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Son had an erection, how should I respond? - Page 2

post #21 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by jdedmom View Post
Where do I step in and take away some of that innocence by explaining what is appropriate, and when, where and why.
Why do you feel arming your son with the necessary information about sex and puberty is taking away some of his innocence?
post #22 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by jdedmom View Post
I will say that my DS is probably a little more immature when it comes to sexuality. My neighbor who's son is best friend with my son could probably teach sex ed. I think they are a little to open with their son (talking about not getting girls pregnant, etc). I haven't gotten to that point with my son and as of right now he doesn't even like girls yet. I know it's coming though.
Are you saying that your neighbor - an adult - is talking to your son about sex?
post #23 of 46
I again agree with with Belgiansheep dog about social cues he should be picking up on. If he was 4 doing this I wouldn't think much but at his age there is a difference.

Also, at 11 I doubt the though of ice cream gave him an erections. At that stage of puberty an underwear rub, little breeze, relaxation, the urge to pee can cause them. They are ussually uncontrollable and embarrassing.

I also don't think you have done your child a favor by keeping him ignorant. 12 year olds get pregnant. I realize your ds can't get pregnant but he could daddy. I have worked with boy scouts. I have seen 12 year olds that look like men then others so far from it. In a blink of an eye these changes can happen. His friends are going through changes and some are thinking about sex, masterbation, and sexual pleasures. Others are not. Both are ok.
post #24 of 46
Don't boys have erections from birth on?

My only concern is that he needs to understand that pointing out his penis to people, especially while erect, might be considered sexual harrassment in some situations.
post #25 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by sparklefairy View Post
My only concern is that he needs to understand that pointing out his penis to people, especially while erect, might be considered sexual harrassment in some situations.
True. i hadn't thought of that.

As for the red flag stuff. 11 can be really young. I imagine in a family really open with bodies that this could happen and not mean anything. Peer stuff (where most socialization happens) doesn't kick in for some kids till 11 or 12 - espeically if the child has a really secure family life. I definitly think my brother could have joked about it at 8 or so in my family (my parents were super open and uncensoring about sex stuff). By 11, probably not, but he was pretty mature for his age. I know 11 year olds who are still really "young" in many ways.
post #26 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by sparklefairy View Post
Don't boys have erections from birth on?

My only concern is that he needs to understand that pointing out his penis to people, especially while erect, might be considered sexual harrassment in some situations.
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post #27 of 46
I'm gonna have to go with BSD on this one. I'm a little concerned that at 11 he doesn't understand that pointing out an erection is socially unacceptable. I think almost all kids would be embarassed. My first thought was whether or not he had Aspergers or another special need that made social cues difficult to read. But I've never had a preteen boy. So maybe he was just surprised and thought it was funny. I'd watch it pretty closely though.

I would definitely work hard on teaching appropriate social skills/ behavior. True, junior high will be a crash course in normal and teen expectations, but there are rules of social behavior that parents can teach. Not just related to one's body and sex, but just general social living. You teach your kid not to pick their nose in public, that one should say "excuse me" if you burp (although many exceptions with peers apply), close the bathroom door when there is company over, etc. I'd be more conscious than usual about doing this, and I'd watch him for red flags of difficulties socially or emotionally. If he had many, I'd probably get an evaluation. And definitely add safety in regards to sex and adults to my sex ed talks.
post #28 of 46
I'm wondering if maybe he figured that his parents would notice the erection, so he decided to address it first and make light of it. It could be that on some level he IS becoming more aware that erections are not always perceived as "socially appropriate," so he was managing it the best way he knew how.

