My son and my breasts...a tad long. - Mothering Forums

 
Thread Tools
#1 of 16 Old 04-05-2010, 11:15 AM - Thread Starter
 
HappilyEvrAfter's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 997
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I think I'm confused and that I've confused my son.

Ok, so, he's 5.5 and I understand that he's begining his sexual awareness stuff. Overall, I've tried to present an open atmosphere and I want him to be able to feel like he can ask questions/talk about experiences without feeling like it's "wrong" and such.

We've already had a couple of talks because of things that went on at school (mentioning of his penis and him tyring to moon another kid, etc.)

But, he's started a fixation with my breasts that I'm sort of having an issue with.
To me it started around the time I asked him not grind his head into my breasts at bedtime. We co-sleep and he's generally been falling asleep in the crook of my arm. Sometimes he rubs his head back and forth which, obviously, hurt my breast....especially during my moon time.

Up until that point I hadn't been fully covering myself while getting dressed, but then he started the whole "Ooooh! Booooobies!! Groooooos!!" That lead to the whole breasts are functional, yadda, yadda.

That lead to a strange (to me) "accidental" touching of my breasts while I was clothed. Now, I think this is where I started feeling uncomfortable because it would come over the way a strange man would try to cop a feel. YKWIM? Does that make sense?
So, that's when I began the "My breasts belong to me. Please don't touch them."

That all led to the whole "all your privates are yours. you wash them, you wipe them", etc. That's when I started introducing more modesty: door closed while showering, toileting, dressing, etc.
But that only led to a peeking game. And so I thought I was taking a wrong turn with trying to "hide" myself so I laxed up a bit.

Well, the whole breast thing continues. And now when I try to gently re-enforce the boundries or remind him that his penis is private and not for anyone's eyes or that we don't discuss penis' in public my son shuts down on me.

I don't know what I did wrong, if it's his age, if it's just his personality, or if he feels admonished. I even let him know that nothing he did or is feeling is wrong...let him know that it's ok to talk about these things at home with me.

What do I do now? Let it go? I don't want him to feel lost on this issue in particular.

Just in case this might factor: I'm a single mom with very little male presence in the house. He sees his daddy very little and his daddy has a GF...I'm not sure what he sees over there (he doesn't talk about it much)...I'm not thinking there's any abuse
over there at all....his daddy is a pretty good dad.

Any advice, thoughts or book recommendations would be nice!
Please feel free to tell me I'm overthinking this and need to just calm down!! Lol.

Center
HappilyEvrAfter is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
#2 of 16 Old 04-05-2010, 01:03 PM
 
4evermom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: PA
Posts: 8,753
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 5 Post(s)
Overthinking.

My ds was actually still nursing at 5 1/2... He does silly stuff (like mooning). I just tell him he's being rude if he starts touching or commenting on my breasts (though I phrase it something more like "it's not polite to comment or touch" rather than saying "you are being rude"). I don't insist on privacy (but I do tend to cover up to keep my breasts off his radar. Started that when he was still nursing since the sight would make him ask to nurse). I do tell him he can be polite or stay in another room while I dress or shower. So basically, I encourage him to treat me and my parts with respect but don't go to lengths to keep private. I suspect that would have made him more curious.

Mom to unschooling 4everboy since 8/01
4evermom is offline  
#3 of 16 Old 04-05-2010, 01:43 PM
 
meemee's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Norther California
Posts: 12,633
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 24 Post(s)
my breasts are my dd's therapy.

she just stopped nursing at 7 1/2 but she hasnt stopped the touching yet.

its not sexual even if he is becoming aware of his sexuality. its him getting emotional reassurance.

i really do think you are making a bigger deal with it than it actually is.

i would talk to ds and express that you dont like him doing it anymore but if he wants a hug you would be really willing to do that.

sometimes they dont need talk or words. they just need taht feeling they get when they touch our breasts. my dd has run in from play, touched my nipples for a little bit and then happily run out back to play again.

 treehugger.gif Co-parent, joy.gifcold.gifbrand new homeschooling middle schoolerjoy.gif, and an attackcat.gif 
meemee is offline  
#4 of 16 Old 04-05-2010, 02:09 PM - Thread Starter
 
HappilyEvrAfter's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 997
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
well, does it make any difference that we were unable to breastfeed? so, he's never been exposed to them for that kind of comfort.

