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4-year old - innocent playing with cousin?

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Old 09-22-2004, 07:32 AM   #1
Join Date: Dec 2003
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danimal15 HB User
4-year old - innocent playing with cousin?

Hi everyone,

My four-year old boy is very close friends with his 5-year old cousin, who happens to be a girl. Last week, the two of them marched off toward the bathroom together, announcing that they had sticky hands from dessert and needed to wash them. But my wife confronted them and she found out they were really heading to the bathroom to show each other their privates. My wife got angry with them and told them not to do such a thing, and that was that.

I confronted my wife after this, saying I believed what they were doing wasn't something to yell at them about, and that it's innocent exploration that I and many other people did when we were kids to no ill effect. My wife never did this as a kid, however, and I think she's a bit uptight about the issue. She said if our son showed his genitals to his cousin, he'd think it's OK to show them to anyone.

I disagreed, saying I had girl friends as a child who I played with in this manner and never had the urge to do such a thing with anyone else. I'm not saying she should have let them go off to the bathroom once she found out what was going on. I just think she shouldn't give them a complex about it, and if it happens, no harm done.

Am I in the right, here, or am I being too loose with the rules?


Last edited by danimal15; 09-22-2004 at 07:32 AM.

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Old 09-22-2004, 07:43 AM   #2
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dwnjc2004 HB User
Re: 4-year old - innocent playing with cousin?

i dont think you are in the wrong at all, thats exactly how i would have handled the situation, i wouldnt have shouted at them, at the age of 4 and 5, children dont know what those parts of the body are actually used for. if you add 10 years onto their age then maybe yes thats the time to shout and yell becasue they would know its wrong.

at that age i think children are only aware that boys and girls both have different things down there so its only normal to want to see each others.
if ur child had a different toy than ur cousin they would want to see each others, i know thats a rubbissh comparison

maybe if they were touching each others they should have been told it was wrong and maybe shouted at , but it looks like they are just in the curious age

Old 11-19-2004, 04:36 AM   #3
Join Date: Jul 2004
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funkypinklizard HB User
Re: 4-year old - innocent playing with cousin?

i agree with you, i used to do that as a kid...they have to find out the diffrences between female and male someway or anthor

Old 11-19-2004, 09:47 AM   #4
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Location: Chicago, IL
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barton93 HB User
Re: 4-year old - innocent playing with cousin?

Most kids at that age are curious. My 5 year old son refers to his private part as his "bullet" and one day when I was getting out of the shower, he was about 3 and he walked into the bathroom just as I was getting out and curiously looked at me and said "Mom, what happened to your bullet....did you lose it". That is when he realized that girls don't have a bullet. For about a good month after that, he would ask his female cousins that are around his age if they had bullets still, or if they had lost them already. Then he put two and two together and realized that girls never had them. He thought just big girls didn't. He was shocked, then curious about what theirs were. We went through a stage for a little while when he would try to play the "I'll show your mine if you show me yours" game. After some time, he gave up on that game cause he realized that is not an appropriate game to play at grandma's house when the entire family is there.

It is just a stage...........and most kids go through it. It's normal.

Last edited by barton93; 11-19-2004 at 11:08 AM.

Old 11-19-2004, 10:44 AM   #5
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sweetangelbaby HB User
Re: 4-year old - innocent playing with cousin?

its normal. really i have a two year old nephew that will go to the bathroom and we have company at his mom and dads and grandparents house and he will come on with no underwear on. but we are trying to break him from it. but if he does he does
a child is precious. hold them while u can. if they die atleast let them know that u love them
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Old 11-21-2004, 05:43 AM   #6
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: NY, USA
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TerryB HB User
Re: 4-year old - innocent playing with cousin?

I would approach it a little more gently than your wife but I can understand her surprise and over-reaction. She probably didn't expect or think about it and put an adult interpretation into it. That being said, it is time to start teaching the kids about modesty and how "big" kids like privacy and go to the bathroom without another child present that isn't the same sex. Kindergarteners are laughed at if they leave the bathroom door open. I also tell my girls that it is not proper to play with a boy alone in their room. This is a private area only for their best girlfriends. When they visit other kids the same rule applies and helps with predator issues. When they are teenagers I hope they will keep these same values.

Last edited by TerryB; 11-21-2004 at 05:45 AM.

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