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Inappropriate behaviour from my son

Inappropriate behaviour from my son

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Casual scribe

Inappropriate behaviour from my son

   Hi all, I’m hoping someone has some idea of what I should do. 

My son is 14. He has, for sometime now shown interest in women’s feet. I have done some research, spoken to my Mum and some closer friends and advice has been to leave it alone and let him work out his own sexuality and preferences, after all it could be nothing more than a harmless foot fetish. 

My daughter is 12 and more recently I have caught him looking at her feet and mine and there was an unmistakeable bulge in his shorts. I have found her dirty school socks in his bedroom when I have been on the hunt for dirty laundry. 

I understand that boys have feeling that they need to deal with and although I don’t think it is healthy, I’m not sure how to bring up the subject of finding her dirty socks in his bedroom. They are close, she does hang out with her big brother quite a bit and he has a PlayStation console in his room. Perhaps she had taken her socks off in there and I was seeing something that was not there. 

I have always been quite sure that he would never try anything with her that was not appropriate but if he is indeed masturbating with her socks or sniffing them while masturbating then I think we need to address it with him. My husband feels that we should leave it alone and he’ll grow out of it, get a girlfriend and his sister’s socks will no longer be of any interest. Probably just curiosity. 

Here’s my real reason for posting...

My husband does shift work and often if he is working evenings I will sit up waiting for him to get home and watch a movie. Sometimes I dose off on the couch and my husband wakes me up when he gets home. A few nights ago was one of those nights. I had nodded off and woke to someone touching my feet. My son was up to get a drink and had seen me laying across the couch with my feet up on the armrest at the other end. He had his **bleep** out and was rubbing it on my foot. For a second I thought I was imagining it, surely he was just trying to wake me to go to bed. I pulled my foot back slowly and he looked up, turned bright red and ran to his room. 

I have not told my husband and I’m not sure I will. I want to speak to my son about it but he has been avoiding me. I don’t want to shame or embarrass him and I certainly don’t want to hurt him and our relationship but clearly this cannot ever happen again and I certainly don’t want to ever find out that he has tried it with his sister. I’m desperately hoping it has not happened already and that is why her dirty school socks were in his room.

 

Any ideas from any other parents as to how to tackle this? A fetish (if that’s what this is) is fine behind closed doors and with a girlfriend but certainly not with family.

Don’t know what to do. I don’t want him to think he is a freak.

HELP Smiley Sad 

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Re: Inappropriate behaviour from my son

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Hi @E1987 and welcome to ReachOut Parents.

It seems like you're going through a bit of a tricky situation with you son. It makes sense that you're concerned and not sure what you should do next. After-all, you're trying to approach the situation with your son in a way that is sensitive and doesn't make him feel ostracized or uncomfortable... and ensure that you're daughter is safe... and protect your son by not wanting to tell your husband...and probably trying to get your head around the whole situation.

Can I ask why you don't want to tell your husband? It seems like a lot to be going through on your own. You mentioned your son keeps avoiding you. Do you think he may feel more comfortable having a "sex" conversation with his dad? It may be something to consider.

I think it is important to chat with your son and set some boundaries. As you said in your post, it is okay for him to have a foot fetish (from what I know they are quite common) but not to be acting inappropriately with his mother and (potentially) his sister. It might be good to just sit him down and tell him this directly - that it's normal to have these feelings etc. during puberty and that having a foot fetish is somewhat common, but that it is not OK for him to act inappropriately with you, your daughter, or with anyone who has not given their consent for that matter. If you are concerned about him being embarrassed, maybe just reiterate that everything is OK and that you're his mum and there to help him, and that you're there to teach him right from wrong, and that you're not judging him and so on and so forth.

I might add that that is just my opinion and you need to do what is suitable for you and your family. I have tagged other parents on this forum for their amazing advice and support here: @sunflowermom @compassion, @taokat, @Faob_1, @Schooner, @JAKGR8

I might also add that there are a number of services that may be able to help and guide you through this situation. I have provided you with a few options.
- Parentline which is an free telephone counselling service. Check out this website here to see which number is suitable for you to call: https://kidshelpline.com.au/parents/issues/how-parentline-can-help-you
- Try searching child and adolescent psychologists in your area and perhaps book in with one as they may be able to provide you with more insight into your son's behavior.

