Q&A: My 4 Year Old Was Exposed to Sex Play

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blockquote_bgMy 4 year old has been exposed to sex play with a 6 year old girl. After that he asked a 5 year old girl to kiss him. The other day I find him kissing a 5 year old boy in the room. Now he kisses dolls as well and hides from it. Please help me.

This is the age when kids do start pulling down their pants, saying dirty words and exploring their own bodies. This is normal. It is not uncommon for preschoolers or young school age children to try to kiss each other on the mouth or to even express their natural curiosity through self-stimulation or trying to touch a sibling’s body in the bath tub. This is natural curiosity for this age and is not really sexual in nature. Boys may pull at their penises, and girls may rub their external genitalia. It’s up to parents to teach young children what is acceptable behavior in public and what should only be done in private.

You can teach your son in an age appropriate manner that kissing Mommy or Daddy is ok and reinforce “cheek only” kisses, but hugging is for his friends. Likewise, kissing baby dolls or stuffed toys is ok. You can also let him know that not everyone likes to be hugged or kissed and you can suggest high fives for friends. You can also begin to teach your child that no one is allowed to touch the private parts of his body without permission. You may wish to review this link which details what are normal, yellow and red flags for sexual behavior in kids under the age of 12.

This is a good time to introduce books on the subject such as “Some Parts Are Not for Sharing”  or “These are MY Private Parts“.