We have a kid right now who’s 12 and recently discovered masturbation. We’ve had to talk to him about washing his hands afterwards and what’s appropriate and all that, so he’s got this plush panda he sets outside his door to function as a Do Not Disturb sign. Also, he doesn’t masturbate like normal; he fucks clothes and stuffed animals. Now, part of the problem is that since we’ve talked to him, he has absolutely no shame and talks pretty openly to staff about it.

For example, one time he came out of his room and went to wash his hands in the laundry room sink. Staff made a comment about how sweaty he was, and he said, “Most of it is because it’s hot in here but part of it is because of what I just finished doing. High five?” A few weeks ago he comes out with a wad of clothes..  with a wad of… stuff on it. He showed staff and asked if he could wash it. Last week, he asked if he had time before dinner and I had to tell him no. All he said was “Darn it.” Every day after dinner, we have all the kids go to their rooms for 40 minutes and that’s usually his “me time.”

Today, he came out holding his panda during downtime to ask me a question…
Kid:  “Have we been in our rooms for 30 minutes?”
Me: “You’ve been in for 17 minutes.”
Kid:  “So it’s been longer than 30?”
Me:  “I said you’ve been in for 17 minutes so far.”
Kid:  “…”
Me:  “Which one of those numbers is bigger?”
Kid:  “…17?”
Me:  “No. You have been in your room for less than 30 minutes.”
Kid:  “Darnit. Well, is it true that you’re not supposed to do anything for 30 minutes after you eat?”
Me: “You mean like swimming? You’re not supposed to swim or do any serious exercise after eating. You could get sick to your stomach. Why?”
Kid:  (holding up his panda) “So, is it safe to do this?”
Me:  “…Yes. You’ll be fine.”

He went back to his room and set the panda outside the door. As he closed the door, he yelled, “Are you sure? I’m trusting you!”

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