one year olds and genitals - bath time, naked time, etc. - Mothering Forums
 
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#1 of 15 Old 05-26-2010, 10:00 PM - Thread Starter
 
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We are a pretty chill family in the sense that we don't understand sexuality or genitals as anything shameful or to be hidden. That said, we want to raise our lo in a way that he has healthy boundaries. Our ds is 14 months and somewhat of a handful, so we always take baths with him - it is impossible to get him washed any other way. He is verrrrry intrigued by my partner's penis and he also loves to play with his own penis. At what point do we say something like, "Oh, that's Daddy's penis. Daddy prefers you don't touch it," and "Oh, yes, that is your penis. Very nice. But it is probably best to only play with it in private." We are feeling like now is the time for the first line, but later for the second one since, of course, he is never "in private" because he is only 14 months and we feel bad that he is in a diaper much of the time so when his penis is free, it makes sense that he would want to check it out and play with it. But when did you start saying such things to children? Other advice on this sort of thing? How did you handle it, especially if you are a pretty relaxed family in terms of sexuality, nakedness, etc. Thanks for your thoughts!
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#2 of 15 Old 05-26-2010, 10:11 PM
 
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Grabbing his own penis wouldn't even catch my eye. I don't think I'd say anything about that at all. It is his after all.... and from what I hear, they make awesome toys.

But, I don't think I'd want anybody else grabbing mine. (i don't have one, but if I did...) I think I'd just gently guide his hand away, and say "nope, that's daddy's"
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#3 of 15 Old 05-26-2010, 10:30 PM
 
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Basically what nextcommerical said is what we do.

Cain loves to name his body parts now, it's his new thing. So on top of playing with his own penis he often proclaims, "My penis!" and waits for us to confirm that yes, it is indeed his penis.
Other than that we don't even notice when he's doing it unless he's walking around talking about it.

We often shower together or he and DH shower together. DH has always just laughed and said, "Nope, that's Daddy's penis. You have one too!"

I can't blame him for being interested...I mean they ARE pretty interesting and it's right there at eye level for him.

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#4 of 15 Old 05-27-2010, 10:15 AM
 
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I am actually having this problem with my 18 month old and him grabbing his Brothers penis while they are in the shower/tub. Its only if my 2.5 year old stands up, and its in plain site. Otherwise, out of site, out of mind. All i keep doing is redirecting and saying, "No touch, thats Charlies, wheres Matthews Belly Buttom?!?!?!".

I understand that he has absolutly NO IDEA its a sexual organ, its just something that sticks out, looks like his, so hes going to grab at it. Not to mention his brother squeals when he does it, so hes just looking for the reaction, as he finds it HILARIOUS.
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#5 of 15 Old 05-27-2010, 10:41 AM
 
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I don't start talking to them about privacy with their own genital until they're at least three, and not all that much even then until they're more like five. When they start spending a lot of time with kids older than themselves, they need to learn about social appropriateness, and that handling oneself is not socially appropriate.

But with little toddlers, I wouldn't even start with that.

With touching Daddy's-- I would do what the PPs described. Let Dad himself say it-- that's mine. Leave it be, please. You have one, too.

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#6 of 15 Old 05-27-2010, 11:18 AM
 
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DS is 2 1/2 and has just discovered his penis. I ignore him touching it, just like when he touches any other part of his body.

I have started giving him solo baths (more like water play sessions) partly to allow him some body exploration time. (Previously his 6 year old sister was always with him.) I've also allowed him some more naked time around the house.

I personally see my kids interest in their genitals as one of the signals that they are about to be ready to use the potty. So I think the exploration is important for their mostly self guided learning.

(In fact DS got into the bath last night and as usual peed a minute later. But this time he looked at his penis for a few seconds before it happened. I'm so excited to see him making the connection! Before he would look only after he started to go. Where else but MDC can I brag about that?)

I found with DD, that ignoring body exploration was the best way to go. If she was "alone" in the living room when it was happening I would respect her privacy and not interrupt. As she got older and her explorations became a little more "graphic" I would redirect her to the bathroom for a bath and eventually we talked about privacy and where she could be in the house to get it.

At 14 months, privacy is just an irrelevant concept.

As far as Daddy and his penis, just a simple redirection is fine. Daddy saying, "That's mine please don't touch." is fine.

