25 answers

My Son "Touched" a Girl at School Now What Do I Do.

My son touched a girl at school and I don't know what to do next. He was repremanded at school, I have spoken to the girl's mother, the principal and the teacher. We have known the other family for a few years and there are no hard feelings between us. I and wondering if I need to go into depth about puberty and changes now because of this. I am so confused! Will it continue, has it happened before. As far as I know, he has never had sexual contact with anyone. By the way he is 8. Help me.

What can I do next?

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I would definitely have the talk with him now. Either he knew what he was doing when he touched her (and already knows some of the birds and the bees) or he is really confused at why he got in trouble, etc. It's time.

No you don't need to go into the sexual aspect but he needs to know that it is wrong to touch anyone without that persons permission. He probably already knows that people have private parts..they teach that pretty early on now a days. He must understand that noone has the right to poke or prod at anyones body parts

An 8 yr old boy at school touched my daughter and I do know the mother. After speaking to the mother she felt it necessary for him to write an apology letter to her and the parents. It really helped him understand the mistake and they still are friends. This was two years ago and they are still friends.

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there is an awesome book written by someone in Barrington IL that I bought at Barnes and Knoble called my body is private. I also have 2 boys your sons age- 5and a half and 7 and they love to touch- and when they do I sit down and review the book and ask questions etc... I dont think its necessary to go into depth about puberty changes yet. I think its just natural. I watch my children closely and they dont see any adult content on tv or video games. my husband and I are open about hugging and kissing. its just natural for kids to be curious. I look forward to the day I can walk in the store and my boys dont touch the dummies privates.

1 mom found this helpful

In my opinion, it definitely makes a difference on whether they were experimenting and both were sort of checking the other out or whether he touched her without her consent. If it's the former, I think it's completely harmless curiosity - the same stuff we probably all did as children. If it's the latter, then I think the situation was dealt with appropriately. As a child I was molested by a family member for 3 years, and I never knew how I was supposed to respond to his actions b/c of everyone telling me that it was "normal" behavior. At the time I thought I was just supposed to let him do whatever he wanted b/c he was a boy, and that's "what boys do." I honestly believe that my cousin did these things out of curiosity in the beginning, but it was allowed to be taken to a a dangerous level b/c no one told either of us that it was wrong.
I do agree that you did the right thing, and if it was a consensual experimentation then it's nothing to be worried about.

1 mom found this helpful

Hi E., We went through a simular experience. I'm not sure what the details of your situation is, but I found in my sons situation, he had no idea what he was doing, there was no sexual intent there. He had not been exposed to that kind of behavior. He had in reality been restling with his dad and as some guys do his dad would give him a, for the lack of better terms "titty swister". The little girls parents wouldn't even talk to me so that we as a family could not appologize. Anyway at the time I realized I needed to sit down with him and talk to him about what behavior was appropriate and what wasn't. Also at that time the puberty and changes talk was not important, that he was too young for it. What was important was letting him know that he had limited boundries as to the way we can touch people. Indepth teaching my be to much information. Again all I can go on is from my experience and don't know the details around the situation. I hope this helps. A.

1 mom found this helpful

hi E.,

I am assuming your son 'touched' this girl in an inappropriate place on her body. Good thing you know the family, some people would take this sort of thing to the extreme. I remember talking with my (now 18-yr-old) son around that age about the difference between boys and girls - he didn't understand that he couldn't play as rough with little girls - I just simply told him how God made girls softer for a reason - so they can be mommies when they grow up and how important it is for him, as a young man, to always protect girls and look out for them (basically, be a gentleman), no matter what girls say or do - that nice young men are expected to treat girls with respect, and that also means not going beyond their "personal space".

Of course, my wonderful 18-yr-old son just got in trouble at High School for biting a girl - yes, he bit a girl on her arm (you can imagine how proud we are). They were just horsing around and he didn't know his boundaries. Luckily the girl's parents were understanding about it. So take my advice with a grain of salt :-) But MOST of the time, he is a gentleman.

It sounds like your son got repremanded at all the right levels. How is he reacting? Does he seem genuinely sorry - or is he just shrugging it off? I would just watch him very closely, you know the school will be now -- don't let him be unsupervised at all if you can help it and watch out for inappropriate stimuli (internet, magazines, t.v., movies & video games can all contain material that is just too explicit).

