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Responding to Sexual Behaviors in Children

First let me say that I am so sorry you have discovered that your child might be having adult like sexual behavior, for many caregivers this is devastating.  A typical response is to either minimize the behaviors with the belief, “its no big deal, they won’t remember this” or go the other extreme and worry that their child is “destined to grow up to be a sexual pervert”.  The good news is that you are on this website looking for answers and I hope you can keep an open mind as you are looking at information.   Keep in  mind that if you have your own history of sexual trauma or sexual behaviors, this is likely a “blind spot” for you and you will need feedback from an outside source, this may be a friend, older relative, pastor, doctor or school counselor.  There are many good family therapists out there who can help you figure out if this behavior is a serious problem or not.  Here are a few resources to help you right now.

  1. www.ncsby.org  National Center on Sexual Behavior of Youth. The overall goal of the National Center on Sexual Behavior of Youth is to provide information and support through national training to help children and adolescents with problematic sexual behavior.  Best website for caregivers, all information is updated and current with best practices.
  2. “Understanding Children’s Sexual Behaviors, What Natural and Healthy”, by Toni Cavanagh Johnson, Ph.D – booklet for $3.00 obtained from www.TCavJohn.com
  3. South Eastern CASA, an Australian sexual assault center website has a 44 page booklet called “Age Appropriate Sexual Behaviours in Children and Young People”. Includes chart and research and information to explain PSB in children. Their booklet is found on the NCSBY website: http://www.ncsby.org/sites/default/files/Age-appropriate-behaviours-book.pdf

If you would like to know how to respond to something , here is a handout that can give you some guidance.  As you can tell when reading this, the most important thing is to remain calm and limit your emotional response in front of your child.  Yes, you are freaking out on the inside, and that’s OK, get that out first by whatever method works for you , then talk to your child.

Good Luck!!

click on this link for more info…..Responding to sexual behaviors in children