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Forum -> Children's Health
4 year old wont stop holding/touching himself



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amother
OP


 

Post Wed, Nov 29 2023, 5:03 pm
I am beside myself. I ignored it for a while and now it seems to be a total habit. He holds himself and rubd when lying down, standing still. Basically whenever he isn't actively busy with something else. When I ask why, he responds that he likes it.
It's so embarrassing he is doing it in public, school. Literally rubbing into it, moving his legs. Just holding would be much better. But he's moving against it and rubbing. I tried many times to remind him only at home etc. Nothing works.
Any advice.
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amother
Heather


 

Post Wed, Nov 29 2023, 5:55 pm
My son went through such a stage. At one point I told him if he touches, I will assume it’s because he needs to use the bathroom and I will send him there. He denied needing the bathroom, but it was more of a consequence for him and the touching stopped b”h
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amother
Wine


 

Post Wed, Nov 29 2023, 6:03 pm
It's age appropriate. It feels good to him. Just tell him private parts are only for in private. Distract him or give him another activity to do with his hands. If it's an anxious thing get him a teddy bear to hold instead or something. If he won't stop, send him to a private room (bedroom, bathroom).
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seafood




 
 
    
 

Post Wed, Nov 29 2023, 6:07 pm
Op I don’t have practical answer for you. But - it makes sense that you’re feeling very uncomfortable. Anyone in your situation would be mortified. Give yourself a hug and tell yourself it will pass. Try to stay calm so you can deal with him calmly. You don’t want to make this into any more of an issue than what it already is.
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amother
Yolk


 

Post Wed, Nov 29 2023, 6:08 pm
Please don't punish him by sending him to the bathroom. Just keep on gently reminding that it's private and redirect. Give him lots of sensory toys to keep his hands busy, offer prizes if his rebbe says he didn't play with any private parts in public.
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amother
DarkGray


 

Post Wed, Nov 29 2023, 7:22 pm
Is he otherwise neurotypical? Any other behavioral or developmental concerns?
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ittsamother




 
 
    
 

Post Wed, Nov 29 2023, 7:38 pm
I just want to know what's wrong with sending to the bathroom. It's not some scary lonely place, it's not the dreaded "time out", he's not stuck there for hours, it's just a logical way to redirect and refocus without seeming like you're punishing him, that has the added benefit of being a bit annoying for him because he has to stop whatever he was busy with and leave the room for a few minutes to go to the bathroom and come back, so eventually he hopefully will start to stop himself before you send him to the bathroom once again. What's the big deal?
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amother
Lightcyan


 

Post Wed, Nov 29 2023, 7:42 pm
Could be he's doing it for attention. Try to give him positive attention instead. The more you tell him not to do it, the more he will. Maybe he has a uti?
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amother
Iris


 

Post Wed, Nov 29 2023, 7:53 pm
When ds was around that age he also touched himself there often (and he wasn’t doing it cuz he realized he likes it, I think it was subconscious) we got him a keychain to wear on his belt loops (like with a pully thing you can pull out to make it longer like for an ID Card u would need to swipe/scan to enter a room at a hospital) with a bunch of keys and he spent a lot of time fidgeting with those instead! And it broke the habit pretty quickly bh!
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amother
Yolk


 

Post Wed, Nov 29 2023, 9:52 pm
ittsamother wrote:
I just want to know what's wrong with sending to the bathroom. It's not some scary lonely place, it's not the dreaded "time out", he's not stuck there for hours, it's just a logical way to redirect and refocus without seeming like you're punishing him, that has the added benefit of being a bit annoying for him because he has to stop whatever he was busy with and leave the room for a few minutes to go to the bathroom and come back, so eventually he hopefully will start to stop himself before you send him to the bathroom once again. What's the big deal?

But he knows that you don't actually think he needs the bathroom... feels like passive aggressive/ shaming to me...
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amother
Bronze


 

Post Wed, Nov 29 2023, 10:00 pm
amother Yolk wrote:
But he knows that you don't actually think he needs the bathroom... feels like passive aggressive/ shaming to me...


Everything has a time and place. Touching private parts belongs in a bathroom and there is nothing wrong with teaching kids that.
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amother
Yolk


 

Post Wed, Nov 29 2023, 10:05 pm
amother Bronze wrote:
Everything has a time and place. Touching private parts belongs in a bathroom and there is nothing wrong with teaching kids that.

I totally hear that. I was referring to the poster that was saying she "assumes" he must need to use the bathroom if he's touching.
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