Attune

Attune means harmony. This blog is about harmonizing ourselves in our connection to others and to our planet. I bow to basic goodness in our world and in relationships encourage opening our hearts with love and compassion.

UNDERSTANDING THE EARLY SEXUAL PROBLEMS OF CHILDREN

By:   Susan Grey Smith, PhD, LMFT

March 3, 2014—Part 4:

A third group of children who develop sexual behavior problems may sexually abuse a younger, less powerful child and overlaps and may progress from the sexually reactive or mutually engaging types of behaviors.  They go far beyond over-involved childhood sex play or consensual behavior with age mates.  The hallmark behavior is coercion—tricking, bribing, threatening, bullying, manipulating, forcing, or just using their relationship to get a much younger child to go along.  

These behaviors may continue or increase over time as part of a consistent pattern rather than an isolated incident.  There may be an impulsive, compulsive, and aggressive quality to the behavior with feelings of anger, loneliness or fear linked to sexual behaviors.  Coercion is always a factor and when they are discovered, they do not stop after well-intentioned parents discipline them, or cannot stop without intensive and specialized treatment.

As parents we can avoid many of these problems armed with the proper information.  As adults we have to be awake to the fact that children do have sexual natures that can be over-stimulated early.  Just like learning about when our child should be expected to talk in sentences or learn to read, we need to inform ourselves about early sexual development in childhood.  

We can no longer afford to leave sex education to others, wait till the child asks, or give the “talk” on the other side of puberty.  If we are not talking with our children about sex now, most likely someone else is and that person just may be another child.

Posted 466 weeks ago

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