Toddler son tried to rub my hand against his penis/scrotum- normal behavior or not?
  • Anonymous
    Posts: 29,074
    I was rubbing the belly of my recently potty-trained 2 year old son while he laid in my lap when suddenly he forcibly pushed my hand down and tried to get me to rub his crotch. I had to explain to him that his penis is only for him to play with, and that he may only do so when he is alone in his own room. Mommy and Daddy may only touch his penis if we are helping him clean it in the bath tub, and the doctor may only touch his penis it needs a check-up. He seemed confused but didn't fight me on it when I drew the boundary line.

    My son has always been very aware of his own body. He started playing with his penis during bath and diaper changes when he was about 9 months old. By 18 months we had caught him humping stuffed animals and rubbing himself with bath toys until he had an erection. From my understanding this is all just normal toddler exploration so we made a house rule: do whatever you want to your own body but do it alone in your bedroom. Whenever we catch our son touching himself (maybe a couple times a week, though its increased slightly since he potty trained), we just gently remind him that if he wants to play with himself he'll have to do so in his room. Usually he chooses to stay with the family and play appropriately in the main area of the house, but a few times he has gone to his room for 5-10 minutes to touch himself in private. We are comfortable with this arrangement and feel its whats healthiest for our son.

    Today is the first time he has ever tried to have someone else touch his penis for him. In fact, he usually prefers that we don't touch his penis, which was a problem before he potty trained because sometimes he'd get poop on it and he wouldn't want us to help him clean it off.
    I am more than alittle perturbed that he tried to have me touch him. I know he doesn't know any better and for him its just a simple pleasure, no different from wanting me to rub his belly. He's too young to understand the inappropriateness of his action.

    That said, I'm still freaked out.
    I obviously can't ask my friends or family if this is a normal behavior or if their son's have ever done anything similar because then I'll be seen as some sort of sick freak. Or worse, they'll think someone has done something horrible to my son, which is not the case- I am a stay at home mom, rarely use a sitter and the sitter we use is a woman I would trust with everything I've got. Having been a survivior of childhood sexual abuse, I have gone through therapy and done alot of reading on the subject so I am acutely aware of the red flags for abuse and my son doesn't show any of those red flags.

    I just want to know- is this normal?  Has anyone else's child ever done this before?
  • ImWendyImWendy
    Posts: 6,529Member
    My oldest boy didn't, and my girl didn't, but my youngest did. It sounds like you know it's normal and that you're aware that you're uncomfortable for adult reasons. Not all kids do this, but enough do to qualify it as normal. It's okay and you handled it properly.
    deus ex machina
  • battibatti
    Posts: 2,167Member
    ^^ what she said ;)
    we say the same thing as you to our sons, that's its ok in private, no one else touches but mommy and daddy when bathing/potty time and doctor at check ups.
    I had a recent similar experience when my 4yo son tried to get his 2yo brother to touch him. Dh and I were horrified when we witnessed this (it didn't actually happen, we interrupted when we heard some ruckus in their room) We instantly thought that someone must have shown him this, and grilled him for answers. After I looked into what is considered 'normal', dh and I both decided that it seemed ok and we don't think he was abused, though we are.keeping an open mind that its a possibility (just in general)

    SMSM_s_5

  • Anonymous
    Posts: 29,074
    Oh my damn, I thought I wanted a son LOL. This is what I have to look forward to. WHy does it have to start so young?
  • Anonymous
    Posts: 29,074
    @anon 9:11
    Its not just boys. My little female cousin and my daughter both were the same way. If it feels good, kids just don't know any better. I have some vague memories of hiding in my room and humping a toy when I was 4-5 years old and I certainly don't have a penis.
  • Anonymous
    Posts: 29,074
    I've never told anyone but I have a very vivid memory of "experimenting" what was essentially oral sex with my best friend at the time when we were about 6.  It was her idea  and as far as I'm aware she was never sexually abused but sometimes when I look back I wonder.
  • Anonymous
    Posts: 29,074
    @anon 9:27
    I have a very similar memory only it was a boy (probably about 6) when I was 4-5ish at my daycare. It was an in-home daycare run by a SAHM so we weren't always supervised so well and there was a mesh of ages that she cared for. I don't remember touching his but I do remember him kissing mine. And if I recall correctly, I think it was his idea.
  • PuffalumpPuffalump
    Posts: 219Member
    I vividly remember touching myself in preschool.  And actually, I touch myself the same way now!  My mom used to call it "tickling my pea" and also explained to me that I could only do it in private, and that I was the only one allowed to do it.

    I think your son is aware that if he rubs other things on it, like a stuffed animal, it will make him feel good.  He might have just figured, "hey while you're rubbing my belly, you might as well rub a little lower!"  I don't think you have anything to be worried about.  
  • unforgivenunforgiven
    Posts: 12,718Confessional Manager
    I don't think you should be worried.. he doesn't associate it to be anything sexual he just knows it's a different feeling and it feels good. 

    confessional-manager

    "What looks like torture is a time to rejoice
    What sounds like thunder is a comforting voice
    When what is beautiful looks broken and crushed
    And I say I don't know you
    But you say it's finished"
  • i_am_a_thunderbirdi_am_a_thunderbird
    Posts: 1,672Member
    My Ds3 plays with his penis and has since he was about a year old.

