My partner and I have always been happy with our decision to keep our son intact. There was really never any question that we wouldnt circumcise. However, yesterday I spent a great deal of the afternoon trying to explain why his penis looked differently than his best friends. We are very close with a family who decided to circumcise their sons. I dont agree with their choice, but it wasnt mine to make and I dont want to pass on any judgement. That being said, all my son wanted was to have a penis that looked like and could do the things his friends did. I am trying to stay calm and continue to talk about how he was born is perfect and he can do all the things he wants....but he's 6, so looking the same/being the same seems really important to him. Any suggestions or advise or stories or things that might help me to explain this to my baby?
what things can the circumcised penis do, that the intact penis cannot?
you don't have to pass on any "judgments," but on the other hand, you can certainly explain what part of the friend's penis was cut off with a knife and removed. and how your son still has that part on his penis, and what functions he therefore has, that the friend does not, and thus, how, having a foreskin is an advantage... and of course remind him that his friend doesn't need to feel bad about what he doesn't have. so your son should not point out to him how his is better.
As soon as your son can retract his foreskin, he can pull it back to expose the glans - just like his circumcised friend. But the friend will not be able to keep his covered. Your son wins!
Our twin boys didn't learn about circumcision until they were 8, and were horrified when we explained it to them (as neutrally as we could). They were immediately grateful that it wasn't done to them.
If the chips are down, the buffalo is empty.
Yeah, I was wondering this too. (Did he put it like that? If so I would be trying to find out what the heck they are doing with their penises!)
I am wondering if your fear of sounding judgemental/ own strong feelings about this issue might be making it hard to remember that their circumcision status -- and his-- is a NON-Issue.
It is my experience that children don't usually want or need all the details we can give on a topic like this.
"Penises come in all shapes and sizes. Your has more skin than theirs." Simple, nonemotional.
Then, IF he pressed with more questions, go from there. Next level of detail, but just one more each time he asks, until he is satisfied and stops asking.
There is a story here which may be of interest
Mind you, its circumcising parents who really have some explaining to do.
I had not seen that... I like it.
Everyone has a different circumstance in life. My sons are not circ'd and I just tell them that we didn't cut their foreskin off.
That being said DH is circ'd and his brother is not. They never judged one another or cared. MIL explained to them that after watching DH get his surgery that she couldn't bear it again and that she wished she had never done it to him. I don't know if that helped them???
Frankly I have done a lot of daycare and the boys who are circ'd are sometimes cut a bit small! One looked like he had a button and peed as such! Straight out! Just saying!
I think hlg2012 has the right idea. It is very important that boys know the difference, 2.5 to 3 is not too early to tell an intact boy the difference. He should be given permission to tell other boys, "That's my foreskin. You had one too, but it was cut off. Ask your mom." This may seem harsh, but it is only fair that he be able to tell the truth. No boy should have to stand by and be made fun of because he is normal. Indeed, no boy should be made fun of at all, but we know it happens. My boys (now 29 & 27) each had to say this once to a friend. This generally ends the matter and life goes on.
When I was researching this topic, I read that it circing kills about 30% of the nerve endings in that area and that was enough for me to say no to it. Plus, I had a friend who decided to get it done voluntaily because he was getting married and didn't want his wife to see it being different. He basically regretted it a lot because it just wasn't the functioning the same down there. Two of our doctors bascially told us it's for aeshtetic reasons only. Personally, I don't know of guys admiring that area too much. I would think having it work right would matter the most.
Another friend of mine had to get an operation as a teen because the foreskin wouldn't retract or something (extremely rare) and so he is totally for being circed.