Cafemom is a great place dont get me wrong. However, I'm so sick and tired of going to posts and seeing mothers being bashed on for asking a damn question. We come here for help, advice, a place to vent where everyone understands the stresses of mother hood. So far this morning I've read four posts by moms asking about their kids because the child has been acting out I guess you could say in a sexual manner. Instantly everyone assumes that child has been abused and the mother is told to seek counseling or should have their child taken away. SERIOUSLY?! Humans are sexual beings, we each discovered our bodies at different times in our lives but does that really mean everyone single one of us was abused if we were doing it at a younger age? NO, no it doesnt. Yes, I'll admit I was abused as a little girl but I did not show outward signs of being abused. Look up on medical journals about self exploration. This is from babyzone said by an expert and I will post the whole thing. Like your parents taught you. If you can't say anything nice, then don't say anything at all.
Q: I have two daughters ages eight and six years of age. They are perfect little girls and my husband and I love them very much. The past few months my husband and I have seen them act out what I would call a form of masturbation. We are speechless and really thought we were ideal parents until we ran into this problem. Please let me know if you can help.
A: Your two perfect little girls are still perfect. You and your husband have not done anything wrong as parents. Perfect children explore their own bodies - it's the natural and normal thing to do. Gone are the days (halleluia!) where doctors regularly prescribed tying children's hands to the bed rails at night if they were caught masturbating. We now know that masturbation is normal, that all children ARE sexual beings, and that it's not the same AT ALL as adult sexuality. Kids touching their genitals has a totally different meaning than it does for adults, and you should not impose adult sexuality - desires, motives - on children's self-exploration. This issue is largely a matter of age-appropriate behavior and manners. It's not uncommon for a three year old to hold or stroke his or her genitals when agitated, or for school age kids to engage in exploratory sex play ("playing doctor"). It's normal and usual for a child to occasionally or regularly touch his or her body when falling asleep. These are normal and a completely different behaviors from, for instance, a twelve year old masturbating at the dinner table. (A twelve year old child behaving this inappropriately needs some psychological help!) If your girls are performing little explicit dances for the dinner guests, yes, by all means talk to them about privacy, and the importance of keeping private acts private. If, however, this is a case of surprising a six-year-old self-stimulating in the closet or bathtub, you might want to simply excuse yourself. Part of it will depend upon your own comfort level. Treat your children's behavior as you would any other behavior that needs guidelines ("Honey, that's a private thing to do..."), and by all means, DO NOT punish them for doing what is natural and normal. As parents, our job is to make our kids maintain a sense of pride and pleasure in their bodies while teaching them manners. In this case, manners simply means learning appropriate public behavior. Remember, too, that parental shame and embarrassment has a way of transmitting itself magically to children - so you might want to check your biases. Enjoy your little girls!