Handling Your School-age Child’s Increasing Interest in Sexuality
“Say cheese!” you coach your three-year-old daughter as you're about to snap her picture. Then, it happens. That sweet, little, curly-haired apple of your eye puts down her dolly, stands up, and strikes a pose that you would only expect to see in a men’s magazine.
It’s hard to watch our children grow up, but it can be a little easier if we've taken the right steps to prepare them.
Your jaw drops, and you quickly check over your shoulder to see who’s seen this display, and you quietly redirect your daughter back to her now dropped-on-the-head dolly. It’s happened to the best of us. Are they just born knowing these things? You KNOW she’s never seen that from you! For the love of Pete, what are we supposed to do with this?
We know toddlers are naturally curious about their bodies. They love to be naked, and they’re anxious to find out what’s happening with their private parts during a diaper change.
This is all a natural part of understanding their bodies, and it helps them establish gender differences. What makes a boy a boy, and what makes a girl a girl?
So it’s all fine and good when they were little, and probably even humorous at times. But what happens once they’re in school and exposed to other children and all of their behaviors? How should we handle that increasing interest in their sexual side? What is normal, and when should we be concerned?