Kids Playing Doctor And Exploring Bodies Is A Totally Normal Part Of Childhood
Whether you like it or not, kids are curious about private parts – who’s got what, what goes where and, eventually, how they can access someone else’s for fun! It’s a totally common and normal part of childhood.
If you catch your kids playing doctor or making out like a mad thing with their BF or GF, your tone should be calm – even if you are completely freaked out – because you want your kids to know you can handle anything that comes your way. No yelling, shaming, blaming, or being big and scary (if you can help it!).
You may need to repeat the steps a few times with the young kids before they get fully redirected from this behavior. If your child is under the age of 10 or so and the behavior is adult-like in any way, or if it just isn’t stopping, I’d recommend you contact Stop It Now for more help.
What To Say And How To Say It When You Catch Your Kids Playing Doctor
Here is a simple script you can use with your kids when they are engaging in any type of sexual play – even if you catch your teenager in the living room having sex!
Take a big, deep breath and . . .
Step 1: Describe the behavior — “I see you and Billy are looking at each other’s penises.”
Step 2: Describe your reaction — “I feel uncomfortable when this happens.”
Step 3: Redirect — “Pull up your pants and let’s go play outside.”
Step 4: Regroup – Ask yourself, “What just happened here? What is my intuition telling me?”
Step 5: Plan – Ask yourself, “What do I need to do next?” This step always includes talking to your child about what happened; telling the other parent the kids were “playing doctor” and reinforcing your family rules about touching privates, sexual activity, etc.
If the behavior continues, start with “I’ve told you this before…” and between Step 1 and 2 add “This needs to stop.” Be clear, kind and firm, but not mean or threatening.
This script really will work for kids of any age – just substitute “making out on the couch” for “looking at each other’s penises” and you are good to go. Remember to stay calm, cool and collected and you’ll be able to manage yourself and the situation with grace.
If you were sexually abused, these behaviors can be even more challenging for you, and it’s very important for your mental health and your relationship with your children for you to get some help if you haven’t already. Connect with the good people at RAINN for therapy referrals.
Time To Have The Sex Talk?
I’ll share with you proven secrets on how to rock The Talk with your kids.
No shame. No embarrassment. No awkwardness. Just you, your kid, and a conversation.