Isn't this a little young? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 19 Old 08-12-2010, 09:54 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Obviously I am not a boy so I have no experience in this department.

My son is 8 1/2 years old. I have caught him playing with himself on several occasions. He will shut himself up in his room and crawl under his covers. I can usually tell something is going on if he gets very angry when someone opens his door or if his sisters come in his room. I have gone in there to tell him it's time for dinner or he needs to join the rest of the family and he seems very embarrassed. Since he's under the covers it's not like I outright walked in and saw him. I pulled the covers back once and he had his shorts down so I know what he was doing.

This part is extremely humiliating for me to admit but I need advice so here goes........ I have a bullet (the small sex toy) and although I never use it when the children are awake and they've never witnessed me using it, I have forgotten to stuff it back in a drawer before. The kids have gotten curious about it and tried playing with it. I noticed one day that it was missing. I went into my son's room and heard it going. Once again, he was under his covers. I'm pretty sure he was using it on his penis. I think the vibration felt good for him. I took it away from him and told him he was never to touch it again. He cried and was so embarrassed but I don't think he has any idea what it really is. If he did he would probably be grossed out by it.

So, I know it's just normal experimentation and that most, if not all boys go through it. He has not hit puberty yet. How old were your boys when they started doing these things (if you even were aware)? My fiance says it's nothing to worry about and my son's dad has even said he sees nothing wrong with it (although I didn't tell him the bullet story). Just wondering if he's a little young for this?

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#2 of 19 Old 08-12-2010, 10:10 PM
 
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My oldest DS is only 7 (though I have a 9 yo DD), but I don't think he's too young - I mean, I don't think most people wait until puberty to self-pleasure.

Can you get him a lock for his door? That way he's not mad or embarrased when someone tries to come in.

No advice on the bullet thing - except obviously to keep it out of reach. I know your reaction was the way it was b/c you were caught off guard - and yeah, that would be uncomfy since you use it - but he had no way of knowing, yk?

And OMGosh, I have 3 boys... Ahhh

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#3 of 19 Old 08-12-2010, 10:15 PM
 
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No, it doesn't seem too young. Its great that he is doing this in private and yes, it is completely normal. Trying to stop it is hopeless. I would suggest that a good family rule is "knock and wait for "OK" before entering". And "do not take other people's stuff without permission". Those rules would, of course, apply to everyone and should be respected by everyone. You need your privacy and he needs his. Then if he again takes the bullet, you can treat it as a "taking without permission" issue rather than a "sex toy issue" and maybe it will be more comfortable for everyone.
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#4 of 19 Old 08-12-2010, 10:50 PM
 
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Many children discover how to pleasure themselves to some degree as toddlers and is noticed by parents because they don't understand it is private. Obviously your son is older and has grasped that it is a private activity. As long as he hasn't gotten into adult magazines, and doesn't make lewd comments about females, I wouldn't view it as any less innocent or inappropriate than a toddler touching himself. I remember doing things as a child around that age that would give that kind of pleasure... I had no idea what I was feeling except that it was nice. I was pretty embarrassed at myself when I figured what I had been doing. If you are concerned about premature sexual activity aside from masturbation... well I got my first kiss at 17 (by my now husband).

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#5 of 19 Old 08-12-2010, 10:57 PM
 
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No, I do not think that is too young. I DO however think that there needs to be a family rule about knocking on doors before entering. I ALSO think it is crossing a line to have pulled down the sheets on him to find out what he was doing under there.

I can definitely understand his anger and embarrassment. He is just figuring his body out but it is hard for him to find any privacy to do it with people walking in on him and even looking to find out what it is. It is a tough age he is entering into. His body is becoming more adult but in many ways he is still very much a child and seen as one.

Definitely keep better track of your bullet and should it disappear again, just stay calm and remind him of the rules of not taking things that aren't his. No need to make him feel bad and possibly create bad feelings about his body and sexuality. All that matters is that he keeps it private and respects other people.
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#6 of 19 Old 08-12-2010, 11:24 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you so much for your advice!!!

I agree that there needs to be "knock and wait" rules in the house. I have been a lot more sensitive to this since the initial awkwardness. His sisters know that they are not to enter his room without being asked to first from now on.

I agree that I shouldn't have pulled the blanket down. At the time I really wasn't aware what he was doing and was shocked to see his shorts down. I guess I was still in that "he's my baby boy" phase and it hadn't even entered my mind that he could be experimenting with himself.

