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Question
Posted by: Anon | 2012/06/04

Is this normal?

Dear Prof

Is it normal for a 6 year old girl to draw a penis with a red tip on the drawing of a boy figure? She is a single child, in my son''s school and drew it in his book. My son is still unaware and uninterested in anything sexual, and was uncomfortable with the drawing.

Thanks

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberShrink

Not especially odd in her own book, and could be innocent - but odder that she chose to draw it in HIS book. Clearly, your message isn't clear about whether the girl is your child ( the lad's sister ) or another child at school.
If the former, this is a family matter, and you are free to gen tly discuss it with the girl to ask about what she was thinking about, why she chose this image, and on what she was basing it ( for instance, occasionally a child starts generating sexualized images if they have been exposed to abuse or simply seeing more anatomical features than they're ready for ).
If it is another child, it may be worth mentioning to the school teacher, and perhaps through the teacher, to the girl's mom ; and then your focus would mainly be on your son's reaction. Remain open to discussing with him any concerns he may have. And accept that there may be few - sometimes we manage to ignore images and themes we're not ready for and not interested in

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5
Our users say:
Posted by: Maria | 2012/06/04

Ah, you''re right Tania.

Anon I think you should mention it to the teacher. And in terms of your son, maybe just tell him to ignore it, the girls was just trying to be funny and even though it isn''t really funny he must not worry about it.

Reply to Maria
Posted by: Tanya | 2012/06/04

@Anon......for a 6 year old girl to do this is definately strange, very strange. Think Maria is incorrectly assuming that this child is yours but it is YOUR SON''s reaction that most concerns you.
Did he show you or did you happen to come across it?
6 year olds are already pretty aware of what''s what and of course they are very curious. Imho this is a good time to have a ''kindergarten'' chat with your son re. sex, be open, up front and use the right words, eg. penis instead of willy. Proper education from the parents is important otherwise children hear all sorts of rot from other children - like this little girl, and the facts of life become an enigma to them. Thats where the trouble starts.
Wish you luck in sorting this one out! Oh, just my sense of humour here, but please try and keep a straight, serious face when discussing these subjects with young children - I found it quite difficult myself!! It was so nice when my children grew up and we could all laugh together if discussions turned to this subject. It does get easier eventually.

Reply to Tanya
Posted by: Maria | 2012/06/04

At this age it''s just another body part. Her attitude will depend on you.

Reply to Maria
Posted by: Maria | 2012/06/04

Yup, probably something she saw somewhere and is now trying out to see how you react. Use it as a way to start talking to her about the differences between boys and girls, and respect for your own and other people''s bodies.

Reply to Maria
Posted by: cybershrink | 2012/06/04

Not especially odd in her own book, and could be innocent - but odder that she chose to draw it in HIS book. Clearly, your message isn't clear about whether the girl is your child ( the lad's sister ) or another child at school.
If the former, this is a family matter, and you are free to gen tly discuss it with the girl to ask about what she was thinking about, why she chose this image, and on what she was basing it ( for instance, occasionally a child starts generating sexualized images if they have been exposed to abuse or simply seeing more anatomical features than they're ready for ).
If it is another child, it may be worth mentioning to the school teacher, and perhaps through the teacher, to the girl's mom ; and then your focus would mainly be on your son's reaction. Remain open to discussing with him any concerns he may have. And accept that there may be few - sometimes we manage to ignore images and themes we're not ready for and not interested in

Reply to cybershrink

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