It happens that children face difficulties related to sexual development as they develop. This can apply to both toddlers and teenagers. Although child sexuality has been a taboo subject for many years, today we are much more aware of the problems that can be associated with it. In what situations is it worth contacting a doctor with a problem? What does the first visit to a child sexologist look like? Can you prepare for it?
A child, like any other human being, is a sexual being. Childhood is a very important time in psychosexual development. This is when the development of similar behaviors begins.
Sexual expression is something that practically every child exhibits. Depending on the specific case, it may appear earlier or later. Many parents try to hide from themselves the fact that their child shows sexuality. This is not the best solution, because such behavior in a child evokes strong emotions in him and is related to cognitive development. If they are too strong, specialist help is required.
Sexual behaviors in children
Child sexual behavior can be divided into four basic categories. If the sexual expression on any of them is too strong, don’t underestimate the problem.
One of the primary forms of expression in children is masturbation. It is when a child stimulates his own body in erogenous areas, causing him to feast on pleasure. Child masturbation is one of the first sexual experiences children usually have. It is also a path to discover your own gun.
Masturbating at a young age is natural and usually goes away. However, if it turns into experimental masturbation, in which the child uses objects for pleasure, it may have negative health consequences. Masturbation can also function as a reward mechanism and be used for non-sexual purposes. In this case, the fastest possible response from the parents is!
This type of behavior expresses content that is very difficult for the child or prohibited. Expression can take place through drawings, molding from plasticine, poems, rhymes with mysterious words. Thanks to them, the child can show himself as a sexual being – for example, he can draw himself or his parents with marked sexual organs. For young children, this is often the only way to express what interests them. Creativity is an important source of information for the caregiver about what the child thinks and what stage it is at. If the drawings are disturbing, it may indicate a sexual dysfunction.
Another group of sexual behavior in children is the so-called orientation activity. The goal of orientation behavior is to discover gender differences between men and women. The child observes the body and its structure, and is classified into one of the groups. His curiosity can lead to children’s exhibitionism, which is manifested in watching adults and showing their own genitals, childhood fetishism, i.e. stimulation with stolen clothes and underwear, or childish terryism, i.e. rubbing against adults. Orientation behavior also involves many uncomfortable questions for caregivers, e.g. those related to genitals, intercourse, etc.
When is the help of a child sexologist needed?
Sexual behavior in children is natural and is usually temporary. Sometimes, however, they may raise doubts among parents or guardians. In this case, the best solution is a specialist assessment by a child psychologist-sexologist. If sexual behavior is typical, parental psychoeducation often remains the solution to the problem. Then the child does not need to undergo therapy. In this case, it is the caregivers who need the advice of a specialist. In a conversation with a child sexologist, they can find out how to react in a given situation and how to talk to a child about sexuality.
First visit to a child sexologist
Unlike many other types of therapy, the first visit to a child psychologist does not require the presence of a child. This is the time the doctor talks to a parent, both parents or guardian. The presence of a child during this conversation could even adversely affect the child (who, while listening to what the parent says, could perceive his words as criticism of himself or even the parent’s dissatisfaction with what the child is like) and the parent (who, in the presence of the child, could be more embarrassed in describing the problem). During this conversation, problems with which the child is struggling are discussed. The sexologist asks, among others about health, general well-being, examples of sexual behavior.
The next visit takes place in the presence of the child. A child sexologist makes a diagnosis and suggests a solution to the problem. He will teach parents how to work with the child at home in this difficult period of life. It will allow caregivers to understand what their child is going through and what the source of disturbing behavior is. Of course, the condition for this is that the sexologist builds an appropriate relationship with the child. To engage in a conversation about their emotions and feelings, a child must feel safe and comfortable. For this reason, a child sexologist usually needs several appointments to complete his task, and it must also be remembered that the number of visits will always depend on the specific case.
Therapy at a child sexologist
A visit to a sexologist is the first step in treating a child’s sexual dysfunction. Thanks to a conversation in a friendly atmosphere with an experienced psychologist specializing in sexual problems in children, the child does not get stressed and becomes more and more open with time. Depending on the seriousness of the disorder you are struggling with, sex therapy may be based mainly on working at home with your parents or additional sessions with a specialist. More serious disorders will require more frequent visits to the pediatric sexologist.