20-Year-Old Needs Serious Help Q: My 20-year-old grandson lives in his parents' rental property, doesn't work and has been paying rent with his savings. He has been there about a year and is out of money. His father says he has to get a job so he can continue to pay rent. I'm not …Read more. Bright Teen Has Poor Grades Q: I found your website today and all but burst into tears when I read the content on it. You are describing my son exactly, and the reason I almost cried is that until today, I couldn't figure out what I had done wrong. He is a bright, athletic, …Read more. Teach Siblings to Solve Their Problems Q: When siblings continuously want you to solve their problems and tattle on each other, what do you say to the child when she comes to you to ask you to help solve her problem with her sister? A: All siblings argue unless one gives all the orders …Read more. Should Gifted Preschooler Be Tested Q: How important is it to have a child tested for giftedness at a young age? Should we wait until he's tested at the end of second grade, which is what is typically done at our school? How beneficial is the early testing, and is it worth the out-of-…Read more.more articles
Grabbing Private Parts Not Normal Behavior
Q. My son is 7 years old. For the last six months or so I've noticed that when he's playing with other boys he sometimes engages in sexual behavior that concerns me. I've seen him grabbing at their penises and his friends do the same. I've told him a couple times that he should never touch anybody else's "private parts" and nobody should touch his. Is this normal behavior that he will hopefully outgrow? Do you have any suggestions?
A. Cultures define touching private parts differently. In our American culture, touching other children's private parts is definitely considered inappropriate touching and is even defined by some parents and authorities as abuse.
Although I can't judge the situation by your letter, a counselor will want to rule out every possible abuse that your son may have experienced. In our sexualized television culture, he may only have seen such behavior on TV or the Internet, but I recommend getting counseling immediately.
For a free newsletter about growing up too fast, send a large, self-addressed, stamped envelope to P.O. Box 32, Watertown, WI 53094, or go to www.sylviarimm.com for more parenting information.
Grandchild Can Learn Manners
Q. My husband and I are taking care of our 5-year-old grandson who's outgoing and very smart. We spend a lot of time at public libraries and I know the people who work there. The problem is that my grandson worries for hours before we go that the ladies will talk to him and he doesn't want to respond. I've tried explaining to the ladies that he's shy, but he's really not. If someone talks to him, he gets a mad look on his face and then ignores him or her. Should we force him to be polite or explain that he doesn't talk to adults? He has no problem talking to children. He's an only child if that makes a difference.
For free newsletters about shy and fearful children, send a large self-addressed, stamped envelope to P.O. Box 32, Watertown, WI 53094, or read other parenting articles at www.sylviarimm.com.
Dr. Sylvia B. Rimm is the director of the Family Achievement Clinic in Cleveland, Ohio, a clinical professor of psychiatry and pediatrics at the Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, and the author of many books on parenting. More information on raising kids is available at www.sylviarimm.com. Please send questions to: Sylvia B. Rimm on Raising Kids, P.O. Box 32, Watertown, WI 53094 or firstname.lastname@example.org. To read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at www.creators.com.
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