I'm having trouble teaching my son about retraction - Mothering Forums

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Old 09-22-2011, 02:19 PM - Thread Starter
 
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He's 4 and I wanted to teach him how to retract his foreskin to wash it while taking a bath.  The problem is, I can't figure out how to explain it to him.  And since I'm not supposed to retract it for him then I have no way to demonstrate it.  My husband is circed so it's not like he can show him how.  I'm so frustrated!  At this point I'm not even sure if he's ready to retract it but I didn't want him to not be washing it if he was ready for that.  How did you all teach your sons how to retract?


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Old 09-22-2011, 02:30 PM
 
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I have always been told that they will learn to do it when they need to shrug.gif

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Old 09-22-2011, 02:42 PM
 
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He doesn't need to retract it in the bath. I would recommend leaving it alone.


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Old 09-22-2011, 02:57 PM
 
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At 4 I also tried to tell ds about pulling back but he just couldnt understand. So I let it go and havnt brought it up again he is almost 7 now and when he gets in the bath he starts messing with it any way so I havnt felt the need to talk to him about it again.

I figure by the time he is a teen and washing is actually needed he will figure it out on his own. Though I may bring it up again before then just to tell him not to use soap on there since it can cause irritation.

 
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Old 09-22-2011, 02:58 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Okay then, I'll try not to worry about it.  So you think they just figure it out while peeing and touching it?  He just recently started using the potty and he's only just discovered his penis.  Before using the potty he never cared about it. 


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Old 09-22-2011, 08:25 PM
 
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I think they figure it out when it starts doing more interesting things :rofl So probably a wide age range there.

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Old 09-23-2011, 02:31 PM
 
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I wouldn't worry about it.  My oldest is almost 9 years old, and we had a conversation with him maybe about 6 months ago about retracting and rinsing in the shower.  Well, it still did not retract fully, which we did not know, and he ended up hurting himself a little bit trying to do it.  We just told him to leave it alone until it would retract all the way.  I think that they know what to do with it without much guidance from us.

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Old 09-27-2011, 08:46 AM
 
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Retracting and rinsing is really not necessary at this point (or really ever).  I would let the issue drop and trust him to figure out how to clean himself when the time comes.  I have absolutely no intention of ever discussing genital cleaning with my son, beyond telling him he oughtn't use soap (which is all I told my daughter, as well).  Did your mum or dad teach you to clean your parts?  I certainly was never told, and neither was any girl I know IRL, and yet somehow, we all figured it out.  Boys will, too.


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Old 09-27-2011, 09:02 AM
 
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I thought the advice about not retracting it yourself was for times when it did not retract on your own. If he's easily retractable I don't see why it would matter if you did it to show him how, and if he's not easily retractable then he can just be left alone until he's older. I'm not sure I agree with the "people learn how to clean it" logic, though. I think it's better to tell them. If you describe it to him now in words, and do so repeatedly, then some day when it does start retracting more he will remember. (Well, that's my theory anyway. My mother told me to always wipe front to back, to the point where it was ingrained and I could never do differently now.)

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Old 09-27-2011, 09:08 AM
 
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The difference is, though, that there is no real reason a boy/man needs to retract to clean, unlike wiping front to back.  Some men are never retractable and they suffer no ill effects from not pulling back and washing the glans daily.


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Old 09-27-2011, 09:25 AM
 
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So what's the deal with smegma then? I thought guys were supposed to clean themselves periodically to avoid smegma buildup.

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Old 09-27-2011, 09:37 AM
 
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Smegma's not harmful; it's mostly dead skin cells  And girls/women have it, too.  The genitals can get a bit funky smelling (male or female, circumcised or intact), especially post-puberty, when they are being used for things other than just peeing, but funky smell is not a medically necessary reason for retracting/cleaning inside.

 

I wasn't being snotty when I asked if anyone taught you (general) how to clean your female parts.  I've honestly never heard of any woman who has been given special instruction (beyond the 'no soap' thing) on cleaning herself, yet we all figured it out.  Likewise, I don't know anyone - male or female - who was given specific directions on how to clean his/her feet, or arms, or legs, etc, either.


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Old 09-27-2011, 12:15 PM
 
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The only direction I got on washing was "wash everything including your butt" other than that mom never said anything else.

 
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Old 09-27-2011, 07:53 PM
 
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The only problem with smegma is that no one wants it in their mouth, so you should wash it off before expecting anyone to give you oral sex. But the OP's son is only four years old!

 

The fact that smegma can be washed of intact penises just comes up in discussion so much because there are people who circ because they think smegma is soooo gosh-darned difficult to wash off an intact penis and they think leaving their son intact means dooming him to a life without blow jobs.

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Old 09-28-2011, 01:06 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cyllya View Post

The only problem with smegma is that no one wants it in their mouth, so you should wash it off before expecting anyone to give you oral sex. But the OP's son is only four years old!

 

The fact that smegma can be washed of intact penises just comes up in discussion so much because there are people who circ because they think smegma is soooo gosh-darned difficult to wash off an intact penis and they think leaving their son intact means dooming him to a life without blow jobs.

 

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Old 10-09-2011, 10:25 AM
 
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Well I think it would be helpful for both boys and girls to be given a bit of sensible hygiene advice early on.  Like "wash here with water only regularly" and for girls "wipe from front to back", and an age appropriate explanation as to why it is healthy to do so.  If treated matter of factly early enough, it is no more strange to them that being taught how to wash hair without getting soap in eyes, or how to brush teeth, or anything else mom is teaching.

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Old 10-10-2011, 07:05 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JenRave View Post

Well I think it would be helpful for both boys and girls to be given a bit of sensible hygiene advice early on. 


I know, right? I mean, just because "we figured it out" without being told, doesn't mean that there's something wrong with giving basic advice about it. We were presumably also taught how to use soap and a washcloth/loofah/whatever, how to brush our teeth, and stuff like that too.

 

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Old 10-10-2011, 05:29 PM
 
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I don't think there is anything wrong with giving hygiene advice.  I just also don't think it's something to freak too much about if one is having difficulty explaining to a young child about retraction (which is not necessary).


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