Circumcision may not be followed in some countries but in our place, it is already a part of our culture. I have a 9-year old boy who is still confused whether he will undergo such procedure. He wants to be circumcised but he is scarred of the pain it will bring. I don't want to force him since I made it a point that I will have my son decide for this. What is the best approach for this? He is getting older and most of the boys his age are already circumcised. I don't want to get to the point that other kids will make jokes about him.
Being that you chose to allow your son to make this decision, and you did not have him circumcised at birth, I would allow him to make the decision when he is ready to, which could very possibly be when he is much older.
He may like being "in tact", and as long as he cleans himself well, he may actually be very healthy without being circumcised.
Circumcision is very painful (as witnessed by babies who are circumcised at birth, and by older men who have had it done later in life). At 9 years of age, I would not be encouraging him to be circumcised because he is simply too young to make this kind of a decision like this on his own right now (it will affect him for the rest of his life, and not every circumcision turns out well - it is a surgical procedure and surgical procedures can be "botched").
When you know he's going to be in a situation where he will be undressing in front of other boys, you may want to prepare your son for this by just letting him know that his penis will look different from most of the other boys, and if the other boys say something about it that he can share that his mother did not circumcise him when he was a baby (in a sense he could put the blame on your if he feels more confident doing this).
I'm hoping there are other mums on here who can give suggestions on how a boy can handle comments from other boys about this.
But I wouldn't be encouraging your son to be circumcised at this time. It is scary for him, and right now, he doesn't have a personal conviction that this is what he wants to do. If he brings it up later in years, then you could talk with him about it, but for now, at 9 years of age, I don't know when he would be seen by other boys who may make comments, unless it's at the dressing room at a public pool, and even then, hopefully he would have an older male with him (i.e. his father) who could respond for him, and in that situation he would then learn a good proper response from his father.
Alternatively you could just avoid situations that may pose a problem (i.e. dressing in a public pool/dressing area). With the insecurity you're already seeing in him since the arrival of his baby sister, discussing this with him right now might just make that insecurity even bigger.
Hope this helps, and feel free to post back with any other comments. I also hope that other mums will share their thoughts as well.
I think it is great that you have allowed your son to make this decision about his body himself - I think this is the way forward for the future. However, I agree with Kate that he is still very young to make such a decision so it may be beneficial to encourage him to wait to decide until he is more mature.
I think what it important here is that your whole family understands, and respects, the reasons for allowing your son to make this decision himself. Then if he is in a changing area with an older family member they will be able to talk to him about the differences between their bodies as well as providing your son with any support if he does get questioned about it. Also, if your son fully appreciates how special it is that you are giving him the decision to make (when he is older) then he may be able to explain this to his friends.
I hope all goes well,
I agree with both Kate and LJ. We actually made the decision to have our boys circumcised but I totally respect and admire your decision to allow your son the opportunity to decide for himself whether or not he would like to have this done. My husband and I did consider not having it done but in the end we chose to go forward with it since my husband is circumcised.
I do think 9 years old is too young to decide for himself and if he did decide to go forward with th procedure it might be for the wrong reasons such as peer pressure and he may regret it later. As the others have mentioned, letting him know how special it is to have the opportunity to decide for himself when he is older could be very helpful.