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6yo has a "playing with himself" habit

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 

I've searched old posts and haven't found anything that quite describes my 6yo's behavior.  Ever since he was 3yo he has been aware of his penis and it was no secret that he liked to touch it!  But it was usually only when he was naked, which wasn't too often, so no big deal.  Now he is almost 7 and in the past 6 months, I have been noticing an increase in him just touching himself or holding onto his penis while fully clothed.  Constantly!   It's not adjusting, it's just a handle.  I didn't really care until we started soccer and I noticed that he's out on the field hanging on to himself during the time on the field when they're not playing. 


I had his dad have a little talk with him about it, which he was fine with, but it didn't help the behavior.  I asked him specifically if it's itchy or if it just feels good or if it's just something to do.  He said it's just something to do.  It's like when a guy would normally put his hands in his pockets... my ds hold on to his "handle!"  


This seems to be more of a habit than anything else.  My gentle reminders are not helping.  Any advice on other things he could do with his hands or how to break this little habit?

post #2 of 9
Just browsing in this forum and saw that this didn't get any responses. I have a girl, so I'm not full of ideas in this department. One idea that did pop into my head was to maybe buy him shorts fitted with an athletic cup (you know, the hard plastic kind) that he could wear during soccer. If the behavior only bothers you then (maybe your concerned about teasing?) that might take care of it. Of course, it doesn't solve the problem for other times.

Perhaps this bump will stimulate some more responses.
Good luck!
post #3 of 9

My DS will often hold his penis when clothed. I have read that sometimes it helps them to concentrate by holding their genitals. I am hoping DS grows out of this habit. I just gently remind him when I see him doing this or ask him if he needs to pee. I have also told him that it is not polite to hols onto ones genitals is public and if he needs to itch/adjust/ touch his genitals then he should find a private place like the bathroom or his room.  Sorry I don't have any advice except I do feel it is normal.

post #4 of 9

Boys!  I just remind my DS to find someplace private, that he can do all he wants in his room alone but touching "your bits" is not appropriate around other people.  I figured if I made it taboo then it'd get worse, usually if I don't make a big deal out of stuff it diffuses it.


My DS isn't as 'active' as yours, but maybe this helps?  Wish I knew what else to say.

post #5 of 9

Couldn't read and run!


My brother did this CONSTANTLY as a kid. He always and forEVER had his hand on his penis (over his clothes) just holding it...almost like a security blanket.

This drove my mother up a wall and she didn't understand it at all because he was the only boy, the other three of us are girls and we didn't have a penis to hold so we didn't. She figured it was normal, other people told her it was...so she encouraged him not to (in the same way you would encourage a child not to pick his nose while standing in front of people) and tried to mostly ignore it.

He grew out of it eventually...I want to say he was 8 or so when he really for good stopped doing it all the time. At that point it was just when he forgot himself and did it out of habit. He has grown into a fine man with impeccable manners and social grace! You would never guess that at one point in time he walked around clutching his penis!

Seriously though, since then I have heard of this time and time again...some boys just seem to find comfort in their penis, the way other children grow fond of a blanky or a pacifier! Be gentle and remind him (because he will forget, it is habit!) to try not to hold himself while out and about...but really, I think ignoring it as best you can when not in public and making as little a deal out of it as possible when you are in public is the best way.

My brother was the same way from the beginning...found his penis and seemed to enjoy it very much from about the age of 2.5 on.

post #6 of 9

Don't have any boys of my own, but we've had that issue come up a few times at work (kindergarten).

In those cases it's not so bad, as we can simply tell everyone "hands on the table", and problem solved... how to do so while they're running around outside holding onto themselves, I have no idea, sorry. :(

post #7 of 9

LOL... Holding on to it in the middle of the soccer field would mortify me.  But, it's so common most parents just laugh.  Unfortunately it always ends up on youtube anymore.


One day, I was sitting at soccer watching my daughter when my friend's son Chris was doing this imaginary hoola hoop thing in the middle of the field.  His mom yelled "Chris!  What. Are. you. DOING?"  (meaning pay attention to the game)  He lifted his soccer shorts to reveal he hadn't worn underwear.  He yelled back "I'm Just A Hangin and a Swangin".  I DIED!!!!!  I have it all on video too.  I break it out every now and then.   He's 19 years old and he's more discreet now, so they do outgrow it.

post #8 of 9

My ds is 6 and has this same habit.  I haven't noticed it as much lately so I think he's finally growing out of it.  We did what most of the other posters did, remind him that it's not appropriate to hold ourselves in public but tried not to make a huge deal out of it.  I was a little mortified though when last year at his dance recital he spent the entire dance holding himself on stage.  I'm sure all the other parents just laughed it off as typical 5 year old boy behaviour but I wanted to sink into my seat. LOL

post #9 of 9
Thread Starter 

Thanks all, so much!  I figured it was normal, but it is so annoying to me!  I also have another boy who is a year and half behind ds1, and he hasn't had any interest in his pp whatsoever.  lately, though, he's been starting to hold himself too!  monkey see--monkey do!

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