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Not sure how to handle my 3 year old's odd behavior.

My son turned 3 in March. He is a military brat and his dad is gone quite a bit. He has a 4 year old friend in the same situation. A few days ago, my son and his friend were really quiet in his friend's room. I go in and check on them and both boys are on the bed with their pants and underwear completely off. I asked what they were doing and they both scurried really quick and said "nothing". I told my son that he does not take his clothes off for anyone unless Mama and Dada tell him to. Last night, I allowed him to hang out at his friends again and my husband caught them this time, the friend laying on the ground and our son beginning to take his shorts off. My husband yelled at him and we banned him from spending anymore time with his friend for awhile. This morning my son just asked me if I wanted to see his butt. I don't like this and I don't know if it's normal or something I should be concerned about.

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Asked by Anonymous at 8:56 AM on Jun. 27, 2012 in Preschoolers (3-4)

Answers (13)
  • If the other mother asks why you don't want them playing together, I think I would just tell her the truth. Tell her that you are uncomfortable with your son taking his clothes off at their house and that it has happened twice now. You don't think it's appropriate behavior for kids to do that and since they have little supervision at their house you aren't comfortable leaving him there.  I have nothing against holding back to keep from hurting one's feelings but this is something they need to understand isn't normal and appropriate.  You won't be the only one to say this to them if they don't work on changing their child's behavior.  


    Answer by QuinnMae at 10:47 AM on Jun. 27, 2012

  • It is 100000% (extra zero's intentional) normal. 3-4 is the age where most kids discover their private parts and that they can makes themselves feel good by doing this, that, or the other. I used to work in a daycare center and happened to be in the 3-4 year old room at nap time. Of those 20 kids about half were doing some kind of self manipulations. Yelling at them is not the answer, they're curious and exploring. Talk with YOUR son and make it clear that NO ONE is to touch or see his private parts, as covered by a swim suit.

    My kids are 8 and 5. I'm still telling the 8 year old to go to his room if he wants to "play" with his penis. Every now and then I have to tell my 5 year old to get her hand off her vagina area. From the very beginning I've told then that if they want to do that they have to be in their rooms and nowhere else.

    Answer by Rosehawk at 12:22 PM on Jun. 27, 2012

  • I really think the friend started this... you have to let your ds know that it's bad behavior and that it's not allowed.

    Answer by mommys2cupcakes at 12:39 PM on Jun. 27, 2012

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