I really don't have any issues with him touching them in regards to hugs, being close, etc. They just really seem on his radar.

Overthinking things is really one of my downfalls. That might be the case.
...and being the single mom of a boy really makes it worse.

I don't want to make him feel like any of his actions are "bad", but I also don't want to feel like I'm oversexing or hyperaccentuating anything either!

Thanks for reading and responding!

Center
HappilyEvrAfter is offline  
#5 of 16 Old 04-05-2010, 04:12 PM
 
One_Girl's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 4,701
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 43 Post(s)
I think you shouldn't make a big deal out of it. I don't think it is necessarily a sexual thing, he may just like laying on your breasts because they are squishy and make a nice pillow. My dd calls my breasts pillows and is now okay with me losing weight (which she used to not be) because she understands that my breasts will stay about the same. I think if you don't make a big deal out of this it will pass quickly.
One_Girl is offline  
#6 of 16 Old 04-05-2010, 04:24 PM
 
meemee's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Norther California
Posts: 12,633
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 24 Post(s)
happily even tho u didnt bf him doesnt take the comfort away. after all what else is that close to the heart.

as a child - even 10 years old my bro and i used to fight over who would sleep next to mom and hide our faces into her huge tummy. there was just something so comforting about it.

sometimes my mom tolerated it. sometimes she would request for some space.

yes mama i hear you - esp. being a single mom to a boy in this society. absolutely i dont 'blame' you for overthinking.

but remember he is just not 'the boy' you are raising. you are also raising a fantastic father for tomorrow.

you are not making him feel bad. you are just letting him know it bothers you. that is not teh same as hurting him. offer him another piece of your body instead. your arm, your cheek, your neck - whatever you feel comfortable with.

i didnot grow up with a lot of physical touch. i remember how much i missed it. so i make sure within reason my dd gets as much as she needs. however i do put up my boundaries when i feel 'touched out' and i even push her away when she doesnt wanna move. doesnt mean i am hurting her. i always tell her the truth. how much i appreciate her and how much i am frustrated with her current behaviour. when i tell her stories of when seh was a baby i tell her what a joy it was as welll as share with her how incredibly hard it was and what a high needs baby she was. so she understands that is not a judgement. it just means mommy needs some mommy space.

 treehugger.gif Co-parent, joy.gifcold.gifbrand new homeschooling middle schoolerjoy.gif, and an attackcat.gif 
meemee is offline  
#7 of 16 Old 04-05-2010, 04:35 PM - Thread Starter
 
HappilyEvrAfter's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 997
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
aw, ok. I hear what you're saying.

Lol. I got a little teary reading that....in a good way.
Maybe it's the whole school incident with him mentioning his penis that's also making he hypervigilant about all this.

I trust you mammas and hear what you're saying.
It's so hard raising an opposite sex child and not knowing what they're going through directly, ya know?
I just want him to be secure, open and unafraid in this big scary, "shocked by everything" world. I mean, a 5yo says he thinks his penis "looks like a squashed bug sometimes" and the school is flipping out.

It doesn't help that I have sexuality issues of my own based on my childhood so sometimes appropriate behavior seems odd to me.

Center
HappilyEvrAfter is offline  
#8 of 16 Old 04-05-2010, 05:24 PM
 
LynnS6's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Pacific NW longing for the Midwest
Posts: 12,447
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
I have a similar issue with our dd. She nursed until she was 4, and she still likes to "feel me up" sometimes.

