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10 Answers

My 4.5 year old boy keeps playing with penis even in public I don’t know how to get him to stop. Any suggestions?


Posted anonymously, 10th May 2016


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  • Just teach him this is a private thing, not in public. You could make a social story and hang it in his bedroom. And read the social story daily with him.


  • My son did this! We explained to him, that there is a time and a place for things like that. His bedroom is his own space and that is the place that is most appropriate for him to explore himself. We didn’t yell at him, or make out like it was disgusting behavior, just a private thing.


  • I feel your pain! I have no answers just continual telling off. I’m praying he grows out of it as he starts school next year!


  • Trying explaining to him that while it ok to touch it, that’s it only to be done in private in his bedroom


  • Maybe get him a toy – something he really likes and he can only have it when he’s out and about with you. He has to hold onto it and look after it. It may distract him from holding himself which sometimes I understand is just a habit.


  • I know one little boy who at about 3 1/2 in sheer desperation was told it would fall off. He was also told to put it back in his undies. Explanations were given several times before he was told either of those things. Part of it was an attention thing. I am certain he did it in front of other relatives and friends to see the reaction. He was sent to wash his hands afterwards and wasn’t too happy about that. Seems that was the thing that worked.


  • Maybe suggest to him that playing with the penis is only done in the shower to give it a clean or in the toilet.. My son liked to have a little adjustment or a scratch in public till we explained to him it was only ever to be done in private and the only person who was ever aloud to touch it was him…


  • Sit him down on a chair and you make eye contact and tell him you have a important thing to tell him. Ask him to tell you a rule you have taught him. Discuss that rule and say you have another one. Just say, has he noticed that no one puts their hands down their pants. The reason why is, it’s not allowed in public or when we are at home. Just ask him to remember this rule. When you are out and he forgets you say, remember that rule we talked about. Best of luck.


  • Good luck with this one! It’s generally something they eventually grow out of. But if you want to keep trying, just be persistent, always telling him to stop it


  • All I can think of is bribery. Perhaps he can take his favourite toy or game with him when he goes out as long as her doesn’t touch his privates. And if he does, the toy is taken away until he promises not to do it again. I’m not sure if this is the right way to go, but the only thing I can think of.


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