My bullet is officially put up high and out of reach of the kids. They haven't touched it since. If it happens again the situation would definitely be handled from a "you are not to take mom's things without permission" stand point.

I guess another thing I am wondering about is when a birds and bees discussion would be appropriate. I still think he's too young for that but like I said, I've never dealt with this before. My fiance and I talked about him having a talk with him and letting him know that what he is doing is not wrong or something to be ashamed of. We decided that it would be best to just let it go for now. I don't want to humiliate him anymore.

Thanks again for your feedback! I am open to any and all suggestions!

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David Joseph- ^8^- August 19, 2005 (19w3d) Natalie Elaine- May 21, 2006
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#7 of 19 Old 08-12-2010, 11:59 PM
 
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I guess another thing I am wondering about is when a birds and bees discussion would be appropriate. I still think he's too young for that but like I said, I've never dealt with this before. My fiance and I talked about him having a talk with him and letting him know that what he is doing is not wrong or something to be ashamed of. We decided that it would be best to just let it go for now. I don't want to humiliate him anymore.
Sooner rather than later, to be honest. Ideally, it's a(n) (age-appropriate) conversation that's had from the time they're quite young. However, at 8, it is certainly not too early. Perhaps a good jumping-off point would be for you to get him a book (there are lots out there!) about the changes his body is going through. I seem to recall that my son found What's Going on Down There?: Answers to Questions Boys Find Hard to Ask helpful.

And while I think it would be good for your fiance to have a chat with him, you should also do so. I think it's important for Moms to be able to talk to their sons (and vice-versa) about sex w/o embarrassment. (As well as for Dads/daughters!) In my family, my kids' Dad wasn't having the conversations, my Dad and brother weren't comfortable with it, so it was just me. As a result, he's very open with me - and its good to know that he feels comfortable enough to talk to me about these issues.

Don't let embarrassment - on either of your parts - stop you from talking to him. I very accidentally walking in on my son jacking off (and he was quite a bit older than 8). There was a momentary "oh crap!" look from each of us, I did a u-turn while mumbling "sorry". Heck yeah, I was embarrassed! I apologized to him later, as it was completely my fault (I didn't give enough time to actually listen to his response when I knocked), and told him I would be more careful in the future. It hasn't affected our being able to talk about stuff.
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#8 of 19 Old 08-13-2010, 01:29 AM
 
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Take it from someone who was once a boy. I very much doubt that this just started. Chances are you just started to notice something that has been going on for years. Boys play with themselves. I mean it hangs right out there, though hang might not always be the right word. It feels good. Why not do it?

I wouldn't worry about him. I would set down a few simple rules for yourself though. Knock first and wait until he says "come in" or opens the door. Really, if he is in there with the door closed than he's saying that he sometimes needs his space and the best thing you can do is respect that it is his space. Avoid phrases like "don't touch that again" even in reference to a sex toy. You are the one with the info so you need to be the one who lets him know that 1) it's perfectly normal to play with yourself and 2) you shouldn't take things that don't belong to you.

This is a good starting point to talk about other things too. Take it from me, it's hard to talk to an opposite sex child about these things, for one you never really know what is normal. Research is going to be your friend, even if your fiancee takes a main role in these discussions you will still need to know your stuff just in case.

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#9 of 19 Old 08-13-2010, 01:56 AM
 
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Uhm... I was doing some pretty hard core masturbating by 8 so I wouldn't be shocked in the slightest if one of my kids (of either gender) was doing this.

I really like the book: Everything You Never Wanted Your Kids to Know About Sex (But Were Afraid They'd Ask): The Secrets to Surviving Your Child's Sexual Development from Birth to the Teens

My advice may not be appropriate for you. That's ok. You are just fine how you are and I am the right kind of me.

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#10 of 19 Old 08-13-2010, 02:06 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks again everyone!!!

I think I'm going to have a talk with DS' dad and see how he wants to handle things. I definitely want to be involved in the whole sex talk and I think he would probably like to also. My fiance and I and ex-DH and his DW have a pretty civil relationship and tend to handle parenting situations however the situation deems fit (maybe just ex-DH and I, all 4 of us, just DF and I or ex-DH and his DW). It's something I want to approach with care.

Rightkindofme, thanks for the book link, I am definitely going to check it out!!

