I have two children, a boy and a girl. My son is seven, and my daughter a few years older. Last week she came in and told me the boys were behind the garage playing “family”. When I got back there, they both had their britches down, showing each other their “pee-pees”. I don’t know if there was any other physical stuff involved, but this is the second time I have caught my son with this boy with pants down. I got mad, sent the other boy home, and sent mine to his room. The first time it happened, I called the other boy’s mother (I was calm), and told her what had happened. She pretty much just blew it off, saying something like “boys will be boys”. This family is dysfunctional, with no consistent male figure in the family. Lots of males, but none that stick around, if you know what I mean. My son doesn’t have very many friends, so I hesitate to end this friendship. Am I being overly protective? Is this type of behavior just normal development for boys? What should I do?
I do not have statistics at my fingertips, so I can’t quote you a national average of little boys who wag their wieners at each other, but, like you, I’ve got red flags flyin’. Are boys a little overly infatuated with their penises? Probably. But other boys wieners? Not so much. Where “show and (don’t) tell” may be a harmless coming-of-age thing, in this world of increasing sexual inappropriateness, parents should practice extra caution. That being said, we don’t want to traumatize our kid by overreacting. A yelling, screaming fit would qualify as a serious overreaction. I would recommend a couple of things to consider:
*As this is a repeat offense, AND the other mother basically blew you off, I’d gently tell her son that your boy can’t play with him anymore. You don’t have to give him a reason, just that it’s not appropriate for them to play together any longer. You may have to kindly enforce this ban a couple of times if he shows up to play.
*Treat this as a great learning opportunity for your son. Catching your child being borderline sexually inappropriate is much better than not catching him. A calm, teaching explanation that our “private parts” are called private is that they are nobody else’s business is a good lesson to be taught. It is not proper to show them off to anyone else. *
*p.s. New Orleans Mardi Gras drunks: I’m talkin’ to you too.