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Embarrassing question...but advice needed!

Discussion in 'Parents Off Topic' started by DsMom, Mar 19, 2012.

  1. DsMom

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    This may be related to Daniel's ADHD, but it's getting to be a really embarrassing and unhygienic habit...he can't keep his hands out of his pants!:eek: Has anyone else with young boys dealt with this? And I mean, every 2 minutes his hands are down there...and he does it in public too, no matter what we say! He says he can't stop...it's almost like a tic at this point, I think. We are trying to stop it by taking away video game time every time he does it...but I'm not at school with him and can't monitor him there. I'm afraid kids will start to make fun of him. He already struggles with being different because of his D and ADHD....this is just the kind of thing I know kids will jump all over.:(

    Anyone "cured" their son of this successfully? (Well, I know that even grown men do it,:rolleyes: but I just need him to stop in public!!) There is nothing wrong physically down there, he just has this compulsive need to readjust!
     
  2. denise3099

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    That won't work at all. Seriously, forget about any kind of punishment--it's futile.

    What you need to do is a combo of behaviorist approaches. In the past I would have said to stop the nuerological loop by pulling his hands out and holding them still until he stops. When they go back in you pull them out again. A habit wears like an etched path in the brain and the more you do it the deeper the groove. You have to stop the behavior and let the urge pass. That's how you stop stimming behavior in autism (warning: some disagree and let stimmers stim). A friend of mine held her son's hands down for hours a night to stop stimming, but it worked.

    Now though, I would not only stop the behavior but I would use other techniques in conjunction, like give the hands something else to do. Pull the hands out and give him a rubic's cube or a ball or two sweeze balls or worry stones. I don't think this teaches stillness as well but it will probably stop the behavior sooner. Make sure he has these other things at school. Give him two pencils to write with at the same time, etc. I would also add a reinforcement, like every half an hour without his hand in his pants he might earn a treat or a dime or whatever. Or reinforce other incongrunet behaviors, like if he plays the violin, or whatever, for half an hour he will earn whatever.

    And a tight belt. :D
     
  3. 4MyBoys

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    It probably is related to his ADHD because if he can fiddle with something he can concentrate better. I agree with giving him something to keep his hands busy, like a pocket full of stones. The tight belt might help too. I have also found that jeans or jean shorts are much better for boys with this issue than sweat pants or basketball type pants because they can not stimulate through the front of their pants. We also remind our boys that the only places they touch their private parts are in the bathroom or their bedroom. The parts are private, so you never touch them in front of other people. Also, you use those parts to go potty, so every time you touch there, you need to wash your hands. My youngest son has almost stopped the behavior because he is sick of interrupting what he is doing to go wash his hands constantly. It is a concerning problem but stay on it and he will stop... And be thankful it is not your older son or your husband doing it!
     
  4. DsMom

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    He absolutely HATES jeans, but I have been putting them on him more often for the tighter waist! And he also gets PO'd when I make him wash his hands, but I do think that could be a deterrent as well (not to mention help with the hygiene issue).

    He also loves money!! I like the idea of giving him coins for a certain amount of time he keeps his hands out. I think I'll try that one.

    We do have some fun "squishy" stress-type balls around...we could try that, too.

    We've had the "germ" talk many times...and that just doesn't make any difference to him.:rolleyes:

    Thanks so much for the ideas!
     
  5. JaxDad

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    My 7 year old does it too but not so much in public. He did it more when he was 6 and is doing it a bit less now.

    We usually just say - "What a ya doin? Git ya hands outa ya pants!" In a rather funny and sort of mocking way. Then tell him nobody wants to see him with his hands in his pants and to go and wash his hands.

    I think it's more of a bored/fiddling around thing although once he told me he was just doing it to see if he could cause an erection (my word - because he still has no idea there's any purpose to the appendage beside peeing).

    I wouldn't worry too much about it, like you said his friends will make sure he stops in public soon enough. I doubt he'll be doing it much longer.
     
  6. MamaLibby

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    Perfectly said. My 6 year old and I are working on this and this is almost exactly what we do. Jean shorts and sports pants with the drawstring tied tight. He's nearly stopped because I make him wash his hands all the time!
     
  7. Connor's Mom

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    Stimming is very common with ADHD kiddo's. Holding the hands still can help as other posters have said. The best results I have found for the kids I worked with was finding an alternative "fidget" tool. They make small fidgets that roll between the fingers. I have had great results using the grippers kids put on pencils when they are writing. Something about the different textures they come in and the way they can be squished or rolled between the fingers that make them a good substitute.

    My own son was a stimmer and the pencil grips stopped it. He kept one in his pocket every where we went. The hand washing with D was enough, he hated to be told to go wash his hands even more with the stimming so, I was glad the grip worked.
     
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2012
  8. Brensdad

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    I had an employee once that was an "adjuster," and he did it without even thinking about it like you describe. The way I fixed it was we picked a phrase that I could utter that would be completely over the heads of anyone hearing to remind him he was doing it and to stop. The phrase was "How about them Red Raiders?" (This is a reference to Texas Tech, which is located in our hometown). This worked after about two days.
     
  9. GAmom

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  10. lynn

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    I haven't read the rest of the replies, but when I was reading your plea, I thought, "I wonder if he's seven?". I have three boys and I think part of it is age. I would have him wash his hands each time you see him doing it. That has seemed effective for us. I think it helps in more ways than one; it gets the germs off, it stops the action and changes their focus, and boys just tend to not like to wash their hands more than necessary!

    Don't fret, this will pass!
     
  11. Lakeman

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    Clean genitals in clean underwear are probably more hygienic than his hands which are out in the world touching who knows what - not that people won't perceive them to be unhygienic. The better place and time for this is in his room, alone. Someone mentioned "stimming", i.e self-stimulation, not usually sexual in any way.

    A seven year old should be able to alter his behavior in this example regardless of ADHD. But taking away video games would not work for a behavior that happens every two minutes. What good would it do to lose video games for the whole day for the first time he does this and then the games can't be lost again for the next time he does this. If a clinical use of punishment (using the word in the technical way) were to be applied it would have to be a punishment that could occur every two minutes. I see no reason that this stimming whether from ADHD or not since everyone stims to some extent cannot be modified through punishment, reward, redirection, competing behaviors, etc.

    You mentioned tics. Does he have any other tics. If so can he identify the "premonition" that precedes tics and is he having any premonitions before he puts his hands in his pants. (A premonition is a thought one can be aware of that prompts one to make a movement and is difficult to resist) If this is a tick then completely different strategies need to be followed - supplements and specific behavior mods just for tics. (the same supplements that work for tics can have dramatic results for ADHD too - search Bonnie Grimaldi for a list of supplements)

    My son had some issues with frequent readjusting and new, better fitting, underwear cleared it up. It took a while to figure out which size and style were best. If this is about readjusting and not stimming then this is the route to go. (P.s. check for rashes too. clearing up a rash would be easier than all of the above)
     
  12. jessicat

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    As a first grade teacher, I can tell you it is very common! Tons of good suggestions have already been listed. I am sure it is a habit you want stopped. But I hope it makes you feel a little better to know your son is not alone in this habit.
     
  13. DsMom

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    Thank you...it does!:)
     

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