Friday, May 16, 2008

What Would You Do?


We have been teaching E that it is not appropriate for anyone to touch his penis. And if they do he is to yell, 'No!', and run to tell mommy and daddy. That we will never be mad at him if they do.
Here's where the problem lies:
When he and M are taking a bath together M will, occasionally, brush up against the general area of the groin (and sometimes actually accidentally touch his penis). And E, dutifully, yells, "No! Mommy, M touched my penis!" This happens, inevitably, at least once per bath time (so we're talking at least 5 times per week). I used to tell M that he's not allowed to do that, but then it would happen again and again and again. Now I just try to explain to E that M doesn't understand and that he can't help it, he's just a baby.
I'm afraid that E will get the idea that if this were to happen in a real situation where it was an actual threat that it wouldn't be taken seriously and that it would be pointless to come and tell me or A.
How would you handle this situation? They love bathing together so it's not really an option to not have them together, that's just mean. It appears that this is just my fate, to be constantly tell a 1-year-old not to touch his brother's penis.
Any thoughts?


Becky said...

Good question! I'll have to think about that...(you would think that with four kids who have all bathed with one another at some point I would have some background on this one but I can't think of anything!).

My first instinct is to say that Mason is old enough to learn although it will be a pain...I know that Sarah understands when I tell her "no" maybe Mason is old enough, but it's hard to say at that age.

I'll think about it and get back you to you :)

Ashleigh said...

The first thing that comes to my mind is to explain the difference between accidentally touching it (like in the bath, while reaching for a toy or something) and on purpose. If Mason is not directly going for it, then try to help Ethan understand that it was an accident. If Mason is doing it on purpose, then tell him no. That should help Ethan know when is "bad" touching. (Although it's not "bad" in the sense you're probably worried about at Mason's age) Hopefully that helped. You may have already thought of that suggestion.

Anne said...

Yeah, this is the best part of mommyhood huh...we have some expertise in this area. One idea is to have Ethan wear Swim trunks in the tub (after you wash the misters of course)so that Mason can have a visual of where NOt to touch. At 1 he will NOT understand the whole don't touch the Penis thing. BUT bright colored shorts are a different story, plus Ethan will feel really cool that he gets to do soemthing that Mason doesn't. It might seem wierd at first but after a while you can cut back on the shorts and then you will be touch free. This is a great learning opportunity for both of the boys because Ethan is setting the VERY best example of what is expected for your family and Mason will be one up on the learning curve! Hope this helps.

The Malone's said...

I'm glad that were in the same boat with the two boys. I have found that we are in the similar situation sometimes. I find that I have to tell Finn "No, don't touch, then I'm constantly trying to avert his attention elsewhere. The boys love to bathe together too, and diversion is the only thing I have found to work.