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Daycare Center and Family Home Forum>Inappropriate Touching One Self
melissa ann 10:05 AM 09-23-2011
I have a 2 1/2 yr old dcb. He is potty trained. He is constantly grabbing himself. I take his hand away and tell him we dont' do that. It's been going on now for several weeks. I mentioned it to mom, she just said, yeah, I wish he would stop doing that.
At first I thought maybe he had a rash or something, but I didn't see anything. So, I'm not sure what's going on, Any tips on getting him to stop?
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sharlan 10:14 AM 09-23-2011
Although this is uncomfortable for us, it's a normal situation. He's discovered that it's there and it feels good to touch it.

All you can really do is to redirect his attention.

I had one that couldn't walk unless he had at least one hand down his pants.
He was in kindy.
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melissa ann 10:19 AM 09-23-2011
This is the first boy that I've know to do this. My son didn't and the other boys in my care didn't either.
Thanks.
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laundrymom 10:20 AM 09-23-2011
I'd be honest with him. Johnathon. I know it's cool to feel your parts through your pants but you can do that in the bathroom only. K? Not in the playroom. It's bad manners.

For the record it's not inappropriate Touching of ones self. It's inappropriate place of touching ones self.

There's nothing wrong with kids exploring their body but there is something wrong about sitting in the kitchen scratching his stuff. Adjusting his stuff or just making sure it's still there.

I'm sure that's what you meant but this week it's a touchy subject for me. I had a grandma pick up and complain that 4 yr old was adjusting. Said she didn't want him growing up thinking masterdadadada ing was ok. That it turned men into molesters and pedifiles. OH BOY did I give her an earful. Lol. And. Mom thanked me for being bold where she felt she couldn't it's her husbands mother after all.

Anyhoo just tell him WHERE and leave it at that. His body is his and that includes very stinky inch. Lol. I do know how frustrating it is though.

If he is INSIDE his britches the conversation here would be the same but also, you need to wash your hands too. We always wash our hands before we leave the bathroom.
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KDC 10:27 AM 09-23-2011
My son did this, every time, we made him wash his hands. He did it SEVERAL times a day, and he got really sick of washing his hands and stopped =) Good Luck!
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erinalexmom 10:34 AM 09-23-2011
My son used to do that alot and I always tried to say things that let him know it wasnt the "touching" it was the "touching ourselves around others" I had a whole host of issues with sex due to my parents and the things they said when I was growing up. Plus being in the nursing profession showed me the human body is a wonderful thing, we just have to be responsible for socially and ethically acceptable behavior
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wdmmom 10:43 AM 09-23-2011
My son did it infrequently but when he did it was because he was in between sizes of underwear and they'd bunch up in the creases of his legs. He also did it when he'd sweat alot because the underwear would stick to him.

It really may be nothing at all. Just ask him to go into the bathroom, do his business in there and wash his hands when he's finished.
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Christian Mother 10:43 AM 09-23-2011
I have all boys in my daycare...and I have a 8 yr old boy. Trust me...it's something they'll grow out of. Because he's potty training things feel a bit differently wearing undies. A little freer. He'll stop after a couple of weeks. Just take him back to wash hands ever time he sticks him hand down his pants and remind him hands do not belong in his pants.
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melissa ann 11:01 AM 09-23-2011
Thank you. I do tell him, it's not to be done where other people can see it.
We walk to the bus stop and there he is, just standing there holding it. I ususally end up picking him up and holding him so then he can't reach it.
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MarinaVanessa 11:10 AM 09-23-2011
Take him to the bathroom and have him wash his hands each time you catch him. "Uh Oh. Germs on your hands. Need to wash them". Make sure it's a full hand washing. Don't skimp or shorten it. Once he's done let him go on his way. The first day or so take him EVERY time, even if it's just over his clothing. After the first couple of days if, if you catch him, just ask him "Do we need to wash your hands?" all he'll really get is "..wash hands .." but it should be enough for him to make the connection and remind him that if he puts his hands there he has to stop playing and wash them. He should then remove his hands on his own. If he doesn't then just take him to wash his hands.

If you have one of those that enjoy washing their hands (i.e. playing with water) use a veggie scrubber or something that has a semi-abbrassive texture. Don't scrape the skin off of him of course (had to throw in a disclaimer) but it should be something that he won't like feeling. Keep at it and you should see improvements over a couple of weeks. Every once in a while you may still need to remind him again.

