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Ask Dr-A-Greene Your Own Question
Dr-A-Greene, Psychologist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 309
Experience:  Clinical and Forensic Psychologist
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This morning we were called in to our school for an

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This morning we were called in to our school for an emergency meeting with the principle.
Our 6 year old son has been caught with 2 other 6 year old boys touching each other's private parts. They are all blaming each other for this. How do we deal with it? How do we express to our son that this is inappropriate and he shouldn't do this? without him clamping up and not telling us anything in the future...
Okay - was he already shamed for the behavior by the principal, etc? More information might be available if that hasn't been done yet. Can you tell how he feels about what happened?
Customer: replied 5 years ago.

Yes, he is upset about the whole situation.

I need to know how to make him realize what he has done and how I must approach him without making him feel worse. How do I as a parent discuss this with him to bring it out and not make him fell even more upset about what has happened but at the end of the day to realize what he has done and why it is not appropriate

I would approach the issue as calmly as possible and reassure him that this type of exploring of his body isn't unnatural, per se, but that you would like to know how the activity came about. I would stress that nobody is going to get in trouble - just that you would like to know why and how it originated.

If you find out that its just kids being kids, then speaking to him about how its inappropriate is the next step. However, I would want to be very certain about the origin of the play first. It could be that one of the kids is being abused or that there is an adult suggesting some of these activities...that's the worst case scenario, of course, but our first jobs as parents is to protect our kids.

Customer: replied 5 years ago.
would you suggest stopping bathing in the evening's with his older 8 year old sister?
It's probably not a bad idea, but I wouldn't discontinue it abruptly right after this incident. Otherwise he will link the two and feel shame about his natural curiosity. Unless something untoward has happened between them, I would continue as normal for a little while and then institute a separate bath time for the two of them and link it with something positive like a special bath toy for one while the other gets a story read to them and vice versa. That way it won't seem punitive. Make sense?
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Thank you very much - He told the teacher that he had seen it on a movie he had been watching with me... besides feeling like an incompetent parent in front of the teacher - do we punish him for telling a story to try and get himself out of the hot water? do we stop tv watching for a while?

Well, unless you can link it to a specific show he was actually watching, I wouldn't change your habits in response to his story. I would, however, impress upon him that lying is not acceptable and insist on the real story (again, getting back to the origin of the behavior). Make sure that he knows that he can tell you anything - anything at all - and that the only thing that isn't okay is lying.

This is a tricky situation, no doubt about it. But it sounds like he's already been shamed enough to feel bad and to make up stories. At this point, I would be supportive and gently try to discover the truth and mold his behavior gradually. This will all work out if you remain as obviously caring and dedicated as you seem! Best of luck to you!

Dr-A-Greene and 2 other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Thank you very much - you have been very helpful

Oh, good - you're welcome! If you have any further questions, feel free to look me up here.

Take care,

Dr. G.