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Ds playing games with his friend, involving willies..advice needed please.

(26 Posts)
shockedmummy Sat 15-Jan-05 09:27:09

I have changed my name as really shocked and I do not want this be source of amusement for my work (who know nickname).

I have 2 DS aged 5 and 2.

My 5 year old son (he is just turned 5 last week) had his friend sleepover, they are both the same age.

The last time he slept over about a month ago, my dh caught them both with there pj down, it turned out they were playing a game where they put there bodies together, it started with hands together, feet together, back together, etc etc and it included willies together and then bums together. My dh was shocked. but I explained to him that I really thought they were totally innocent and to them willies and bums are the same as hand and feet, we had a long talk to both of them about how they are your private bits and should not be shown.

I thought that was the end of the matter then, until this morning I went to go to the loo and heard them whispering, and heard ds say "get your willy out then", I opened the door to find that again they were playing that game, and it turned out my DS had instigated the game playing.

While I must mention that no touching of the willies is with their hands or anything, its just matching up the body parts, but I am upset that Ds has started this game, after we had told him not to.

My dh and I have completely different views on this and dh (being a man is very much more shocked iyswim) and wants to stop this lad from sleeping and punishing ds severely, while I think that DS should be punished in some way, part of me still see's the innocence of it all, but I am wondering if I am being naive.

I would appreciate any advice that anyone can give, as it would very much appreciated.

DH also called son filthy, which I thought was a little strong.

Laylasmum Sat 15-Jan-05 09:31:58

Hi i haven't had any personal experience of this but i am quite sure it is totally innocent . the more fuss that is made about their "private parts" the more they will be interested and want to play these games. He's still young and discovering that other people have the same bits as him. if it was me i think i would try to distract them and ignore what they were doing totally . Its difficult but if you punish and m,ake a big fuss then you are making genitals sex etc into something dirty which i guess isn't how you want ds to perceive himself iykwim!!

Caligula Sat 15-Jan-05 10:13:07

I think your DH is totally overreacting, tbh, and to call a five year old "filthy" is way way way OTT - quite abusive, actually. Willies are not filthy (unless they haven't been washed for a while!) five year old children are not filthy, private body parts are not dirty, and I think by sending the message to your DS that there is something wrong and dirty about his body is the best way you possibly can to give him terrible hang ups.

It's perfectly natural to play discovering games, and I think the reason your DS and his friend have made it into a secret is because of your and your DH's inappropriate reaction to their innocent childhood game.

Sorry to be so blunt, but I think you're making a problem for yourself which you don't need to.

pabla Sat 15-Jan-05 10:16:57

I have to say it sounds like your dh has perhaps got some homophobic issues and is worried your ds is showing signs of gayness! (Hope this opinion doesn't offend you)

I can remember as a child my male cousin being very interested in trying to see my genitals at one stage (nothing sexual btw, just curious). Your son's behaviour sounds just like normal curiosity to me. I think boys are often more curious about bums and willies than girls (and cetainly seem to develop a sense of toilet humour early) Most experts seem to recommend ignoring this sort of stuff, but trying to explain the importance of keeping geniatls private, as you have. I must say I sometimes find it hard to react in the "correct" way when I find my son playing with his willy, but that probablyt says more about my upbringing, IYSWIM!

Caligula Sat 15-Jan-05 10:23:12

Sorry SM, I just read my post again after Pabla's and realised it comes across as really hectoring - I don't mean it to be, it's just that the thought of a five year old being called filthy by a grown man who should know better made me really mad.

And I want to back you up in your gut feeling that it's not sexual, it's natural innocent child's play. I think as a culture we're far too quick to oversexualise children and see things which simply are not there. I don't think you're being naive at all, I think you're being level-headed and sensible - don't let your DH drag you along on a wave of over-reaction.

shockedmummy Sat 15-Jan-05 10:26:15

Thanks for your comments, really appreciated.

DH is not homophobic, we have gay friends both male and female, although I can see where you are coming from. Its just that he does not want those sort of games being played. I think he gets it from his mum who constantly moans if ds plays with it.

I have shown dh comments and I think he was a little shocked, but we will have a chat with ds when his friend leaves and explain private and why we over-reacted.

shockedmummy Sat 15-Jan-05 10:32:46

Caligula, do not worry, I fully appreciate your comments, as a lot of the time on mumsnet people hold back what they really feel and tend to agree with somethings that people have done.

I just think that these days, with all the news, sometimes things get seen a little different.

shockedmummy Sat 15-Jan-05 10:34:58

I should also add that the reason they were whispering was because it was 7 am and I had gone in 20 mins before and told them to go back to sleep incase the woke ds2 up.

Socci Sat 15-Jan-05 10:55:03

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lockets Sat 15-Jan-05 10:59:07

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jabberwocky Sat 15-Jan-05 10:59:27

I agree. I don't think it is a big deal. And, I can still remember my mom completely freaking out because a friend and I were showing each other our rear ends at the age of about 5 or 6. I felt really dirty and confused after and now think that she handled it really badly.

weightwatchingwaterwitch Sat 15-Jan-05 11:17:11

Agree with socci and caligula, it's normal and I think your dh is over reacting. My ds and his friends used to do this at 5 and ds would tell me about it.

weightwatchingwaterwitch Sat 15-Jan-05 11:24:23

Sorry, posted before I'd finished, dp was asking me a question (fgs, doesn't he know not to talk to me while I'm on mumsnet?!). I did tell ds that his willy was private and that he shouldn't let other people touch it but he and his friends did have these sort of bodies touching games I know and he's grown out of it now (he's 7). He said to me one night 'you know you told me it's not ok to have secrets, well I have one, and I'll tell you if you promise not to tell x (my dp) but me and x were touching our bottoms together.' I said I didn't think it was a great game as bottoms were private but I kept it all low key and didn't go on about it.

