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My 4 Year Old Son Is Obsessed with He Pee Pee and Other Wierd Behavior...

I have a 4 year old son who just tunred 4 yrs old in January. He is always having his hands in his pants and wanting to touch, hold and show his pee pee. He likes pulling on it and just the comfort of holding it. I am always telling him to get his hands out of his pants but he won't stop. He is just now fully potty trained with in the past few months. He doesn't sit down on the potty unless he has to go pooh, he prefers to stand.

2. I can't get him to eat any vegies at all.. he is a very very picky eater. He loves to make a mess but doesn't want to clean it up. He makes a mess all over the house SOLO but wants a team effort in cleaning it all up.

3. He is always falling adn hurting himself some way some how. Just two weeks ago, he fell and hit his head on a side dresser and ended up slightly cutting his ear. I took him to ER, and they glued his ear back together and gave him some butterfly stitches. he was fine the rest of that day. Yesterday when i picked him up from child care, he had a huge scrape on his nose and for head, he was palying and fell face first and got an owie. I have a hard time getting him to pay attention to his surroundings.

4. Last but not least of a mother's concerns, He is 4 and still does't like sleeping by himself. He always says that he is scared and will cry all night if i make him sleep in his own bed. I am working on getting his room re-done so it will be like able for him to want to sleep there. He will play in his room, no problem but sleeping no. He doesn't want to sleep by himself nor go to sleep alone. If he happends to fall alseep in his room, he will wake up in the middle of the night and come into mommy and daddy's bed.

My son a wonderful, smart and very active. He gets along with all kids. He is a wonderful helper when he wants to be.I am working on getting him into preschool. It was hard before because he wasn't fully potty trained, so we are just a little behind, but he should get a good year and some out of preschool when he starts. Are these things normal or is there something wrong with my son. I feel like we are not raising him right or doing something wrong. Any advice???

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What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

I just want to say thank you to every one who read this and gave me feed back and advice on what to you. My son is doing great. He doesn't touch his pee pee as much as he use to. Or if he does, he is in his room. He is helping out on keeping his room clean as long as I help him, it's a start, so I am very proud of him. He always wants to help out around the house. He is going to be starting preschool tomorrow and is very excited about it. I notice lately that he is starting to sleep in his room when he falls alseep in there, he still wants to sleep with me and his father, which is ok, but when he feels the courage to, he will sleep in his room. I baught him some spider man night lights for his room and decorated his walls with spiderman as well so he feels more comforatable in his room. Things are improving with us, we have alot of work to do in the future... but What parent doesn't?!.. Thanks again for all your support and help.
Best,
C.

Featured Answers

Totally Normal!!! My son is the same age - and we just remind him that his peepee is his private party and it stays in his pants. We don't get mad, laugh no reaction at all.

Does it work? Sometimes. I just gave some advice to another Mom on a different topic - but distraction and getting them moving will help. When the boys are bored, the hand goes right down the pants! :-)

Good Luck.

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Hi, Its easy to think that you are not doing something right when raising children. My son is only two and I am constantly second guessing myself. Luckily I have an amazing sitter who has helped to educate me. She recently recommended a book called 1-2-3 magic by Thomas W. Phelan, Ph.D. It is such a logical and simple approach to dealing with children. basically it teaches you how to set boundaries and follow through on discipline. And what is really amazing about the book is that it teaches you how to support positive behavior. The book is short and sweet. I hope you can find it helpful. Good luck, D.

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Your son sounds normal to me. I have girls, but I have two nephews. So I hear all of the same things from my sisters. Just the other day my five year old nephew was running around the house yelling "I am the weiner man" and he had no underwear on. My other nephew jumped off the coffee table when he was three because he wanted to fly like Peter Pan (liquid stiches).

I think at around ages 3-5 kids really start figuring out who they are and figuring out that they have choices. I have a 3 1/2 year old girl and she tests me constantly. She will sleep in her room with her older sister, but does end up in my room 3-4 nights a week. Try and stick to a routine and things will eventually work themselves out. Preschool will help, they are so busy learning and playing that nighttime will get easier because he will be exhausted.

As for vegetables, find a couple they like and serve them. Occasionally ask them to try new ones. My girls would live on mac-n-cheese and if I let them.

Most of all - enjoy this time. My oldest is seven and its light years from when she was 4.

D.

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Sounds normal. We didn't want to shame our 4 yr old for touching his body, so we would ask him to go into his room because that's not something you do in front of other people. A few times we had to tell him that its not appropriate, but it wasn't too long before he learned what is socially appropriate. We had the same issue with nose picking......

I have the same trouble with veggies. here's what i've found. He'll eat the snap peas - he likes to open the pods and pull the peas out. He'll eat green beans if i cook them whole then give him ranch to dip. He'll eat broccoli if I bury it in parmesan cheese. Typically, i can get him to eat anything that is a vehicle for ranch or cheese.

As far as sleeping, you might want to try setting a date a few weeks away as the big-boy sleeps alone day. buy new sheets. read bedtime books in there. And if he sneaks into your bed be diligent about returning him to his room even if it is 4 in the morning and you're tired. Good luck.

