this issue in a preschool setting. On a lighter note, DS1 has been paying lots of attention to anatomical differences -- he told his aunt that he knows the difference between boys and girls: Boys have penises, and girls have pajamas.

post #72 of 154
Quote:
Originally Posted by missnoodlesmom View Post

Is wanting to look at other kids really that far off from figuring out your own body?  I don't understand why child masterbation is "okay" but wondering what is going on in someone else's pants isn't.  Kids love to classify and figure things out - this seems within that realm to me.  That and a combination of getting such a big reaction from Mom when anything about his weiner comes up.  It just seems pretty ridiculous that most of you think it's such an awful thing.  


Wow.  So b/c a child is curious about whats going on in someone elses pants its ok to put their hand in there?  I think a better way to address that would be some books on the human anatomy, written in an age appropriate manner.

 

For a child to touch themselves is ok b/c they will stop when it starts making them uncomfortable, and they have control over their own genitals that way.  To be ok with a child putting their hands down someone elses pants, teaches the other child that they don't have the right to bodily autonomy - which they do.  Children need to be able to have boundaries just like adults do.

post #73 of 154
Quote:
Originally Posted by Storm Bride View Post



Quote:
Originally Posted by Mom2Brendan View Post

If other kids are showing him 'habbits' like that there may be some issue going with their people that are in their family like if some kid talks about mouth on penis he is getting that from somewhere or penis in butts .

This is a good general rule, but it's not always true. DS2 comes up with this stuff completely on his own. If you heard/saw him in these discussions, there would be no question. I've also heard him make suggestions to touch his butthole (and I don't think it was actually confirmed that OP's ds said that). This is because he knows that it's not okay to talk like that, and he knows it gets a reaction. He has no conception of it in the sexual sense at all. He has said similar things about kissing his penis...and it's no different than when he talks about kissing his elbow or his nose or his ear or whatever.

 

Even the generally accepted red flags about sexual abuse issues aren't always red flags. I


My experience with DS is almost exactly like yours. I also really do not think he has been sexually abused. But he goes through phases where he is obsessed with his penis and his anus, and has talked about kissing penises. He and his brother have also gone through periods where they are interested in seeing and/or touching each others' parts. We've had lots of good touch/bad touch discussions, and nothing either of them has said has raised any flags (and they seem very open to and unembarrassed about discussing it with me, which I've always found reassuring). He has also never, to my knowledge, experimented with kids other than his brother, so I don't think he's gotten these ideas from other kids. So, my vote is on the side of normal (if not super common) behavior, but maybe something to bring up to the therapist given his history.

post #74 of 154
Quote:
Originally Posted by Super~Single~Mama View Post



Quote:
Originally Posted by missnoodlesmom View Post

Is wanting to look at other kids really that far off from figuring out your own body?  I don't understand why child masterbation is "okay" but wondering what is going on in someone else's pants isn't.  Kids love to classify and figure things out - this seems within that realm to me.  That and a combination of getting such a big reaction from Mom when anything about his weiner comes up.  It just seems pretty ridiculous that most of you think it's such an awful thing.  


Wow.  So b/c a child is curious about whats going on in someone elses pants its ok to put their hand in there?  I think a better way to address that would be some books on the human anatomy, written in an age appropriate manner.

 

For a child to touch themselves is ok b/c they will stop when it starts making them uncomfortable, and they have control over their own genitals that way.  To be ok with a child putting their hands down someone elses pants, teaches the other child that they don't have the right to bodily autonomy - which they do.  Children need to be able to have boundaries just like adults do.



 See, I didn't read her post that way at all. I think one can believe firmly that the behavior was normal and not really something to freak out about, and still think that a parent needs to step in to work on appropriate behavior and boundaries with the child.

post #75 of 154
I know several male children who are pretty obsessed with this stuff, and there was some exploration right along these lines at DD's preschool. I have seen a 6yo chase around other kids with his penis out of his pants yelling "Touch my weiner!" and I am pretty darn sure there is no abuse history there. I know a lot of boys who are really into bodily function/gross-out talk and to some kids this is an extension of that. I don't find the OP's child's behavior all that shocking or necessarily that unusual; with the history, I'd be a bit more concerned, but I also think there is a very good chance he does not remember that.

