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MY 3-Year-Old Son Discovers Himself

11 January, 2022
Q My son is three years old next month. He has, of course, entered the stage where he is aware that he has a penis. We never comment when we see him touching himself and have always just sort of pretended that we don't see it. Last night he was touching himself and well.

Can a three-year-old child get an erection? I just need to know that my toddler is normal and that we are doing everything correctly in the way we handle the situation.

Answer

In this counseling answer:

It is perfectly normal for a child of his age to explore and play with himself—so please do not worry.

It is also perfectly normal for some children his age to have an erection as you describe; this is purely a physical act and there is nothing abnormal about it.

Don’t become angry and upset with the child, don’t scold him, and don’t hit him when he does this. If you act in any negative way, he may grow up with behavioral problems.

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Usually, this phase of exploration is a passing phase, so it is nothing much to worry about.


As-salamu `alaykum,

Thank you for this question. Please take note of the following comments and suggestions:

Al-hamdu lillah, Allah Most High has indeed blessed you with a healthy son. In sha’ Allah, you can pray for a daughter as well so that you have double blessings.

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There are several factors that could account for your child’s behavior:

•It is perfectly normal for a child of his age to explore and play with himself—so please do not worry.

•It is also perfectly normal for some children his age to have an erection as you describe; this is purely a physical act and there is nothing abnormal about it.

MY 3-Year-Old Son Discovers Himself - About Islam

•However, it is very important for parents to control their own behavior. What I mean by this is don’t become angry and upset with the child, don’t scold him, and don’t hit him when he does this. If you act in any negative way, he may grow up with behavioral problems.

•Usually, this phase of exploration is a passing phase, so it is nothing much to worry about.


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However, you also need to ascertain the following:

•Please make sure that he does not have an infection (it could be a bladder infection or it could be a skin rash that is causing him to rub himself—you can take him to a doctor to make sure.

•It also depends on if he is already circumcised. If he is not yet circumcised, then sometimes a child develops an itch around the foreskin and this can serve as a source of irritation, so please make sure that proper hygiene procedures are followed whenever he goes to the toilet.

Some general advice:

•The years between 1-10 are very important years in your child’s development.

•During this time, the brain is developing at its maximum rate and speed, so it is a good idea to encourage your child with lots of activities.

•Brain research has also shown that this is also the best time to teach a child a new language; so if you would like to encourage your child to learn Arabic or somedu`aa’s, then this is the best time to do it.

•Please make sure that you spend as much time as possible in encouraging your son’s curiosity and read to him as much as possible.

•The bond between a child and his/her parents (both mother and father) is very important in shaping behavior.

•It is amazing how fast small children learn and develop.

May Allah Most High grant you all the success and happiness in your role as a parent in raising a child that is on the straight path.

Salams

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About Dr. Ahmed Adam
Dr. Ahmed Adam is a medical doctor by profession . He has 4 University Degrees in the fields of Science & Medicine. He has been in private practice for 8 years. He is also the Vice Chairman of the Human Rights Foundation.He is passionate about developing the youth and inspiring the youth with hope & courage. He has recently extended his studies relating to the human brain and is a licensed NBI Practitioner (Brain Profiles) and a licensed NLP Practitioner (both certified and licensed internationally).