|Case Study - Responding to Sexual Behavior - Preschool - Henry
ACTIVITY ID: 23016
Read the case study about Henry, then brainstorm how you will respond to this sexual behavior challenge. Reflect on ways you might respond differently than Alicia, then discuss your plans with a coach, trainer, or administrator.
Henry is a 5-year-old child in a preschool classroom. Alicia, a staff member, describes Henry as an outgoing and social child. He has a variety of interests and certainly enjoys the opportunity to socialize with peers in the program. Henry lives with his father, Michael, mother, Brandy, and 14-year-old brother, Gavin. Brandy was deployed six months ago, and Michael has shared that this has been difficult for the family.
Technology seems to play a large presence in Henry’s household, and he frequently speaks to staff and peers about shows and video games that contain violence and sex. Henry explores these themes during play and will pretend to “shoot” people, mimic sex-like interactions with dolls, and sometimes use sexually explicit language. When staff talk with Henry about his actions and language, he says that Gavin talks this way and that, “Daddy lets us watch whatever we want.” Staff praise Henry when he plays and speaks in more appropriate ways and redirect any undesirable behavior. Henry will stop the behavior and language in the moment, but it’s an ongoing issue.
Alicia observed Henry and Bao, another preschooler, playing together in the reading area during free choice. Alicia saw Henry pull his pants down, grab Bao’s hand, and forcefully placed Bao’s hand on his genitals. Alicia immediately asked Henry to “stop” and began to discuss safe versus unsafe touching with both children. She was visibly flustered when doing this, and both children became upset and began to cry. After everyone was able to calm down, Alicia spoke individually with each child about the situation. Henry described that he was playing with his friend. When Alicia asked Henry where he learned to play this way, Henry responded, “Gavin asks me to rub his wee wee.”
Now complete the response tool. First, describe the behavior:
Responding: In the Moment
Responding: After the Fact