I too think filthy is a very strong word and not one I'd use to a 5 yo tbh.

SPARKLER1 Sat 15-Jan-05 11:27:32

I think, as most people have suggested, the best thing for now is to try and ignore. I posted a thread a short while back about dd playing with her bits and hiding behing the sofa to do it. I tried to ignore but was worried that she may have been doing it in school. I had a quiet chat with her in the end and said that what she was doing wasn't wrong but it was private and she shouldn't do it in front of other people. It's such a tricky situation. x

SPARKLER1 Sat 15-Jan-05 11:28:39

She now keeps disappearing into the bathroom for long lengths of time. When I call out to her to see where she is or what she's doing she replies with "I'm in the bathroom and its private!"

breeze Sat 15-Jan-05 11:32:20

echo what has been said, ds and his friend both 5 have played similar games and it did freak my dh out, but saying that the other boy said they were playing 'pricks' I must admit we felt both relieved when ds corrected him saying 'tricks' it was the way ds's friend was pronouncing it. I had a talk about private parts and how they should not play games like that.

shockedmummy Sat 15-Jan-05 11:34:37

SPARKLER1, that was actually one of dh's concerns that he might be doing it to other people at school and I was going to get an irate mother having a go at me in the playground.

Carla Sat 15-Jan-05 12:12:29

No experience of this at all Shockedmummy, just wanted to say that IMHO 'filthy' is far too strong a word to use about/to a five year old. Good luck, I hope you sort it all outXXX

Amanda3266 Sat 15-Jan-05 12:27:11

Yes! Agree that using the word "filthy" is going to be counterproductive and not going to help matters. Punsihment is really not appropriate. Your son is just curious about his body as his friend is about his own body - they're just checking themselves out and seeing that they are the same. It's silliness, fun and curiosity all rolled into one. There is nothing sexual about it unless you hear/see inappropriate sexualised language or behaviour from either of them - in which case you need to be asking questions about where they've seen/heard it.
On the whole I think it sounds like innocent exploration of each others bodies and it's totally normal and innocent. I'd say to your dh to bak off and let your son get on with it - he'll grow out of it quickly enough - unless a big thing is made of it in which case he may be left with some real hang ups which I am sure you don't want.



amynnixmum Sat 15-Jan-05 12:31:23

Agree with what the others have said that it is innocent and not to make too much of it. Loads of little children do things like this. When my sis was about 3 my mum was a cm and she minded a little boy who was a couple of years older than my sis. One day my mum was looking after them both and they were playing in a tent in the garden. Mum noticed that all had been suspiciously quiet for a while and went out to investigate. She found sis stark naked and flat on her back with the little boy looking up between her legs with a torch. Luckily mum is a very calm person and simply asked what they were doing. They replied that sis was having a baby and he was the doctor and he was just seeing if the baby was coming yet. Naturally she said that they should finish that game and get dressed but she didn't tell them off as it was a perfectly innocent game. She thought it was hilarious but the little boys mum was really shocked and upset about it and was very angry with her son.

starlover Sat 15-Jan-05 13:17:04

totally totally totally normal behaviour!
I was a mother's help for 8 years to a family with 5 little boys, and believe me the willy and bum talk is unending! They are fascinated by them! They were forever playing games in the bath that involved willies and showing them to each other etc etc...
got a bit more complicated when baby sister came along... they were all VERY curious indeed.
This all seemed to stop at around 7/8 though... when they start being a bit more aware of their bodies, and not wanting anyone to see them naked at all!
So, from 5 willy-obsessed little boys they have turned into 4 rather more reserved boys and one with no more outlet for his willy obsessions!!!!

Pacific Sat 15-Jan-05 13:47:11

Shockedmummy, up until last summer I would have agreed with everyone else on here and advised to ignore this and that it is normal exploratory behaviour. However we had a dreadful situation arise involving our son over this same issue and we ended up being reported to social services. It is still not resolved and in fact we now have the Children's Reporter poking around. We have run up huge legal bills to get these people off our backs.

The whole sorry story is in my thread (sorry can't do links)in the 'parenting' archive entitled 'I need some advice on child protection referral'.

Please read my thread, then you will understand why my advice now would be to stamp out this behaviour in your son. You and I and most reasonable people would say it is just kids exploring but there are some unreasonable people out there which we had the misfortune to tangle with.

Amanda3266 Sat 15-Jan-05 13:59:15

Pacific, this is just terrible - how dare they - don't they understand that this is totally normal behaviour from children? How do you "stamp it out"? There has been so much in the way of over-reaction from the public (and social services at times)to normal behaviour and exploration - your story sounds exactly that - an over-reaction to normality. But how dreadful for you all.


Pacific Sat 15-Jan-05 14:18:19

Mandy. I agree with you entirely. We had to really come down hard on my son. He is now terrified of the police, social workers, etc. because he percieved that he had done something wrong and they were going to come and arrest him. We obviously reassured him but we didn't know what was happening so couldn't entirely reassure him.

There is a lot more to the story than is written on the thread. For example, my DS ran away twice when we tried to get him to speak to the social workers and on one occasion was missing for over half an hour on a dark cold bitter November East of Scotland night.

Anyway, I don't want to hi-jack shockedmummy's thread, I just wanted to point out that there is a lot of hysteria surrounding this issue.

twoforone Sat 15-Jan-05 14:26:41

Something like this happened with us a couple of months back, but it was our ds's.

Here is a link to it \link{\link.

I think it is all sorted out now, i have never noticed anything happening since even though i am very vigillant. I am always checking up on them, especially when they go quiet.

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