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#7 of 15 Old 05-27-2010, 01:54 PM
 
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What DP did at that age was to simply take a washcloth and tuck it around his genetal area. The kids quickly lost interest and it gave him a *tiny* bit of protection, lol

I wouldn't worry about "private time" talks probably until he is at least potty trained--- assuming that he is only naked around family it won't be a "public" issue until then. Just a warning thought--- lots of kids go through a HUGE self-exploratory phase once the diaper comes off!

 

 

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#8 of 15 Old 05-27-2010, 01:55 PM
 
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Moved to Toddlers

 

 

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#9 of 15 Old 05-27-2010, 05:08 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ejg123 View Post
Other advice on this sort of thing? How did you handle it, especially if you are a pretty relaxed family in terms of sexuality, nakedness, etc. Thanks for your thoughts!
I have wondered about the family aspect too. DH and I have always been pretty naked people in our own home. Before DS we always slept naked, would sometimes make breakfast naked, never rushed to get clothes on after the shower. The vast majority of our household nudity was very non-sexual, I think that we were both just so much more comfortable without clothes. But I too am curious, at what point do we need to put clothes on? When DS was an infant I never worried about it, but at what point do I need to worry that maybe he doesn't want to see mommy's butt while I make breakfast?

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#10 of 15 Old 05-27-2010, 05:50 PM
 
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We have a 15mo that has recently found his penis and grabs it all the time, when dh is in the shower sometimes ds will be in there and will point at his penis enthusiastically. DH usually just says stuff like 'that's daddys' and 'you have one too' or 'yep, son, that's my penis' and then redirects him a little, just because there's not much else to say on the subject :

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#11 of 15 Old 05-27-2010, 06:26 PM
 
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I find this hilarious because my daughter (3 and a half) and son (22 months) both are really interested in their privates. my son especially. i just let him do his thing. when he touches other people's privates I make sure to let him know that it is not ok but I am sure we will have to say it many... many... many.. many.. times before they actually listen. redirection works often and that is what we try.

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#12 of 15 Old 05-27-2010, 10:12 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Barbie64g View Post
I am actually having this problem with my 18 month old and him grabbing his Brothers penis while they are in the shower/tub. Its only if my 2.5 year old stands up, and its in plain site. Otherwise, out of site, out of mind. All i keep doing is redirecting and saying, "No touch, thats Charlies, wheres Matthews Belly Buttom?!?!?!".

I understand that he has absolutly NO IDEA its a sexual organ, its just something that sticks out, looks like his, so hes going to grab at it. Not to mention his brother squeals when he does it, so hes just looking for the reaction, as he finds it HILARIOUS.
Have any of you seen The Babies? I saw it last weekend, and this reminded me of a scene where the baby from Namibia grabs another baby's penis, but I can't remember if the boy moved her hand, or if an adult stepped in, or what.

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#13 of 15 Old 05-27-2010, 10:42 PM
 
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You all are reminding me of the phase my son went through when he first stopped wearing diapers. He became very very interested in his own parts, and also intensely interested in others' parts, to the point that he asked the checkout guy in the Shop-Rite, "Can I see your pee-pee?" and totally mortified the guy. He also asked my stepfather, most of my neighbors, and a few people at church, among many others.

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#14 of 15 Old 05-28-2010, 10:05 AM
 
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this thread! My DD has always had lots of naked time since we EC, and DH loves to walk around naked, so she's seen his penis plenty of times. I taught her that her privates are called "vulva," not "vagina," based on a conversation on MDC about how vulva is actually the proper name for a girl's external parts and actually the vagina is only the sexual organ, and so she frequently walks around saying, "mommy, Daddy has a penis! Because he's big boy! I have a vulva. Mommy has a vulva." It's hilarious. Sometimes she comments that her friends who are boys also have penises. Reminds me of that middle school game where you keep saying the word "penis" louder and louder...remember that?

She's never grabbed at any of our privates, though. I don't think. I'm sure if she reached for DH's penis he would redirect her pretty quick! We do talk sometimes about how they're also called "privates" because they're private and that nobody should touch anybody else's privates.

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#15 of 15 Old 05-28-2010, 01:23 PM
 
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My Middle boys are 18mos apart and always bathe/Shower together. I have always told them that their penis is something just for them, and I don't allow them to touch each others. Though I am pretty sure they probably do it anyways since they do everything together including peeing together on the toilet at the same time when they don't wan to wait for one another

I have a total of 4 males in my house and I personally don't want to watch them playing with their penises all day long, so I just tell them that they are more then welcome to play with it in private.

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