As a mom we are constantly telling our kids to “Stop touching your sister” or “Stop touching the merchandise in the store” or “Stop touching your penis!” A reader recently contacted me about her preschool son who was always touching his penis. She said, Please write a post about this!” I assured her that while this is normal behavior, it does indeed need to be curbed. Luckily, I have a few Physicians Assistants as friends so I consulted them. Unfortunately, there is no deep scientific explanation for why boys do this. The logic is, “They touch it because it is there.” So let’s deal with it. Fortunately, the gratification part of their brain is not turned on yet so they may not be having any satisfaction physically just yet. Here is the conversation…Your penis is not sanitary. Pee comes out of it and when you touch it, urine might get on your hand and since you put your hands in your mouth, you don’t need urine in your mouth. Second, it is simply not polite to adjust or touch your penis in public. We don’t pick our noses in public; we don’t scratch our rear ends in public; we don’t throw temper-tantrums in public. Your penis is private and we don’t need to draw attention to it in public by adjusting. Finally and most importantly, you need to teach your sons self control. Constantly. The average child is exposed to pornography between 8-11 years old. Self –gratification (masturbation) often follows. If you have never taught your son self-control (believe me, self control is a trained behavior) in this particular area, then the natural progression is to continue to touch especially when the physical gratification, pleasure part of their brain does turn on. One last thing, my son told me that his scrotum sometimes gets stuck to the inside of his leg when he gets sweaty, so we bought some Gold Bond powder for those moments. There are times when adjusting is necessary, but habitual touching is not a habit you want formed. Of course you could just throw out the old wives tale, “If you keep touching it, it will fall off.”
- Please note that girls can be guilty of this behavior too, and you can use the same reasons in your explanation.
- TIP: Teach your boys self control every chance you get, especially in this area. They will need it!!
Posted by Amy in Sex Education and Pornography