LONG: concerns my mother has over raising boys (warning very odd) — The Bump
3rd Trimester

LONG: concerns my mother has over raising boys (warning very odd)

Ok, so I find this completely bizarre and a little disconcerting, but I have no clue what to say to her. She has brought this up several times and I want her to just stop it, but again, I find it so bizarre. I don't know what to say or do because I think it is the weirdest thing to talk about. I come from a family of all girls, and I can say that it is probably a good thing my mom never had a boy because she has about zero working knowledge of the male population (any age).

So, apparently my mother has heard from a friend that baby boys can get "hard ons" as she calls them and for some reason this concerns her immensely.  I have never heard of this, but if it is true, then I don't see what the big deal is anyways. I would figure it's normal because they can't help it (if it is even true). Plus, I figure I will learn how to parent as I go along, but to me, a normal physiological response is a complete non-issue. Then, she told me that she saw a three year old asleep in his stroller at the mall "with his hand in his pants!" and this shocked her even more. Needless to say, she and I have very different ideas on how to raise children, and while I agree that you should teach a three year old not to touch himself in public, my mom's reaction seemed overboard. I just think it is odd that she feels the need to bring this up to me and I find it a little disturbing that she felt the need to tell me, like she thought I would be shocked and disturbed.

Oy vey. It is just a very odd situation and I don't even know what to say to her. It bugs me that she seems so intent on letting me know about this possible "problem," (which I don't see as one), and then telling me how I should handle it. She never had boys (and neither have I, until bug), and it bothers me that she is telling me about "concerns" that I may have with my son, like he is some foreign creature. He is not, he is an innocent, unborn child, and he deserves privacy and respect even from birth, not to be talked about like he is an alien. I guess I just don't want her to say anything to him or discipline him for behavior that she thinks is wrong. Maybe I am borrowing trouble. I am bewildered that she even brought this up to me. Does anyone have any advice or opinions??

Re: LONG: concerns my mother has over raising boys (warning very odd)

  • How did she get you?  She must have interacted with boys/men at some point in time in her life.  She needs to be educated on normal boy development or she will make spending the night at grandma's a very uncomfortatble situation for her and your little boy.
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  • While it sucks she feels the need to say all this, I wouldn't do too much time on it.  You will raise your son as you see fit and will deal with issues as you see fit.  I'm sure she will love him just the same as a girl when he's here but she's probably just insecure about how to be around a baby boy since she never really has been.  Just be honest with her about your feelings and don't stress over it.  He's your child, not hers.  Good luck!



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  • image vanverth:
    How did she get you?  She must have interacted with boys/men at some point in time in her life.  She needs to be educated on normal boy development or she will make spending the night at grandma's a very uncomfortatble situation for her and your little boy.

    I agree with this!

    Also doesnt she know that girls also are curious about their bodies just as much as boys are?  I have seen 2 and 3 year old boys put their hands in their pants to 'play'.  However I also know of 2 and 3 years old little girls who will rub up against stuff(like when they are in their car seat/stroller with a strap between their legs). 

    Its normal

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  • As the mommy of a little boy, I can tell you that yes, little boys do get erections.  If their diaper just rubs the right way, it can cause an erection.  I have never told my DS that there is anything wrong with his penis or scolded him for touching himself.  He has never tried touching his penis in public (if he did, I would just teach him that it isn't appropriate to do in public).  It really isn't a big deal though.  Recently DS has noticed when he gets an erection, the first he noticed was first thing in the morning when he was going potty and he told me "Mommy, something wrong with my penis".  I just told him that there wasn't anything wrong, that it just sometimes happens and it will go away soon.  Now he always tells me "mommy, my penis is big".  Lol, raising a boy is definitely interesting!  But I would just tell you mom that while you appreciate her concern, it isn't something you are worried about or see as a big deal.
  • I first want to say I am by no means an expert and because of that all I can give you is my opinion and what I have observed from others. Boys of ALL ages are constantly touching themselves. I have seen many older men grab, readjust, scratch whatever you want to call it! I think its normal... Kind of gross and awkward in some situations but normal none the less. I also think it is normal as toddlers to be more curious about themselves and all we can do is try to teach them the polite thing to do in public. My mom had 3 boys and use to babysit a bunch more little boys and would call their peckers their pull strings because they would grab themselves everytime they would talk. As for your mom I would tell her you will teach him the polite thing to do when it comes! Good luck! Oh the joys of having a boy lol!



  • image vanverth:
    How did she get you?  She must have interacted with boys/men at some point in time in her life.  She needs to be educated on normal boy development or she will make spending the night at grandma's a very uncomfortatble situation for her and your little boy.

     

    haha! I scratch my head sometimes. I agree that she needs to be educated. She is doing well, she even bought a book about bringing up boys ("so she can understand them better"), so I know she is really trying. Should I say anything to her when/if she brings this subject up again? I have never raised a boy so I suppose I am just not sure how to respond to her except to say, "Can you please stop talking about this? I think DH and I will handle it just fine." Sometimes that makes her push something even more, though, hence my hesitation.

