How can I handle my child’s queries about sex?

How can I stop my child from frequently touching and rubbing his private parts?

Your child may touch his body due to itchiness. You can check your child’s genital area for signs of infection such as redness, swelling, abnormal discharge or rash. If there are any concerns, take your child to a doctor.

Children start exploring the outside world by exploring their own bodies first. The genitalia is a sensitive organ and can be excited easily and naturally. When your child finds that he can get a sense of excitement when touching the body area, he may do it more, serving the purpose of sensational stimulation.

Sometimes, children may touch their bodies for comfort without being aware of it when they are under stress or feel bored. It doesn’t mean that your child has ‘sexual need’. You may take his hand away gently and distract him, such as by asking him to take the shopping bag for you. Praise him for helping.

Also, consider whether your child has any distress. Soothe him accordingly, as needed, for example by giving him a hug. Encourage him to talk about his distress. Try to deal with his worries to make him more relaxed. Don’t try to stop him with threats of punishment. Spend more time to talk and play with your child in your daily interactions. When your child gets adequate attention from you, he will not rely on self-stimulation for comfort.

My son always likes to touch my breasts. He also stares at my body when I am getting changed. He peeped under a girl’s dress once. Will he turn into a sex maniac?

As mentioned above, the two year olds and under like to seek intense body sensations. The warm and soft breasts of mothers naturally attract children to touch them. After two, children begin to be curious towards others’ bodies. They may notice the differences between the genders, and like to learn by observation and exploration. The act of exploration has nothing to do with sex maniac.

Parents can make use of these opportunities to talk about sex with children, including the differences between the bodies of the opposite sex and between kids and adults. One way to satisfy a child’s curiosity towards other people’s bodies is to teach him through everyday occasions such as getting changed and taking a bath together.

However, if you feel uneasy in showing your body to him, your embarrassment may reduce the effectiveness of your sex education. You may talk about the bodily differences of the genders by using a doll or reading a book with anatomy pictures.

Teach your child to respect others. Touching or peeping at other’s body without consent is not respectful. You may also show him that the body parts covered by the swimming costumes are private parts. Tell him that he should protect his private parts and take caution not showing them to others.