If he's never been taught by his parents that there's anything to be ashamed or embarrassed about when it comes to things like erections, that seems like a really creative, appropriate and direct way to address the situation. It speaks volumes about how much he trusts you guys. Your DS sounds like he's doing just fine to me!
post #29 of 46
I have a friend whose sone would have done that (and there is a similar story but he was a little younger) with his mom. They are very close and I don't think inappropriately so. He is socially adept but still loves his mother to pieces. They're the kind of family (and I know many "mainstream" families that do this) where the mom & teenagers & preteens still don't worry about being naked around each other. I don't think social acceptability is at issue when you are alone with your parents. He did not do this with the school bus driver. Home and parents are supposed to be where you are safe to be goofy.
post #30 of 46
think about the reaction this boy did get from his family. Everyone had a good chuckle about the situation. Why would he feel inhibited. By 11yo, he knows how his mother will react to this kind of situation. He knows how his family veiws this information. I was more surprised at mom's reaction than the child's behavior. "Go show your father" Not sure I would have done that.... Every family has it's own set of social norms and acceptablity. There is no right or wrong. If you wanted to teach him a boundary line, that was the time to do it. Not neccesarily chuckle with him and tell him to go show his father. I'm not sure after the fact is ok. It kind of makes you look decietful. You laughed with me and made me feel ok and now you are telling me you were uncomfortable? Perhaps waiting until the next time the situation appears is more appropriate.

There is no right or wrong within a family unit. There is only the boundaries that each family has. There are some families that are adamantly opposed to co-sleeping and others that will swear by it. Neither is correct or wrong. Just do what is comfortable with you and your husband and it can remain within the confines of your own family.
post #31 of 46
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Eben'sMama View Post
I'm wondering if maybe he figured that his parents would notice the erection, so he decided to address it first and make light of it. It could be that on some level he IS becoming more aware that erections are not always perceived as "socially appropriate," so he was managing it the best way he knew how.

If he's never been taught by his parents that there's anything to be ashamed or embarrassed about when it comes to things like erections, that seems like a really creative, appropriate and direct way to address the situation. It speaks volumes about how much he trusts you guys. Your DS sounds like he's doing just fine to me!

Melissa,

I quoted your post because I believe this is where he was coming from. Thank you.

Thank you everyone for your viewpoint. I posted asking how I should repond to him. All the comments suggesting he is not "normal" is really hurting. My son is the most open, uncensored, sensative, giving child. I try to teach him what's appropriate when he needs to know. We do talk about sex. He knows what you have to do, how to do it and what happens when you do. He has learned that from me. I am not going to hand him condoms, give him instruction manuels and push him towards the nearest girl. I supervise my son. We talk about school, we talk about girls and we talk about life. I am not burying my head in the sand with regard of him growing up or what could happen at this age.

Our neighbor (female) is very vocal about her opinions and fate of our teen girl neighbors. Says she bets they are pregnant in the next year and tells her son to stay away from all girls or he'll get a girl pregnant. Her son also has unlimited access to violent video games and is unsupervised most of the time.

I have thought of the sexual harrasment issue and that is a big reason why I posted.

My history of sexual abuse has an impact on how and what I teach my sons and why. If anything I think he knows more about what to do if he is approached by anyone in a sexual or overly friendly way.

Again I apprieciate the opinions that something is "just not right" but I don't think this is the case. We will discuss it again with him and talk to his doctor but I'm not concerned that he was showing "red flags". I was hoping for some tips on what to say, how to respond without shaming him.

Thanks,
Stacy
post #32 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by mamawanabe View Post
I think instead of teaching/telling him what is socially appropriate (which is arbritary), just tell him that YOU don't want it pointed out, that it makes YOU uncomfortable. You have a right to explain to him your own boundaries, but I do think when you try to enforce these boundaries as social rules, than you may squash his nature exuberance.
I definitely think she should explain what is appropriate. An 11 year old girl should not have to see it at school because he didn't know that it isn't appropriate. It could be very traumatizing for someone, and he could get in trouble also.