    He asks me to put cream on it and when I ask him why he says, "It tickles mommy."

    I don't think of it as a sexual thing, more than he is experiencing a "nice" feeling and is now able to acknowledge it.

    I wouldn't freak out too much about it and I think the way you handled it was great. Telling him his penis is his and what not.

    We have that talk in my house too. At this stage in their little lives, I think they are just experimenting with something that feels good to them, though they don't quite know why it feels good just yet.
  • Anonymous
    Posts: 29,074
    OP here.
    I feel so much better now.
    I don't know why...logically it all made sense to me.
    But I guess I just needed some reassurance...reassurance that not only was my child completely normal but also reassurance that I hadn't done anything wrong.
    Your body and your personal space are such delicate issues. Learning to be comfortable in your own skin and learning to trust your parents to do what is best for you...I just wanted someone to tell me that I hadn't somehow caused my child to be overly interested in his penis or that I hadn't somehow fucked up his self body-image by my reaction when he did this...

    I guess, being the survivor of childhood sexual abuse, I'm always going to be overly sensitive to my children's personal space. I want them to be normal and not carry the type of heavy emotional baggage that I carry.
  • unforgivenunforgiven
    Posts: 12,718Confessional Manager
    I'm glad we could ease your mind and give you the reassurance and comfort you needed. Don't be so hard on yourself. You're doing a wonderful job as a mommy. 

    confessional-manager

    "What looks like torture is a time to rejoice
    What sounds like thunder is a comforting voice
    When what is beautiful looks broken and crushed
    And I say I don't know you
    But you say it's finished"
  • Anonymous
    Posts: 29,074
    Thank you. Thank you, all who responded. You said exactly what I needed to hear so that I could relax about the whole thing.
  • LoveLove
    Posts: 14,066Administrator, Moderator
    Spawn does this too. He's 2. And he LURVS his little willy LOL And he runs around naked most of the day on most days. So when he's laying on me on the couch during cartoon time, and I'm rubbing his belly like the puppy (lol) sometimes, he'll wrap his arms around my arm and arch his booty up, like he wants me to rub there too.
    I just tickle the inside of his thigh, and he giggles, and we go on about our business.

    It feels good when he rubs it, so I find it perfectly natural for him to assume the same if I were the rubber LOL
    When he gets a little older, we'll have one of those 'talks' about what's ok, and what's not. 

    community-manager


  • LesteLeste
    Posts: 5Member
    I'm an abuse survivor as well and I feared so much having a son, simply because I had a terrifying fear of my son possibly becoming one, but the minute he was handed to me at the hospital I was instantly in love deep in my soul and from that moment I swore no harm will ever come to him under my watch... Needless to say I'm here cause I googled if its normal for a 2 yr old to be rubbing his penis as often as my son does. I'm glad it landed me here. I feel so much better since my son does exactly what "LOVE" son does. He refuses to keep his briefs on or short cause his hands are always in on his Penni's pulling and rubbing and I was freaking out.......thank you for starting this thread.
  • BeachyBeachy
    Posts: 4,697Member
    Searching for my lost shaker of salt.
  • BeachyBeachy
    Posts: 4,697Member
    Idk I have girls, but when my nephew was about two, he trotted out his peen for everyone to see and self pleasured in front of everyone. It's obviously so natural, you just have to set limits and boundaries.
    Searching for my lost shaker of salt.
  • Lakegirl34
    Posts: 2,814Member
    @leste glad you found your way to scary mommy!
  • MorganD
    Posts: 3,436Member
    I have 3 boys and none of them have ever done this, but that doesn't necessarily mean anything. Each child is different. My boys are aware of their bodies, but in a different way. It might have alot to do with the fact that I raised them alone in the early years of their lives. But I wouldn't worry. If youre still freaked, ask his pediatrician.
  • Marionettevie
    Posts: 2,729Member
    i recall the FIRST time i ever "experimented"  i was about 5 years old. and looking back now, that i have always been into the kinks i am into now. something totally and completely innocent(ish) like a black and white cartoon of a girl being tied up and thrown on train tracks for her hero to come save her made it tingle. and then i had to like hump the bean bag i was on to make it feel better. haha! my kiddo plays with his penis all the time too. and he tries pulling his diaper to the side to play with it too. sometimes he will be sitting there and he will smack it and laugh. lol! he;s not old enough to understand that playing with it should be done in public, but i am already preparing for that convo
  • kcsmommykcsmommy
    Posts: 264Member
    When my son was 18 mo to two years old he tried to get my grandma, myself, and my husband to rub his genitals. I asked his doctor and she told me that it was normal for young kids both boys and girls. She told me it feels good to them the same it does to us, so of course they want it to be rubbed/touched. She just told us to teach him that it was not okay to let ANYBODY touch his privates but him, and a doctor only in the presence of a parent.

    My grandma was really freaked out by it, she was our only babysitter so I wasn't worried about him being abused. I did think it was odd for him to try and force our hands on his privates.
  • RDunhamRDunham
    Posts: 138Member
    My 4 year old never tried that, but it certainly sounds like normal behavior.
  • BradsCrazyMomBradsCrazyMom
    Posts: 136Member
    My son 22 months does that and now he's trying to stick his finger in his butt wtf is that? I have a gross perverted little boy who also loves boobs lol