Alan Flashman, MD
Dr. Flashman is a graduate of Columbia College and New York University Medical School. He trained and completed board certification in pediatrics, psychiatry and child psychiatry at the Albert Einstein college of Medicine in the Bronx. He's been working with and learning from children and families for more than 30 years. He speaks and consults regularly on many topics in child and family mental health, including adoption, drug and alcohol addiction, emotional strains of physical illness in families, death and bereavement.
Our 14-year-old seems obsessed with sex. He spent a lot of time looking at sexual positions on the Internet until we forbade it. Now he does it at a friend's house. One day, he left his diary lying around open and I saw pages of crude, primitive descriptions of sex. Is this something to worry about? Is it normal behavior for this age? A Alan J. Flashman, MD, answers: Yes. However, the "fact" that it is normal is of little use to you. Let's try a few supplementary questions: Should I let him know that I am aware of his interests? I think so. Should I leave his sexual interest alone as his "private" business? After you talk with him, sure.
Dear WholeFamily Counselor, In my neighborhood pool, mothers often bring their four- and five-year-old sons into the women's changing room. This seems to me not to be in the best interests of the child. In fact, I think it's a subtle form of sexual abuse. I'm sure we wouldn't bring our five-year-old daughters into the men's locker room. At what age should parents stop bringing their children into a dressing room of the opposite sex?
Have you read our drama, Why are they Always Just Sitting There? Eugene is outnumbered in a house full of Bonnies. If Bonnie wants to HELP him, she could imagine what she might feel like in a "house full of Eugenes." Eugene needs to hear recognition for the difficult task of accepting kids who are different from the way he was.