How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Carol Kryder LMFT Your Own Question
Carol Kryder LMFT
Carol Kryder LMFT, Mental Health Professional
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 808
Experience:  APA Board Certified, Diplomate,Substance Abuse Professional, 20 years family therapy experience
Type Your Mental Health Question Here...
Carol Kryder LMFT is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

We live in a neighbourhood with many kids of all ages. Now

This answer was rated:

Hi. We live in a neighbourhood with many kids of all ages. Now that the weather is good our 2 1/2 year old son is playing outside for hours and I watch him, but today me and my neighbour friend saw that one of the boys from the estate (9 years old, attending a special school for late learners) was showing his penis to our little kids. The manner in which he did it shocked us, as he was pretending playing with them and hiding below one of the tables, he was just sitting there exposing his bits and pulling back his foreskin. Just as we discussed with my neighbour how best to aproach the situation he did the same again playing with them on the slide. This is when I approached him straight away and told him calmly that this was wrong and that from now on I would not allow my child to be in his company outside unless I am standung right beside them. He said he did not realise what he did and would never do it again (this is after he spit at me), but i am worried, because I let my little one play with him on many occasions between the trees (all kids like to play there in the mud and building caves), and I was always checking up on them and thinking all was OK. I am now very worried and unsure what to make of this and what to do, especially as there are so many small kids in our neighbourhood. How serious should I take it and particularly should I be woried about my little son? It looked like he did not realise/bother as he always continued playing...I definitely learned to be even more vigilent! Thanks a lot!

Usually such behavior is harmless, but considering the age difference between the children, I would keep my son away from the 9 year old. As for your son, if there was no touching involved, and if your child was not made to show his penis, I wouldn't worry about it. He is too young to really understand the implications of what happened. You need to watch for him to imitate this behavior, and if that happens, just tell him that is inappropriate and he is not allowed to do it. I can guarantee that you will worry about this much longer than your child.

Please let me know if you have further questions.

Warm regards,
Customer: replied 7 years ago.

Dear *****

Thank you very much for your response, this is very reassuring. I don't think my son was more involved, as I was always nearby - but then I could not be 100% sure..., so I guess I have to leave it as that?

Although I am usually quite relaxed, the manner it which it all happened made me worry a lot, in fact I felt almost disgusted. I think it is also because this boy was offering my little one chocalates to come in his garden and I used to ask him ot to give him any (thinking only of my sons teeth), also calling the kids under the all gives it a sense of planned action, which makes it much less innocent for me. Would you agree?

I will take your advice and keep my little one away from the 9 yr old (without being too forceful, at the end all the kids are playing together outside ).

A final question, please: Would you warn other mums (I don't want to stigmatise the boy, but then others may be at risk) or tell social services who are already involved with that family? My little one also goes to nursery 3 hours a day - shall I make them aware to look out for any copying behaviour (but then he never did anything at home).

I thank you a lot

Kind regards,


I absolutely agree that his boy has a sense of purpose to his actions. By all means notify social services so that they can evaluate him. I think I would discretely tell other mothers about this behavior and to watch their children closely when this boy is around.

Finally, yes, tell nursery teachers to watch for any copying behavior.

Once you do all of this, I am sure your child will be just fine.

Best regards,
Carol Kryder LMFT and other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you