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Dealing with Child's Sexualized Behaviors

My daughter (age 7) was sexually abused before we adopted her. She masturbates excessively and had a couple of incidents of sexual touching with other children. Although these behaviors are normal to a degree, I was overly concerned because of her background. I have sometimes I handled these situations badly and made her feel ashamed (even knowing that is the wrong approach) and treated her like I didn't trust her (I didn't). I was afraid of her 'victimizing' other children and was hypervigilent about the issue. Now I am sure I have 'messed her up' even worse. Yesterday I violated her privacy by opening her locked door while she masturbating (nude). She felt intense shame. I am trying to figure out how to repair the damage. I apologized and told her I was wrong, and that she didn't do anything wrong, and that masturbation is normal (even though I think for her it is more of an unhealthy obessession). Help please!


Asked by Anonymous at 12:24 PM on May. 17, 2010 in Adoption

This question is closed.
Answers (3)
  • you need to call in the professionals. You obviously have a really big problem with the fact that she does it so someone else needs to talk to her. If you can tell her that it's normal and there is nothing wrong with what she's doing as long as she does it alone and behind closed doors it's okay. Make sure that she understands that this is always a solo activity. That you apologize for invading her her personal space and that parents don't always do the right thing and that was very wrong. If see needs to talk about anything or has question or doesn't understand her feelings she can come to you and you. On your end do your best to put your own insecurities and fears on the back burner. I know this is uncomfortable and an awkward problem to deal with but sometimes it happens. I would seek counseling for both of you separately. You need to learn to deal with her and she needs to learn to deal with this.

    Answer by Anonymous at 12:43 PM on May. 17, 2010

  • I fell so sorry for you & her. Please make an appointment with a psychiatrist ASAP. She needs professional help immediately. Call her Dr. & ask for a referral. Good luck.

    Answer by Anonymous at 12:36 PM on May. 17, 2010

  • You BOTH need professional help, this girl has been through a lot and, as you've already sen, misguided efforts can turn out worse.

    You are not a therapist, you need to go to one.

    Answer by Piskie at 12:59 PM on May. 17, 2010