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Why is this still going on??

3.5 year old daughter still touches herself. She's suppose to be in the room playing w/her toys but when you go to check on her she's laying on the floor touching herself. She's laying face down and her hands are on her "privates." Not touching diretly but thru the clothes. For a year now she's been doing this on and off. When she's been caught I've told her that big girls don't do that. I've been so done w/ it that I've tapped her hands. When you go to give her a bath she barely opens her legs to let you wash her though. I'm a SAHM, so NO never been molested or anythng like that. I was first told on here that she would grow out of it and stop. But she hasn't. What else can I do to stop the behavior??

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Asked by Anonymous at 1:53 AM on Nov. 12, 2010 in Preschoolers (3-4)

Answers (7)
  • It's NORMAL for them to be curious about their "privates". Why do you have an issue with it? I don't mean this in a mean way, but from a developmental standpoint, they're curious. Do YOU think it's dirty, that girls shouldn't touch themselves?
    A lot of women who grew up being told those parts were dirty and off limits end up with a lot of mental issues, and have a hard time in relationships and enjoying sex later in life.
    We teach our son (and any kids we have in the future) that it's okay to touch in private, alone, in your room, but only then, and be sure to wash your hands afterward! LOL
    I can understand teaching her not to do it in public, but if she's doing it in private, she's just doing what feels good, and to shame her for it is only going to give her body and self image issues.

    Answer by musicpisces at 1:59 AM on Nov. 12, 2010

  • Honestly, you probably aren't going to be able to stop it without causing problems for later for her. Right now, it's NOT about sex for her or anything like that - it just feels good, so she does it. But, the more you make a big deal out of it, sending the message that it's "wrong" or "bad" or anything like that, the more likely if someone does try to molest her or anything later she's going to feel ashamed and "dirty" and not tell you. Also, the more fascinated she could become with it, wanting to know why it's bad.

    When you see her doing this, just try to redirect her to something else, like you didn't even notice that she was doing it (if she's alone and in her room). If she tries anywhere else, just say "those are your privates. If you want to do that, you need to be in private."

    Trust me, she will get bored with it eventually, and this way, she won't grow up thinking that there's something shameful


    Answer by sailorwifenmom at 2:01 AM on Nov. 12, 2010

  • cont

    This way, she won't grow up thinking there's anything shameful about her body, and she will be more open with you about these issues when she does reach an age where it becomes about sex. Trust me on this - I have 2 teenagers (a boy and a girl), and they both went through this sort of thing when they were little. Now, both of them are very open with me and my dh (my dd with me more, my ds with dh more) about sex and other stuff. (Thankfully, they aren't having sex, but they do talk to us about that sort of stuff, because they aren't ashamed or anything - they know it's healthy, but something for when they're adults.)

    good luck!

    Answer by sailorwifenmom at 2:05 AM on Nov. 12, 2010

  • I agree with the other posters. Please don't punish her in any way.........even tapping her hands is not OK. Do you have a pediatrician? I'd ask his/her opinion too. And maybe look through some child development/sexuality books in a good bookstore.

    Answer by elizabr at 7:14 AM on Nov. 12, 2010

  • does she do anything else that is self stimulating (look up aspbergers) that is so common with them... and there are treatments that are so easy (not meds but stuff like music therapy) if she has any other signs of that. get on it. i have it ... i am a classic case but no one knew of it when i was a kid. i think i figured out how to masterbate when i was 3 year old and have loved it since. sorry ! it feels good! and relives stress... that is the point of kid doing it. and i was never molested. i just figured it out one day. btw i am a teacher and a very healthy happy adult. aspburgers isnt doom. it is a blessing.


    Answer by AmaliaD at 9:38 AM on Nov. 12, 2010

  • She will grow out of it, just not today.

    Answer by Pnukey at 11:34 AM on Nov. 12, 2010

  • Today and now is not the time she'll grow out of it. Just like little boys playing with themselves at a young age, it's NORMAL. I'm kinda surprised my daughter hasn't done it. Just give it time.

    Answer by _Tam_ at 7:54 PM on Nov. 18, 2010

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