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Sarah
Sarah, Psychologist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 143
Experience:  Chart'd Psych, 12 yrs exp. English prisons, Clinical Hypnotherapist, EMDR Therapist, BPS, HPC reg'd.
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hi yesterday my 8 yrs old son was caught having sex with

Resolved Question:

hi

yesterday my 8 yrs old son was caught having sex with a 9yrs old girl at the aftercare facility. I am hurt and confused. He is never exposed to such behaviour in our home which makes me wonder why he is doing it. especially because i had spoken to him about it before extensively with all the consequenses outlined to him. why is he not open to me ?

worried- anonymous
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Sarah replied 3 years ago.

Sarah : Hi there,
Sarah : There is a chance that this expensive information that you have given your young son was a bit early for him, although I understand that the situation was put upon you by finding other children doing this kind of thing. There are several issues here I think - children want to be Ike their friends and to feel that they are doing the same things, whether it is playing with a certain toy or going to the same place. So your son, having been introduced to sexual behaviour, is probably trying to keep in with his peers.
Sarah : Alongside that, he has probably been told by yourself that this is something that older people, adults do - also a bit of a red rag to a bull - if we tell them something is out of bounds, then
Sarah : Children tend to want to try it out - it's in their nature.
Sarah : I understand that you have ot exposed your son to sexual behaviour at home, but how certain can you be that he hasnt been involved with other children at school encouraging him to do similar before now? I think this would be very important to know from a parental point of view.
Customer :

hi sarah

Sarah : Difficult for him to tell you, I guess, but important for him to be able to tell you.
Expert:  Sarah replied 3 years ago.
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Customer: replied 3 years ago.
hi i want to know how i deal with it though ? Do i punish him? how do i make sure it doesnt happen again in the future ?
Expert:  Sarah replied 3 years ago.
Hello again, the first line above should read 'extensive' not expensive - sorry!

Another point I would make is what are the afterschool facility doing about this, because it is illegal behaviour that if they are not seen to be stopping, could be accused of allowing to happen. The teaches need to be fully aware of what is happening and fully knowledgeable about where the children are disappearing to.

So what can you do now about your son? It is important, very important, that he doesn't begin to associate sex with being disciplined, told off, doing wrong, etc. as this is likely to cause problems in later life when he has adult sexual relationship. But obviously he has to know that it is wrong for now, for young children, just as we might tell them about alcohol. It is something that they will encounter that they will be able to handle when they are older.

I think it is now very important for your child to learn that sex is something that should happen within loving relationships, so that it is put into context for him. Tell him that it is then called something different, making love, because it is best when it happens between two people who love each other. Tell him that you may have made a mistake by telling him much, too early and that you take the responsibility for doing that, and tell him you are sorry - then ask him to keep his responsibilities regarding this by not doing it anymore. This way, you may feel more of a team tackling it together rather than you against him.

There is also the important information that it is possible for a young girl of 9 to become pregnant, which would potentially be catastrophic for all involved. But in my opinion, your son shouldn't be burdened with this knowledge at age 8, as he is, or he was, a young boy. It kind of feels that some boundaries have been crossed that can never be redrawn. But that has to be accepted now in a positive light so you can move on. Have a look on Amazon or eBay for a book about teaching the birds and the bees to a boy of 8 and see what they recommend. Then try and tailor what you have told him to this information. This will give you guidance to tell him what it is important for him to be remembering at this time, and what it is OK for him to forget about til he is older.

I do hope this is helpful for you. Have another read through it and see what the different strands of thought are for you to take forward. There are lots of implications here, your son's wellbeing, the girl's wellbeing, the school's discipline, the legal responsibilities - you should be able to genuinely leave your children in their care with the knowledge that they will be safe. Each of these need to pull together to support each other through this, or the whole situation could become more out of control that it already is.

Well done for supporting your son, this cannot be easy for you. Does your son have his daddy around? If so, ask him to be involved too with this so your son has two people he can talk to, one of which is a male. If not, is there a male friend that your son could find it easy to talk to? A male role model is very important at this age. You also need support - search on line for children, sexual behaviour, support and see if there is a site that can help you. You won't be the only parent in this situation and you won't be the last. They mitt give you more tips on how to handle this and support for you too. Best Wishes, Sarah

Sarah, Psychologist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 143
Experience: Chart'd Psych, 12 yrs exp. English prisons, Clinical Hypnotherapist, EMDR Therapist, BPS, HPC reg'd.
Sarah and 6 other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you
Expert:  Sarah replied 3 years ago.
Try this site - it looks easy to read and perhaps very helpful with references and other sources.

http://www.childabusecouncil.on.ca/index.php/understanding-children’s-sexual-behaviour-healthy-or-harmful/

It is based in England so there may be cultural differences, but you can always look at other sites in your country too. Hope that helps? Sarah

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