I hope this helps!! Heart

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Casual scribe

Re: Inappropriate behaviour from my son

Thank you for your kind words. 

I have since spoken to my husband, he was a bit shocked and surprised. We agreed that it is quite normal for a teenager to be curious and to want to experiment. 

Together we will sit and address this with him today after dinner. 

As you can imagine I was more than a little freaked out at the time but the look of fear and embarrassment in his eyes keeps playing in my mind. The last thing I want is for him to feel weird or to feel like he cannot be near me or even to feel somewhat dirty. 

We will not punish him for this, instead guide and direct. 

You are 100% correct, there needs to be boundaries. Sniffing socks (if that’s what he is doing) is one thing but... 

 

Thank you for taking your time to help me out. Smiley Happy

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Community Manager

Re: Inappropriate behaviour from my son

Hi @E1987 

 

Sounds like you have a plan to chat to him about it which sounds like a good course of action. Great to see your husband is also going to be involved in that conversation. I can definitely understand not wanting to make your son any more embarrassed than he is, but at the same time starting the conversation may help him feel more confident to have conversations with you both about sexuality in future. 

 

Feel free to check back in if you want to chat to someone after you have the conversation tonight- always here to lend a listening ear Smiley Happy

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Casual scribe

Re: Inappropriate behaviour from my son

May I ask what the outcome of your conversation was with your son? I suspect my partner and I will need to have a similar conversation with our son and was hoping to get an insight into your experience if you dont mind? Thanks in advance Smiley Happy
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Re: Inappropriate behaviour from my son

Hi @sirchd11, thank you for posting. Would you like to share a little bit more about your situation? That way the community can provide some extra support for your particular experience Smiley Happy
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Re: Inappropriate behaviour from my son

Hi there,

Similar to the OP of the thread, our son shows an interest in womens feet, in this case his mothers. My son Chris is 13 years old and has recently had a growth spurt as he appears to be going thru puberty. He is a good kid, popular at school and loves sports, music and video games like any other 13 year old.

For many years he has shown something of an interest in my wifes feet. Since he was a very small child he would lay at the foot of our bed and rub and tickle his mums feet quite innocently while watching TV with us. We would often tease him that he liked feet and he would shyly deny it and say he was doing it because mum wanted him to. My wife has always loved her feet rubbed and is always more than happy to let him do so. He does it fairly regurlarly, a few times a week and we've never really thought anything much of it. A little bit unusual maybe but he has always been a "mama's boy" and has a very strong bond with her so. He shows no interest in mine or his older sister's feet from what I can tell.

Recently while the 3 of us were in bed watching a movie on Netflix one night, him lying at the foot of the bed as usual rubbing her feet, and my wife and I both dozed off. It must have been after midnight when I awoke to find him still laying there with the TV on in the background. When i looked to what he was doing i could see him burying his face in the soles of her feet smelling them and could feel a slow humping movement on the mattress. I was a bit confused but i have kind of suspected he was beginning to feel a sexual preference for feet for some time, especially since he is now going through puberty. I sat up to see what he was doing and when he saw me he stopped and quickly acted like he was watching TV. I told him it was late and he should go to bed and he scurried off to his room. I did not bring it up with my wife that day and largely forgot about it.

A few days later it happened again. I was half asleep and could feel him humping at the end of the bed while massaging her feet. This time I brought it with my wife and she said I was being ridiculous. She did acknowledge that he does like to touch and be close to her feet maybe a bit more than normal for a 13yo boy, but she flatly refused to accept the notion that he may have some sort of sexual desire for them and kind of made me feel bad about bringing it up. A few days later she told me that while he was massaging her feet one night on the couch while i was out she could see that he might have had an erection, and she also noticed when he was looking at his phone that he might have been taking a picture of her feet, but wasnt 100% sure. She asked him if he took a photo of them and he said "no that's weird mum, i'm just looking at my phone".

We have spoken about it a few more times since and while she does still seem reluctant to accept it, she would rather just ignore it as it is a really awkward and embarrassing topic for both her and Chris. She said she would feel sad if it were true because all these years that she has been bonding with him giving her foot rubs would be tainted if he had some sort of sexual alterior motive and she simply doesn't want it to be true. Recently she has stopped letting him rub her feet and although they are still close, i feel this might have caused her to withdraw from him a bit and has affected their relationship.

I was hoping to hear about the OP's experience in trying to navigate this situation.

