I guess I can pretty much say that I read a lot on my children’s development.
I try to find as much information as I can on anything relating to their health and development even though a certain milestone does not / isn’t happening yet. I just like knowing, and by knowing I give myself a sense of security when something does happen.
Recently Eros has started exploring his body. More specifically his privates.
It doesn’t freak me out the first time it happened because I know this is natural and of course having read about it, I was already mentally prepared to face this.
But to actually face it, let’s just say it’s a mixture of weird feeling and a little discomfort with a touch of embarrassment.
It was weird because I had to face my 3 year old son watching cartoon with one hand inside his shorts and act like he was just picking his nose. It was uncomfortable because being an adult, I’ve grown to associate sexual pleasure with touching oneself and embarrassment because I have never really talked about touching your private parts with a child before. I would think talking about it with my own son would be easier but not so!
And as much as I have read about it, I don’t think I was entirely prepared on how to talk to my son in this situation.
The first time I saw Eros with his hands inside his shorts was when he was lying on the floor watching cartoon. I was a little shocked and I felt my cheeks turned hot. Then I had to bite my lips to stop myself from smiling because I can’t believe this phase was starting and I was nervous about handling it and also because it was rather funny to see him doing what he did.
I know that I shouldn’t scold him because what he did was nothing sexual at all.
Children touch themselves because it made them feel good.
It relaxes them and also it is because of their curiosities. Like, hey, what’s this down here and how come it feels nice when I touch it? Unless it is accompanied with alarming symptoms that are believed due to sexual harassment, then children exploring their genitals through touching is a natural phase in growing up.
I casually asked Eros what was he doing and he told me that his ku-birdbird (that’s what he calls it) was ticklish and he wanted to scratch it. I guess it felt good when he touched it and he decided to keep his hands in.
I then sat down on the couch and called him to sit next to me. I told him that his ku-birdbird will feel ticklish from time to time and it is all right for him to want to touch it. But I told him that he can’t do it in the living room because his sister is around and she can’t see what he’s doing.
Eros being the inquisitive Eros asked 101 questions about this.
Why can’t he touch it in the living room because that’s where he wants to watch the cartoon? Why can’t Sophia see what he’s doing because Sophia has a petpet (that’s what he calls Sophia’s) too? Why does he has to go to his room when he feels like touching his ku-birdbird?
Amazingly, I answered his questions easily enough.
I wanted to explain to him in detail but I remembered something I read about trying to explain things to toddlers and I tried to keep it as simple as I could.
I know Eros is big enough and smart enough to understand simple explanation so I told him that his privates is only for him to see and the only other person who’s allowed to see and touch it are me, his father and his doctor. So that is why he needs to go to his room whenever he feels like touching himself. This seemed to satisfy him and he went back to watching cartoon.
Since that day, Eros would from time to time suddenly run to his room and closed the door slightly.
After about 30 seconds or so he would come out with his shorts put on sideways or haphazardly. It was really funny but I try not to laugh because I didn’t want to be embarrass or feel like what he did was wrong. I had a talk with Mohen to tell him what was Eros going through and Mohen laughed, saying that he wished he had a mother or someone to tell him what was he feeling when he was Eros’ age.
Growing up with 3 sisters made me realized how different boys and girls are.
I know that Sophia too will go through this phase one day and I wouldn’t know how to handle it either until it happens. I know my mother has a different perspective when it comes to children masturbation phase. But I feel comfortable enough now to face this at every stage of growing up my children will go through.
Just like spoon feeding, sitting in a high-chair, crawling and potty training, it’ll be just another phase for me to learn as well.
- Pleasuring and Self-Stimulation (drlauraberman.com)
- Scary Mommy Confession – Toddler Rubbing Penis Against Hand
- Kids Masturbating (Berkeley Parents Network)