I did this for my own DD that put her fingers in her mouth. A 1yo DCB also did this (he's now just turned 2) and this helped alot. He occasionally puts his finger or something in his mouth and I just ask him if he needs to wash his hands and he immediately removes it from his mouth. Couldn't hurt to try if it works for you.
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Sugar Magnolia 11:34 AM 09-23-2011
I had a similar issue. Boy was 2 when he started here and was obsessed with touching it. It was not a huge issue, mostly @ nap time. BUT it slowly escalated. When he turned 4 it got really bad and started to become a big problem because he started taking it out of his pants and actively masturbating. The parents were totally allowing it at home. This was NOT exploring, he had been "exploring" it for 2 years. One day at nap, I thought everyone was sound asleep, so I started reading a book. I look up because I heard this boy whisper "Hey "Susie", psst, hey wake up!" Luckily, "Susie" was sound asleep. He had it all the way out, it was at "full staff" and he was stroking it and panting! Horrifying! I told him "no!", made him roll over and keep his hands where I could see them. I told the parents this was the last straw! They tried to show me literature from the internet about how its normal, (which I already knew of course) BUT it was geared towards toddlers and those under 3. This boy was approaching 5. What he was doing is NOT going to be allowed. I told him and the parents if I saw his penis outside of his pants (besides potty breaks) he could no longer attend. The very next day he had it out and was going at it in the playhouse outside, trying to get other kids to look at it. "See, I can make it big when I do this!" DONE. Bye bye. A 2yo exploring is one thing, a 4.5 yo actively masturbating and seeking an audience is another
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Solandia 11:52 AM 09-23-2011
At 2.5yo they don't really get the privacy talk, so I don't go there. I just say "that is not okay, now we need to wash our hands like we do after we go potty". The older ones that I have caught in the past I will say "That's not okay at my house, we keep our hands out of our pants here". And wash the hands.

I do not do the "you can do that it private" discussion. There is no private place at my house, so no reason to even bring it up as an option. It is the parents' job to discuss appropriate places to fondle oneself. NOT mine, I do not get into private parts discussions, ever, it always gets diverted to the parent if the child brings it up. I do not want my name or my house to come up in any offhand penis or vagina conversation.

If it continues to be a problem after a couple weeks, at any age...they go back to being in onesies. Or I create onesies for them. I cannot be taking a child to the bathroom to wash the hands every 15min for weeks/months on end.
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Blackcat31 12:27 PM 09-23-2011
Originally Posted by melissa ann:
Thank you. I do tell him, it's not to be done where other people can see it.
We walk to the bus stop and there he is, just standing there holding it. I ususally end up picking him up and holding him so then he can't reach it.
This is completely developmentally appropriate behavior. It occurs naturally in children from ages 2-5. NOT everyone does this and some more than others. I would distract him by having him hold or carry something else so that his hands weren't free to hold "his stuff".

Telling him it is not okay is not okay in my book. I would use other words to communicate to him that he needs to touch himself somewhere other than in daycare or in public. I would simply say, "We touch ourselves there when no one else can see." Telling him that it is not okay gives him the impression that he is behaving badly.

Feeling, touching and learning about our bodies is not bad behavior. This is also not sexual behavior. It is no different than a toddler who tastes or mouths everything to learn about the world around him. View it as if he is picking his nose and handle it the same way.
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sharlan 12:50 PM 09-23-2011
Originally Posted by Blackcat31:
This is completely developmentally appropriate behavior. It occurs naturally in children from ages 2-5. NOT everyone does this and some more than others. I would distract him by having him hold or carry something else so that his hands weren't free to hold "his stuff".

Telling him it is not okay is not okay in my book. I would use other words to communicate to him that he needs to touch himself somewhere other than in daycare or in public. I would simply say, "We touch ourselves there when no one else can see." Telling him that it is not okay gives him the impression that he is behaving badly.

Feeling, touching and learning about our bodies is not bad behavior. This is also not sexual behavior. It is no different than a toddler who tastes or mouths everything to learn about the world around him. View it as if he is picking his nose and handle it the same way.
I agree with you.

I wouldn't turn it into a major issue.
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Sugar Magnolia 12:58 PM 09-23-2011
Originally Posted by Blackcat31:
This is completely developmentally appropriate behavior. It occurs naturally in children from ages 2-5. NOT everyone does this and some more than others. I would distract him by having him hold or carry something else so that his hands weren't free to hold "his stuff".

Telling him it is not okay is not okay in my book. I would use other words to communicate to him that he needs to touch himself somewhere other than in daycare or in public. I would simply say, "We touch ourselves there when no one else can see." Telling him that it is not okay gives him the impression that he is behaving badly.