I believe that it's completely normal for children to be curious at that age, of course that doesn't justify 'touching'... sometimes just when we think they're mature enough to be somewhat independent - that's when we have to watch them the closest; I feel your worry - chances are nothing more will occur.

cheers,

W.

1 mom found this helpful

You've had alot of great response but there one thing you need to make sure. Kids sometimes copy things that they know. I dont want to scare you but make sure there isnt someone touching or have touched him inappropriatly. I had something like this happen to my daughter by her cousin, to find out something happened to him so he thought it was ok.
Good luck
Pattie

My off-the-top-of-my-head reaction is that this situation isn't sexual, it's two little kids, one of whom touched the other. While you certainly want to have a "that's not OK" conversation it could be limited to the situation at hand--"it's not really OK to touch anyone in their private areas," and make that the thing you want him to remember from this incident. If he's been talked to at school, he's probably already got that rather firmly in mind! (I hope the school person wasn't too heavy handed; you'd want to know exactly what was said and get a sense of how it was said.) You won't find out if it happened before--it probably hasn't if you haven't heard about it. If it happens again you would up the ante a little in your conversation with him. Kids are curious, and need some help from grownups around establishing some boundaries around what it's OK to be curious about. The societal expectations in this area are pretty clear for adults but not so clear for 8 year olds. So I'd want to be sure that he had the message he needs, but not make too big a deal out of a one time incident. You'll undoubtedly keep your ears and eyes open now, and can help him if he brings this up again or brings up feelings about how he was talked to, etc., by others. If there are repeat incidents, then you would be increasingly concerned and could respond accordingly.

By touched a girl, I guess you mean inappropriately like on her genitals or chest???? If he hasn't come in contact with anyone that would give him such ideas...then he's seen something he shouldn't see. Do you have cable that he has access to without supervision? Do you keep videos in the house? Is there anyway for him to stumble on something while on the computer...do you have parental blocks on your computer? Does he have older cousins or neighbors that he is in contact with regularly?

I would just ask him where he got the idea to touch the neighbor girl like that...don't make it like he's in trouble, but just ask because you are curious. My husband was molested by a babysitter down the street when he was only a year or two older than your son. She showed him how to do things no child that age should know and as a result he became obssessed with sex at an early age. Of course, he wasn't ready for that kind of thing and that is why he got so engrossed. And, of course, he never told his parents whom never had a clue...or maybe they could have gotten him some help before it ruined his ability to do well in school and so on.

In any case, you may need to seek advice from a counselor to see what would be appropriate talk for this age. He has to understand that you can't go around touching another child's private areas....just like others should not touch his private areas.

I would research the datat that is out there in the libary or on the net...maybe even talk to the school counselor about good literature you can read on the subject and then go from there.

At his age it probably wouldn't be a bad idea to start a little of the birds and the bees.

I, myself, have a 12yr old son. I have always been open and upfront with my children when it comes to sex talk. I started these talks when he was about 4yrs. old and started coming home come preschool with questions. I guess, no matter how much we try to protect our kids from being expose to these things, it always manages to find it's way in. Anyway, one day, I was informed by the preschool teacher that my son was becoming "too" affecation with another classmate. It wasn't anything sexual, but the constant hugging was making his classmate very uncomfortable. I sat down with my son and simply explained to him that it was ok to show his feeling, but that it was very important that he understand that he needed to respect personal space and body.

you need to have him see a Dr of phycalogy for children.
he probable has been sexually abused by a family member or friend who has scared him not to tell.'be sure to tell him he has not done anything wrong and you love him and are there for him. to protect him from this person.how you react will be very important.
my prayers are with you. i know from experience how you feel.
C.

children will explore their sexual organs. don't turn this into a terribly negative experience, or it could have major reprocussions later. just let him know the differences between the sexes, and tell him that, at his age, it is inappropriate to touch someone else's private parts. if u berate him now, he will become one of these sexually disfunctional children everyone is raising nowadays. now is a good age to start teaching them about their bodies so that they are not such a mystery to them. u don't even have to start discussing sex with them. i really doubt that your child was doing anything sexual anyway. i used to hang out with all boys growing up, and i know that the same type of thing happened when i was about the same age. fortunately, my mom did not make a big deal of the event, and i was able to learn about my body without shame. i do, however, wish that my mom had been more open with the sex talks when i was younger. i started sex talks with my son when he was like nine. it was age appropriate, and became a regular discussion as he got older. he is now fifteen. he knows that he was an unplanned teenage pregnancy, and is determined to not make that mistake with another child. don't be afraid to discuss sex and their bodies with them at this age. do it before society does.

