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Mums of boys, what is correct penis etiquette?

(22 Posts)
SleepsAMyth Fri 23-Sep-16 20:46:46

I have 2 boys, one is 5 yo and the other 2 yo. Until I had my eldest, I didn't realise how young it is when boy become obsessed with their penis!! My 5yo, spends pretty much the whole of his time with his hands down his pants, usually down the front but he does like to mix it up now and again and scratch his bum for a bit, before back round to the front. I feel like I spend my whole time asking him to take his hands out.

I don't want to tell him it's wrong, or naughty or that he shouldn't touch himself, but I don't know how to explain to a 5 yo, when he's too young to really understand more than "this feels nice", why he can't actually spend most of his day with his hands down his pants. I am hoping I'm not the only one who has this struggle and would love some ideas of ways to explain to him why I am asking him to stop it.

Cakedoesntjudge Fri 23-Sep-16 20:50:02

I had this and like you had no idea how to best handle it in a way that wasn't implying it was naughty or wrong - in the end I settled on "it's not polite to touch our private parts in public" he never questioned it or worried about it but I'm sure someone will be along to tell me that was the wrong thing to say!

WhatTheActualFugg Fri 23-Sep-16 20:50:21

Tell him that bums - front and back - are full of germs and if he doesn't keep his hands out of his pants he's going to make you all ill! And then make him go and wash his hands every time you catch him. I'm sure he'll soon be cured!!

There's no need to talk about why it's 'wrong'. He's just fiddling and jiggling. Not necessarily for any reason other than just because he can.

Eeeek686 Fri 23-Sep-16 20:50:35

For one thing surely it can spread Bacteria?? Occasionally catch DD (3) having a play and tell her to leave it alone she'll make it sore... not 100% but think too much 'fiddling' could definitely lead to infection, and if not it definitely sounds convincing to a wee ones ears! grin

StealthPolarBear Fri 23-Sep-16 20:50:53

I just say "stop playing wih your willy/bum" so far so good...Dh hasn't done it in ages grin

WhatTheActualFugg Fri 23-Sep-16 20:51:31


ReluctantCamper Fri 23-Sep-16 20:51:57

I just say 'leave yourself alone'. I'm pretty sure that in the privacy of his own room that won't stop DS doing what ever he wants. But it's not ok to have your hands down your pants in public and it's my job to raise a man who isn't constantly feeling himself up!

HoneyDragon Fri 23-Sep-16 20:52:18

It's not polite to play with your willy in front of other people

StealthPolarBear Fri 23-Sep-16 20:53:19

Seriously ds is 9 and I prob need to start saying "in your bedroom obly"
Just to point out he only does this when he's wanderibg round naked (after shower or whatever) not still in polite company.
All I want to get across is that we don't do it in public ,for a number of reasons

Eeeek686 Fri 23-Sep-16 20:53:39

X-posted! Like the hand-washing reinforcer, fugg - haven't had to go there yet but will defo pull that on DD if she persists, she's not a huge fan of washing.... wee minger grin

SheldonsSpot Fri 23-Sep-16 20:53:50

Tell him that underpants and bum and willy are private and that you don't show them or touch them in public.

Haffdonga Fri 23-Sep-16 20:56:43

Don't tell him it's dirty and will make everyone ill hmm. Surely boys and men need to touch their penis every time they pee? Are they going to risk killing off their family if they urinate? Sure fire way to make a child feel conflicted. I need a wee. 0h no I'll make everyone ill if i touch my penis. shock

All males small and large enjoy touching their penis a lot . Just tell him not to do it in public and wash his hands.

abbsismyhero Fri 23-Sep-16 20:57:34

Don't fiddle with your tiddle!
Don't ding dong your shlong (sp)
Leave your todge alone
We play with our CARS not our PENIS!
Don't you boys have enough toys?

Some of the many things I've said this week

WhatTheActualFugg Fri 23-Sep-16 21:04:48

Haff why on earth not tell him it's dirty and likely to make everyone ill? That is an entirely likely and realistic scenario. Arses have germs. Penises have germs. Child touches arse and penis so child has arse germs all over his hands. Child touches everything in sight now house is covered in small traces of shit!!! What part of that isn't dirty?!

Haffdonga Fri 23-Sep-16 21:08:59

Because you don't want to put the fear of god into them that if they touch that part of their body they will get ill. It's like the old wives tale they used to tell boys that wanking made them go blind to try and put them off the evils of masturbation. Boys will touch themselves. They all do. Making them feel that they're dirty and nasty for it is humiating and fucked up.

Just tell them to wash their hands. Simple.

StealthPolarBear Fri 23-Sep-16 21:11:08

No one said nasty hmm
I say exactly the same about nose picking

WhatTheActualFugg Fri 23-Sep-16 21:15:21

I teach my kids how to keep themselves clean and healthy. I don't make an exception for my DS just because 'men like to touch themselves'.

Toilets have bad germs, raw meat has bad germs, cats tongues have bad germs, arses have bad germs. All need to be touched only when necessary and hands washed afterwards. I don't see the problem.

ALemonyPea Fri 23-Sep-16 21:16:48

I have three boys. They know not to out their hands down their pants in public, and if they want to, they can go to their rooms. Has worked well so far.

LtGreggs Fri 23-Sep-16 21:20:12

I say tell them that's 'its fine to touch your penis, but you do that in private'. Repeat clearly. Then go GET YOUR HANDS OUT YOUR PANTS.

MammouthTask Fri 23-Sep-16 21:24:21

Yes I've just said that putting your hand down your pants isn't acceptable in public.
Same with no playing with your silly in public (over clothes) isn't acceptable.

It's not the touching himself that is an issue. It's touching himself there in public iyswim. And it's the same for boys and for girls, mum's and dads and any other adult.
And TBH, I'm not even sure it's about 'enjoying touching their penis' or 'having some pleasure from it'. They might do it some times For that reason but most of the time, I'm pretty sure it has nothing to do with it!

tuesday123 Sat 24-Sep-16 22:49:06

i know its a serious post, but your post did make me chuckle. I'd go with the germs/dirty line.

SleepsAMyth Sun 25-Sep-16 22:02:23

Thanks all. I do tell him to stop, he just is persistent. I will definitely try making him wash his hands each time as I'm sure he'll get fed up of that pretty quickly!

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