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Hi C..
As a mother of 3 boys, and from what you have said, I'd say your son is quite normal. My suggestions would be:
* Go watch other little boys his age (day school, park, where ever). You'll find 80%+ hold their pee-pee's (constantly) for some strange reason. This'll eventually go away. However, the hands in the pants and the showing of his privates should be curbed, at least for social reasons. I'd start by telling him this is ok at home but not in public as these are his 'private parts' and meant to be kept private. NO lecturing or making him feel guilty however -- just redirection.
* Sudden veering off and running into things is also not unusual. You aren't going to be able to teach him out of this. But, he should out grow it within the next year. You may want to consider a team sport, like soccer. It will help him with balance and space awareness.
* As children get older, as one might imagine, it gets harder and harder to get them to sleep by themselves. So starting now is better than continuing to wait. You're on a good track with re-doing his room. Be sure not to have a mirror directly across from his bed (i.e., mirrored closet doors). Feng Shui experts will tell you this is a HUGE no-no that causes A LOT of restlessness. You may want to ask him what his concerns are about sleeping by himself and then solve for those. If it's monsters, look for them together and then let him pick out a protective stuffed animal. If it's he misses you, stay with him for a while, scratch his back, etc. but let him know you'll be leaving and you expect him to stay in his bed. If he does he'll get XXX (whatever the 2 of you decide would be a good reward for his becoming a big boy) -- like pushing the grocery cart, or whatever he enjoys, but, you're always afraid he's too young for, type of thing.
-- Compromise whenever you can. You'll find both parties will be happier.
Good luck -- and no worries; he's 'normal'. :)
K.

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Good morning, It sounds like in my opinion you have a perfectly wonderful NORMAL 4 year old! They All are obsessed with their pee-pees - it often continues into manhood. LOL! Little boys think it's neat and want to do everything they possibly can with it. They want to write their names, shoot it like a gun, hold it, show their friends, ect. As well as raising 3 boys plus 1 I taught preschool for a number of years. They All do the same thing. I have just found to say something like 'we don't do that here' or ' daddy (or whoever)doesn't hold his pee pee in the store.' That they seem to understand. About his falling down, he's probably busy. Alson sometimes they grow and aven though you can't see it, it throws off their balance a bit for a while til they readjust.If you're really thinking it's something serious I would take him to the doctor. Lastly I had to kick mine out of the bed too. He's probably a cuddler. I think you just have to keep sending him back to his own bed. I hope some of this helps.I don't think you should worry too much. Kids do some of the weirdest, funniest stuff you've ever seen it your life! Have a great day!

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HI, C.,
I realize that you probably have enough responses with everyone telling you that your boy is normal. You are doing a great job! Regarding cleaning up, you may want to teach him HOW to clean up. Show him and have him work with you. Then you can tell him he needs to pick up his toys before dinner or before going out, or whatever. In order to not have such a big mess that it becomes overwhelming for him to clean up by himself, you may want to teach him to pick up certain toys before taking others out. Remember, they are little, so this will need to be repeated over and over again! My three year old will ask me for help, too, in cleaning up. Sometimes I help and sometimes I just leave him in his room and tell him to come and get me when he is finished. He will show up about 10 minutes later announcing he is finished.

Regarding the sleep issue...sounds normal, too. My little boys sleep in the bed with us the entire night. My three year old won't go to sleep without me there, unless I am not at home. Then he will sleep without me or my husband present! I don't think it is unusual at this age. We all sleep much better when we are in the same bed. If my son wakes up slightly, he will fall right back to sleep. If he is in his own room and wakes up, he comes running into our room. I think the fact that he feels secure with me at night makes him feel secure and independent during the day. I would personally be against forcing your son to sleep in his own room by locking him in! Imagine if someone did that to you and imagine it was the person you loved more than anyone in the world. It may be tramatizing! I read a book that gave a great suggestion. Set a date and talk about it with your son. When that date comes, you can have his sleep in his bed. if he wakes up at night, you go to his room instead of him coming to yours and then sit next to him in a chair until he can fall asleep. The next night, you move the chair a little farther away and do the same thing. Each nightt, the chair moves farther away until you only have to sit across the room from him for a little bit if he wakes up in the middle of the night. Slowly, he should be able to put himself back to sleep on his own. Eventually, I will train my son to sleep on his own in his own room, but for now, I am enjoying the comfort of my little ones in the bed with me. What a great way for us to snuggle, bond and feel close to one another as we fall asleep! It won't last long!

Regarding veggies...the only way my son eats veggies is Japanese style, so I have no idea what I would have done if I could not have cooked it for him this way! I cook spinach and then add some soy sauce, rice vinegar, bonito flakes and a drop or two of sesame oil. He loves to eat this. I also add lots of spinach and seaweed (wakame) to his miso soup and he devours this as well. Another thing he loves is tempura. I grate cabbage, carrots, green onion and mushrooms and put into a batter mixed together. Then I deep fry and serve with diluted soy sauce. He eats tons of these, as well as deep fried broccolli. I realize deep frying it is not making it healthy, but we do it only once in a while and it's nice to know he can at least enjoy veggies very much. If you are really concerned about getting the nutrients into his body, try getting the book Deceptively Delicious by Jessica Seinfeld. She talks about how she hides veggies in other things for her kids to eat.