Feeling, touching and learning about our bodies is not bad behavior. This is also not sexual behavior. It is no different than a toddler who tastes or mouths everything to learn about the world around him. View it as if he is picking his nose and handle it the same way.
I agree with all of that. I spent 2 years dealing with it in the boy I mentioned earlier. BUT this particular boy had it outside his pants, was making very "sexual" motions and was trying to get others to watch.
Would you allow that? I'm sorry, but it made me VERY uncomfortable and did NOT seem normal. Could you imagine if the you had a little girl and she came home and said something like "Johny has his pee pee out all the time and is showing everyone". I would freak if I had a girl that told me that. I would DIE if the mom came to me and said "Susie is telling me Johny is showing his penis to her." Its seems like a liablity to me. I draw the line when stuff comes out of pants, on pupose, in front of others. I totally agree, Blackcat, most of it is normal and natural and a child should not be scolded for just touching it.
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sharlan 01:08 PM 09-23-2011
Originally Posted by Sugar Magnolia:
I agree with all of that. I spent 2 years dealing with it in the boy I mentioned earlier. BUT this particular boy had it outside his pants, was making very "sexual" motions and was trying to get others to watch.
Would you allow that? I'm sorry, but it made me VERY uncomfortable and did NOT seem normal. Could you imagine if the you had a little girl and she came home and said something like "Johny has his pee pee out all the time and is showing everyone". I would freak if I had a girl that told me that. I would DIE if the mom came to me and said "Susie is telling me Johny is showing his penis to her." Its seems like a liablity to me. I draw the line when stuff comes out of pants, on pupose, in front of others. I totally agree, Blackcat, most of it is normal and natural and a child should not be scolded for just touching it.
This child was beyond the normal self exploration. You have to wonder if he saw something somewhere that he shouldn't have. I would definitely have termed the child before someone reported you.
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Blackcat31 01:12 PM 09-23-2011
Originally Posted by Sugar Magnolia:
I agree with all of that. I spent 2 years dealing with it in the boy I mentioned earlier. BUT this particular boy had it outside his pants, was making very "sexual" motions and was trying to get others to watch.
Would you allow that? I'm sorry, but it made me VERY uncomfortable and did NOT seem normal. Could you imagine if the you had a little girl and she came home and said something like "Johny has his pee pee out all the time and is showing everyone". I would freak if I had a girl that told me that. I would DIE if the mom came to me and said "Susie is telling me Johny is showing his penis to her." Its seems like a liablity to me. I draw the line when stuff comes out of pants, on pupose, in front of others. I totally agree, Blackcat, most of it is normal and natural and a child should not be scolded for just touching it.
Yes, what Sharlan said. That was way outside of the normal spectrum of behavior! I also agree that all body parts stay inside the clothing it comes in. Here that means feet inside socks as well!

Originally Posted by sharlan:
This child was beyond the normal self exploration. You have to wonder if he saw something somewhere that he shouldn't have. I would definitely have termed the child before someone reported you.

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Meyou 01:23 PM 09-23-2011
I just deal with it as I would any other behavior I don't like/accept.

We don't put toys in our mouth.
We don't scream in the house.
We don't play with our body parts.
We don't run in the house.
We don't pick our noses.
etc
etc
etc

All of these rules are for MY house not anywhere else so I've never had a problem.
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Lucy 10:23 PM 09-23-2011
First of all, I wouldn't freak out about this. Take the "power" away from it by making it a non-issue. He'll get over it eventually. The more attention you give it, the more curious (or defiant) he'll be about it. If other kids seem bothered by it, then maybe just look at the kid and give him "the look" -- squinting your eyes and shaking your head. He'll get the message. I wouldn't use words to point it out to him and to everyone else. There's really nothing wrong with HIM doing this, it's you feeling uncomfortable seeing it. No offense intended. That's just the way I see it.
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Hunni Bee 09:24 AM 09-24-2011
Yeah, I agree with everyone else. It's just a boy thing. Over the summer when we would change them into their swim trunks for the pool, everybody would be "adjusting" because it felt different with no underwear on... I dont make an issue out of it, just like Meyou said its just like "no running" "no radio songs"..."no hands in pants". Stuff that might be acceptable at home or in other places, but not at daycare.

Just say something simple like "hands out" and make him wash his hands every time. He'll get sick of it.
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nannyde 02:28 PM 09-24-2011
Tell him to stop it.

If I have one that is getting too handsy with themselves I tell them to stop it. I understand they are more interested in it when they are first in undies but after that they just need to be told they can or they can't. I do "can't"

Once I'm certain they don't have a rash or something going on there that is itchy then I tell them to stop it.

