What happens with your child at this age?
- Child learns to pee and to poo, notices a difference between boys and girls.
- Child is happy un proud of the things he can do with his body.
- Starts to regulate his emotions. Slowly the feeling of independence develops, child can get a bit more distant from his parents.
- Becomes more social. Notices the needs of other people. Notices what makes him and others feel good.
- He’s brave enough to explore the world around him when there is a safe road back.
- Learns to differ things that are allowed and things that aren’t, public from private.
- Wants to be the boss of his body.
What could your child ask or do?
- Child is naturally curious about the intimate parts of body. When going to pee in the kindergarten or when going in sauna, he sees other people and can loudly comment on what he sees.
- Wants to be held in hands, touch others, he’s touching himself, also his genitals.
- Shows emotions such as disappointment in a physical way – hits, hugs or kisses. Openly shows his love for parents. Asks questions about everything, also about sexuality.
- Plays with other children but if there is a conflict, can hit others. It may be hard to separate him from his parents.
- Tells what he wants. Wonders about breastfeeding. Thinks loudly.
- Asks many things. Starts accepting some boundaries, for example, doesn’t run around while naked in public. Possibly tests the boundaries of what he can and cannot do.
What should be done to support your child?
- Explain that everyone has his own body. With appropriate words explain that boys and girls have different private parts of the body but both are equal. Teach him to respect other people’s privacy.
- In a peaceful way teach him about boundaries, when and where he can get naked and touch specific parts of the body.
- Teach him the words for emotions: “Now you feel good.” Teach him that he can also feel bad but can’t do bad things to others. Show him different ways to express his liking towards something or someone.
- Teach your child the rules of honest play together: he can’t hurt others, it will make them feel sad. Be supportive and not the other way round. Peacefully explore new situations with your child. Teach him that there are different people and different families.
- Show your support in different ways. Tell your child that his body is great and he can touch it.
- Using simple language explain him that a child is created from a child seed that grows in mum’s tummy till it comes out of the children hole. Choose words that suit you better: child seed, child home etc.
- Teach him privacy and social rules. Tell him that he can touch himself but he can do it when there aren’t others around, when it’s quiet and peaceful. For example, each person goes to the bathroom alone, when others aren’t there and don’t disturb him.
- Respect your child’s will and wishes. For example, while in a hospital or bathing, explain that it is time now to look at or to clean a private part of his body. Parts that are under the swimming suit are private parts, about touching or cleaning them a child can decide on his own.