Good luck! If you want any good book recommendations, here are a few I really liked:
Playful Parenting
Between Parent and Child
Positive Discipline for Preschoolers

I found these to help me out quite a bit!
Take care and be easy on yourself!

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All normal but another thing I would do is tell him that when he touches his private parts he has to go wash his hands! Everytime! It's hard enough to get them to wash their hands before meals. It can become a a hassle to him and could make him think twice about it. Also, of course just letting him know you don't want to see it and his has to do it in his room.

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I have a son who turns 4 in August and he also:
1. Plays with his peepee a lot. We have told him he can do that in his room, or when he is by himself, not at the table or when other people are around. Which he accepts.
2. He eats veggies but is picky with other food. He can literally eat pasta always and only if we let him. Never eats potatoes.I would say it is a phase, let him figure it out. And, when he is really hungry before dinner, give him some carrots or cucumber slices, when you are hungry everything goes down.
3. yes, they hurt themselves a lot. But might be good to check his vision, maybe he needs glasses?
4. My son wakes up every second night and wants me to come and sleep in his bed, which I have done a lot. But I have had enough of it, so now, when he screams we tell him to come to our bed.
All kids are different, yours sounds normal I would say. Hang in there, and have fun with him! Play and go to the park after dinner!
Good luck!

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Hi C.!

It sounds like you have a perfectly normal boy in your home :o) Especially when it comes to his "pee-pee". Those things can be VERY fascinating! He just needs to learn that it is private, and not for everyone to see.
His eating sounds normal, too. He'll come around in a year or so.
His sleeping habits seem better than normal, actually. If he EVER falls asleep in his own room, than I consider it a head start already :o)
It sounds like you're doing a great job, and raising a perfectly, normal, and active "boy".

Be patient, and don't worry, he's just fine....he's just a BOY! :o)

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C. your son sounds absolutly normal. My son and evryone else I know who has boys experienced the same things. These things that are going on are simply boy traits and I wouldn't worry to much about them. You are doing everything you should. Patience is important and you will do just fine! Don't be to quick to tag him with having a problem.....Boys are made of snakes and snails and puppy dog tails...there is a reason for the rhyme...they do things a bit different.
E....survivor of raising a boy and all their wonderful oddities.

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Sounds like a normal 4 year old to me. As far as his obsession with his pee pee is concerned, this is absolutely normal and as long as we make him feel pressure to stop etc, he will probably become more obsessed. Listen our children have it right it is there body and their genitals are like there toes to them,something interesting and fun to play with. If you can't control your discomfort,then perhaps you can make boundaries.Explain that he can do that in private.

Vegies-common, try to blend cooked vegies into foods he likes,take vitamins,maybe help him grow some vegies,keep
offering even if he doesn't eat it,or have him eat one bite a day.

My 41/2 year old still sleeps with us too, we have tried a bed on the floor next to us and she'll still get in bed in the middle of the night. We just moved so we're waiting for her to get adjusted to her new house before we start the sleeping in her room program.

It sounds like you are doing a great job of raising a wonderfully normal child, can i suggest checking out Mothering Magezine,Books by Dr.Sears, and Raising a Whole Family.

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The one topic the other moms didn't touch on yet is the picking up after himself. I have a few ideas that might work.
#1 plan a trip to the park late in the afternoon. After lunch ask your son to pick up his toys. Don't harass him about it. About a 1/2 hour before park time if he hasn't gotten around to cleaning up his mess, do it for him. At park time tell him you are so sorry, but the park trip has been cancelled because mommy is just too tired after cleaning up his mess.
#2 If the mess is mostly toys tell him he needs to pick up only the toys he wants to keep. At the end of the day (when he is asleep or in the bath works best) pick up any remaining toys and put them away where he can't get to them. I have been doing this with my son (3 years old) for at least a year now. I started it when you couldn't walk through the house without stepping on a toy. I put my son's toys in a big box in my closet. He may earn toys back/ I use them as a reward when he helps me or is an extra special good boy.
#3 You could also clean his mess up for him, then charge him for it. Little boys don't have money, but toys make good payment options. Toys that have been paid to me go into mommies closet box (see # 2).
All of these options help him learn life lessons just like real life. If he doesn't do his work on a real job he won't get promoted to a better position, he won't get rewards/ bonuses, his paycheck may get used to pay someone else to do his job, etc.

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You know, all of your son's behavior sounds perfectly normal to me. I have a four year old son, and except for the er visits, everything sounds similar. You can 1.try gently telling him that it isn't polite to put his hands in his pants in public, but otherwise, adopt a neutral attitude so it doesn't seem like a big deal and backfire, and you could 2.make him smoothies with vanilla nonfat yogurt, frozen mango, banana, frozen strawberries and about 1/8 of a cup of cooked spinach that he will never notice if you blend it well. As for the sleeping, our son has always slept with us, and if your son has, too, it makes sense that he will be uncomfortable doing it now. You might try sleeping with him in his new room and leaving in ther night, and when he wakes up, greet him as if you're really happy to see him, but nothing over the top. If these were my issues, that's what I'd do, and I actually do the smoothie, it's great and I like it too.
I hope that helps!