You did the right thing by addressing the issue with him. The girl's parents are okay with it so you can relax. He is curious and did something that was "inappropriate". I am sure he does not normally do "inappropriate" things. You've addressed it so it is his turn to make good choices. I am sure he learned his lesson. All kids do some really embarrassing things. You will all laugh about this at his wedding.

K. H.
mother of 10 year old boy

Hey, he's a kid, these things happen. Forget explaining anything because he'll be bored and won't remember anyway. At 8, he has no idea what "sexual contact" is (adults construct this, not kids) and this is probably the first and last incident that will arise.

My best advice is keep it simple and in a loving tone--reiterate what you've (presumably) already told him: Do not touch someone else's, and do not let anyone touch your, private parts. Private parts are the ones covered by a bathing suit. That's it.

8-year-old children are quite happy to obey, as long as they know the rules. As adults, we read into things. Your little guy was probably just interested because it was a "different part" than anything he's seen. Sounds like he has natural curiosity--that's great! A little direction will keep him from stepping over the boundaries of good manners and appropriate actions. Sometimes you have to make a mistake to learn from it--remember? I'm sure you feel strange and horrible right now, but this too shall pass. Take a deep breath and know that good thoughts are sent your way today. :)

No you don't need to go into the sexual aspect but he needs to know that it is wrong to touch anyone without that persons permission. He probably already knows that people have private parts..they teach that pretty early on now a days. He must understand that noone has the right to poke or prod at anyones body parts

If this is the first time this has happened I wouldn't go to counseling just yet - just my opinion. I would have a frank discussion with him about the boundaries that he must respect between himself and other people's bodies, and I would explain why (maybe even find an age appropriate book to read). If it were my kid, I would also make it very clear that there would be a major consequence if he does this again. You can empathize w/ him and let him know that you understand that he might be curious, that maybe he has seen things on TV, or heard other kids say things or do things, but that it is 100% unacceptable for him. He is at a good age for you to establish this with him (before he gets older). I'm sure you're a great mom and that he's a good kid - sometimes our kids surprise us and we don't understand where something came from, but hopefully you can resolve it now after it's only happened once. Good luck!

E.,
I can't believe I am admitting this in a public forum but here goes. When I was young, a neighbor boy and I used to go behind the bushes and play, "I'll show you mine if you show me yours." My mother never knew. It happend a few times and that was it. Curiosity is normal. NORMAL, normal, normal.
With your son, I don't know if this was an experience where he forced her to let him touch her or she wanted him to. Even when it comes to just normal curiosity, Parents are parents to teach their children. One of the things they need to teach is about approiate touching. We have 6 children and their 'education' changes as they age. Our 5 and 7 year olds just know that our bodies are private. We cover them and no one is allowed to touch us in those areas. Our older children are beginning to be taught more about sex and reproduction etc. I do think 8 is a little young to talk about all that. We usually do that at around 10. However, every child is different. Our 9 year old daughter has spent a lot of time with people in the medical field.(being treated for cancer) She is pretty bright and understands a lot about the body and how it works. Especially for a 9 year old. I have already spoken with her. Mostly about body changes and reproduction. Not so much about intamacy. I don't think she could understand that at 9. I don't think my son is prepared to understand intamacy at 12, and I know my 11 yeat old isn't either.
Without making him feel threatened ask HIM your questions. "Has this happened before?" Make it clear that it cannot happen anymore and then just move on.
Another note; I don't know how your household is set up but I would really caution you about any television they are allowed to watch without you. Waking and watching in the middle of the night etc. Good luck.

