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4 yr old touching himself very roughly - is this normal?

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
My ds (just turned 4) has been extremely curious about his body over the past year, especially wanting to touch his penis whenever he's naked. We have never tried to make it a negative thing, but have told him that touching yourself is something you do in private. We allow him to be naked quite a lot, but if he continues to touch himself in front of others, insist that he gets dressed. Up until recently, I've been okay with how it's been going, but now a couple close relatives have related that they've seen him do things such as trying to pinch his foreskin into a book or poke something into his foreskin or butt. Should I be alarmed? Is this natural exploration or is this crossing the line into something else?
post #2 of 8
Let me tell ya. my 6 year old pulls, tugs, pushes and prods in ways that seem downright torturous. He says it feels fine, so I don't worry about it. We have the "underweat rule" at our house (don't come out of your room until you have underwear on) to keep private things private, and temptation put asunder.
post #3 of 8
It is amazing what boys will do to their private playthings! Somedays, I think my son is going to pull the thing off! Recently, he was complaining that his penis hurt and I looked and it was all swollen (no ladies, I kow what an erection looks like, this was different!) Like someone had inflated the skin in back of his head (he is circ'ed becasue we are jewish) and it looked like a donut! I freaked, but the doctor said it was probably irritated from yanking on it and wet bathing suits. Does he pull on it, she asks? Well, yeah!
post #4 of 8
I got a big smile out of reading some of these posts.

My 3 year old just can't keep his hands off his! Ever since we said "bye-bye" diapers 6 weeks ago, he has been in heaven. He wears clothes when we are out but when we are home and he has gone to the toilet, he refuses to put his pants and underwear back on. He walks around holding his penis like it is a third hand!

I like that underwear rule. I am going to see if this passes and if not I will try it myself.
post #5 of 8
It is most likely normal exploration of his body, so I certainly don't want to alarm you, but the part about trying to insert things into his anus made me think that you should make sure, kwim? Does he do stuff like this every once in a while or is it a behavior he displays frequently? If it were my child I would want to rule out the possibilty that there has been any kind of inappropriate sexual contact. I'm not suggesting that he has been victimized, but any kind of "sexual" behavior that makes you say "hmmm" is worth investigating. Hope I'm not upsetting you, just wanted to put in my thoughts.
post #6 of 8
Thread Starter 
I'm only aware of him poking something 2 or 3 times. That's probably the part the worries me the most. My father was an abuser (he passed away a few weeks after ds was born) and I have tried real hard to make sure my sons aren't vulnerable -- like talking to them about appropriate touch, teaching them that it's okay to tell adults NO, and just keeping close supervision. So I don't think he's been exposed to sexual behavior. He doesn't get to watch commercial TV or movies except Blue Clues kind of things. He's walked in on dh and myself once, but we were covered from his comments, I don't think he understood what was going on.
post #7 of 8
Is he poking or itching? Could be he's just trying to itch, especially if he's potty trained and is still learning how to properly wipe. My DS is 6 yo and still has trouble getting all the way wiped, and sometimes it hurts to actually 'itch' there, and is easier to rub or kind of 'swipe'/'poke' at it. Maybe next time you see him 'poke', ask him gently if it's an itch? Or maybe just take note if he does it after a bowel movement. Hope this helps!
post #8 of 8
all three of my boys did the pull on your penis thing <rolling eyes> and we do N O T have an underwear rule, lol, theyd walk around the house pulling on their foreskin untill their penises stretched to what appeared to be torturous lengths and laugh. My now 3 1/2 does it, my ten year old does it- my 16 year old used to, probably does something a little different now tho<smile>They also do the poking the butt thing and altho it has caused me concern so much that I asked my oldest son about it quite a while back- I dont bother with it when I see the younger ones, they have actually said things like, Im going to poke your butt or something, that always causes my hair to rise and I usually will say something like, dont do that...and explain that it isnt right to touch other people there...well any poking isnt appropriate but especially not there to another person...but it doesnt seem to be abuse- at our house anyways... glad you brought it up
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