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proexpert37, Educator/Life Coach
Category: Parenting
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Experience:  Teacher 20+ years, Parent, Expert Mentor
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My four year old was recently playing with a boy who is 5 and

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My four year old was recently playing with a boy who is 5 and i cought them touching and playing with each others genitals. i explained how this is not ok. and that private parts are private. Two days later he and his cousin were play punching but also grabbing eath others private parts.

How can I really get it accross to him that this is not acceptable without making him more curious?
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Parenting
Expert:  proexpert37 replied 5 years ago.
Where did the incidents take place?
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
The neighbor and him were in the bath tub. A terrible ideas obviously since 5 , seems to old for bathing together. I thought it was ok because his cousin who was part of the second grabbing and my son have taken shoewers together plenty of times and yet never seen this behavior.

My son and this boy cousin often play together and I had never seen this before. I'm pretty vigilant and it's not something I would have missed.
I'm starting to think that neighbor kid was certainly the one to introduce the behavior and no w my son is copying it. I told him and his cousin to stop since they were doing it in the car as I drove and later while playing..all in front of they would stop when I told them and then were back at it. The last time it was whispered between them as I drove my nephew back home.
My son is not overly sexual in anny way but I'm afraid that this has awoken curiosity very fervently and want to make sure he stops this immediately!!!
Expert:  proexpert37 replied 5 years ago.
Privacy is a difficult concept for any young child to comprehend, and you should not expect him to understand it until they are between four and six years old. But there are things you can start doing now to ensure that your son will begin to grasp the concept.

If you are in a public place like a bookstore, park, or grocery store, and your son begins to touch his genitals, you should calmly tell him, “That is something we only do at home.” Think of it as a lesson in manners. Just as we teach our children that they should not pick their noses, floss their teeth or go to the bathroom in public, we can also teach them that they should not touch their genitals in public or with other people.. You can also tell him that such touching is private, even though he probably won’t fully understand the term until later.

If your son is touching himself only when he is naked and at home, it would be fruitless to teach him to only do so in his bedroom because he is too young to understand this. In this case, just remind yourself that this is normal, healthy behavior, and try to be more comfortable with and accepting of his touching...if he is by himself.

As your son gets older, you can start to say, “Honey, that is something we do in the privacy of our bedrooms.” And be prepared for her to ask why. At this point you can compare it to using the restroom — “It’s just one of those things we do in private.” You may even say, “Mommy doesn’t touch herself in the living room either.” This is another way to normalize masturbation for your son as well....if you want to take this route. Make it clear though that touching other people is not normal. He should just touch his private parts when using the restroom. Explain that private parts are covered by bathing suits and underwear.

Finally, remember that discussions with your son should be ongoing — don’t expect him to fully grasp the concept of privacy immediately. You will need to remind him repeatedly. Never slap your son's hands for touching himself. This will send a very strong negative message to him about his body, and may negatively impact his sexuality well into adulthood.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
my question is not about self masturbation!!
Expert:  proexpert37 replied 5 years ago. apologies. Please utilize that information if needed. In the meantime, you need to monitor the actions of your son very closely. The cousin and neighbor may have been exposed to inappropriate images on tv, the Internet, or in person. You must tell your son that touching each other is not good behavior and if anyone does it to him, you want to know about it. Explain how clothes, specifically underwear, cover private parts. We touch ourselves to use the restroom. A doctor may also touch us when we get a check up. But anybody else is off limits. Do not keep bringing the issue up though because that will add to his curiosity. Just relax and take a deep breath. Do not allow your son to be alone or out of view with peers until you are certain this behavior has ceased.
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