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Totally Normal!!! My son is the same age - and we just remind him that his peepee is his private party and it stays in his pants. We don't get mad, laugh no reaction at all.

Does it work? Sometimes. I just gave some advice to another Mom on a different topic - but distraction and getting them moving will help. When the boys are bored, the hand goes right down the pants! :-)

Good Luck.

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C....here are my answers/advice:

1. It is normal for your child to have his hands in his pants...it's called self discovery....I have a 4 year old daughter..same things..though I think boys are a little more attached to thier "new friend"...You will need to tell your son that he should not do that in public and to go in his room if he is to do that or bathroom. I know it sounds wierd to say that to a 4 year old....and you'll feel like you are saying it all the time...sometimes I ask my daughter if she has to go pee...and she'll say no and stop...take a look at your soon to be hubby...guys tend to rest thier hand very near thier "friend"...it's a wierd male bond thing that us women will never understand! LOL! If you think it might be excessive, call your pediatrician. Don't be embarrassed about asking him or her questions about this. They get these questions all the time. Congratulations on your boy wanting to stand up to pee! That's what boys do!..he knows the difference between going pee and going poo...he's on track! Dont' worry that he was a late bloomer in potty training, my little girl wasn't potty trained until right before her 4th b-day and was night potty trained 3 months after that....There are two schools on potty training..both work, just depends on your child and you.....the military method..where you are constantly doing it every day....or giving it a try and taking breaks and letting your child decide when they are ready.

2. Have you tried every type of vegetable? If you have tridd every vegetable...then try melting cheese on them or..give very small serving of the vegetables....also, when children help cook a meal, they are more prone to eating it..talk to him about that vegetables make you grow..and how would they taste better to him....if he says, I want to dip them in ketchup or ranch..GO FOR IT! My girls started out that way..and now...they barely use dipping sauce for thier veggies.....what about corn on the cob....have you tried that...also..when you grocery shop...let him help you....ask him to pick out the veggies to cook....don't go to the frzen aisle...go to the produce aisle....If all else fails, I would call your pediatrician, they may refer you to a nutritionist or give you more pointers......also you might want to pick up the Jessica Seinfeld cookbook about disguising veggies in foods that kids love...thier is a chocolate cake that has blended spinache in it....tasting it, you would never know the difference. AND..him making a mess all over the house....my hubby couldn't take it and he bagged up all of the toys that my girls did not pick up.....it has not bothered my girls one bit...they bags are there for the viewing..they know if they keep things picked up, they will get those toys back.....a good thing to do is to rotate your toys..put some toys up in closet and take them down when the toys they play with become old....this is something that I need to take the time to do....dont' be aftraid of going through your sons toys from time to time to weed out toys he does not play with and give them away.

3. The falling down problem....call your pediatrician immediately. This may be a sign of something that is unseen...it also can be that he is having a growth spurt.....when a child has a growth spurt, thier equilibrium if off kilter...also, has he had some ear or sinus problems....that may be the root too...Remember, do not be afraid to ask your pediatricain questions.

4. The sleeping problem...there are many ways to break this....did you co-parent?.....Get a co-parenting book...they will have some good suggestions on breaking this...does he have a closet light. My daughter sleeps with her closet light on, with the door open wide.....do you have a nightlight...also, my other daughter looks at a book with her room light on..and when I go back after3 minutes she's asleep...those tactics you might have to use later on...him getting up in the middle of the night...you'll go through periods of that...everyone does....it could be from something that has happened to him, something he saw on tv, bad dream, or growth spurt...wakes up with his knees hurting, legs hurting, arms hurting......you just have to put him back to bed....take turns with your partner..that's how we both got soem rest! LOL!...if it is due to growing pains...you can massage the area or give child some tylenol or ibuprofrin for the pain

Hope all this helps....if you do call your pediatrican, ask to speak to the nurse...and if you know the nurses name..just ask for her by name or ask to leave her a message...they usually will call you back that day or next day..and sometimes the doc will call you back too!

Every child will have thier issues..but your son sounds like a typical boy..but he's your first child and you want to do everything right...if you have a 2nd child..it will be totally different! LOL!

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Hi, Its easy to think that you are not doing something right when raising children. My son is only two and I am constantly second guessing myself. Luckily I have an amazing sitter who has helped to educate me. She recently recommended a book called 1-2-3 magic by Thomas W. Phelan, Ph.D. It is such a logical and simple approach to dealing with children. basically it teaches you how to set boundaries and follow through on discipline. And what is really amazing about the book is that it teaches you how to support positive behavior. The book is short and sweet. I hope you can find it helpful. Good luck, D.

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Yes, your son is normal!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Hello! I have 2 sons, now ages 9 and 12. When they were little, I experienced all of the things that you're talking about with them! It is normal!!! All of the things that you mention are part of healthy development!
In terms of the hands down the pants, it will definitely pass and something that I think is important is to not always tell him no. Tell him that there are lots of places that it is really not ok to do that, but have it be ok somewhere. He's got to be able to experience himself somehow, somewhere. He's just curious.
Also, remember that 4 years old is just a little boy. He's still learning so much and he's still practically a baby! I know it doesn't feel that way now, but as he grows up you'll look back on this and remember how little he was! Let him sleep with you sometimes, it won't go on forever. He'll become more aware of his body as he grows, he'll be better about picking up after himself! He's only 4 and it sounds like you're doing a great job!
Have fun!