To the OP- I don't think it is too open for your neighbour to teach his son about not getting girls pregnant, etc. Your son is 11, and should have a good understanding of puberty, sex, pregnancy and sti prevention, healthy body image, etc.
post #33 of 46
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by rmcarons View Post
think about the reaction this boy did get from his family. Everyone had a good chuckle about the situation. Why would he feel inhibited. By 11yo, he knows how his mother will react to this kind of situation. He knows how his family veiws this information. I was more surprised at mom's reaction than the child's behavior. "Go show your father" Not sure I would have done that.... Every family has it's own set of social norms and acceptablity. There is no right or wrong. If you wanted to teach him a boundary line, that was the time to do it. Not neccesarily chuckle with him and tell him to go show his father. I'm not sure after the fact is ok. It kind of makes you look decietful. You laughed with me and made me feel ok and now you are telling me you were uncomfortable? Perhaps waiting until the next time the situation appears is more appropriate.

There is no right or wrong within a family unit. There is only the boundaries that each family has. There are some families that are adamantly opposed to co-sleeping and others that will swear by it. Neither is correct or wrong. Just do what is comfortable with you and your husband and it can remain within the confines of your own family.
In my defense my DH does not take the initative in speaking to our son about sex. I guess in the moment I wanted DH to see first hand how he should really should be doing more. We (DH and I) talked again last night and I told him he should be discussing bodily functions with DS. After all how much could I talk to him about erections, masturbation and male hormones. :
post #34 of 46
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by the_lissa View Post
I definitely think she should explain what is appropriate. An 11 year old girl should not have to see it at school because he didn't know that it isn't appropriate. It could be very traumatizing for someone, and he could get in trouble also.

To the OP- I don't think it is too open for your neighbour to teach his son about not getting girls pregnant, etc. Your son is 11, and should have a good understanding of puberty, sex, pregnancy and sti prevention, healthy body image, etc.
Lisa,

I totally agree that 11 year old boys should know about all the above. My neighbor is not open about those topics. She is very close-minded, judgemental and opinionated. She does not want her son to be anywhere near the girls because she doesn't trust them not to trap her son.:

I want my son to respect girls and want him to have HEALTHY relationships with both sexes.
post #35 of 46
When we say somethings not right we are not trying to hurt your feelings. We are being truthful and that at times can hurt. I brought up my cousin situation because there were so many warning signs of something being wrong (for him parenting played a large part).

When he was five he made a developmentally appropriate mistake on understanding sexuality. I had a girl friend over that my brother liked. She was going to stay the night. He asked if she was going to sleep with my brother. Honestly I think he was thinking more literal. But instead of sitting him down and giving him more knowledge they denied he ever said it. Told my friend she must have misheard him (in other words she was lying). That was the first of several behaviors that put up my alarms and later my moms. There were a series of that's not quite right behaviors. Many were "innocent" mistakes. Others were IMO red flags, especially now that I have a 12 year old boy myself. My aunt and uncle were sexually open but not in a positive way. They didn't want to acknowledge something wasn't right. All these little things early on that should have lead him to getting help.

Your child might be perfectly fine but at the same time he might not. Keep that in the back of your head. One incident doesn't make something wrong with him but at the same time it is something you want to take in consideration when you look at the big picture.

Also, I think you shouldn't rely on your husband to talk about sex/sexuality with your son. Your husband is not comfortable with it and that is going to lead to ignorance and your son feeling uncomfortable about it. If you want your son to be comfortable with you about his sexuality you need to do the talking also, not assume your husband should,would, or did.
post #36 of 46
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marsupialmom View Post
When we say somethings not right we are not trying to hurt your feelings. We are being truthful and that at times can hurt. I brought up my cousin situation because there were so many warning signs of something being wrong (for him parenting played a large part).

When he was five he made a developmentally appropriate mistake on understanding sexuality. I had a girl friend over that my brother liked. She was going to stay the night. He asked if she was going to sleep with my brother. Honestly I think he was thinking more literal. But instead of sitting him down and giving him more knowledge they denied he ever said it. Told my friend she must have misheard him (in other words she was lying). That was the first of several behaviors that put up my alarms and later my moms. There were a series of that's not quite right behaviors. Many were "innocent" mistakes. Others were IMO red flags, especially now that I have a 12 year old boy myself. My aunt and uncle were sexually open but not in a positive way. They didn't want to acknowledge something wasn't right. All these little things early on that should have lead him to getting help.

