Friday, February 7, 2014

Puberty Part III - Managing Masturbation "Go Squish In Your Room" Is Working!!!

"Go Squish In Your Room" Is Working!!!  

Continuing on the topic of puberty, specifically as it relates to my son and his private parts; I'm happy to report that our strategy to contain a certain behavior to a designated place is working!  If you've not faced the upset of inappropriate behavior in public with your kids, this may not seem like a big deal, and I get it. However this has not been the case for me. This aspect of puberty has been very upsetting for me and my family and finding a solution feels like a giant victory. We not just solved the problem of this moment, we've created a self management skill that will help to keep him safe for a lifetime. 

This is the plan we put into place after deciding the school bathroom was not where Nick could respond to his hormone driven urges :).

Operation SQUISH

Step one: Give the behavior a name.
We named it "Squishing" because pillows tend to be involved.

Step two: Create a safe and acceptable place for "Squishing", all the while treating Nick with respect.
We choose his bedroom, with the door closed.

Step three:  Introduce the term.
In our case Nick was open for touching his privates anytime and anyplace. So teaching him the name for it was easy. Every time he began the behavior we named it, by saying "No Squishing" if we were out of the house or "If you want to Squish, go to your room" if we were at home.

Step four:  Implement the Rule.
The rule is "Squishing in your room only with the door closed". As soon as we knew Nick understood the rule, we began by prompting him whenever we saw him begin the behavior "If you need to Squish please go to your room".

Step four: Drop the Prompt.
Three weeks after introducing it Nick began asking to go to his room. We didn't instantly know it was because he wanted to go Squish, but we figured it out pretty quick. He was implementing the rule on his own, and we were able to drop the prompt.

Now with an occasional reminder and he's totally self managing!!! Yippee.

Good luck moms and dads!

FYI...Mom's don't look up Managing Masturbation in Google as a way to get more info! You'll find out really fast the shocking power of the internet. Stick with terms like Special Needs and Sexual Education. :)