Playing Doctor

by Jason Stotts

Dr. Marty Klein has a really interesting new post on his blog called “‘Catching’ Your Children Playing Doctor.

An ongoing patient comes in yesterday and wants my advice: she says she caught her 5-year-old playing doctor with her pal Jenny. Mom’s arrival apparently broke up whatever they were doing, but mom wants to know what to do now.

The word “caught” caught my ear.

Although many people are uncomfortable with children and sexuality, we must remember that humans have sexed bodies from the moment they are born to the moment they die.  Children are naturally sexual and they are curious about their sexuality.  Exploring their bodies and wanting to learn the differences between bodies is perfectly natural and is something that everyone must go through.  As parents, you can help your child do this in a positive way or you can attempt to shame them into pretending that they are not going to follow the normal course of human development.  Either way, as a parent your actions will have long lasting effects on your child and you should carefully consider the outcome of your actions.

2 Responses to “Playing Doctor”

  1. Kelly Elmore

    Thanks for sharing this article. I wanted to tell you that we’ve read the younger versions of the book (by Robie Harris) that the writer recommends. They were wonderful! Very factual, very funny for kids and adults, and very positive about sex and reproduction and changing bodies. I loved that the books gave alternatives without saying which was right, leaving that up to families. They described circumcision and stated the religious and cultural reasons some families do it. They talked about births in hospitals and birth centers and home. It showed babies nursing and babies with bottles. They showed same sex couples, opposite sex couples, and people of all different ages, races, and body types, without trying to take a stand on any of those issues. (Although I suppose the inclusion of alternatives is a kind of a stand.) I just loved that they taught the facts and left the family values to me. The books left a very positive feeling for us about talking about and reading about sex, and my daughter has asked me to read from the books several times.

  2. JasonStotts

    Thanks for the info Kelly! I imagine it’s hard to find good books that deal with sexuality on a level that children can understand.

    If you wanted to write a post about it for Erosophia, I’d love to see it.