May 22, 2019

Mum shares she was absolutely mortified to walk in on her son masturbating.

The mum shared online, “OMG mums, I can barely get the words out! I am so embarrassed. This morning, I went to put a pile of laundry in my 13-year-old son’s bedroom, the door wasn’t firmly closed so I didn’t think for one second about going in. And there he was on his bed…hmmm… pleasuring himself.

“We both looked at each other in horror and I stumbled out of his room. I am a single mum so can’t get dad to deal with this and I have no idea what to do?

“Should I just ignore it and pretend nothing happened or do we sit down to have a chat? I know it’s normal/natural etc etc but I still can’t help blushing!”

The simple answer

The simple response from many parents was, “Next time knock woman.” Others agreed yes, very simple…and considerate.

One mum shared, “Yes I would die of total embarrassment too but if you make a big deal of it, or might stop him from wanting to talk to you about anything in the future.. Its normal so we must not lose sight of that.”

Kathy shared, “I simply talked to my son and explained that it’s perfectly natural and nothing to be ashamed of. I just asked that he put his sheets in the washing machine. I also told him that he is very welcome to ask me any questions that he has in the topic or anything at all for that matter.”

“It’s time to establish privacy, consent, and that talk that’s all things lovely awkward and embarrassing”, said another.

“You don’t need to discuss it, but I would apologise for not knocking and tell him in future you will. No need to be embarrassed, masturbation is a normal part of life.”

“Ask him to close his door and never enter without knocking! As long as ur boy knows there’s a time and a place and sticks to either his room with the door closed or the bathroom, its all good as far as I’m concerned.”

What the experts say

Better Health says that young children often pick up on their parents’ attitudes towards masturbation from an early age. If parents react negatively to body exploration, self-soothing behaviour or nudity, their child can feel ashamed of their body, sexual feelings and behaviours. Studies show that how parents react can also impact on their child’s sexual attitudes and behaviours in adulthood.

Tips for parents include:

  • Remember that children masturbate for many different reasons, including curiosity, exploration and sensory pleasure.
  • Reassure yourself that masturbation in children is normal.
  • Try to focus on the setting, rather than the activity itself. For example, if your child is masturbating in public, you can tell them that what they are doing is fine, but it is a private behaviour that they can do in a private place (like toileting).
  • Understand that children may turn to masturbation in times of stress. If your child’s masturbation is affecting playtime and other activities, you should find out what is making them anxious or upset.

If you are concerned about your child’s behaviour, you should talk with your doctor or paediatrician.

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  • This is why I knock on my son’s door. I couldn’t stand the thought of walking in on something private, whether or not he does it, I know plenty of kids start young or older, but better safe than sorry. Humiliating for both parent and son.

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  • I think when your kids reach a certain age you have to respect their privacy and knock.

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  • I’m with whoever said “knock next time”. It’s totally normal, especially at that age.

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  • I agree in that not to make a big deal about it.

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  • not looking forward to moments like this, but its all in a mothers day isn’t it lol ;)

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  • As a Mum of a teenage boy, this is normal behaviour. However, I do think it requires some discussion. Reassure him it’s normal and then set some boundaries for his privacy so he feels safe and comfortable and knows that he can discuss things with you.

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  • I would apologise to him for walking in but at the same time ask him to completely shut his door. Also any laundry he has needs washing needs to be put in the machine himself.

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  • Awkward but probably the time for the talk

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  • It’s natural, and a good time to discuss the birds bees and boundaries. Good thing it was mum that walked in and not a younger sibling

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  • I can understand – the door was ajar- explain to the son that it’s natural and her doesn’t need to feel ashamed but it’s also private and he should always close the door properly so that I know you knock first.

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  • First apologise for not knocking before you entered his room then say it is a normal thing to do at his age and you are happy to talk about any problems he may be experiencing.

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  • Ok, I get it’s a bit embarrassing but you are parent and child and there is going to be a lot more than this to get through. Given his age, it’s a good time to apologise for not knocking first BUT not beat yourself up (not meaning to make a pun) as I am assuming you hadn’t talked about this stuff first. I’d take this opportunity to have a chat with him, and let him know all this is normal and you’re always around if he needs to talk to (and be there if/when he does). Set a few rules – so if he shuts the door you know to knock first, and the same if he wants to come into your room. I’m a single mum too, and my kids know they can talk to me about this stuff – or not. We also respect each others’ privacy and that means I knock first – and so do they. It isn’t that I’m even doing anything LOL, it is just basic respect, plus I expect they don’t need to be hit with the site of me getting dressed in the morning or whatever. It’s really important for kids and teens to know their bodies and feelings are nothing to be ashamed of but are part of our biology. It’s okay. One day, you will probably laugh about this. x

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  • I have a teenage son and have no idea if he does this or not, I have no reason to bring it up, in some cultures and religions it is frowned upon so we all carry some kind of little guilt hidden in the back of our minds. My advice is to actually ask if he was embarrassed with mum walking in (but not using the word embarrassed rather “are you okay with me accidentally walking in on you doing something private” or “how do you feel” and take the conversation from there, let them lead in the conversation.

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  • I still remember walking in on my brother masturbating when I was about 14. Talk about bloody awkward!!
    Now that I have two sons of my own I know that it’s very natural but will still be embarrassing when that time comes. I’m a very open person and will talk about sex etc with my kids openly and freely when they are ready (still quite young)
    Just have an open conversation with him and tell him if he wants to chat further he’s welcome and leave it to him.

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  • Definitely embarrassing for mum and the son. But apologising and knocking next time is a good start. Also good tips from the experts.

    Reply

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