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WTF do i do! HELP!!

Posted by Anonymous   + Show Post

ok... here goes. please don't bash me. i really need advice and i have no idea how i should handle this. last year, i was cooking in the kitchen and my kids were playing in their room. so i go check on them and my son was asleep. my daughter, who is 4, was laying on her bed touching her no-no zone. i'm sorry but thats the only way i can put it. at the moment i was shocked, things were going through my mind, and i was scared. i asked her what she was doing and she just looked at me and said nothing. i sat down and i told her that princesses don't do that. i asked her questions like did anyone tell her to do it, why was she doing that, had anyone touched her or tried touching her. she answered no and she didn't know why. i asked her if it hurt down there or was it itchy and she said no. now, i told her to please never do that again and that no one should do that. and if anyone tells her its ok to do that, she needs to tell me. well, i've caught her doing it several times after that. i explained this to my husband and he didn't know what to say. i could understand why. i have not asked her pediatrician, well because i'm scared. please someone give me advice. has anyone gone through this? why does she do it? and i would also like to add, that i do not walk around naked, she has never caught us having sex, nor seen anything of that nature. i never took showers with her when she was little. please help


ok i know my mistake. like i said in a comment, which i'm pretty sure only a few read, that i realize it was a wrong way to approach her. i didn't have info on the subject. now that i do i will address it again and i will have a sit down with her. 

Posted by Anonymous on Aug. 11, 2012 at 2:48 PM
Replies (41-50):
by on Aug. 11, 2012 at 3:06 PM
Masturbation, even by toddlers, is completely normal.
Shaming her or punishing her can lead to some major problems down the road. The kind of problems you need therapy for.
Just explain there is a time and place for that. If she wants to do that she is to go to bathroom/bedroom what have you and close the door.
Simple as that. Its normal.
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by on Aug. 11, 2012 at 3:06 PM

No one has to teach a child to explore his or her genitals.  It provides a feeling of pleasure, that once discovered, the child will most likely repeat.  There have even been studies of prenatal ultrasounds revealing male fetuses doing it.  

Most often, however, boys find their penises  accidentally, possibly during a diaper change around six to seven months of age and become curious (just like their fascination with other parts of their bodies, such as fingers, toes and ears).  Some child psychologists think that boys who have seen a naked girl may be fearful that they could lose their penis and end up looking like the girl.  However, no one can be sure of what these toddlers are thinking.  

Girls often don’t discover their vulva  (female external genitalia) until about ten to eleven months of age.  They may even insert objects into their vaginas as a matter of curiosity—much like the beans and small toys children of this age like to put into their noses and ears.  

Genital play in both sexes can also take the form of rubbing with hands or rubbing against other objects such as a pillow, stuffed animal or the bed.  Often the child will be found staring, flushed, with an absent look on their faces, breathing fast or irregularly while masturbating.  The behavior generally increases with boredom, sleepiness or stress in the child’s life.  It is important to remember that children do not generally associate this activity with sexuality or adult relationships until much later in childhood, more toward puberty.  This is reassuring to some parents who are alarmed by their child’s behavior.  Genital play is often used simply as a form of self-comfort.

When should I be alarmed by my child’s behavior? 
Most often, masturbation is a normal part of childhood development.  There are some cases, however, when it may be a signal for something more concerning.  In these cases, you should discuss your concerns with your pediatrician:

  • If the child seems to have an early understanding of the two-sidedness of the sex act.
  • If the activity becomes compulsive and interferes with other normal activities or the child cannot be distracted easily from the masturbation.
  • If the child simulates intercourse with another child.
  • If any penetration with another child is involved.
  • If the activity is intrusive or painful for the child.
  • If the activity increases much above the original level, indicating the child is stressed about something and is trying to comfort themselves.
  • If there is mouth to genital contact between your child and another child.
  • If you feel your child is particularly unhappy or sad.
  • If it seems to be accompanied by trauma to the area from scratching or rubbing (your child may have an infection with pinworms  or a bladder infection ).