It really bothers me to have her do that (physically, I'm highly sensitive to touch, very ticklish, and socially, I don't think it's appropriate at 5 1/2). I've been calmly direct with her: I tell her "don't rub me there, it bothers me." and then I redirect her to a place where she can get physical contact. "If you want to touch me, you can hug me or rub my arm."

She really needs to be redirected to someplace acceptable. She is a very physical child and needs touch to feel loved. She expresses her love for me by touch. So I don't want to tell her not to touch me. At the same time, she needs to learn to respect my privacy in terms where I like to be touched. (FWIW, both my kids (5 1/2 year old dd and 8 1/2 year old ds) still see me shower/dress/go to the bathroom. I don't mind if they see me naked.)

I make sure I give her lots of cuddles and time sitting on my lap. We also wrestle and play other physical games. You might think about incorporating more of that with your ds to meet some of his needs for physical touch. That is one thing where dads/males tend to do more than moms, but it certainly is something that moms can do well if they think about it.

Lynnteapot2.GIF, academicreading.gif,geek.gif wife, WOHM  to T jog.gif(4/01) and M whistling.gif (5/04)
LynnS6 is offline  
#9 of 16 Old 04-05-2010, 08:34 PM - Thread Starter
 
HappilyEvrAfter's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 997
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Ok, yeah. I can see where he doesn't get enough "rough and tumble" time. I have issues with that since I had two older half siblings that would play a little too rough when mom and dad weren't looking...which is shy I have anxiety when anything obstructs my face. I just can't do it.

But, we do cuddle alot. He's in my lap anytime he wants with my arms around him, TV time is spent snuggled in our recliner, we snuggle together in bed before sleep, he's free to hug me anytime he wants.
He did go through a period where he just didn't want any affection at all. Period. It was during the period when we first moved away from his dad. I truly think he was a little pissed at me and that was his way of getting back, but slowly as he saw that he would get to see his dad again the affection started creeping back in.
I think we're at the normal point with that again.

I have had to blatently redirect him in public because he does it for attention. I get that.
It's just other times...gosh, I don't know how to really explain it.

Center
HappilyEvrAfter is offline  
#10 of 16 Old 04-06-2010, 01:53 AM
Banned
 
stik's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 1,860
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
If it makes you feel uncomfortable, your son should not be touching your breasts. That is a reasonable boundary for a 5 year old. If you want more modesty and privacy while dressing and showering, that is also a reasonable boundary. Clearly, you have other ways of being connected to your child. ]

Five is still young, and it sounds like your son is still working out appropriate boundaries around bodies. Some kids need a lot of adult guidance with that. I think it's worthwhile, even if it's awkward, because having those social skills makes life so much easier, even at age 5.
stik is offline  
#11 of 16 Old 04-06-2010, 10:06 PM
 
CatsCradle's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: New York City
Posts: 1,945
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Whew, OP, glad to hear I'm not the only one with a kid with breast fixation. Actually DD is 3.5 and she self-weaned a while ago, but she is fascinated with my boobs! One morning I woke up (we're still co-sleeping) and her hands were holding my boobs. When I asked her what she was doing, she said nonchalantly: "I'm protecting them from the monsters." Other times she'll mention that my boobs "are hers" and she'll grab them hungrily if we've been apart for a while. I do think they are comfort symbols to her, so I gently try to redirect her...because I really want my boobs back...I really do. She understands now that I accept the touching less and less.

"Lawyers, I suppose, were children once." Charles Lamb.
CatsCradle is offline  
#12 of 16 Old 04-07-2010, 02:02 AM
 
neetling's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: safe in God's arms
Posts: 3,265
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I don't think there's really anything wring with his behavior but it is bothering you so I also think it's time to redirect. My 3 year old is still nursing and is firmly attached to my breasts. He seems to need to hold them as a comfort sometimes and will hold the one he's not nursing. Some days it's like nails on a chalkboard so I have to redirect him (he's say"I won't rub them, just HOLD them") He reaches out for them in his sleep too. He crawls up and occasionally tells them he loves them. I'll say I love you back and he will say "no mama, I was talking to dee dee"

I weaned his older sisters by getting pregnant. I have no idea how to wean him, though I am not ready to force it yet.
neetling is offline  
#13 of 16 Old 04-07-2010, 03:37 PM - Thread Starter
 
HappilyEvrAfter's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 997
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Thanks for the replies, ya'll.

