We were watching one of his many cartoons when I noticed his hand in his pants. I didn’t want to freak out so I don’t send the wrong message to him so I adjusted myself to see what was really going on. I noticed the hand moving inside the pants so he was obviously touching his penis. After failing at changing the name from pee pee to penis, I wasn’t about to mess this learning opportunity up. I calmed myself down and moved close to him. He didn’t stop what he was doing as he looked at me, smiled and faced his cartoon.
I took a deep breath and asked, “what are you doing Kendrick?” To which he replied, “I’m holding Kendrick’s pee pee.”
“Does Kendrick want to wee wee?”
“Why are you holding Kendrick’s pee pee?”
He didn’t have a response so he ignored. I calmly told him to leave Kendrick’s pee pee alone so it doesn’t fall off. He said “ok” and took his hand out. Immediately I asked myself why I was being dramatic talking about pee pee falling off. I corrected myself by telling him his pee pee won’t fall off but he shouldn’t touch it.
A few days later, I noticed his hand was in there again. On this day I wasn’t exactly grounded so I screamed, “take your hands out of your trouser, you may not touch your pee pee.” As the words left my mouth, I watched him quickly remove his hand and he said “sorry mummy.” Oh no, my worst fear was confirmed, now he may think he is doing something wrong. Sigh* I explained that I wasn’t upset but he should please leave Kendrick’s pee pee alone.
The third time I noticed this a few days later, I screamed again, adding, “why can’t you just leave your pee pee alone?” He took his hand out and said nothing. A few minute later, I noticed he was hiding to put his hand in there. I had successfully told him to hide it from mummy as mummy will always freak out like the worrying adult she can be.
The first thing I did was google the situation. After dissatisfaction with all I found, I reached out to a sex expert on FB. She assured me it was curiosity. She asked if I suspected any abuse, and until her question, that hadn’t crossed my mind. I told her I didn’t. She said it wasn’t something to worry about as it was not more than curiosity.
The next time I saw his hands in his pants, our eyes met and I smiled and carried on doing what I was doing, occasionally spying him. After a few minutes, he took his hand out and continued watching tv. I think he has lost interest himself as I haven’t seen him playing with his penis in a while.
Remove fear from your mind. Try not to worry or stress yourself about it. And if in public, do not get embarrassed or freak them and yourself out. We know that when it comes to sexual violation of children, we parents can flip. We can also project what is not happening if we aren’t mindful. So, cancel out fear and ask questions from a place of love instead.
Do not act like your child is doing something wrong by touching their own body part. It’s just like exploring their hands or feet. It’s a body part and they don’t know it’s private. The way you teach them matters, so they don’t think there is something wrong with their bodies or their actions. DO NOT forbid, rebuke or spank your child. Their intentions are usually not the way you as a parent may perceive it.
I read online that touching themselves can be soothing to them so even though you may not like it, find out, by watching, what it serves and if they can communicate, explain to them the difference between private and public body parts and why nobody else should touch them, not even you.
This is what I have learned so far. My son is 2 and a half. I am sure more learnings will come up. I am also happy to learn from other mummies who have had similar experiences and how they handled it.
May the good we put in the world be enough to protect our babies. Amen