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A lot of this sounds completely normal esp wanting to sleep next to you. Grabbing the "peepee" can be anxiety, maybe child care is a little stressful, plus he just potty trained so he may just be interested in that. I'd play it down, maybe calmly explain that it is a private thing, but most 4 yr olds are oblivious. My son was holding his a LOT when he was 5 and in kindergarten. I was so glad when it passed. (His teacher kept dropping hints like "do you need to go to thebathroom?" When kindy ended and we started homeschooling, that behavior stopped. It was too stressful--crowds, lights, loud buzzers, sudden changes, strange foods, rules, sitting still..etc.) Maybe your son is sensitive too? From the picky eating it sounds like he might be. The knocking into things suggests his balance (vestibular) system may need strengthening (Occupational Therapy for ex,)--or has he just grown a lot? Hard to know where your feet are when they're bigger and legs are longer. By the way, to soothe a child like this, and help him calm down, I'd keep him media free. Talk to the child care provider about tuningi nto what might be streeful at child care esp if he spends all day there.
Hope some of this helps, he's lucky to have a mom who is tuned into him and trying to help!

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Hi C.,

I'm sure you're getting a lot of great advice from the other mothers so I want to focus my response on your last question/statement: "I feel like we're not raising him right or doing something wrong."

Be confident in your parenting and unconditional love you have for your son and know that some days are better than others. It's very common even to the seasoned parent to feel inadequate, but know you're doing the best you can with what you know.....and keep focusing on all the WONDERFUL qualities your son posesses. If you focus on what you want, you get more of it, so focus on the positive and not the negative. As parents, we worry so much about our childs progress and compare them to others that we don't ever just enjoy them in their total perfection. Sometimes they just behave like cavemen, next time see the humor rather than be critical. Someone will marry him!

S.

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ALL totally normal stuff. Welcome to little boys! I've got 2 sons, my younger one is 4 and this could have been written about him. He's not so into touching himself but his thing is that he rips off his clothes (including pants and underwear) at the drop of a hat, including in the front yard. One other specific word of advice: the more you tell your son not to touch his private parts, the more he will. His curiosity is totally normal (after all it lasts a lifetime, right?:). Be sure not to give him a negative message about his body. I make sure to remind my little guys that we don't take off our clothes or touch our private parts in front of other people because it may make them uncomfortable. But I also tell them that their bodies are beautiful and always under their control. Enjoy him and don't sweat the small stuff.
L.

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There is nothing wrong with your son.....

The part about getting hurt isn't all that weird. A lot of little boys can be rough and tumble and will spend a good part of their childhood with some bruises and scrapes.

I still have a hard time getting my 6 year old to clean up by herself. We try to set guidelines, (like she can't get out a new toy or game until she puts away whatever she's done playing with.) Or you could try setting up a chore chart, some kids work really well with chore charts and star stickers or a reward system after they've accomplished a task.

Veggies: If he like spaghetti or any kind of pasta's you might want to try sneaking in small cut up veggies that way. My daughter will eat any vegetable if she can dip it in peanut butter or ranch dressing. (not a terrible trade off.)

All children become interested in what's going on with their privates at some point. I would start with encouraging him not to do it in public.

As for the sleeping, being on a routine helps a lot. Usually a bath, stories and special one on one time leaves kids feeling sleepy and secure so there are all set for bedtime. Or try being with him in his bedroom instead of yours. That might help the transition to him sleeping in his own room.

Don't worry too much! These things are totally normal and you are probably doing a fine job!

Good luck!

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Dear C.,
Your son sounds just like my 4 year old. The pee pee obsession is just a faze. You may just have to tell him it is ok to explore your body parts but I don't want you to do it in frount of me, and just keep reminding him to get his hands out of his pants.
For eating veggies try different ways for him to eat them. Like my kids like carrots raw or with ranch but not cooked. I all ways put a small amount of any veg I have on there plate and they have to take a "No Thank You Bite" which is they have to take one bite of it and if they don't like it then they can say no thank you. At lest they are getting used to trying new things.
Try setting a timer for him to pick up the toys. Tell him he has until the timer goes off to pick up a certain amount of toys and then if he gets them all done you will help him finish. You may have to start by setting the timer and helping him in that time so he gets used to the idea and then work on you reducing the amount of time you help him so he works up to doing it all on his own.
Dose he have a night light in his room?? That maybe one thing you could do. Set up a bed time ritual like at 7 have a warm bath and then rub some lavender lotion on him to relax him, then pj's and in to bed for a story. Lay there with him until he goes to sleep and then get up, if he comes in to your room at night take him back to bed and lay there again until he goes to sleep. It takes a while but we built up to finally getting to the point of telling our kids it was time for bed and thy would go right in and sleep. Also you may (not sure what your beliefs are) but I had the same problem and I went in to my Daughters room prayed over her room and anoint the door and window with oil.
Have you talked to your doctor about your concern with him all ways hurting himself? Maybe there is something they can look into like his eye sight or equilibrium could be off some how. Just an idea I really have no idea.
Good luck with it I hope some of the things I shared will help.