I don't get into the discussion that it's okay but it's private and you CAN do it here but you CAN'T do it here. I don't have them go wash hands or discuss clean or unclean. That adds WAY too much energy into it. I like the simple "no" and drop it.

If the kid persists then they go into a onesie so they don't have a direct shot at it. Blocking works really well in most untoward repetitive behavior of kids two to five.

I've never had a kid do it for more than a couple of weeks past getting into undies. When I see they are paying too much attention or it's becoming a nervous habit that they go to when they are stressed or bored I just block it. I require onesies until the kid is potty trained so putting them back into an "over" onesie just takes a couple of seconds and a little more assistance during potty times to make sure the onesie is unsnapped and the tails of the onesie up and tucked when they are sitting on the pot.

So the few extra minutes of work to block saves all discussions about it and takes the energy out of it. When they are home they can have at it as much as the parents feel comfortable. When they are in public (my house IS their public) they aren't allowed to have their hands in their pants.... boys or girls.

I've only had a couple of boys in the eighteen years that I had to go the extra measure and block. Just telling them to stop it is enough for nearly every kid. I don't offer the other options and the adult time to "teach" when it's appropriate. I just say no.

It's OKAY to just tell a child what you want and what you don't want. It's OKAY to not deal with teaching them EVERY developmental or normal stage they go through. It's OKAY to say that THIS normal stage can't be done in your environment. It's OKAY to have this entire stage be taught at home and have the kid "be normal" when they are with their parents.

My kids are used to simple "you can" or "you can't" "yes" or "no". I don't respond to them any differently when they do something else they can't do here. When they get the "no" for having they have their hands down their pants it's the same "no" they got when they are picking their nose. It doesn't come into their brains as anything other than the other "no's" they received along the way when they are being taught how to behave here.

Picking their nose is a "no".... hands down the pants is a "no". Both are very normal but both are "no's" HERE. If they want to do it at home and the parents are all for them getting their "normal" on or the parents want to discuss cleanliness or where they can or can't do it... then that's between all of them. When they are here and do it... it's just another no like every other no they get. Normal or not... I just don't want them doing that here.
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kendallina 02:54 PM 09-24-2011
When I have boys (or girls) that do this, I simply tell them to stop. I also don't do the handwashing thing (unless their hands are in their pants, I'm not sure if that's what your boy is doing). Handwashing every time would be way too time consuming. As they get older, it makes sense to talk to them about touching happens in private, but when they're young, keep it simple.
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cheerfuldom 06:07 PM 09-24-2011
I only have girls here but actually have had one 2 year old that was constantly....I guess you would call it rubbing on stuff? It got pretty bad. It was just a "no" across the board here but I believe they allowed this at home. She was getting pretty obsessed about and trying it during nap times. Anyway, mom eventually pulled her out for other reasons but I would just tell her no or stop. She really wasn't communicative enough to have the reasons, etc. explained, very limited vocab and focus so a conversation was not an option. A no was good enough here.
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Jewels 07:26 AM 09-25-2011
My own son was not a toucher, but he was a floor humper when he turned 2 or so, And I always said, sweety, its okay to do that, but you need to do it in your bedroom, and he would, sometimes he would forget and I would re-remind him, and I know he would do it in his room, Because he would tell me, I think he's over it for now, It will obviously come back in the future....Boys and girls alike find that area, and realize it feels good to touch it, and telling them they can't do that, really confuses their brains, and they will always feel like they are doing something wrong when they do that, ..........I do tell them, that its okay to do that, but only in their own bedroom at home, not My house. And they have always stopped, it can take a few reminders, but the always stop it here. I did have one boy who would pull it out, and once asked someone to touch his pen@#, that was over the line for a two yr old, And that was not cool, I talked to the parents about that, but they just kind of laughed it off, hes not here anymore.
And washing their hands with a vegetable scrubber-WOW to who wrote that, thats crossing the line on my opinion, trying to make handwashing hurt them, how ridiculous, If my son told me that was done to him, Pretty sure I would pull him.
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themoorethemerrier 10:59 AM 09-26-2011
I've got a 3yo that the second he gets just a little tired is laying on the floor hanging onto to himself for dear life!!! If it's not nap time, then I ask him to stand up and not to touch his private places in front of others. We redirect and he's on his back to playing with something more place-appropriate. At nap time, I have him lay on his tummy and tuck his hands under his pillow or else he's rockin' his cot even in his sleep!!! He's a darling little boy, and he is getting better about remembering, but yowza!!!
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Tags:inappropriate behavior, inappropriate touching, privates, touching
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