New - Need help w/8 y.o. son

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-03-2007
New - Need help w/8 y.o. son
Mon, 02-02-2009 - 3:41pm

An embarrassing incident last night during the Super Bowl...

We had friends at our house. One of whom is a beautiful blonde 26 year old girl who loves children (including my d.s.). We were playing Trivial Pursuit together in a group and d.s. (who was the only child in the house) was "running" the game - moving board pieces, reading questions, etc.

As is typical of 8 year olds he was being very dramatic at times, and several times would interact with our blonde friend and get physical - high fives, 'falling' onto her, bumping against her, etc. It seemed harmless to me and dh, and several times I mentioned out loud for ds to be careful - he doesn't realize how heavy he is and sometimes he can be clumsy and hurt you when he means to be funny.

Well about the third time, the blonde's boyfriend

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-19-2003
Mon, 02-02-2009 - 4:59pm

I didn't think you over reacted. I do think you need to have another talk with him and stress boundaries and that you do not touch another person's private areas just like no one is allowed to touch yours. Use the fact that now the boy friend doesn't want you to be around his 9 yo dd because of what happened with his girl friend. That while you understand he was just curious not everyone else is going to understand. People are willing to excuse an accident but repeated "accidents" are not viewed as accidents.

Because I don't know this man and what might have happened in his life, I can't say if he is over reacting to the situation or not. Things we've experienced or others close to us have experienced color how we react. I too am leaning towards the view that it is a different situation and is unlikely that a similar thing would happen between your ds and his dd.

I do think the 24 yo girl should have spoken up to say something as simple as "be careful, don't touch there." If not the first time it happened, then definitely the second time as one could have been an accident but not two. Because she didn't speak up she gave your son the idea that what he was doing was okay and didn't bother her. It is normal to be curious about differences in the male and female bodies but you need to not act on that curiosity and reach out and touch someone without permission.

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-31-2003
Mon, 02-02-2009 - 11:16pm
I have also had the same curosity with my DS. Both my husband and I have talked to him and he will apologize but I am not sure that he gets it. It is not like he is a 8 year old fiend but it is concerning. If you find anyway that helps get your son to understand please let me know.


iVillage Member
Registered: 01-03-2007
Tue, 02-03-2009 - 9:52am

Thank you so much for your opinion.

I completely agree that the girl should have spoken up right away and could have diffused the whole thing with a light admonishment that would have sent the message to ds that what was probably an accident the FIRST time, couldn't continue.

I did talk with him again last night and just as you recommended, I used the 9 y.o. girl as a reason... saying I need to make sure he understands physical boundaries because we don't want the father to have to worry about his daughter. Reinforced that touching areas covered by a bathing suit on anyone is not ok, not for him to touch someone else or for someone to touch him.

I also mentioned that the girl felt embarrassed because she he made her uncomfortable by crossing the boundaries. that she 'wanted' to say something right away, but didn't because she didn't want to make him embarrassed and I said that I talked to her after her boyfriend spoke up and she was uncomfortable with the whole situation. DS explained that he never meant to cause her to be embarrassed or uncomfortable, and I could tell that he meant it. I asked how he would feel if she 'accidentally' touched his crotch several times - would it make him uncomfortable and would he feel ok to say something about it. He didn't really reply but I could see that he was thinking about it and he was 'getting' what she went through.

I talked to him about being curious - that he can always ask me or his dad, that we'll answer any questions he has honestly, even if they're embarrassing to ask. Then I said, "so, do you have any questions?" Of course, he didn't and I could tell by then he was ready to end the conversation, lol.

So, I'm feeling a little better about it, but will definately keep an eye on him for the next few months. I really do wish the whole thing could have been handled differently, because I think the message would have been more effective and less embarrassing to all, but it is what it is.

Thanks again for the advice and cousel.


iVillage Member
Registered: 03-19-2003
Tue, 02-03-2009 - 2:05pm

I think you are right, the message would have been more effective if she would have spoken up right away. It sounds like from what you've described that he is starting to get it and make the connection which will stick with him. I wouldn't be surprised that after the embarrassment dies down if he came to you or his dad and asked questions. From my limited experience on having these conversation with my son it will probably come up when you are driving in the car.

There are some good books out there on the subject, do a search on Amazon and see what is out there that would fit your/his needs. It is a good starting point so he can read it and then come to you later with questions.