6-Year-Old Knows Too Much

By Dr. Marie Hartwell-Walker

My husband and I overheard my six year old and my three year old sons talking about ‘kissing’ each other’s penises. When we asked them about this, my three year old said that the six year old kissed his yesterday but that he didn’t kiss the six year old’s back. We asked him where he saw this and he originally said on tv. We believe my six year old’s curiosity in this may be coming from his biological dad’s house. His dad has a girlfriend and they have her five year old daughter and her six year old nephew living with them. After he mentioned seeing it on tv, he then said he saw the nephew (from his dad’s house) ‘humping’ the five year old daughter (also at the dad’s house) and that he told on him to his grandmother. I asked if the nephew had mentioned kissing penises to him or the five year old little girl and my son said no. Does this sound like normal sexual curiosity for a six year old? I’m beside myself, I really don’t know what to do at this point.

A: I’m worried too. This is not normal 6-year-old behavior. It’s also not normal for a 6-year-old to use language like “humping.” If he saw it on “TV,” he’s been watching porn. Such things are not on network TV during the hours that kids are awake. Then again, if that’s a cover story, he may be getting the information from the nephew.

As difficult as such a conversation is likely to be, you and your husband need to have a calm and clear discussion with the kids’ biological father and his girlfriend as soon as possible. Grandmother should also be included. Avoid blaming each other. Keep the focus on figuring out how the kids may have been introduced to adult sexuality and what you are going to do about it now.

Protecting our children from inappropriate sexual contact is every parent’s responsibility. There are four very young children in your collective care. All of them deserve to have a safe and healthy childhood. If any of the kids have been exposed to something they shouldn’t, they may need the additional support of a counselor.

I hope the adults can put aside any differences that may exist among them for the sake of the kids.

I wish you all well.
Dr. Marie

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 30 Dec 2012

APA Reference
Hartwell-Walker, D. (2012). 6-Year-Old Knows Too Much. Psych Central. Retrieved on September 21, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2012/12/30/6-year-old-knows-too-much/