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Elliott, LPCC, NCC
Elliott, LPCC, NCC, Psychotherapist
Category: Parenting
Satisfied Customers: 7664
Experience:  35 years of experience as a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor, National Certified Counselor and a college professor.
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We just had a strange event occur that we are absolutely mortified

Resolved Question:

We just had a strange event occur that we are absolutely mortified over. We were at our neighbors that have a 7 year old boy, an two girils of teanage age. My son is 6 years old and close freinds with Thomas (the 7 year old boy. At on point in the eveining there daughters came down stairs and both our childrien were up stairs with the neigbor baoy. I fee movths ago thomas the neigher droped him pants in the bathrom ith the door open to use the restroom. Tonight all the sudden we her Thomas comng down the stairs stating that leane (my 4 yrs old) took down her pants and asked him to take dow his......we blew up and am sure did not handle it well at all. We are (wife and I) are besides our selves and dont know what to this normal? any advise is welcome

Thank you,

Broken in AZ
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Parenting
Expert:  Elliott, LPCC, NCC replied 5 years ago.
Seeking expert testimony is a sign of strength. A personal relationship with a caring professional is proven clinically effective

Dear friend,

Fortunately, you have the very good sense to realize that you have over-reacted towards your daughter.

You are also correct that you were reacting to Leane as your parents probably reacted to you. You can see the results. Even around 40 years after what happened to you, you are automatically responding to your child as you were responded to by your parents - with great anger and hurtful language that she will carry around with her for the rest of her life IF you continue to reinforce this kind of automatical and basically irrational reaction.

Because little children have the grace of innocence, she did no wrong and felt no shame or remorse for the completely guileless act of asking him to take his pants down. This is just NORMAL childhood curiosity. There was nothing sexual or seductive about it, and she was just trying to learn about the world around her, and about boys, since she saw that boys are different from girls and didn't know that before. Most children have this curiosity, and do things like "play doctor", etc.

The only thing harmful about this entire event was your reaction to it. You were passing down what you were traumatically trained to do by your parents. You can undo this trauma by apologizing to her, by allowing her to play with the neighbor, and by explaining the difference between boys and girls to her.

I highly recommend either of the following books for yourselves as parents:

Sex and Sensibility: The Thinking Parent's Guide to Talking Sense About Sex
by Deborah M. Roffman


What Your Child Needs to Know About Sex (and When): A Straight-Talking Guide for Parents by Dr. Fred Kaeser

and the following books for you to share with your children

It's Not the Stork!: A Book About Girls, Boys, Babies, Bodies, Families and Friends (The Family Library) by Robie H. Harris and Michael Emberley


First Comes Love : All About The Birds And Bees - And Alligators, Possums, And People, Too
. by Jennifer Davis and Clare Mackie

You must try to understand that this is just normal childhood behavior. Giving them this well-designed information will give both of your children a scientific and rational understanding this will keep them out of trouble and prevent curiosity from getting out of hand when they become teens.

You can straighten this situation without letting it become worse or be traumatic for their future as adults. Make a small investment in some or all of these books and learn the lessons from top professionals in the field of child psychology and parenting.

I wish you a bright and constructive year ahead.

Warmest regards,

Elliott Sewell, LPCC, NCC, CCMHC, and successful parent of three children
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