J.P. asks from Fleming Island, FL on October 23, 2006
Should I Be Concerned???? - Fleming Island,FL
My son is now potty trained and thank goodness it happened very quickly and smoothly. My son is 3 and so he started wearing underoos. Well, since this began, (early summer) my mother has caught him at least on 3 occasions where he is sitting on the floor touching his private. Well, on Sunday he was watching Madagascar and I went to go check on him and there he was watching T.V. and touching it. I really didn't know how to handle it, but I told him how it was not nice for little boys to be doing that and that it has lots of germs and he could get sick, because that's where his pee-pee comes out of. I don't know how much he understood that, but he understands not to touch anything if we have to go to a public restroom, which, by the way, I hate, because of the germs. I need help. My mom and sister tease me saying he is going to be a pervert. I think it's because he is just curious. but this started only when he began wearing the underwear. The only t.v. he watches are the learning programs on Noggin and Disney. I'm a single mother so he doesn't ever see me kiss or cuddle with anyone. He doesn't stay with anyone but my niece and mom. So i know he is not being abused. I just didn't know if this was normal. My older son has never done that and so i am not sure what to do. someone please help.
So What Happened?™
Oh! thank you everyone. I feel so much better. Of course, deep down in my gut i knew there was nothing wrong. I just needed a bit of a confirmation. I knew I had read once upon a time ago that this was normal. But I just couldn't remember if I really did or it was just me thinking I did. Thanks, again. I feel so much better.
L.G. answers from Boston on October 23, 2006
all the other moms are correct, as a pediatric RN I can tell you that it is completely normal, don't worry
D. answers from Tampa on October 23, 2006
Tell whomever that the statements made are disgusting. Young children play with their genitalia. I ran a nursery for many years and this is a common practice. It has nothing to do with sex. It is there, it is interesting, and that is all!
Don't put too much attention on it and be firm with anyone in your family putting attention on it. They (children) are not concerned with it and you should not be concerned either.
It is when we add stress to things that we make incomprehensible to children. Treat the whole thing with an attitude of boredom.
With my daughter, I will say things like "ladies don't do that around other people or in public", and I say it very bored. Never in anger or as if they did something wrong.
1 mom found this helpful
T.O. answers from Sarasota on October 23, 2006
Pardon me for saying this, but it sounds to me like your family is a little undereducated about something that is completely normal and natural for a child your son's age. Curiousity about self and others is a developmental normality for a 3-year old. There is nothing wrong, strange, or perverted about it. I can't believe your own family would treat it like it was a perversion. My own sons are 2 and 4. They both have been curious about themselves and each other. I explain that while it's normal to be curious about other people's parts (they've also asked mommy and daddy when they've seen us undressed after showers, etc.), private parts are for ourselves (no need to explain the mommy-daddy connection at this point!). When they are curious about themselves, which happens very frequently, I continue to explain that it is absolutely okay to be curious and that it can sometimes feel good... they sometimes get erections from self-stimulation, which is also normal... but that the only time it is appropriate to act on the curiousity is in their own room. My 4-year old, when he occasionally forgets, will answer when I say, AJ, are you supposed to be doing that out here? He says, no, mommy, only in my bedroom. Then he either stops or hops up and heads to his room. Usually he gets interested in something else, like Legos or trains, before he gets to his room. No big deal, no chastizing, no making him feel dirty or even more curious because we say it's a bad thing. My 4-year old also has developmental delays, like you said your son has had, so explaining may need to be simple and elementary... then again, how else would you explain something like this to a 3-year old?!
Good luck and best wishes. I hope this helps you feel a little better about the whole thing.
1 mom found this helpful
T.T. answers from Tampa on October 23, 2006
I think it's very normal he has probably just discovered he has something down there and like any little child he has to touch it! I wouldn't be too worried if it does keep happening maybe talk to your ped. but to me in my opinion its only natural for him to be doing this!
C.P. answers from Tampa on October 24, 2006
That's 100% normal. If your son is not circ then it's even encouraged by the medical field. The worst thing you can do is make him feel guilty. Three is old enough to teach him that's something he should do in private, but watching a movie by himself at home sounds like the right time. You have nothing to worry about.
D. answers from Tampa on October 24, 2006
I am not a pro but if you know he's safe then I wouldn't be concerned. I have raised a daughter but my son is only 3 also. It could be that his private part is sensitive and the undies rub it when he walks and all so he is noticing or feeling a sensation where as the diaper is tighter and thicker and probably didn't do that. I'm sure you will get some more responses but if not you could always talk to his dr. I know it is natural for a little one, girls and boys, to explore their bodies...even when they are young. I don't know if I'd tell him it's dirty, you don't want him to grow up thinking the thing attached to him is dirty/germy and remember that when he gets older and have problems. Maybe you should explain that he's not supposed to play with it as it's a private part of his body...and also that no one else needs to see it or go near it (except of course if you need to wash him or help him wipe). Good luck and I'm sure everything will be fine.
S.R. answers from Pensacola on October 25, 2006
Hi there J. my name is S. and my son is also three and he started to play with his peepee when he stated to wear underware as well i am not claming to know the best way. How ever i have read many diffrent things and some experts say let him do it he is just courios my nephews all did the same thing and they grew out of it. I tell my son that it is not propper to do that in the livivng room he should go to his bed room and he will usally stop right then and we go about our day remeber the are boys and boys will do strange things!! hope I help u sincerly S.
B.B. answers from Jacksonville on October 23, 2006
Your worst mistake is lisening to your mother and sister. It is totally normal for young children- they are curious. I was reading a parenting magazine when my daughter was first born and someone asked the psychologist what to do because her 3 yr old daughter would go into her bedroom and masterbait. The pshycologist said it is totally normal behavior and that every child will do it as long as it doesn't encompass the majority of her day and she knows that it is a private situation. I was so shocked thinking of my daughter eventually doing that grossed me out but it made me realize that children do experienment with their bodies and that it is normal. Of course my daugther has never done that (thank god) but she does touch herself in the bath tub and I just ignore it knowing that she is just learning about her body. Your son is totally normal. I would just make sure he is aware that you don’t do that in a public place and he will grow out of it.
V.T. answers from Jacksonville on October 23, 2006
Do not listen to your mom and sister, this is totally normal behavior for a 3 year old boy. He is curious just like you said. Do not worry he will not be a pervert, do not take what other people say to heart. He will be curious regardless of what he sees or doesn't see as it is completely normal. Just don't make him afraid to touch it, talking about germs etc. Don't make him feel dirty about it, as you don't want him to think he is a dirty person etc. I hope this helps. I'm going thru the same thing with my 3 year old. Good Luck!! :)