Brutal? I disagree. Some of the responses have been concerned and actually those posters who have read the whole background are worried about the child. In this case you just have to have the complete history, it changes the perspective totally.
And I agree with you, the OP has tried very hard and for a very long time. But her refusal to accept the possibility of a mental health issue of her son which needs meds doesn't seem reasonable. There has been suffering for YEARS. Her son has suffered, she has suffered. She has tried many, many different approaches, natural ways, but as fas as I can see it, none has been really effective, slightly effective sometimes, sure. But IMO not enough.
I DO feel that many of the replies have been brutal, and since I am the one these posts are directed at, aren't my feelings important?
You say I "refuse to accept the possibility of a mental health issue," yet no one has diagnosed my son with a mental health issue. What's his current diagnosis? "Adjustment disorder." This is just a generic term they apply to kids having a hard time adjusting to a change in their lives.
I don't think anyone's opinion of whether I am doing "enough" is really appropriate! Or kind. I would never say the same thing about your parenting choices. Honestly, if you disagree with what I am doing with my son, then just stop reading the thread. Debating with me or other people about whether I am reacting appropriately to my son's issues is not helpful, fair, or kind. You're only getting a tiny glimpse into our lives and that doesn't make you qualified to decide how I should or shouldn't be rearing my child. I don't think being "concerned" gives you license to criticize me for not making the same choices you would make for your own child.
And as other posters have said, that wasn't my question in posting this thread. My question was simply this: What are your kids doing in terms of sexual curiosity (or genital curiosity, or however you want to label it).
Thanks for the response! I totally agree with what you've said. Normal is a RANGE of behaviors, and this is why I posted: to get an idea of the range.
I also have to wonder with the kids that didn't show any sexual curiosity or behavior whether they were just doing that in secret? I am sure some of them aren't, but I have to think that just because parents aren't aware of it, that doesn't mean it isn't happening! My son has been very open about what's happening, and when other parents have been told about it (what their children were doing with my son and later admitted to initiating themselves) they were completely shocked and said their child had never done this before. Obviously they didn't tell their parents about it either!
My son hasn't had any further incidents since I originally posted with this question. I did order some books about bodies and private areas, and he has been very curious about those books and looking at the one that shows drawings of boys and girls bodies from time to time. He's had a lot of questions about the different body parts, so we've spent a lot of time reading and discussing that. His favorite book is "It's Not the Stork" (http://www.amazon.com/Its-Not-Stork-Families-Friends/dp/0763600474), and I think it's pretty good overall, especially for kids of this age. I also like that it shows a drawing of both a circ and intact penis and just says that some boys look like this, and other boys look like this. He's asked a lot of questions about that as well.
It seems like lots of the parents who replied had more than one child, and I only have one, so he isn't around other naked kids EVER, so I think he has more curiosity because there's no brother or sister around who's having baths or diaper changes or just running around the house naked.
Thanks haleyelianasmom and
I have learned a lot from some of the mamas who have posted. I was raised in an extremely conservative fundamentalist Christian home, and I was told to NEVER touch my genitals for any reason, which lead to me never even washing the area until I was in my late teens!
While I didn't do any sexual play when I was a child (out of fear of extreme punishment for such behavior!), when I did become sexually active as a young teen, I definitely didn't talk to anyone about it. I am lucky that I wasn't pregnant at 15! I don't want my son to have this same shame and secrecy about his body and sexuality.
Even though I am about a million times more open minded than my parents, I still have some discomfort with some of these topics when it comes to talking to my son, so it's been good to hear other people's feelings about this issue.
I just came to your thread as I've just had the most awful day - won't go in to detail now (perhaps will post separate thread depending on how my googling goes), but my 6 year old has been acting out this week quite weirdly towards the 3 year old son of friends we are staying with, there has been a lot of naked bottoms, joint trips to the bathroom, locked doors, poop smearing, water guns pointed up bottoms etc. My friends (quite understandably) don't want the kids to be together on their own, but they are also concerned that my son might have been abused in some way. I am horrified and mortified and everything else, of course, but this has just come out of nowhere, and it stretches my imagination to think of abuse as a possibility (and no, I'm not in denial, it's something that has always been on my mind, like any other realistic parent). Anyway, I just wondered if you could let me/us know how your son is doing on this front now, 2 years later, if you're still around! I'm just reading a lot today and trying to work out if what he has been doing can in any way be construed as "normal".
(I'd also like to add my voice, so much later, to those who find many of the replies to your query to have been deeply offensive. We all have our opinions, and some, or many, may believe that your son's behavior at the time was very worrying. But I have a real problem with the tone of many (not all) of those who did. So many of the things that were said could have been said in a much softer and supportive fashion. I just don't understand why people can't consider the impact of their words before posting. Anyway, that's my 2c worth after so very long, and sorry if this is just dragging up a very painful topic for you again at this point!)