I'm still scoping out the whole thing between us. It does make me uncomfortable. I'm trying to watch this more as an observer and see what the issue really is....try to figure out the best approach with him.

I totally hear ya'll that is must be a normal 5yo boy reaction. I just don't get that it's a comfort thing...I mean, I get that I'M a comfort thing but he just zones in so much on my BOOBS.

I kind of wonder if it might be because he's caught a glimpse of his daddy's gf's boobs and was given the whole "oooh! don't look!" line from her or one of her children. Thinking back it sort of started around the time he came back from summer visitation, but I can't nail it down to that. And I'm not blaming either, I mean, it's a likely/normal thing to possibly happen on the off chance.

It just doesn't seem like a "those are part of mommy" thing. More like a taboo, "i'm looking, but not supposed to" type of thing. Like getting away with saying "hell" or "penis" in public....but done in a constant way.
...even cathing a glimps of my southern reagions doesn't spark this behavior in him. It's totally breast specific.

I dunno, but thanks for your replies. You have made me feel better.

Center
HappilyEvrAfter is offline  
#14 of 16 Old 04-07-2010, 08:52 PM
 
NiteNicole's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 4,586
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 10 Post(s)
Quote:
If it makes you feel uncomfortable, your son should not be touching your breasts. That is a reasonable boundary for a 5 year old. If you want more modesty and privacy while dressing and showering, that is also a reasonable boundary. Clearly, you have other ways of being connected to your child
I think this needs repeating. Having children doesn't mean giving up all our boundaries and privacy. In fact, if you are uncomfortable I think it is VERY IMPORTANT to enforce your boundaries and privacy. I think it helps children learn two important things - other people's boundaries are important and should be respected and their own boundaries should be respected by other people and they should feel 100% confident in enforcing them.

Fine, it's comfort or he's curious, that's totally normal. It is also totally ok for you to tell him no, mean it, and back it up. It's your body, it's yours, and you don't have to share it if you don't want to.
NiteNicole is offline  
#15 of 16 Old 04-08-2010, 04:52 AM
 
meemee's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Norther California
Posts: 12,633
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 24 Post(s)
nah i think the attachment of boobs is genetic. it is something we are born with. i mean look at a baby. the moment they are put at a boob they start looking for the nipple - rooting instinct. you dont have to show them.

even if they have never bf still there is a lot of comfort in just putting your face between your boobs. have you seen when moms carry their toddler and they dont want to say hi to you they hide their face in their mommy's boobs.

i would really take a closer look at your own ideas about the boob. why is it bothering you so? why is boob bad and if he did this on your arm you would betotally fine. dont know.

has your son been moody lately? is he really frustrated and his behaviour has changed to one of total confusion, frustration and not listening to you or yelling bad words.

its typically age appropriate behav. its their first 'teenage years' - angst periods. they really become a challenge but its all about identity and their idea of self.

my dd at that age was what i called 'totally hormonal'. even seh would say i sometimes dont know who lives within me and makes me do those things.

its at this angst state that they really need a lot of support and physical touch.

 treehugger.gif Co-parent, joy.gifcold.gifbrand new homeschooling middle schoolerjoy.gif, and an attackcat.gif 
meemee is offline  
#16 of 16 Old 04-08-2010, 08:15 PM
Banned
 
stik's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 1,860
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
If a parent is feeling uncomfortable with a child's touching, I don't think there is any great need for the parent to explore the reasons behind their feelings. They should set a limit that is comfortable for them, and redirect the child.
stik is offline  
Reply

Recommended Reading
User Tag List

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page



Posting Rules  
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off