Ok, this topic is a tad bit uncomfortable, and rarely discussed when it comes to babysitting BUT I think it’s time to bring it out of the dark and addressed. The topic? Children (doing what is normal) investigating their sexual bits; especially in front of others, more specifically babysitters.
Children explore their bodies all the time and when, surprise, surprise, they touch an area that makes them feel strange and pleasurable they are bound to keep doing it. It’s no big deal, and how each family handles it is very subjective, and up to the family. But, if the child is prone to doing it a lot, and there is a chance that they might do it in front of a babysitter you need to let the babysitter know how to handle it the way you do.
The reason I say this: I’ve been in situations where little ones are doing their thing with no embarrassment (which is fine) but it is uncomfortable for me, and other babysitters that I have. We aren’t quite sure how to handle it, how the family handles it, and we need to know so that we aren’t uncomfortable, and the child still feels ok without being shamed.
When I’ve had this situation arise I always utilize humor. With little boys with their hands in their pants I usually say something like: “Ok….take your hands out of your pants. Do you need to go potty?” or (if they’re older) “Dude! Really? That’s not something I like to see.” I don’t make a big deal out of it, and I don’t dwell on it.
Also, having a discussion with your child about privacy, and what is appropriate behavior in public is a really good discussion to have. But, after the discussion the child still feels the need to pleasure themselves in front of others please address the matter with your babysitter so they aren’t shocked. Even me as seasoned as I am, will be slightly shocked when it happens.
Keep in mind don’t shame the child, this is normal investigation, and with tweeners their hormones are raging and this is behavior is normal too. Just be open with your discussion with them.