Your child might be perfectly fine but at the same time he might not. Keep that in the back of your head. One incident doesn't make something wrong with him but at the same time it is something you want to take in consideration when you look at the big picture.

Also, I think you shouldn't rely on your husband to talk about sex/sexuality with your son. Your husband is not comfortable with it and that is going to lead to ignorance and your son feeling uncomfortable about it. If you want your son to be comfortable with you about his sexuality you need to do the talking also, not assume your husband should,would, or did.
I absolutely agree with you. I may have been more concerned if there are other indicators or signs but there have been none. I really just wanted to make sure I address this with him. Thank you for sharing your experience.

Stacy
post #37 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marsupialmom View Post
Also, I think you shouldn't rely on your husband to talk about sex/sexuality with your son. Your husband is not comfortable with it and that is going to lead to ignorance and your son feeling uncomfortable about it. If you want your son to be comfortable with you about his sexuality you need to do the talking also, not assume your husband should,would, or did.
I completely agree with this. My husband isn't as open with our kids about sex/sexuality as I am, so I make sure that I bring up topics as well.
post #38 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by jdedmom View Post
He is a boy that still is very innocent, secure, trusting and very, very loving. That is really the issue. Where do I step in and take away some of that innocence by explaining what is appropriate, and when, where and why.
I have girls so the issues are different, but what about focusing on what is private in our culture?

I think that part of the problem with not stepping in and "taking away some of that innocence" if that if we aren't open and honest with our children, then they will get the same information from another source in a less kind way. In this case, that information that erections are private and not to be pointed out.
post #39 of 46
When I read this post I was imaging my 11 year old cousin and his mom in this situation. He is the type of kid to fart on her to shock her and make her laugh.

Maybe the boy was just pointing out his erection because he thought it was funny and he knew it would shock mom. Especially if he is an immature 11.

IMO the days of this kind of thing being funny are limited. Especially if mom lets him know it's a little to sexual/inappropriate for her comfort.
post #40 of 46
I am not sure that I would jump to conclusions about this being abnormal behaviour. Children who have strong, open relationships with their parents are likely to inofrm them of changes in their bodies - dad I think I am ready for deoderant; mom, I think I need a bra; I found a hair growing - I am really growing up! - stuff like that. A one-time event with a helpful response doesn't concern me.

This boy showed his mother what was happening to him at home - not in the store, not with other people around, he didn't pull down his pants to show her everything. He was probably surprised too. I think it is a perfect opportunity to gently give him the information he needs to have about why erections happen and how to handle himself - including keeping it private and some tips on how to cope when it happens at socially uncomfortable times. If he continually wants to share these moments with others, that is cause for concern, but one time, not so much in my opinion if there are no other problems.

My ds is almost 11 and is fascinated by the changes he knows his body will be going through over the next few years. dh and I talk to him when he wants to - what will happen, how to cope, how much we love him, reinforcing our respect for his privacy and our desire that he will be respectful of others too.

I thik it can be a great opportunity to talk about puberty for boys and girls. When we talked about erections and what to do when they happen, we also talked about what happens to girls and how they feel about it. So my kids (boys and girls) "get it" why the older boys in their school always wear baggy untucked shirts and my ds also had a little sensitivity training on how self-conscious some girls can feel when their breasts start to develop or worrying about their period starting and staining their clothes while they are at school.

I have always been very open and honest wth my chidlren and it hasn't removed any of their innocence. I some ways I think it has protected it becasue they feel safe and unashamed and unafraid to talk about sexuality at home. The conversations always happen in a private space. They know their own goodness and that the changes they go through are not shameful, but very private and important in their lives.
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