Question: Dear Luise: I have a three year-old son. At about the age of 1 1/2 he started being overly interested in feet. He would lay on them and hold them and he would do it often. We spoke to a Dr. and she told us he would probably grow out of it. So we took her advice and whenever he came to our feet we tried to occupy him with a toy or cartoons or something else non feet related. Well, he has done it until now and it is at it’s worse. He is three and seems to be “humping” things like feet, pillows, poles, etc. I do not know what to do. At first we did some research and found it could possibly some sort of “early puberty” type thing. Until recently my wife spoke with a friend that said the same things could possibly come from acts of being touched inappropriately. Now my wife thinks it may be related to some sort of molesting event from someone that has watched him in the past. She thinks that because she asked him if anyone has touched his privates and he responded with a name. My wife called me in and told me what happened so we both asked him and it said it once more, then after that denied the same person touching him. I don’t know if he is just saying things? Because our son has been known to say things completely off the wall before, as any three year old boy would. What should we as the parents do? C.
Answer: Dear C. My guess would be that your son is now denying what he said previously because he can feel your concern. He was open and honest, initially.
I would be deeply concerned about the whole thing if it were my son.
My recommendation is that you find the very best and most highly recommended child psychologist available to you and do everything you can to help your son through this.
If he has been sexually abused, (and that is the right terminology), you will also have to decide what you want to do about stopping that person from continuing to prey on innocent, little children. It’s horribly sick and deeply harmful.
You and your wife have been very pro-active in being concerned and in tracing his behavior. Parents aren’t always so quick to determine pathology. Good for you. Now, give everything you’ve got to reversing the situation. Blessings, Luise