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Well, where to start. I would give him a time-out every time you catch him with his hands in his pants. He needs to know that it is simply not socially acceptable to run around with your hands in your pants holding your pee-pee. As far as making a mess and not wanting to clean it, all kids are like that. Heck even adults! I know I don't mind getting stuff out, but I hate to put it away. It is simply a matter of discipline. If he makes the mess by himself, he cleans it by himself. Send him into his room to clean it and do not allow him to come out until it's clean. If he chooses to sit in there all day and do nothing, then he can continue to sit there. If, at bedtime it's not clean, then tell him when he wakes up in the morning, he his not allowed to leave his room until it's clean. Keep him in that room for as long as it takes to clean it - no matter if it's hours or days. I would also serve the meals in the room - 10 minutes to eat and the food comes out. the only way he leaves his room is to use the bathroom or when the room is clean - period! As for the getting hurt, he's a little boy. My grandson has had sooooo many stitches. Boys are rough and they get hurt. Just watch to make sure he's not doing anything that will cause serious injury and let him be a boy! As for the sleeping, I would not allow him to come into my bed. My middle grandson did this for quite a long time. He would fall asleep in his bed, but in the middle of the night come into my room and ask if he could get in bed with me and my husband. I ALWAYS said no, and took him back to his bed. I NEVER allowed him in my bed. Now he never comes in to ask. These are all things that are going to require effort on your part. If you don't take him back to his bed, he has no reason to stop coming to yours. If you continue to help him clean his room, he has no reason to clean it himself. He has you trained, mom. You need to turn the tables!

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Hi C.,

I have a daughter exactly the same age as your son, born Jan. 04!

I have searched for books on child development, and the only one that addresses 4 year olds is called "Your Four Year Old, Wild and Wonderful." It's not a good book, so I can't recommend it, but the title alone gives you some idea of the four year old personality, which I see in my daughter and also in your description of your son.

First I think he's perfectly normal (he sounds delightful) and you aren't doing anything wrong. I have those same doubts every day. I try to remember that they are just thoughts, not the truth, and that I interact much more joyfully with my daughter when I can let worries and fears go.

Many parents I know deal with the genital touching issue by having the kids do that in their rooms. That seems to introduce, in a gentle way that doesn't induce shame, the idea that private parts are private.

The eating and mess issues seem absolutely typical for his age. I just provide a range of foods (hummus, fruit bars, fruit, nuts, broccoli etc) in a muffin tin in the fridge and she can grab what she wants. I wouldn't expect a 4 year old to clean up the entire mess without help. The mess is not a problem for them, just for us adults! So I say, I need it clean now, would you be willing to help, and often she does.

My daughter is overly cautious rather than hurting herself, but I think these are just two parts of the spectrum of learning about their physical boundaries and what their bodies can do. Even what it feels like to bump, bang, and scrape themselves. My daughter often asks me to scratch or bruise her. Of course I don't do so, but we put makeup on to look like scratches or bruises sometimes. The book I didn't recommend above talks about this a little.

As for the sleeping, I cosleep with my daughter still also. She doesn't show any interest in sleeping alone and I think this is perfectly normal. I used to live in Mexico, and children there are not expected to sleep alone at this age. This is the age of vivid dreams and even nightmares and it's natural that a child would seek comfort at night.

We aren't doing preschool either, and I don't think it puts your son "behind" to not be in one. In fact, it's been shown to be beneficial to social skills to have less time in such settings.

I hope you get many responses to help you feel some relief from your worries! I've had them all too...been there. Feel free to email me if you want.

____@____.com

Best,
J.

1 mom found this helpful

This all sounds pretty typical of a 4 yr old boy so don't stress over it. They just get so excited to get to the next thing thatb they don't pay attention. You have created this sleeping monster by letting him sleep in your bed so now try to make a bed on the floor next to your bed and then move him to his bed after he sleeps on the floor a few nights. You are just going to hsve to put him back in his bed everytime he comes ion your room even if you lose alot of sleep. They learn very early how to call the shots. You are the boss and you have to let him know that no matter how uncomfortable it is. Good luck

1 mom found this helpful

Sounds completely normal to me.

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I agree with the others he is totally NORMAL! My son (now 7) did the peepee thing too, I finally just told him if he wants to and feels the need to touch and play with his peepee he needed to do it alone, that it is not proper to do that in front of others, it is a private thing!!! So he would go to his room or the bathroom and play all he wanted!

My 5 yearold girl still won't eat many veggies! There is a book I have heard about by Jerry Steinfeld's wife that has recipes like brownies and she put broccoli (purred) in them and some other recipes with great ways to hide the veggies! I just make my kids smoothies every other day or so with lots of fruit! (she won't eat fruit either!)

As for the falling alor, my son is clumsy just like me! He also has bad eye sight, just like me! Have you had his eyes checked. My mom said I was alwyas falling and bumping into things, then they FINALLY figured out I needed glasses, as did my son!!!

