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Why does my son keep exposing his private parts to others?

Q: Last night my 4-year-old son kept asking another boy of 6 years to go with him into the guest bedroom to play with various toys. I insisted that the door remain open, but he wanted it to be closed, which I did not allow. When I walked away briefly and returned, I found that my son was showing his private parts to the other boy. He has done this with another cousin also and has also shown off his parts to his younger brother, who is 19 months old. I am concerned and not sure how to stop this. Is it normal for boys to expose themselves to other boys?

A:It is quite normal for children at this age to become aware of sex differences and to show their own private parts or see that of others. Probably he had an opportunity to see some girl in the Nursery school and it made him wonder if he was different from other boys or the same as them. It is best that both his parents talk to him openly about sex differences and assure him that he is normal. You should also tell him that it is not acceptable in society to pay so much attention to the viewing of the penis. He knows that of course, or he would not have wanted the door closed. So just tell him gently that he should now stop showing off his penis. Make the discussion matter-of -fact and relaxed so that there is no sense of guilt.


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