What do I do if my child is playing with their genitals in public? 
Toddlers and preschoolers do not really understand the social implications of public masturbation, because, as noted earlier, they don’t associate it with private behaviors that occur between adults.  To them, it may be no different than playing with their ears, twirling their hair or picking their nose (and you know they’re not shy about doing that in public!).  Don't make a big deal out of it.  Children enjoy attention of any sort, whether it is negative or positive. If you make masturbation into a big deal, you could end up reinforcing the behavior and actually getting more of it.  

Children should never be punished or shamed for masturbating, as this can have major effects on their self-esteem and comfort with sexual activity as adults.  There are lots of positive ways for parents to keep their kids from masturbating in public places:

  • Set limits: explain to your child that it is a private activity, much like toileting, and should be limited to the bedroom or bathroom.
  • Distraction:  try to get your child interested in another activity with their hands.
  • Send toddlers to their room to masturbate if they can’t be distracted from it.
  • Ignore masturbation at bedtime or naptime and encourage your child’s daycare to do the same.
  • Increase the amount of hugging, cuddling and parental affection you show to your child.
  • Give your child a security object (teddy bear, doll, blanket) to take in public, since they may be using masturbation to comfort themselves in an unfamiliar situation.
  • For children with developmental delay or other mental impairments who may not be as receptive to reasoning, positive reinforcement techniques may be helpful (for example, reward them for notplaying with their genitals with special treats).

What about all those things I’ve heard about the dangers of masturbation…is there any truth to them? 
Throughout history, there have been many myths regarding masturbation.  All of these myths are false.  There is no medical basis for any of them.  Below are the TRUTHS about masturbation:

  • It does NOT stunt your growth. (Find out more —for teens, also in Spanish .)
  • It does NOT cause blindness.
  • It does NOT cause deafness.
  • It does NOT cause you to grow hair on your palms.
  • It does NOT cause stuttering.
  • You CANNOT die from it.
  • It does NOT mean your child will be promiscuous as an adult.
  • It will NOT drive a person crazy.
  • It IS perfectly healthy as long as it does not interfere with relationships with friends and family, or with doing other activities.

How can I find out more about this topic and related concerns?

by Silver Member on Aug. 11, 2012 at 3:06 PM
1 mom liked this

Quoting Anonymous:

i'm sorry i didn't realize your kid came with a manual. i'm a parent. i only have 2 kids. a boy and girl. i'm learning as they grow. i asked for advice. not to be bashed

Just be glad that you asked.  I am glad you came to a place where people don't b.s. and they say it straight out.  You need to call her vagina a vagina and never tell her that "princess don't do that"  who wants to be a princess anyway?

by Ruby Member on Aug. 11, 2012 at 3:07 PM
She's exploring. It's completely natural. My exs dd did that and the pedi told us to let it be and explain privacy. She used to rub herself on the crotch clip in her carseat too.
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by on Aug. 11, 2012 at 3:07 PM
That's normal, why would you tell her don't do that again?
Tell her that's private and if she wants to do it to only do it in her room.
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by Anonymous 1 - Original Poster on Aug. 11, 2012 at 3:07 PM
3 moms liked this

ok i completely understand that i handled it wrong. i will have a sit down with her and explain it. thank you guys once again

by Snarknado on Aug. 11, 2012 at 3:07 PM

yes, it's normal. go to a parenting website and search under masturbation. those nerve endings don't grow in a puberty, you know.

look at it this way: as she's grown up you've given her the names for her body parts. she's probably done weird voices, standing on one foot, etc.       this is no different, she's exploring her body, and what it does or can do.

you tell her that's a private part of her body, and a private activity. don't make her feel shameful about it.

Quoting Anonymous:

is this really normal? is it really considered masturbation? i never thought of it like that. but, what do i say? she's 4 for goodness sakes! 

by Platinum Member on Aug. 11, 2012 at 3:09 PM
She does it because it feels good. It's normal. Just tell her she can only do it in private.
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by on Aug. 11, 2012 at 3:09 PM

I'll chime into the chorus of "totally normal".  Your reaction, however, is unhealthy and shaming.


Gently said, please do some work on yourself so you don't hand your baggage to your daughter.  :(


Vulva is not a dirty word.

by on Aug. 11, 2012 at 3:09 PM
It's perfectly normal for heavens sake! Just tell her that if she wants to make herself feel good like that she needs to always do it in private.
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