Our expert says:
I can understand that you found this a shocking and surprising experience, but you really needn't worry. Kids are curious, and, maybe especially at this age, may think of exploring other kids to find out more about the oddities of how human bodies are shaped and how we work. It is a sign of normalcy, not of any sinister abnormality. I fully agree with lady nina and J about this.
If we're not careful, as parents we an give a kid some rather messed up messages --- "sex is something horrible and secretive and nasty, which you must save for the person you love" / "Sex and our bodies are something beautiful which God made, which we must keep absolutely secret and never talk about".
let's clarify the mesages that are worth getting across to him.
He wasn't wicked and had no evil intent. Innocent kids can get curious and want to find out more --- this is a good time to think of at least starting his sex education, maybe with the help of some of the really good books now fortunately available. Messages can include : Your own body belongs to you and you need to take good care of it. It's fine to touch yourself, but it's a private thing, not to be done in public. You don't allow other people to touch you, and you don't touch other people, especially not without their permission.
You can tell him that what he did was embarrassing, but he's not going to be punished, because he can learn his lesson from this experience about things that are considered not proper to do. Explain that you understand that he may be becoming curious about how boys and girls are different, and what this means --- but that this is someting to feel free to discuss with you and his dad, so he can find out properly, rather than from other children, who probably don't know much more than he does.
He shouldn't need to see any sort of shrink, and mustn't be made to feel bad or abnormal for this. But don't miss the opportunity to open the topic of sex as one he can discuss with his parents, and to provide basic information, especally in relation to any specific questions he has.
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