  • This was actually mentioned to me yesterday and is something that hadn't occured to me, either.  My first baby is a girl, so it's not something I've "dealt" with before.  It makes sense though and I don't see why your Mom thinks it's such a big deal or what she thinks you can do to stop your baby from getting a hard on.  From what I've heard it happens A LOT, so hopefully Grandma gets over it quickly!
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  • Your post made me chuckle a little bit.  I am a 2nd grade teacher and have 9 boys in my class.  They all like to play, what my husband calls "pocket pool", especially when they wear nylon pants.  I pretty much see it daily even though they try and be descreate from their other classmates.  I think your mom would seriously pass out if she saw this.

    Your mom needs to relax.  Yes, boys do this, and yes it is compltley natural.  There is nothing to worry about, and I am sure as a parent you will help guide him and teach him.   

    Don't worry about what your mom says, she has no background information to back this off of, and she is lettting her imagination get the best of her. 

    Also, as someone who has been around many young boys...getting hard on's happens a lot...even for infants.   There is really nothing to worry about.

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  • Sounds to me like mom is just scared about being around and possible taking care of (i.e. babysitting) male babies..I have a 3 yr old and am currently preggers with another little boy. Regarding the "hard ons" its a bodily function that does occur its not something sexual and I think your mom is equating a baby/toddler's bodily function to a grown man and that where she needs to seperate the two. Babies are naturally curious and they do like self stimulation which is why you see babies of both sexs rub themselves down there. Its not sexual to them its just something they do. I think your mom realy should read up on babies and toddlers of both sexes to educate herself and so can rid herself of any negative thoughts or misinformation regarding taking care of male babies/toddlers.
  • yes baby boys have erections, it happens very frequently in the first few weeks, and calms down.  it made me realize that it isnt something boys can control =)

    BTW DS's first body part that he knows the name and can say it is pee pee...I think its cute. When he gets older we will have to talk to him about good times/bad times to talk about it, or touch it....but thats far off.  

    your mom sounds a little cooky, and I would ignore her comments. When your son is born all of this will go away. and if by chance it doesnt, you 'll have to time to figure out how to handle her.... 

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  • Thanks for all of your advice! It is really helpful to hear! I love my mom, and like a few of you said, she is probably just nervous on having a male grandchild...and she probably would pass out if she saw little boys playing "pocket pool" (that made me laugh pretty hard)...again, thank you so much for your thoughts.
  • Are ya'll planning on using the correct terminology regarding his penis or giving it a nickname? My mother is appalled that we will be saying penis or vagina. I think you may need to sit down with her, and possibly any mothers of boys to quell her fears. Obviously she is concerned about this, and it she is ever alone with him, in the park/mall/even at home, etc, ya'll need to be on the same page about how to react and what to say.

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  • image mzovoce:

    Are ya'll planning on using the correct terminology regarding his penis or giving it a nickname? My mother is appalled that we will be saying penis or vagina. I think you may need to sit down with her, and possibly any mothers of boys to quell her fears. Obviously she is concerned about this, and it she is ever alone with him, in the park/mall/even at home, etc, ya'll need to be on the same page about how to react and what to say.

     

    Yes, DH and I will be using correct terminology. Now, I need to figure out how to get on the same page with her...but that should be easier to navigate once DS is born. 

  • Baby boys do get hard sometimes.  It's no big deal.  It's not like they know what that means or try to make it happen or anything.  I would just completely ignore her & tell her good thing she didn't have a boy, but these types of things don't concern you in the least.  Oh, and don't let her babysit.

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  • image mzovoce:

    Are ya'll planning on using the correct terminology regarding his penis or giving it a nickname? My mother is appalled that we will be saying penis or vagina. I think you may need to sit down with her, and possibly any mothers of boys to quell her fears. Obviously she is concerned about this, and it she is ever alone with him, in the park/mall/even at home, etc, ya'll need to be on the same page about how to react and what to say.

    We have taught DS the correct terminology, and will do so with this LO also.  DS knows he has a penis.  He also knows that girls have a vagina (after asking me if I had a penis, and then followed by asking what I have).

  • I'm sorry for you!  You're mom is too funny.  Yes, boys get "hard ons" from day one, its totally normal.  And YES, boys play with their junk, its totally normal.  I don't have a daughter, but my friends say that play with their junk just as much, its just a part of growing up. 

    I would never discipline my boys for playing with it, I couldn't imagine the horrible effects it could have on them in the future.  I simply tell them "get your hands out of your pants"!  My boys run around and show off thier penis' to each other and try to grab one another's, but so does my brother's sons (he has three as well). 

    Its a phase and they will get through it.

  • Sounds like she has some pretty serious shame issues with sex.  I wouldn't take any advice from her about the subject.  You should do some reading up on the subjects by professionals about the best way to help your kids grow up without them.
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