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Almost 3yo obsessively masturbating

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 
DD has been humping things since she could get on them, maybe around 9mos old. At first we honestly thought she was just putting pressure on her belly so we started calling it 'belly thing' which is what we still call it.
I have never really minded and I know it is perfectly normal, but lately it has gotten obsessive. She does it all day when we are at home and really goes at it and drools and gets all red in the face. It is too much for me to handle. I don't feel like she can understand the 'doing it in private' idea yet and she doesn't have her own room anyway. I also worry about her doing it in public.
Any suggestions, advice is welcome. My main goal is for her to grow up with a positive, healthy and confident sense of sexuality.
I also don't have a healthy sense of sexuality myself, so I worry that I am not giving her the right vibe. It really bothers me.
DH doesn't always have the best reaction, but is also open to suggestion, he tries to physically make her stop by lifting her off things to go do something else, and I am not comfortable with that.
post #2 of 20
Oh mama, many hugs because our oldest DD was that same child. We eventually (around 2-3) told her that was something that she does in private, in her bed only. But I too was raised in a house where things like masturbation were taboo and NEVER EVER discussed and seriously frowned upon, so it cause all sorts of stress for me at first too.
post #3 of 20
my dd tends to rub herself with things when tired and in the car. I informed her that she can do that all she wants by she needs to be in her room in private. She has stopped doing it for the most part now (well no clue if she's doing it in her room).
post #4 of 20
Yeah, DD has been into it for a few months now. She has got it all figured out, which pants she can and cannot masturbate in during naptime, and in the morning will refuse to wear the jeans or slacks because they're no good for "wiggling" in. I guess on the upside, at least she's learning to plan ahead?
post #5 of 20
I think at almost 3 there is no reason why she can't be redirected to the bedroom, even if it is a family bedroom.
post #6 of 20
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the responses.
I try to talk to her about doing it private. She is a very stubborn and headstrong child (she gets it from me) and just does it anyway. She doesn't get why she shouldn't do it in the living room. And those parts aren't really private when she runs around nude and I wipe her butt and such.
It is always good to hear about others' experience with this, does it slow down at some point? I suppose it is different with every kid...
post #7 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by orangeiron View Post
Thanks for the responses.
I try to talk to her about doing it private. She is a very stubborn and headstrong child (she gets it from me) and just does it anyway. She doesn't get why she shouldn't do it in the living room. And those parts aren't really private when she runs around nude and I wipe her butt and such.
It is always good to hear about others' experience with this, does it slow down at some point? I suppose it is different with every kid...
Well thats a sanitary issue too....its kind of gross for her to have her bare privates on the dinig room table lol. Maybe you could explain it like that, as a sanitary/being clean thing?that she should onlydo thatt on thing that are hers not to share, ie in her room.
post #8 of 20
um, that was me as a kid : i remember being about 3 and i got spanked at nap time for wiggling too much. that was the point where i realized i had to hide it. i'm not sure how to approach it in a better more conducive manner. i will say, i have a very healthy non-repressed attitude towards sex even though that happened
post #9 of 20
Thread Starter 
she's never, um, 'done it' in the nude, I was just saying those parts aren't exactly private to her at the moment.
thanks playamama, that made me feel better, I just have such a fear of messing her up....
post #10 of 20
s to you. I nannied for years and would come across children doing this. It happens, and sounds like you are dealing with this in a calm and kind way.
post #11 of 20
Ha Ha! My younger sister, who is turning 36 next week, did this from the very beginning and in a similar way you describe. In our family it was called "getting the good feel". Our family was not a overly sexually open family (mom said she only did "it" twice to get us, lol) but my sister was not totally shut down. On the other hand she was encouraged to be discreet. How this was done I really don't know because she was very little when she started. She once started to do it on my grandfather's leg!!! OMG. I think there was a combination of encouraging her to be private, physically showing her a better place, and being otherwise was non-judgemental and matter of fact about it.
Hey my sister is not scarred today.
post #12 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by waiting2bemommy View Post
Well thats a sanitary issue too....its kind of gross for her to have her bare privates on the dinig room table lol. Maybe you could explain it like that, as a sanitary/being clean thing?that she should onlydo thatt on thing that are hers not to share, ie in her room.
How do you explain to a child that their privates are "unsanitary" or "not clean" without making them feel dirty?

My daughter runs around naked all the time, too, right now; she has zero body shame and I'd like to keep it that way.
post #13 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by prettypixels View Post
How do you explain to a child that their privates are "unsanitary" or "not clean" without making them feel dirty?
My dd knows her butt smells--she sometimes puts her fingers between her cheeks and asks people to smell them! (ew.) So for us, it wouldn't be much of a stretch to tell her to keep her stinky butt off the furniture or whatever. She thinks it hilarious to call her butt stinky, so I wouldn't worry about that making her feel dirty--it's just a reason to take a bath, which she LOVES!
post #14 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by prettypixels View Post
How do you explain to a child that their privates are "unsanitary" or "not clean" without making them feel dirty?

