Sensitive issue needs discipline. Help! Update for everyone with kids!
This is for EVERYONE. Because there are many on here who think I'm lying about it. . . I learned more from this read than anything anyone told me on here. Sad.
Caught Your Kid Masturbating?
While catching up over coffee in her kitchen recently, my friend and I were interrupted by a peculiar noise neither of us initially recognized. Our eyes eventually locked onto her 4-year-old son, who was rubbing himself and moaning with pleasure. (this is even more severe than how my son does it) My friend's face turned bright red. She was both embarrassed and caught off guard.
"Do kids normally start masturbating this young?" she sheepishly asked.
Yes, says David Swanson, PsyD, a child and family psychologist practicing in Los Angeles
and author of HELP -- My Kid Is Driving Me Crazy: The 17 Ways Kids Manipulate Their Parents, and What You Can Do About It. Masturbation is a very natural and healthy part of childhood. "It's the beginning of a lifelong learning experience about their bodies and, later, about sex and sexuality," Swanson says.
Why Children Masturbate
Young kids touch themselves primarily for two reasons. The first is for pleasure. "In the beginning stages starting between ages 3 and 5, kids are exploring their bodies. They learn what feels good, and they'll continue to touch themselves," Swanson explains. The second reason is for stress reduction and relaxation.
Masturbation becomes goal-driven around age 10. Boys in particular are trying to get to the point of orgasm, and at around 11 or 12, they may start seeking pornographic material. "That's when the Internet becomes a big deal, and parents need to be careful about what kids can access online," Swanson says.
What should you do if you find your child touching himself or herself? Keep in mind that reactions matter. When adults become angry or tell their children that masturbating is wrong, it creates a lot of tension for them, Swanson says. "You want to teach children that it's OK to explore their bodies."
Eventually, my friend taught her son to masturbate alone in his room, which allowed him the privacy he needed away from us.
Talking About Masturbation
When faced with your child's sexual exploration, Swanson has these tips for approaching the conversation.
Cool down. Charged parental reactions to masturbation often create shame. Leave the room if you're upset, then come back to address the behavior calmly.
Private business. Young kids need to learn when and where it's acceptable to masturbate. Tell them, "You're learning about your body right now. It's nothing to be ashamed of; it's natural. But I insist you do it in private." By age 6, kids should be clear on this point.
Picture perfect. Redirect your preteen away from adult sexual images, which can negatively affect how he or she views the opposite sex. Say, "I understand you are curious and want to learn, so we can buy a book that talks about sex." Then buy one that is age-appropriate and after your child reads it, answer any questions that come up.
My seven year old boy has been masturbating since he was 4. It isn't the type of masturbation a grown man would do. He just humps his hands. I use to do a similar thing at his age and never did outgrow it. I remember my mom getting really mad at me when she caught me doing it and I felt shame after every orgasm I had from self stimulation until I got older.
Anyway, I don't want that to happen to my son but he shares a room with his 3 year old sister. I have told him over and over and OVER again that he needs to be courteous of other people and realize that what he is doing is not appropriate for other's to see. Including his little sister. I have told him his time to do these things is in bed, after lights are out.
He is currently transitioning from his father's house during the summer mostly back to being with me the majority of the time. He also has ADHD. I have seen an increase of this behavior the last few weeks.
The problem is, he is no longer taking it to the bedroom. I have been catching him doing it in front of sister in the living room over and over. I have had the talk and he disregards it. He needs punishment but how do I do it without making him feel like what he is doing is wrong? It's just WHERE he is doing it and the TIME he is doing it that is wrong. . .
I have no issue when he is in the room and alone, but he shouldn't be doing this in broad daylight in front of ANYONE. Even if his sibling were a brother.
I HAVE discussed with him the need to do this in private. Again and again and again. And again. . . He is NOT listening to me and I have caught him ON THE FLOOR IN THE LIVING ROOM doing it. THAT is the issue, not the sharing of his room but they do play together in the same room. And I will come into their room and catch my daughter playing with dolls and he's on the floor doing it again.
Even if they had separate rooms, the issue is where and time of doing it. THey would still play together in the same room even if they slept in separate ones. He is not being discreet and no amount of explaining seems to be helping him learn he NEEDS TO BE DISCRETE!