Seeking expert counseling is a sign of strength. A personal relationship with a caring professional is proven clinically effective.
Dear concerned mother,
Mutual touching games such as "doctor" or "house" is not unusual for children up to about 7 years of age. Considering the large age discrepancy between your 11 year old and the four year old, then your son is taking advantage of his position (power and age), and thus it moves from being the unacceptable but normal behavior, to the unacceptable.
This does not mean that your son is a bad boy or has a terrible problem, even if he has done something inappropriate and previously prohibited. He may be acting out things he has heard from his peers. Unfortunately, pre-teens are very precocious, sexually. Scholarly studies have learned that, in lower income areas (where the studies were made), the AVERAGE age for first intercourse (not mere touching) is about 12 1/2 years old for boys and about 13 years for girls.
Children are exposed to so much sexual implicit (rather than explicit) material on TV, plus some kids have pornography in their homes, and they view it with their cohorts. Sex and sexual activity is a daily topic of conversation and interest among kids his age, nowadays. This doesn't make it right or acceptable. Rather, it points out that we have a terrible problem to deal with.
Was the other childr traumatized or very upset by this incident? If s(he) resisted, then the infraction was worse than if (s)he was a willing accomplice. If it was all your son's idea and other child was not expecting this, then the behavior was more devious.
Television is probably a bad influence on your son (and on everyone else, for that matter, in my professional opinion. Severely limited access to TV is an appropriate penalty for this offense.
Be aware that your son did
not learn this behavior from an another child, a baby sitter, or some other person. Talk with him about his behavior and emphasize how inappropriate this behavior is. Talk to him calmly because you don't want to traumatize him. Let him know that this behavior is appropriate, but don't lead him to become ashamed of his body, or of sexuality. Don't fill him with guilt tht he is bad, for this could destroy his self-esteem.
Let hims know what the rules are. It won't hurt to repeat the rules, but be don't treat him like he is a criminal. He is just a sexually curious pre-teen who has stepped over the line.
I do no think he needs counseling at this point, just continued firm but loving parental guidance.
To help you, I recommend that you get one or two or all three of these books, available from Amazon or elsewhere on line:Talking toYour Kids About Sex: How to Have a Lifetime of Age-Appropriate Conversations with Your Children About Healthy Sexuality
by Mark R. Laaser
ANDLet's Talk About S-E-X: A Guide for Kids 9 to 12 and Their Parents
by Sam Gitchel and Lorri Foster
AND For kids from 8 to 19 (a book that will be usefor for the nex 8 years)How to Talk to Your Child About Sex: It's Best to Start Early, but It's Never Too Late -- A Step-by-Step Guide for Parents
by Linda Eyre and Richard Eyre
You should be able to put an end to this with good parental guidance. Obviously, you are alert and aware and can handle this yourself, in my estimatio. If he he gets out of line again, then perhaps you can get him some counseling.
Best wishes for success. I believe that things will work out fine.
Elliott Sewell, LPCC, NCC