My daughter runs around naked all the time, too, right now; she has zero body shame and I'd like to keep it that way.
I'm pretty sure I told DD her fingers needed to stay out of there before her fingers might be dirty. Lately we have been talking about "invisible germs", and how we have to clean the dishes if they've been used even if they "look" clean, or wash our hands even if they "look" clean, and so on.

And as for willfulness, I have simply carried her to her bedroom before while reminding her that it's fine to do that in her own bedroom, and she is welcome to stay in there and do it or come out whenever she's done.
post #15 of 20
I used to be an early childhood teacher. I remember there was a child in a two day two-year-old class who did this to excess. It was a problem at school because she wanted to rub on the corners of the chairs rather than interact with other kids or have other school experiences.

A social worker, and also an OT got involved with it. They ended up putting little tape marks in the center of all the chairs to show her that you sit on the mark at school, rather than the ends. I believe her mother talked to her about how it was a fine, feel good thing -- that you do at home, alone, in your bedroom. It was the 2nd part of the year, so the girl was almost 3 at the time. Seemed she could handle the redirection.

I taught her the following year as a three year old and it was no longer an issue, but the chairs still all had little marks in the middle.
post #16 of 20

Okay, so I dont have any children, (I leave that for my brothers to do lol) BUT I do babysit my borthers 3 yo daughter and 8 yo son. No problems yet with the girl, BUT my nephew, OBSESSIVELY is masturbating, and he dont care that there are peoplke around. I mean he doesnt do it in the living room, the problem is he does it in a bedroom with the door closed, but it is ANY time of the day, and its for a good 2-4 hours he will be in there multiple times out of the day. I did a little research and some say it has no effects and others say it may effect their sexual life later on. I have tried talking to him, told him its normal and needs to do it in private, at night, but its not working, he recently was doing in while sleeping at the opposite end of the bed with his grandmother (which this is a problem all its own, cannot get him to sleep in his own bed at my parents house) I need help, my mother and I pretty much take care of him, due to his parents split up and he only want to stay here with us. I need help with him, Im always worried I am going to catch him!Cuss.gif And I dont want to be mad at him if I do, but I dont think it is normal for him to lay in the room for that long of a period doing what he is doing?!  innocent.gif

post #17 of 20

At her age it isn't masturbation, it's a self-soother.  Something that feels good.  She isn't able to connect it to a sexual experience like we as adults would.  If she is doing it to excess (hurting herself for example) then it is most likely related to anxiety and talking to a professional would be a good idea.  If she just really likes it (feels good) then help her find other things that feel good and/or direct her to a more private place.  "Honey I know that feels good, if you want to keep doing it please go to your room/playroom/bathroom to finish, you can come back when you're done".  It's okay to give kids boundaries.

 

I want to commend you for not shaming your daughter!  Many parents misinterpret self-soothing for something sexual/dirty/wrong.  Also, her self-soothing now does not in any way connect to her later sexual appetite.  

post #18 of 20

I can remember doing that as a child, and being told to go into private, etc. However, apparently it was the family joke, because a few months ago my aunts/uncles brought it up at a family gathering and asked me if I remembered doing it!!!!???? I was so embarressed, I just acted like I didn't know what they were talking about.... So, ask her to be discreet, go into her room/bed. If she starts doing it in another part of the house, physically take her to her room. Let her know it is ok to do, but something we do in private.

post #19 of 20

Hmmm, my gut reaction is to treat this like any other toddler behavior that you'd like to shape. It's not ok to throw things or eat ice cream all day long. I really like thinking of this as a soothing issue. It would be great to teach her several other soothing techniques that make her feel good. My DD has a silky lovey to help her. We're still nursing at 2 years old and the lovey really helps her soothe and move slowly off the breast. She rubs the silk between her fingers and that seems to soothe her. My DD also likes to get a foot massage. It really soothes her. I wonder if playing with water in the sink might feel good to her. I don't know, but I bet there are some other things you could introduce. I _do_ believe, however, that it will take time, just weaning from thumbsucking and pacifiers. So make a plan and be prepared to go slow as you introduce other soothers. Maybe even create a log for a few days of when she starts rubbing and see if there are some triggers you can identify so you can start her soothing with something else before she decides she needs to rub. Stay the course, and expect it to take a few weeks to intro alternative soothers. Don't expect the rubbing to go away all together, but you might start to see her choose something else. Just some thoughts.

post #20 of 20

This is so embarrassing, but I did this as a kid. I don't know what age I started doing it at, but I was young and it continued until I was a teenager. My mom had a waterbed with pointy corners and that was the place I did it at most of the time. Other times it was on an exercise ball. My mother would just tell me to stop but I don't remember her ever sitting down and talking with me about it. I have NEVER told anyone else about this, not even when a good friend of mine said her daughter was doing it. I definitely find it embarrassing but you sound like you are doing a great job in teaching her that it is not "bad", just something she needs to do in private. I'm sure eventually she will slow down and not do it as much. Good luck!

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