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May granddaughter has humped pretty much since she's came out of the womb. Dr's said she would out grow it, but has not. Help!

My daughter taken my granddaughter to the doctor as a baby to see why her daughter keeps humping and not quit. The doctor told her she had found her happy spot and will eventually out grow it. As a baby, she humped the floor, her car seat ,toys. She usually did it when she was getting tired or bored. My daughter had talked to her as she began to understand right from wrong and thought it had quit. But it had not. She's now 8yrs old and the school has contacted her regarding it, They are thinking she had been molested, when she had not. For ones who think it will stop, it does not, nor do they out grow it. It's an on going issue. It's hard to get others to understand the medical side it for having a small labia without crucifying a parent. Are there others out there with the same issues where they had not out grown it and now school systems are trying to thinking the worst which they are totally off. HELP!!!!

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Grannie982

Asked by Grannie982 at 12:11 PM on Oct. 22, 2013 in School-Age Kids (5-8)

Level 1 (3 Credits)
Answers (10)
  • Sure but not as far as the school. We taught our kids that there is an acceptable place to do private things and school is not one of them
    Dardenella

    Answer by Dardenella at 12:15 PM on Oct. 22, 2013

  • Have you guys tried teaching her that she can do it but only in the privacy of her room?? So not at school. If so and it hasn't worked I would consult a behavioral therapist to help.
    tntmom1027

    Answer by tntmom1027 at 12:56 PM on Oct. 22, 2013

  • It sounds compulsive. That is the part that is concerning to anyone who observes the behavior & is responsible to the child for her welfare (mandatory reporters.) I don't know the context in which it is being observed at school but at age 8 I think I would be concerned, too. I would not be trying to explain it to the school as happening for an anatomical reason. That sounds like more of an impulse to defend oneself or deny the possibility of abuse, rather than any kind of answer to the issue. My point is, even IF that is the case it doesn't address that this behavior happening in public, at school, is a problem! The parents' guilt/innocence isn't really the focus.

    Keep in mind too, that though statistics indicate that the majority of sexual abuse victims are molested by someone known to them who is close, a relatively small percentage of reported cases are abused by parents. It's more commonly extended family or friends.
    girlwithC

    Answer by girlwithC at 1:18 PM on Oct. 22, 2013

  • It makes sense for an observer to be concerned about possible sexual abuse (since this is a common way that children "act out" this issue), but it is not the only thing it can signal. Even though you believe that she has not been sexually abused, I would encourage you (and your daughter) not to assume that the behavior doesn't indicate an issue--something out of balance for her, something she's compensating for with this behavior.
    If it is habitual & compulsive enough to be happening at school as well as happening frequently at home, it's very likely that it signals or indicates a problem in her life, SOME area of struggle, where she needs help.
    I looked up a passage in therapist Lawrence Cohen's book "Playful Parenting." He mentions having consulted with the parents of a 6 year old who frequently masturbated, and his account of this highlights some of the alternate possibilities compulsive masturbating can signal or suggest.
    girlwithC

    Answer by girlwithC at 1:35 PM on Oct. 22, 2013

  • He writes about the girl's parents: "They didn't freak out or punish her or forbid it. They asked her to do it in her room and not when other people were around. Usually that's all that parents need to do. But these parents started to worry because she seemed to do it most after she had asked one of her parents to play with her and they had been too busy. This suggested to them, and I agreed, that she might be substituting the sexual self-stimulation for other forms of connection, or as a way to deal with feeling lonely or bored (the same reason many adults masturbate.) Masturbation is so intensely pleasurable that it overwhelms the initial need for connection & becomes a habit. This girl's parents also noticed that she would masturbate while watching videos--just regular kids' videos--and they worried that it couldn't be good for her to associate sexual pleasure with zoning out in front of the TV. I agreed with that, too."
    girlwithC

    Answer by girlwithC at 1:42 PM on Oct. 22, 2013

  • She just knows it feels good. She's not at an age where she can sexualize it yet.
    She needs to be told that those are her private parts, it's not appropriate for school, only in her room with the door closed.
    PartyGalAnne

    Answer by PartyGalAnne at 1:45 PM on Oct. 22, 2013

  • Well, I can't type out the whole passage, but he describes how he counseled the parents to inject a little human connection into the situation. They used stuffed animals (there was one in particular that she'd rub up against) and this dramatic, silly play gave the little girl a way to playfully deal with the feelings that had gotten attached to physical stimulation. In addition, the parents prioritized spending more time together as a family and finding alternatives to saying "Not now" or essentially, "Go away, I'm too busy." Her behavior patterns pointed out that they needed to address meeting her needs for attention & connection better, and they needed some other way to bridge the gap (when they really couldn't drop everything immediately.)

    I really do think that ANY compulsive, automatic behavior (including many more "innocuous" ones!) serves an emotional purpose for the child. Those signals invite investigation.
    girlwithC

    Answer by girlwithC at 1:50 PM on Oct. 22, 2013

  • Has anyone even tried to teach her that it's a private activity to be done only in her room or in the bathroom? Or did you just decide to wait it out? She needs to be reminded every time she starts not to do that when other people are present. IT's not too late to teach her.
    goldpandora

    Answer by goldpandora at 7:05 AM on Oct. 23, 2013

  • YES, telling her that it's private (something she should do in her room & not around other people) is step one! She needs to be told this.

    I was assuming (since you were posting here) that giving her that information hadn't been sufficient to resolve the issue, and the behavior had continued. Thus, the compulsive, repetitive, habitual aspect. But if she simply hasn't been given guidance around when/where to do that, then that's what's needed.

    If she doesn't respond to that guidance, I would NOT just say "it's happening because of her small labia" and act like nothing can be done. You are talking about an 8 year old girl, at school.

    Perhaps her anatomical structure made it especially easy so this was the self-soothing behavior she settled on as a favorite, go-to activity. But it (the behavior) still serves a function & THAT'S what you begin to address: address the issue of compulsive self-soothing or compensating, coping.
    girlwithC

    Answer by girlwithC at 11:39 AM on Oct. 24, 2013

  • It can be sensory related. Called a stim. People stim when bored, anxious or just put of habit. An OT evaluation can help to see if there are other sensory issues and ways to more appropriately divert this particulate stim. Some other ones are rocking, nose picking, hand flaps, and repetitive sounds.
    Anonymous

    Answer by Anonymous at 3:05 PM on Oct. 24, 2013

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