You don't mention you have talked to your son. Do it! Don't make him feel like he's dirty or bad for experimenting. I know 8 seems young for kids to be interested in the opposite sex but they are very aware of the difference between the sexes- especially in todays day and age. If you don't feel comfortable about talking to him have his dad or another trusted male talk to him. You should ask if he understands why what he did he got in trouble for and if he did it for a reason. You may get an "i don't know" but keep the door open so down the road as a teenager he won't feel like he can't talk to his parents about issues he comes into with dating. I think a simple "as you keep growing up your body will change and that will bring an interest in the opposite sex" and if he wants to know now what happens, go into more detail but don't force it on him. that has to be tough! good luck!

It is normal for an 8 year old to be curious about body parts. I don't think the "touching" is too much to worry about just yet, ... unless it continues to happen. I would talk to him and see if anyone has ever touched him like that before, and if he says yes, then obviously do some investigating and find out who it was and do what you need to to protect your child, but if he says no, then I don't think that talking to him about puberty would be a bad idea. I believe in being honest with my child... I don't want to hide anything from him, or refuse to tell him anything if the time is right... It's really your call and what you feel in your gut is the right thing to do. There are tons of people out there who would criticize your every move.. so really... it's totally up to you. Good luck though!!!

Hard to decide with out you mention type of touching and did your son say why he touched her that way if it was inapporate, with out know details, no one shoudl be telling you he needs a psychatrist, or telling you its harmless. If you shared more might be easier to understand how to help you.

E.,
I think in this day and age this should be taken seriously and maybe some professional counseling should be sought out on the matter. Whether it be the school counselor or a family counselor, it can't hurt to seek out help from the professionals on this one. My six year old niece was "touched" by an 8 year old boy and counseling helped both families involved.

Have you taught him that just as no one has the right to put their hands on him he must also respect others by keeping his hands to himself? All kids are curious. Im sure once you impress upon him the importance of respecting going both ways he will be fine. I commend you for for speaking to the girls mother.

An 8 yr old boy at school touched my daughter and I do know the mother. After speaking to the mother she felt it necessary for him to write an apology letter to her and the parents. It really helped him understand the mistake and they still are friends. This was two years ago and they are still friends.

nobody has asked what context it was. Were they playing Dr or did he do it against her will? was it experimentation? I think you also have to look at what prompted it.

Good grief! They are KIDS. People used to laugh at little kids playing doctor, now they kick them out of school and call them sex fiends. We have become a suspicious and frightful society and it makes me so incredibly sad.
Doesn't anyone remember what it was like to be a kid and wonder what the opposite sex looks like?? Adults touch each other, why can't a kid? (If they have ever seen you snorgle your husband they will wonder what you are doing)
I had a twin brother and we were always running around naked until we went to school. I remember both of us standing naked with a neighbor girl, looking at each other. WOW! You got one of those, I don't, neat! There was nothing "sexual" about it.
Ok, now that I have finished ranting. =)
Darlin it is all how YOU react to things. I would apologize to your the parents but I would also point out that it is kids being curious and that you will be talking to your son about what is appropriate and what is not.
Then I would talk to the school and tell them SHAME ON YOU! The school should know more than anyone about how curious kids are and what a horrible message it sends to everyone to punish a child for curiousity. But then again you need to step back and wonder about our school system anyway, when they suspend kids for HUGGING! They don't want to be sued and that is the bottom line. It is only going to change if parents like you stand up to them and tell them that this is a child being a child, not a sex offender!
As for you, relax. Your baby is curious. Go to the book store and look in the childrens section for books on anatomy. Start talking to him about how wonderfully different our bodies are, what is appropriate touch and leave him with the book. If he has questions don't go into super detail. Believe it or not he may get bored after a few minutes!
Your son is a child, remember that more than anything. *HUG* AND you have done nothing wrong.

I am a firm believer in keeping your children informed. It tends to keep them out of trouble, and protects them too. I taught mine at an early age about private areas, the difference between boys and girls, and good and bad touching. I don't think the "puberty" talk is necessary at this point (although my 7yo dd knows all about it. She wants to know all "grown up" matters) I think he understands now what he did was not appropriate, I would just be sure that your 6yo understands as well.

I would definitely have the talk with him now. Either he knew what he was doing when he touched her (and already knows some of the birds and the bees) or he is really confused at why he got in trouble, etc. It's time.

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