Biggest Parenting Mistakes: Laura

Smooching Student

Laura joins the show via Polycom. At first, she and her husband thought it was cute when they learned that their 6-year-old son kissed a girl at his school. But then they got a phone call from a teacher, informing them that their son and some of his classmates gathered in a circle, pulled down their pants and exposed their privates to each other. Her son cried when they asked him about it. Later, he was caught kissing more girls. She wants to know if this is normal behavior.

Pediatrician Dr. Jim Sears says, "At 6 years old, when it's with kids the same age, not an older child or a younger child, generally, we just consider it curiosity," he says.

Dr. Phil agrees. "I think this is exploratory behavior. The big mistake that parents make here is to either overreact or underreact to this. You certainly don't want to label the child." He says the child needs to be taught where boundaries are, that it's inappropriate behavior, it's rude behavior. "You don't want to shame a child about this … And if they have curiosity, then satisfy the curiosity at home with discussions, with books, whatever."

[AD]Dr. Sears says, "Think in your mind, it's the same as if he was picking all the other kids' noses " inappropriate. He's violating boundaries."