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THE QUESTION

I found my four-year-old son and his four-year-old girl cousin showing each other their privates. What should I do?

THE ANSWER

Don’t panic. This is very normal.

But first, a note: There are some red flags to be aware of. The American Academy of Pediatrics website, HealthyChildren.org, has an informative article called Sexual Behaviors in Young Children: What’s Normal, What’s Not. If you find anything here that concerns you, do not address your child about it. First, speak to your family doctor or another professional.

If the above scenario does not apply, don’t make your son and his cousin feel bad or embarrassed for engaging in this completely age-appropriate activity, but do remind them of the body privacy rules. If you discover another viewing session, simply say, “Remember, your body and your private parts are private.” Redirect them to another activity. You’re not done yet, though. It sounds like you need a plan going forward.

Read the rest of my answer at The Globe and Mail

Have a question? Email me: sarah@sarahrosensweet.com

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Sarah Rosensweet is a certified peaceful parenting coach, speaker, and educator. She lives in Toronto with her husband and three big kids (ages 14, 17, and 20). Peaceful parenting is a non-punitive, connection-based approach that uses firm limits with lots of empathy. Sarah works one-on-one virtually with parents all over the world to help them go from frustrated and overwhelmed to, “We’ve got this!”

Read more at: www.sarahrosensweet.com

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