I knew this conversation was coming and I also knew my husband was going to leave it up to me…
Today my 10-year-old son and I had a very serious talk, about masturbation. It came about quite naturally, while I was watching a movie that dealt with that very topic.
He’s been spending a lot of time in his room lately. At first I assumed he was playing his X-Box but I soon realised I was interrupting him. I’d burst in without knocking to put some clothes away and he’d be in bed and it was awkward.
I didn’t know if I should say anything and even if I did decide to talk to him about it, what would I say?
I was watching the 80s movie Parenthood (I love this movie) that the opportunity to discuss the matter came up. My son walked in during the scene where a teenage boy’s mother is relieved that her suddenly-reclusive son is ‘only’ masturbating in his room.
My boy watched it with me and I could see he wanted to say something so I said, “Gosh, I can’t believe how many kids don’t realise that’s normal”.
“All kids do it, it’s normal and natural and it’s actually a good thing.”
“Is it,” he finally asked.
“Absolutely, everyone does it, all kids do it, even grown-ups do it.”
I’m not sure I said the right thing. I just wanted him to not feel ashamed for exploring his body.
I turned back to the movie and my son stayed. I could see he wanted to say more so I pretended to be distracted while I waited for him to say something. He eventually said, “I thought I was the only one doing it. I thought that all my friends would think there’s something wrong with me.”
I said, “You friends may not want to talk about it but trust me, they’re all doing it, it’s totally normal and natural. It’s your body so you can do whatever you want to do with it. Our bodies are designed to feel good when we do it so how could it be wrong?”
“Go for it. Do it whenever you want in the privacy of your bedroom and have fun.”
I think I might have embarrassed him a little but I had to say something. I’m worried I went a bit too far. The last thing I want is for him to disappear into his room for hours on end because I’ve said ‘go for it’.
Maybe I should have left it to my husband to talk to him about it?
Did I say the right thing? Do you think I should have left this conversation to my husband?
Is my mum normal? She wants to get paid for something I think she should do for love
Am I normal? I really, really don’t want to get married.