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Jennifer, School Psychologist
Category: Parenting
Satisfied Customers: 397
Experience:  Collaborative parent consultation on everything from modifying behavior to child development.
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What an I do when my 5 yold son gets send home from school

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What an I do when my 5 yold son gets send home from school because he inappropriately touched a female playmate while playing in the playground. This same student also touched my sons buttocks and crotch while he was on the floor working on somethin in the classroom--I never know if she was also disciplined or not and I'm not allowed to speak the mom nor to the child about this--The school says they will handle it but incidentskeep happening between these two, at least three times.The first time soehing happened my husband spoke my on about the matter and explained the inappropriateness-then month later happens gain-i on know what do
Hello and thanks for using!

I would recommend you request a meeting with your son's teacher and the school counselor or school psychologist.

This kind of behavior is normal to a degree. Curiosity about body parts (particularly when it comes to noticing what looks the same or different from their own) is a typical developmental phase. You did the right thing by talking to your son about private parts and the fact that they are off limits to show / touch. Sometimes it helps to explain that private parts are the ones that are covered by our bathing suits.

Since this behavior is happening at school, that is the place where the most effective interventions will take place. They can't talk to you about whether they've contacted the other student's family, but you can rest assured that they most likely have as a matter of policy. Another policy is that of confidentiality, though -- They can't share with you any details regarding another student just as they can't share with that parent any details about your son (and even whether they've contacted you). When you meet with the school team, ask what kind of support they might be able to offer to prevent these behaviors. Perhaps the school counselor can meet with your son a few times to talk about personal space and boundaries. It may be effective to have a plan in place surrounding the interaction between your son and this other student (e.g., increased supervision, separate play areas, limited time together with rewards for appropriate play, etc.) This is very likely not the first time they've seen this type of behavior and should be able to offer suggestions for how to handle it effectively. Request regular communication so that you're up to date on how the plan is going and whether your son is responding to any interventions that are implemented. I wish you the best of luck!
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Customer: replied 6 years ago.
How can a five year old understand and really be intentional about about inapropriate sex behavior? The girl just laughs and so does he. They think they are just playing. The school seems to want me to do something about it but it doesn't happen at hoome and he d ave a younger sister.
At this stage it's not really a behavior that's sexual in nature -- More just a matter of exploratory play. You are doing something about it by teaching him that we don't show / touch private parts and rewarding days in which they play together more appropriately. While it's normal for them to be curious, it's important to teach them the boundaries of play so that they realize what is / isn't socially acceptable.

I do wonder how school personnel are reacting when these incidents occur -- It may be a matter of curious play, but they could also be repeating the behavior simply for the attention they receive as a result. Something else to discuss in the meeting is how everyone will react if this occurs again. The consequences could be a simple loss of privileges (e.g., recess / playtime) but limited attention as far as talking about it and spending time focusing on the issue. Spend more time rewarding the (supervised) play that occurs between them in which they are behaving well. If they're receiving attention for that kind of play and losing privileges for the other, it will become less fun for them.

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