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Question
Posted by: Liesl | 2005/06/30

Two year old son

My two yr old son has suddenly developed the habit of asking me to lie on his stomach or willy, also he likes to touch his dad's willy. Last night he sat on his dad's stomach (naked, we were about to get in the bath) and he was trying to put his willy in his dad's belly button (dad has a fat stomach). His father is concerned about it and I said that we must just ignore it and not hit him as he doesn't understand what he is doing. The father & I are not sexually involved for over two years now and we show very little affection to each other. We are not married and had a good relationship until the birth of our son, were the father then had an affair and another baby with a lady at his work. The relationship ended and the father now stays with me again. We have developed a good friendship and both love our son dearly. How should we react to our son's behaviour? I suffer from anxiety and am on Lorien (40mg) and my mom is bi-polar, so at times stress is high in my family.

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberShrink

Relax, Liesl, your son is probably only being curious and exploring in way kids do ; but your anxiety about such situations can make him unnecessarily uneasy. At aoround this age, kids learn to masturbate, and ind a pleasant new source of nice feelings, and they don't have our sense of guilt or shame about body parts.
Hitting is of no value whatever, and could make him feel bad about being normal, which is hardly what you want. As Purple wisely says, the best bet is to distract him and interest him in other acivities at the time ; and if he shows interest in such activities when others are aound, to remind him that willy's are private, and not for fiddling with when others are around.

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2
Our users say:
Posted by: Purple | 2005/06/30

Hitting your son will certainly not help the situation.

Firstly, it is just innocent curiosity on your childs part. Don't let anyone tell you its a sexual thing - its not. However, your son does need to start understanding that its not appropriate.

Making a fuss of the situation (shouting, hitting and other abusive behaviour) is going to make the problem worse because you are giving it a lot of attention.

At the age of two, its best to distract your son from what he is doing and get him involved in another activity. In a few months time he will just naturally grow out of this phase.

I agree with Advice on this - its just inquisitiveness.

Reply to Purple
Posted by: Advice | 2005/06/30

The main concern here is your childs behaviour..... who takes care of him during the day? is he in a nursery school? do you take care of him during the day? If he is with you 24 hours a day i wouldn't worry about it. I had a discussion with my daughter's nursery school principal (owner) about a year ago because of another little boys actions towards my daughter. She assured me that I had nothing to be concerned about and told me that "especially" between the ages of 2 and 5 children masturbate. They don't make an issue of it for the reason being that these inquistive little bodies are now discovering and exploring there bodies. It is basically natural for a little one to do strange things and as this teacher who has had 22 years experience with little ones said, we shouldn't fight with our children or tell them it's wrong or naughty as it is purely being inquisitive.

Reply to Advice

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