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cathy, Mental Health Professional
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 1436
Experience:  MS., MS.Ed., 30 years clinical and administrative experience in psychiatry and mental health
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My three year old son has decided to stick things in his butt

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My three year old son has decided to stick things in his butt?? What do I do?? He has even gotten to the point of asking his sister to help him??? My son as I know has never been abused and I have never abused him. Just one concerned parent???

Hi thanks for writing JA


I have read your post and understand why you might be disturbed. It does happen though that lots of kids, especially very bright and curious kids do behave this way and it is not an indicator of any kind of abuse. It does not necessarily mean abuse at all but it is disturbing because we consider this socially inappropriate behavior. I actually have a handful of children in my practice right now who are sexually stimulating in socially inappropriate ways that have no trauma or abuse history and I wish I could tell you that he will out grow it, but he might not.

What I tell my parents is to give the behavior three months and if they see no improvement to get the child to a child specialist. I am sure that does not give you a great deal of comfort but no in and of itself, anal stimulation in a three year old is not indicative of any mental health issue or deviant behavior. I hate to say this so casually or simply to you, but he probably likes the sensation so he keeps doing it. I so know that is not what you want to hear. I just so know that, but it is the case with a lot of children and even adults and again no, it does not mean he is deviant or homosexual or anything.
I would keep doing exactly what you are doing and see what happens. If after three months he is still doing this? Seek some professional behavior.

I can offer one other piece of advice here, but it has only worked one time for me in over three decades?

I ask children why? and one time in thirty years a child told me? Otherwise kids know somehow its bad and they are not forthcoming.

As long as he is not causing himself harm physically there is nothing immediate to consider but if it persists? yes, surely get a therapist.

Remember one thing please? You are I are adults so we have a lifetime of conditioning and training to know that inserting things into various orifices is not okay. Young children especially toddlers are naturally curious and do not have the values and mores that we do. It is most likely less a big deal for him than it is for you and I?

Three months on this?

Let me know if we can help you further and you have more questions?

Warm regards,


Customer: replied 6 years ago.
So when he askes what he did wrong he truly has no idea what he has done wrong or that his behavior is unacceptable??? How do I explain to him what is going on??

I think you need to tell him that sticking things there can cause physical harm and thats why we do not do that.


The same way we do not stick things in our eyes or ears or noses (not that this stops any of us from pushing raisins up our noses or pussy willows or whatever), just do not make a big deal of it and say............we do not put things there. If he persists I believe that you can answer him honestly: one it is not healthy to put things there and can cause you problems that would make you have to see the doctor or worse go to the Emergency room? and that should do it? If not, tell him that it is not something done because it is considered bad behavior just as it is touching another person in a private place, etc? You can talk to him about his private places no?

It is up to you which approach meets your comfort level and you certainly know him better than I do but which ever you think is the quickest and most effective way to convey this?

Do it.

Let me know what you think on this?

Warm regards,


cathy and other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 6 years ago.

Thank you so much Cathy, I really truly appreciate your expert opoinion. I will most definietly be explaining to him how it is harmful and can hurt him. Thank you so much I truly thought I was doing something wrong as a parent for him to act this way.

I think you are a good parent. Its rare to find one but occasionally they do write us here! Keep up the good work and thanks for the accept and bonus. Cathy

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