OK last but not least, I was worried because my kids WILL not sllep without each other and I posted my concerns on this site, the reaction of others, "Do I like sleeping Alone?" Come to think of it not really I like the comfort of my hubby being right next to me! I guess kids are the same!!! Before my kids start sleeping with each other, we had many nights of musical beds, one or both coming into my ned and me leaving for the couch or one of their beds!

So Yes as you can see you child is NORMAL!!!! Hope this helps set your mind at ease! I am sure your parenting skills are awesome and believe me with the first one there is ALOT of trial and error!! GOOD LUCK!

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It sounds like everyone has responded to most everything except for the picking up after himself. Remember he is only 4. You will have to guide him most of the time, but as you train him to put things away. He will do it more and more easily and by himself. In the living room at our house, we have tall shelves and the first three have toys for our 2 1/2 year old. The first two shelves have larger things like puzzles and the third shelf has baskets with the smaller toys like cars. When mommy is home and also when she reminds daddy, our son must put away a basket before getting another one out. He must put away a puzzle before getting another one out. Sometimes he is resistant, but not for long, because this has been the rule since about 16 mos when we installed the shelves. Also, he has to put away his toys in his bedroom at night before bed (this is part of the bedtime ritual after bath, before reading). I try to be consistent in the house. I'm not as strict with the outside toys (yet). I know he will come to love order and begin to do these things for himself.

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As far as the exposing behavior, you really have to try and make sure he isn't watching sex related programs on tv. They pretty much copy what they see on tv or around them. My daughter wasn't aware that her babysitter had cable and the older kids would be watching x-rated material when she wasn't in the room. The sitter said she would remedy the situation but my daughter got another babysitter. Parents should discuss the television viewing situation ahead of time.

A lot of people are very casual about this subject. They don't realize it's detrimental to small children, perverts and immature adults. Children don't understand the feelings inside them regarding these images.

Sadly, kids as young as 10 are having sex.

1 mom found this helpful

Hi my name is K.. I am the mother of a 16 year old son and an 8 year old daughter. I have also had in my care on and off for the last 15 years my nephew. My daughter is adopted and she is the sister of my nephew. She is not related to me though. My children both have severe ADHD. I am not saying your child has ADHD, as that is certainly not something you can determine via an e-mail, but many of the things that you discussed are similar to the problems my kids have.

My nephew touched himself frequently as a child. We didn't make a big deal out of it, but said to him if he choose to do this he could do it in the bathroom not in front of everyone, It was not easy to remind him of this, but we did keep an eye on him and we did make some progress. My daughter also did this, and we did the same thing. We would move her hands and remind her to go in the bathroom if she wanted some privacy. My daughter no longer does this.

Both kids had problems with sleeping. This is co-morbid for ADHD. My daughter still has problems with sleep and I find her in my bed very frequently. That by far has been the most difficult problem because I need to get some sleep at some point. My husband and I take turns helping her at night which does help. Some say I should lock her in her room and at some point she will learn to sleep on her own. I have not done that yet because it really seems unkind at this point. This was recommended by her psychiatrist by the way. You child is young enough to give it a try though.

My daughter especially is so messy. This summer we are working on putting things away when you take them out and doing some work around the house with mom. She has not wanted to do this and I have to admit it was easier to just let it go sometimes, but 4 is not to young to teach your child that if he takes it out he can put it away. This is one thing I fell short on. I felt that they were too young, but then I went to preschool and saw that they were more than capable of this at school and realized they could do it at home. I would highly recommend you work on that ASAP so the habit is there while he is still young.

My nephew really had a hard time with potty training and needed medication to help with this as he was having accidents until first grade I believe. He didn't live with me in first grade, so I am not sure.

If strong boundaries doesn't work, ask you doctor for advice. As I said one letter can't give you enough information to say a child has this thing or that thing. I am a nurse so I had a lot of information before starting this journey. I knew when I adopted my daughter that the greatest likelihood would be that she would have it. Her birth mom and grandmother both have it so I knew she would too. Most ADHD kids are symptomatic at age 3 my daughter was symptomatic at age 1. She unfortunately has to take meds, but we are working at reducing them this year as it seems she is really getting better. I guess the best thing I can tell you is with consistency and hard work most kids can turn out OK.. It is up to you to invest the time it takes to make it so. There are times when I ask myself if adopting a child that I knew had problems was a good idea ( this is only on really bad days). The answer is always yes. There have been times when I wondered what I would be like if I didn't have some of the responsibilities I have with these kids. The answer always is, I don;t know because I am where God has called me to be. Don't let it overwhelm you. While I was typing this letter my daughter came in and was crying and I said what is wrong honey, She said mommy I had a bad dream that somebody shot you. ( we don't allow any violent movies or games in the house so where does she get this) I don;t know, but it is a blessing to be the one to tell her it is OK honey no one will shot mommy, I am too old and too ugly for that. She looked at me and said mommy I think you are the most beautiful mommy around.

Wishing you the best.

K.

1 mom found this helpful

Hi C.,
It sounds like you are a great mom because you are so in tune with your son. Regarding the falling down issue, an occupational therapist (OT) can evaluate stills such as strength, balance, and ability to integrate sensory imput. My daughter went to an OT for 2 years to work on all these skills. It helped me to hear a professional explain the "why" behind behaviors.
E.

