My boy is 4 and was caught kissing another boy on the lips. He is not exposed to this at home or TV. Why would he be acting like this? How should we react? What should we do?
From: Monique, Miramar, Florida
Four-year-olds have a natural curiosity about a lot of things. The way they explore and understand about these things is to try on roles and behaviors they observe on screens and in real life. They are not necessarily paying attention to gender specificity, and it is not a dress rehearsal. In other words, he does not have to have seen two men kissing to be curious about kissing. If his playmate was a girl, he might have tried out the kissing with a girl, and then you'd be writing in about that!
My advice: Don't even react. The more attention you bring to it, the more curious he will be -- Why is mom/dad making such a fuss about this? -- and that will only increase his need to try it out again. Leave it alone and it's likely a one-time event.
You don't say what happened when the boys were "caught." I'm guessing there was an OMG kind of reaction. If so, just back down from it. If he has questions ("Why did grandma get upset when Jason and I kissed?"), I'd be casual: "I'm not sure. Do you have any ideas why6?" See where that goes. Sometimes the best answer is a simple, "Grandma can be pretty silly!"
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