My son is 5 years old.

Over the last few months I have been observing some disturbing sexual behavior from my child.

He is rubbing his penis on the bed or pillow. Sometimes he would get naked and rub very tightly and make some sounds of pleasure! Previously, I thought he was playing... but later I understood.

His father doesn't want me to scold him, but one day I was really surprised and shocked by one incident... when I was in deep sleep in the afternoon, I suddenly woke up and saw he had pulled up my skirt and trying to mount me! I was really shocked! I'm really upset. What should I do?

  • I dont think so he has been molested coz I always keep him in my close observation. He sleeps with us in a same room but he has his separate bed. One more thing, he always tries to see me naked or my private parts secretly.What should I do in his age?
    – simran
    Dec 12, 2013 at 20:57
  • 1
    I have 2 boys, and they loved running around naked, they are 10 and 11 and I still have to fight with them half the time to put some cloths on. They displayed sexual behavior when they were around 5 yrs old but it has for the most part subsided. I would say most of what you have described is normal but the mounting part would raise concern for me. I would recommend letting his pediatrician know and see what they recommend. It could just be curiosity, but how would he know hes supposed to do what he was trying to do? I agree with filing a report if abuse is discovered.
    – Tony
    Jul 1, 2014 at 14:30
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    One question here is important and no-one seems to have covered, if he sleeps in the same room, will he have seen you and his father doing this kind of stuff? It seems obvious, but kids do imitate stuff, so if his dad has done this kind of thing, he'll see it as something "grown-ups do".
    – deworde
    Jul 2, 2014 at 7:55

3 Answers 3


While each child is unique, there are some commonly observed sexual behaviors typical for a 5 year old child (so called Normative Behavior) and some behavior that is of a concern (Symptomatic Behavior). The following wikipedia article describes some of these behaviors: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Child_sexuality#Normative_and_non-normative_behaviors

The attempt for a sexual contact that you described seems unusual and of concern.

I suggest that you consider the following:

  • when you have a problem, using appropriate words and context for 5 year old chid, ask your son in a calm way for reasons for his behavior (at the time it happens). Explain to your son that such touching is not appropriate behavior.

  • let your son sleep in his own room. It will give you more privacy and prevents any unintended surprises. Sleeping separately will also teach your son that parents and children need their own privacy.

  • ensure that your son does not have unrestricted / unsupervised access to the Internet (computer, tablet, smart phone)

  • also carefully check that he is not exposed to inappropriate sexual content through his peers, siblings, father or someone else around him (care taker)?

  • communicate with your son on regular basis about anything that bothers him, scares him or wants to share with you

  • 2
    Nice answer! Again, I would encourage a therapist and report be filed if any inappropriate sexual activity on the part of an adult or carer in the child's life be discovered. Dec 14, 2013 at 14:29

It's not uncommon for children to find out that there is a pleasurable feeling down there. After all, it's not like it's switched on once they are 18 - although many parents would wish that to avoid awkward conversations.

I think the first post goes past the innocence pretty fast and focusses on problems. I'd not scold him for having feelings. But the behaviour is inappropriate. Scolding shows you are upset and makes this into a bigger thing than it needs to be. He must adjust his behaviour, just like he learns to eat with his mouth closed and keep his elbows off the table. If it reassures you, remember that kids at this age - do have feelings - are very curious about anything new - but are not interested in actual sex

If there is enough trust between you and your son, he will keep you informed about his knowledge about these things.


This other answer by zdenekca has covered most of the things. I would like to add couple of things.

I guess it's time to tell your son few things about private body parts. I would definitely tell him that the private body parts should not be exposed or allow to touch anybody other than very close person, like yourself (mom) and that too only when it's needed e.g. shower, potty etc. You have to tell it as nicely as possible without scarring him that it is a sin, but tell him that it is considered very bad manners.

From the actions you have wrote, I strongly believe he is a child abuse victim which himself is not aware of. You should be nice to him and try to extract information from him to find the culprit by asking something like "did anyone ask you to show/touch yours/his/her private parts?" or "did you see anyone showing their private parts?". Before this make sure you explain to him about private parts.

  • 4
    Interesting conclusion you have there. On what do you base your belief? Jun 27, 2014 at 13:56
  • 2
    Telling him it's a sin is entirely useless.
    – user17694
    Aug 21, 2015 at 19:50

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