Diana & Mitch Hunter Scott- March 17, 2002 Tabitha Suzanne- July 1, 2004
David Joseph- ^8^- August 19, 2005 (19w3d) Natalie Elaine- May 21, 2006
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#11 of 19 Old 08-13-2010, 06:43 PM
 
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My DD started self pleasuring before she was a year old and at 8 she has never stopped. It's not just boys. It's completely normal.

I have a whole collection of "toys" that I was worried would be found so I just bought a make-up bag and a small luggage lock to lock the zippers together. It works perfectly!

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#12 of 19 Old 08-15-2010, 04:55 AM
 
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I have gone in there to tell him it's time for dinner or he needs to join the rest of the family and he seems very embarrassed. Since he's under the covers it's not like I outright walked in and saw him. I pulled the covers back once and he had his shorts down so I know what he was doing.
you SERIOUSLY did that. i picture you marching into his room and yanking back the sheet to see what he was doing. i hope that's not it. oMG how mortifying for him. what an invasion of his privacy.

my ex husband told me he was attracted to girls at 9. so its not young at all.

however even if he did that at 7 and was definitely doing it for self pleasure i would never stop him.

yeah many kids are notorious from 2 or 3 onwards to self pleasure esp during nap time.

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#13 of 19 Old 08-15-2010, 05:22 AM
 
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My son has been doing this for 'years', we have privacy and a 'knock and wait' policy. And yes you need that birds and bees talk asap.

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#14 of 19 Old 08-15-2010, 01:57 PM
 
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My son has been doing this since he was 3! He used to drag himself like a snake on the floor to feel the pressure down there! It's normal! Using your bullet, not so much (lol!), but otherwise, it's normal!

sidenote: I was experimenting with neighbor boys at 8yo, so, again, normal! But do give him the knowledge and convey your moral standings on sex!

Consciously mothering 3 girls and 2 boys
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#15 of 19 Old 08-15-2010, 11:19 PM - Thread Starter
 
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you SERIOUSLY did that. i picture you marching into his room and yanking back the sheet to see what he was doing. i hope that's not it. oMG how mortifying for him. what an invasion of his privacy.
Yes and no. I did pull the covers back but it wasn't to be nosy and see what he was doing. It was because I went in to tell him dinner was ready and he was laying in bed. He had the tv on and was acting like he was watching it so I pulled the blanket back as a way of saying "get out of bed and come eat dinner". Never will I do that again, believe me!!!

Diana & Mitch Hunter Scott- March 17, 2002 Tabitha Suzanne- July 1, 2004
David Joseph- ^8^- August 19, 2005 (19w3d) Natalie Elaine- May 21, 2006
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#16 of 19 Old 10-14-2010, 12:03 PM
 
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I have walked in on my son before, how embarrassing for both of us he was around 8 and I know he still does it, but it is natural part of life, I just dont want to ever walk in on it again. I didnt know what to do i turned around shut the door and told my husband to talk to him, he basically told him it is a natural part of life, but that he sould be more careful to not let his mom walk in on it...haha. Probably not the thing i would have said to him, but then again, I dont know what I would have said so I guess it was better he got the talk from Daddy!
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#17 of 19 Old 10-14-2010, 12:30 PM
 
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Lord im really NOT looking forward to thig.
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#18 of 19 Old 10-15-2010, 08:54 AM
 
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It really should be no big deal. If you have a good relationship with your child, you move on. On the scale of 1-10? No worse than perusing the condom aisle before he went to college to make sure I sent him off protected.
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#19 of 19 Old 01-20-2011, 10:20 AM
 
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I had "the talk" with my twin sons when DH was out of town - they were spouting some misinformation that I felt needed to be addressed immediately. I don't remember how old they were (they're 16 now), but I doubt it was much older than 8.

 

I remember diapering my boys, and having to pull their hands off their penises to put on diapers. Sometimes it was just simpler to leave the hand in there!

 

When the boys were 4, one of them had a habit of sticking his hand in his pants all the time. We were on vacation, and taking a lot of photos, so we made sure to do a "hand check" with J before we snapped a photo. Unfortunately we weren't paying attention to his brother, and came home with a few photos of him with his hand in his pants.

 

I think we have always had a "knock first" rule in our house, but the boys didn't start closing their bedroom or bathroom door until they were about 6 or 7.


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