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Dr. Z
Dr. Z, Psychologist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 10643
Experience:  Psy.D. in Clinical Forensic Psychology with a background in treating severe mental illnesses.
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Our eight year old son recently asked two neighbor brothers

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Our eight year old son recently asked two neighbor brothers to form a "man club" and to be in this club they had to touch or suck there penis. The two brothers are age 9 and 13. My son touched and sucked the 13 year old while the 9 year old watched. We didn't find out about this until our son asked another child his same age from a different neighborhood, but same school who declined and told his mother. The mother called us and we finally got the whole story. There was also another incident where another 13 year old neighbor was playing football with our son and the loser had to have his penis touched and the 13 year old won and touched our son.

Can you please provide us advice on what we should do as parents going forward?

Dr. Z :

Hello

Dr. Z :

I believe I can help you with your concern

Dr. Z :

Please give me a couple minutes to read over your question thoroughly, so that I can be able to assist you better

Dr. Z :

I am so sorry that you son had to experience this, I can understand why you are distressed.

Dr. Z :

While it is natural for children your son's age to be curious about his body and the body of others, what these older children did was very manipulative and not natural for their age group as they are old enough to be aware of boundaries and sexually appropriate behavior

Customer:

yes, we are sad for him and all the children involved!

Dr. Z :

It is possible that the 13 year olds learned about this through the adults, TV, or the internet. Either way it is a pattern of inappropriate behavior and the older boys should be seeking counseling immediately, I would even call Child Protective Services as this could be evidence that they may be being abused or neglected in some way.

Dr. Z :

Now for your son, I would have him evaluated by a Child Psychologist as he was coerced to participate in this behavior and this could be traumatic for him.

Customer:

as parents we are trying to figure out how to best chose a professional for him/us to see.

Dr. Z :

Some children are very resilient and thus you son may have no long lasting psychological damage at all, but it would be good for him to learn about boundaries and how to be assertive and say no in these instances, because he did not know and is an innocent victim here

Dr. Z :

Yes I would seek a Child Psychologist or Therapist that specializes in this age group and one who specializes in Sexual Abuse and Trauma. I can find one for you in your area if you like?

Dr. Z :

But I do have to say given how much older the boys were compared to your son, the psychologist may have an ethical duty to alert Child Protective Services for the other older participants. This is usually a state law requirement and an ethical requirement as well, so I want you to know that as well.

Customer:

that would be great. we would like to consider your recommendation.

Dr. Z :

What is your zip code so I can look in your area?

Customer:

19473

Dr. Z :

Okay please give me a few minutes to compile a list for you

Customer:

thank you.

Dr. Z :

So I believe that these therapists are qualified to help evaluate and if necessary treat your son as they specialize in his age range and also specialize treating Sexual Abuse/Trauma

Customer:

i want to also tell you that according to all parties involved our son is the person who approached the other kids.

Dr. Z :

Your son is very young and is curious about his body and others, so this is not uncommon, but the 13 years olds should have known better though as they are old enough to understand sexually appropriate behavior.

Dr. Z :

These are some good books that can help teach your son about appropriate sexual behavior and how is body is his body

Dr. Z :

This will help him understand better because most likely he did not think that he did anything wrong as he is young and curious

Dr. Z :

Like I said this is not uncommon for his age and once he understand this he will display appropriate behavior

Customer:

ok we are shocked by all this and seek help for our son.

Dr. Z :

I understand and it is a shock, but you do not have to worry about the long term effects for your son as most cases resolve with proper instructions on appropriate behavior

Dr. Z :

I do wonder where your son learned the behavior, either from the older children or something he may have seen on TV or the internet. At his age his modeling behavior from others a lot, so that is most likely how he learned this.

Customer:

thank you for all your help and information. we too wonder where he came up with this behavior and when we asked him he couldn't or wouldn't tell us. it took some time to get him to admit to all this

Dr. Z :

A therapist may be able to help you understand where he learned this behavior, but at this point the chief treatment should be teaching him what is appropriate touching and what is not at this age. I think you son will be fine with these instructions as children adapt very well at his age

Dr. Z :

Is there anything else I can assist you with today?

Customer:

no. again i thank you very much for your time and all the information you have provided.

Dr. Z :

Anytime, I am happy that I was able to help you and your son today. I wish you all the best. My goal is to provide you with excellent service, so if you ever have any further questions or concerns please do not hesitate to contact me at anytime. Before you sign off though, I would very much appreciate if you could rate my performance in helping you so that I can get credit for this question. Thank you very much

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