13 answers

What to Do with Boys "Holding on to Themselves"

Kind of a crude request, sorry.
My boys, 7 and 5, are constantly holding their crotch..I am getting so sick of it. I try to have a conversation with them and I end up watching them grab themselves.
I think they are old enough to stop doing this, any suggestions on what to say? I'm tired of asking them if they have to go to the bathroom..my husband tells them they don't need to hold it, it won't fall off!LOL
Any ideas? Thank you!!

What can I do next?

Featured Answers

My 10 year old has been doing this since he discovered he had "boy parts." He has gotten better, but he still does it when he is nervous. I don't even think he notices he is doing it. I explained to him that it is not appropriate and I gently remind him about it when he does, usually just "the look" works. Unfortuately one of the times he still does it is on the soccer field just before the game, when he is nervous. My 7 year old has never had a problem with it, but my 3 year old just discovered he has "parts" too. I am tired of everyone asking if he has to pee! I hope he grows out of it sooner!

More Answers

I have 4 boys and they all have done it. They do grow out of it soon or later. I found that they always did more it when they were nervious or excited about something. I would try to do something to distract them or ask them to go in there room until they were done explaing they was something you do in private but honestly i think they did it unconsciously. There 11 to 21 now and don't do it anymore but now were dealing with the farting .aaaaaaaah men

I used to work at a daycare center, was a teacher for 6 years, and now am a SAHM. I can tell you that around 3-4 years old boys and some girls too discover their private parts and the soothing feeling they get from their privates being stimulated in any manner (petting, rubbing, holding, and even laying on the floor and slithering like a snake--yes I have witnessed this at a daycare center.) From what my teachings and my experienced has taught me was to not make it a joke (no offense to your husband) or make the child feel embarrased in anyway. Don't make the child feel like they are doing something bad. BUT to do the holding and petting of oneself in public is unacceptable. I would just tell my sons privately in their ear "If you wish to hold yourself, you are going to need to go to the bathroom or your room and do this in private." At first, it will probably be a pain for you to be consistent and they being the age they are may even manipulate the situation a little bit. But if you say this and demand this each time you witness the behavior then soon it will catch on with your sons. I predict they will eventually save the holding for later when they are alone, and you will not longer have to deal with it. This did work for the "little slithering snake" at the daycare center. Good luck dear.

Goodmorning L.,
Sorry you're having an issue like this, it can be uncofortable if others are around. My suggestion would be to explain to them that that behavior is unexceptable in front of others. Explain that it's natural to touch, but to do it in the privacy of thier own rooms or while in the bathroom, either way ALONE. Since it is natural for children to explore themselves, we just have to let them know it's not polite to do it in front of other people, even family. Good luck hon.

Hi!! My son is also 5 and constantly holds himself also. I've asked him if it hurts, is it itchy...etc. Finally he told me "I have alot of energy in there" !! I almost fell over lol! My aunt raised 3 boys and swore it was normal ans said they still do it

Hi L.,
I recently just got a 5 year old boy whowas always holding, itching anything, finally I brought him to the doctor and told them that something wasn't right, turns out he had a yeast infection, he has stopped holding himself as much since treatment. I am not sure if this is a problem for you but maybe. if he keeps doing it after you ask him to go in private ( which I am going to start doing) you might want to get that checked.

Not that this helps, but guys NEVER out grow this. It's riduculous. And this is a boy thing, by the way. My husband still grabs himself, not in public. I'm sure if you pay attention you will notice that your husband does it too. They have to "adjust" and "the boys were sticking to my leg" and so on and so on. Sometimes I think it's like a handle and if they don't hold it they might fall down. I don't know what it is, but ever since my son found his you can't take his diaper off. The first time he said "my pee pee" and grabbed himself, I almost fell over laughing. Just tell them that they can only do it in private.

My 10 year old has been doing this since he discovered he had "boy parts." He has gotten better, but he still does it when he is nervous. I don't even think he notices he is doing it. I explained to him that it is not appropriate and I gently remind him about it when he does, usually just "the look" works. Unfortuately one of the times he still does it is on the soccer field just before the game, when he is nervous. My 7 year old has never had a problem with it, but my 3 year old just discovered he has "parts" too. I am tired of everyone asking if he has to pee! I hope he grows out of it sooner!

Im going through the same situation. I have learn that it is a part of there way for right now. I think if you keep bringing it up they will do it all the more. Try to ignore it and see what happens

My two year old does it, I think that it's just something to do with when it moves, they are curious, etc. All of the suggestions above are very excellent. Gives me something to think about when he's older, but since he's two, he doesn't understand.

L.,
According to the wisdom of my 6 year old, his 'junk' gets sweaty. No clue where he got the 'junk' term btw. I've explained to him that if he's that uncomfortable he needs to excuse himself to use the restroom and fix it there. He is gradually learning to be more discreet about it. I think its just a fact of life, but good luck anyhow!
T.

L.- I agree with Leah. I also have a 5 year old son and over the last year, he seems to have "found himself"...LOL! I did tell him that it's okay for him to do this in the privacy of his own room, but not in front of other people. I told him if it's because he has to go to the bathroom, to just let me know. Otherwise, if he does it in public, I just quietly say "Hand" and he knows what I'm talking about and will stop. Sometimes I have to remind him several times, but he "gets it" :)

Good luck!!!

LOL, keep wishing!!! I've got a 13 y/o who still does this!!! I think its the whole boy/guy thing. After all they are the family jewels...they've got to protect them!!!

Ok, seriously...explain that it makes you uncomfortable when they do it and if they are going to continue to do it, they will have to stay in their bedroom until they can show some kind of respect for their mom.

Good luck!!
M.

L.,

This is still normal for 5 and 7 year olds. (BTW girls are far worse.) Just have a conversation with them that that is something they do only when they are alone because it is not appropriate for others to see. Don't make a big deal about it because then that will cause other issues. If they do it at an iapproriate time, just say their name to remind them and that should work. They don't realize what they are doing, they just know that it feels good. Trust me, when my daughter was doingit constantly I took her to the ped. and she asked me why I was so worried, it is normal developmental behavior.
If you let them no it is okay, just not in certain situations it will help them without embarrassing them.
Good luck.
L.

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