1 mom found this helpful

C.....I think you can rest assured that your son is a perfectly normal 4-year-old. Take it from another mom of a 4-year-old boy! They are full of quirky little behaviors. It doesn't sound to me like your little guy is doing anything you should be overly concerned about. You will probably see him start making some huge strides once he starts pre-school. We saw our son grow up a lot after his first year in pre-school, which he just completed. Best to you and your family!

1 mom found this helpful

Hi C. Z,

About your first concern, my childrens behavior specialist told us that was normal. It's a sensory thing kids go through. If he continues to do it suprising enough having him hold play dough or silly putting will help distract his behavior. It's a part of them learning about their bodies.

concern number 2:
Have you gotton a food processor. Mix vegies in hamburger or turkey burgers. Chop up the vegies in the food processor and add them to the hamburger meat. Mix it well. With my kids I have them out of the room when I do this so they don't see what I'm doing. For all he knows mommy found cool new green spice for the hamburger. I usually do brocoli.

concern #3:
Have you had his eyes checked. My son was constanally hurting himself. He had broken his nose 7x in the last 2 years. Isiah had gotton a concushion from falling. WE later found out his eyes were a big part of his problem. He couldn't see in front of himself. It seems little boys are always rough players also. I would take him to a pediatric optomitrist to have a eye exam and rule that out.

Concern number 4:
About not sleeping in his own room. My daughter was just like your son is but her problem was brought on by a child trauma. We got around it at the age 6 by taking her bed shopping. Got her all new princess bed sheets at kmart. She did all the help picking out what she wanted. When she was at school grandma bought a new bed for herself and gave her, her old bed that she bought 6 months before. Twin size and gave it to my daughter Jocelyn. She bought a queen size bed. We put grandma's 6 month old bed in Jocelyn's room still had the plastic on it. Removed the plastic of course. When Jocelyn got home she saw a brand new bed where her old bed was. She ws so excited. We told her if she slept in her new bed that grandma bought her she would get the princess barbie bed he wanted. Guess what she slept in her new bed for 2 whole weeks. We had 3 nights where we had o have her sleep with me becuase of mediccal reasons. She got very ill and had to be monitored very closely. Watch blood sugars because she is a type 1 diabetic and required every 2 hours breathing treatments. But after that she slept in her bed the 2 whole weeks. My advice is have him help you pick out what he wants in his room a car bed meaning car bed sheets. Then tell him in order to use them he has to sleep in his own bed. I hope this helps. Please conact me with any questions: M. Petersen

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I don't know, my kid is only two, but all this sounds pretty normal to me.

1 mom found this helpful

Hello, I'm a mother of three boys, ages ten, eight, and six. I've been through pretty much all of this at least once.

1. About his pee pee. This is normal for boys, and to be honest, it never really does go away. The best thing I've found to do is to consistently reinforce the idea that touching it is not okay in public, and talking to them about the ideas of politeness and public appropriateness.

2. For veggies: if he normally gets a dessert (or some other after-dinner treat, such as watching TV), don't let him have any until he's eaten at least a few mouthfuls of veggies. Eventually you can graduate this condition to "not until they're all gone". As for cleaning, the fact that you're making him help clean up his own messes is a good beginning! He probably won't make it to cleaning them up all on his own for another few years.

3. Boys are rough. They get hurt a LOT. I keep a ready supply of bandaids, and have lost count of the number of times I've been to the emergency room for a bit of glue on a minor wound. Unless there's a pattern of serious injury (such as hitting his head every day or falling down constantly from an acute lack of coordination), I wouldn't be too concerned. It's just part of being a boy.

4. As for falling asleep in his own room. You need your boundaries, and you need to enforce them with consistency. The fact that he already knows he can crawl into your bed at night will make changing things difficult. I suggest that next time he tries this, you firmly but compassionately take him back to his bed, give him lots of hugs but make it very clear that he is a big boy and needs to sleep in his own bed now. Your ability to change his behavior here will come down to being more stubborn than he is. Be compassionate, but don't give an inch.

I hope some of this helps!

1 mom found this helpful

1. Tell him that people do touch their private area but do so when they are alone. When in the market, or some other public place, ask him if he sees anyone touching themselves. Of course his answer will be No. Then tell him that no one should be seeing him touch himself. Also, make sure he cleans himself well in the bath to make sure he doesn't have an itch later on.

2. Hide the vegies in scrambled eggs and cassaroles and know in your heart he really is getting all the vitimins he needs. Don't worry about it.
2B. Set the kitchen timer to three to five minutes and see how much picking up he can do in that time. Make it a game, Can mom do dishes faster than he can pick up legos and trucks?
Let him win. This may not work the first few times but the idea of winning a game will eventually be intriging.

3. Yeah, I want to sleep in a nice warm bed too. Let him fall asleep in your bed and move him later to his own. He will get used waking in there. Believe me, an 8 year doesn't want to sleep with parents. At some point he will want to feel all grown up. This won't last forever. Also, when he does want to be in his own bed, after you read him a bedtime story let him color in a book or read to himself.

And my general advice, brush your teeth while he in the bathtub. It will teach the youngster that big people do this everyday.

1 mom found this helpful

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