OP, you sound to me like you are doing all the right things. I also want to say that I would NOT cut off contact with you if your child had done what he did with my DD; I would just be keeping a closer eye on them and talking openly, as you have done.
post #76 of 154

It is impossible to know any child's potential history of sexual abuse, especially if they are not your own child.  I have had a unique perspective for my work of interviewing adults about their history of abuse (sexual and/or physical) and I was absolutely astonished by how many adults report having been abused as children by such a huge range of people.  My work wasn't meant to be statistical, so I cannot say exactly what percentage had been abused, but off the top of my head, I would have guessed it to be around 1/3.  The purpose of the work was not to look specifically at abuse at all...this was a fairly random sample.  It was just part of the overall study.  A kid running around doing what you're talking about would certainly concern me and if I was his mom, would definitely make me want to take a hard look at the possiblity of abuse. 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by loraxc View Post
I have seen a 6yo chase around other kids with his penis out of his pants yelling "Touch my weiner!" and I am pretty darn sure there is no abuse history there 
post #77 of 154
Quote:
Originally Posted by Super~Single~Mama View Post



Quote:
Originally Posted by missnoodlesmom View Post

Is wanting to look at other kids really that far off from figuring out your own body?  I don't understand why child masterbation is "okay" but wondering what is going on in someone else's pants isn't.  Kids love to classify and figure things out - this seems within that realm to me.  That and a combination of getting such a big reaction from Mom when anything about his weiner comes up.  It just seems pretty ridiculous that most of you think it's such an awful thing.  


Wow.  So b/c a child is curious about whats going on in someone elses pants its ok to put their hand in there?  I think a better way to address that would be some books on the human anatomy, written in an age appropriate manner.

 

For a child to touch themselves is ok b/c they will stop when it starts making them uncomfortable, and they have control over their own genitals that way.  To be ok with a child putting their hands down someone elses pants, teaches the other child that they don't have the right to bodily autonomy - which they do.  Children need to be able to have boundaries just like adults do.

 

I haven't heard anyone say it's okay for a child to put their hand down another child's pants. Where are you getting that? The point I am seeing (and the one I have already tried to make on this thread) is that feelings/thoughts/curiosities are quite different then actions. It is possible to redirect behavior and talk about/teach respect without shaming a child for the origin of the actions. I'd even go as far as to say that we should be reassuring a child with curiosity that it is perfectly normal to have those thoughts. It's no wonder our society is 'weird' (for lack of a better word) about sex.

 

I'd like to just point out as well that the assumption that any child who shows sexual or genital curiosity above and beyond what one person may consider 'normal' has been sexually molested could be taken quite offensively. I'd recommend to not throw that sort of thing around so loosely. I think it's important to be aware of the sings of sexual abuse, but blanket labeling of children none of us has ever even met in real life is getting kind of out of hand.
 

post #78 of 154

 

I haven't heard anyone say it's okay for a child to put their hand down another child's pants. Where are you getting that? The point I am seeing (and the one I have already tried to make on this thread) is that feelings/thoughts/curiosities are quite different then actions. It is possible to redirect behavior and talk about/teach respect without shaming a child for the origin of the actions. I'd even go as far as to say that we should be reassuring a child with curiosity that it is perfectly normal to have those thoughts. It's no wonder our society is 'weird' (for lack of a better word) about sex.

 

I'd like to just point out as well that the assumption that any child who shows sexual or genital curiosity above and beyond what one person may consider 'normal' has been sexually molested could be taken quite offensively. I'd recommend to not throw that sort of thing around so loosely. I think it's important to be aware of the sings of sexual abuse, but blanket labeling of children none of us has ever even met in real life is getting kind of out of hand.
 


Im with you on this one MammaB21. People/chilren express their sexual nature differently. The important thing is to establish boundaries, and teach the importance of bodily autonomy.  I still dont think there is anything abnormal in this child's behavior.

post #79 of 154

I don't think I'm a big prude and I sure do my best to encourage healthy views of sexuality in our household.  We all share one bathroom, so we all see eachother often enough around here (just as a frame of reference for you).

 

I don't know if the boy is acting out abuse or if he's just being a silly boy.  I DO know that the one boy that age whose mother knew he had done an "exploration" with a little girl at daycare was open with me about it BEFORE we had an incident and we didn't leave our kids unsupervised for quite a number of months after it happened.  Well, even now a year or two later I don't send the kids upstairs alone together because I know my daughter and the boy and for sexual and behavioral reasons it just doesn't seem wise.  I don't hold anything against the kid, we're still good friends, BUT I was INFORMED and we MONITORED.  The OP didn't do that right away.  I can see how that would be upsetting.

 

Tjej

 

post #80 of 154

I tried to edit, but if it matters the boy was younger than the OP's son (4 or 5 at the time, IIRC).

 

Tjej

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