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Re: Inappropriate behaviour from my son

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Hi @sirchd11 , 

 

Thanks so much for giving us some more information on your situation, I can imagine this must feel like an incredibly challenging situation to be navigating for you and your wife. and completely understand why it would be good to hear from parents who've been in a similar situation - I'm just tagging the OP @E1987  so that they will hopefully see your post Smiley Happy 

 

The early years of puberty are definitely a time where young people begin to explore their sexuality, and masturbation is a completely normal and healthy part of that, but it's something that should happen in private and in a way that respects other people's boundaries. I'm just wondering if you/ your wife have ever chatted more generally with your son about sex and sexuality? Raising children's network has some great resources for parents of younger teens here  which could be a good starting point.

I'm wondering if one approach could be to talk more generally about things, rather than specifically talking about what happened with his mum - what do you think? 

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Casual scribe

Re: Inappropriate behaviour from my son

Thanks so much for that link, i will be sure to look through it for some advice.

We have chatted with him often in the past about sex, the importance of respecting girls and of personal boundaries. He's generally a very outgoing kid and has often spoken about girls that he has crushes on at school before. He also openly talks about how he finds celebrities like Kylie Jenner beautiful and "hot", and as far as i know has a good grasp on the basics of sexual intercourse and reproduction through sex ed at school as well as us honestly answering any questions he has had in the past.

I have never brought up the topic of foot fetish with him before and I believe he will act very shy and embarrassed and dismiss/deny it judging by how he has reacted in the past when we've teased him about liking mums feet. My wife has not and I dont believe ever will bring it up directly with him now either as she herself seems to feel some sort of guilt or shame with the new revelations of his sexual desire for her feet and probably feels responsible for encouraging him to touch her feet so often when he was younger maybe? I have tried to assure her this is not the case but it makes her uncomfortable to talk about it and i think she would rather just ignore it and hope it goes away. She tells me that she did ask him not to massage her feet anymore and explained to him something along the lines of, "you're 13 now, you are growing up and foot rubs are only for dad to do now", and "you can rub your girlfriend/wifes feet in the future if she wants you to". And left it at that. She said he has been disappointed whenever he tries to give them a rub at the end of the bed or on the couch and she pulls away. She has also started wearing socks to bed and around the house. As far as i know he doesnt try to do it as often anymore and is probably aware that we know his secret. Its been a while now since the humping incidents and he has gone from laying at the foot of the bed several times a week to rub her feet and watch TV with her to maybe once a week since with no foot rubbing, so that seems to have worked thus far. My wife is disappointed she is no longer getting as many foot rubs after work and i have tried to accomodate her as much as i can but i dont have the same desire to do it as often as Chris does.

Also one thing i did not mention in my previous post was that i suspect he has been taking her worn socks and stockings into his room or the bathroom and masturbating with them before returning them to the wash basket in the laundry, as they will often disappear and reappear. I don't want to bring this up with her as she already seems quite distressed by it all.

As far as foot fetish goes, she had never really heard of it before this so it has been a bit of a shock for her. I am fine with the fact that he has a foot fetish and would ideally prefer he be open with us about it, as long as he understands its not ok for him to fulfill that desire with his mums feet, practises it with discretion as he grows older and understands and respects boundaries and consent, as with any other type of sexual act. I believe he will when he does become active sexually as we have tried to raise him well in that regard. But it is incredibly awkward and embarrasing to bring up with a young teen boy, especially the bit about him liking mums feet. Can only imagine how ashamed he probably feels about it. I want him to know we still love him the same but that it is unacceptable behaviour, and say it in a way which isnt embarrassing or humiliating for him (or my wife for that matter).

I am really struggling with how i can bring this up and really hope the OP can shed some light on her experiences in dealing with this situation.

Thanks for listening.
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Re: Inappropriate behaviour from my son

Hi @sirchd11

 

I think the most appropriate thing would be to just have an honest conversation with your son about sexuality, and what is and isn't appropriate. You can also work in a conversation about consent, and how it's unacceptable to engage in any sort of sexual behaviour with a person without their direct and explicit consent. Saying what you've written here is a very good start!

I also just want to give you a heads up on the wording of your post, I understand that you're just trying to explain the situation, however it's important to avoid any descriptive or explicit details, as it could be upsetting or distressing to other users. 

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