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4 year old: what to say (or not say) about playing 'doctors' with his friends, and good books on sex and babies(3 Posts)
Oh, and about babies, they come from inside their mummy s tummies. How do they get in there? -well, daddy helps. (It's a special kind of cuddle). How do they come out? The mummy has to push them out, a bit like doing a massive poo but through a different hole. Isn't it amazing?
I have never thought of a better explanation than that, but it satisfied 4 year old DS when I was pregnant with his baby brother. He was initially a bit worried that the doctor would have to cut my tummy open with scissors, and very relieved that it all happened naturally because mummies are made that way.
I didn't bother with books because I didn't want to make a big deal of it, and would rather just respond to questions which are actually asked than offer a load of premature and potentially confusing images.
Sounds like you are doing fine really. It is a difficult one to explain.
I just say "we always wear pants when we have friends round, because bottoms are private". Have also told DS that nobody should ever ask to see his bottom or show him theirs, and that if anybody ever does he must tell me or his daddy straight away.
When DS once asked me to elaborate, I said "do you think it would be okay for me to show my bottom to [random friend] or to go to the shops with no pants on?" DS fell about laughing and said that of course it wouldn't. He does get the concept of private, he just didn't see why it would apply to him and his friends in the paddling pool.
2 questions really:
4 year old DS, loves playing with his friends, generally gets on well with people and is curious about lots of things. Over the past year, when friends have come over (girls and boys, one at a time - haven't ever noticed a group incidence of this!), there's often a moment when I realise that they are in another room or behind sofa etc checking out each others' genitals, I think usually just having a look, sometimes touching. It always seems very consensual and I don't get the feeling he or his friends have bullied the other into it. I've never been angry but always try to distract them (oh look Cbeebies! oh gosh, time for another snack!) and recently have been saying 'your willy is just for you', but not really knowing why or how to explain this.
I suppose I don't really know what I think - I think it's normal, I think it's fine to check out your friends' equipment up to a point, I remember doing this myself at that age, but I feel the need to distract them, and particularly when he's with his same-aged girl cousin, I feel I should stop them, as they'll know each other the rest of their lives and I think they'll grow out of this and be embarrassed, but I also worry that he and cousin will do this every time they meet, or that this could turn coercive if one of the is more interested than the other.
Has anyone got any ideas on what and how to get across the message that at this age, your genitals are for you, yes they feel good, and it's not bad, but it's private, or there's a place for this (on your own in your bedroom??). I don't want him to feel embarrassed, but I'm just a bit stumped. Partly because I usually can think of a reason I believe in for things he can't do - climbing up too high, crossing road on his own, eating 3 ice creams - but for this, I can't quite work out what I think. Solo fiddling fine, not with other people, but why not? and of course if an older child or an adult wanted to look at his willy, I need to let him know No Way, and that would actually be bad, but I haven't even broached this! Help!
2nd easier question is, he's not yet asked where babies come from etc, but what books are good these days? I thought it might be worth browsing and then buying one to whip out for the day he does ask. Maybe some of them even cover the topic of fiddling...
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