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self stimulation - WWYD? - Page 2

post #21 of 46
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sierra View Post
See, this is the thing though...

My parents tried to get me to stop biting my nails as well as self-stimming to the point of mild compulsivity. My parents were very open and good about handling the component of sexuality, but I had already begun integrating societal messages of shame around sexuality (and we didn't even have a tv)...I felt deeply ashamed to have been "called" on my self-stimming in a way that I was never ashamed about being called on biting my nails. It *is* a delicate situation and should be handled with greater thought and care. As I said, when folks tried to intervene, it only increased my anxiety, which in turn increased my propensity toward the behavior.
Interesting perspective. Even without a TV (and they DO have a TV), kids these days are bombarded with messages about sexuality, privacy, etc. Even messages intended to be "helpful" (all of these kids by age six have had plenty of instruction on "good touches" and "bad touches") may only highlight sexuality as a "squeamish" issue for many. (Even I discovered I'M squeamish today!)

Thanks for you comment -

Jane
post #22 of 46
Assuming that there are no medical issues (like infections and/or abuse) I would do my best to provide other stress outlets, and I would offer some lubricant (explaining 'how' to use it).

Maybe make sure nails are trimmed too? And push handwashing to eliminate 'new' germs being introduced (and infections developing)..
post #23 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sierra View Post
My first reaction to the description that she made herself bleed and hurt when she pees was the same as the above.

Then I remembered. I too was excessive as a kid too in this regard. And I remember rubbing on this stool until I would get these massive, painful bruises on my legs from it.

I even did it once in class in the 2nd grade .

Anyway, yes, I do tend to be on the anxious side, and yes, it probably was a cumpulsive behavior, but the more folks intervened, the more anxious I became.

A while after the second grade incident, without "intervention" other than what has been described (which was mortifying to me in and of itself), it naturally toned down, and I got a better handle on the privacy issue.

I have seen enough of these types of discussions on MDC to know that there is a spectrum of responses to this kind of thing and that most of it is shaped by our *own* childhood experiences. I suspect that those who react in horror were not excessive self-stimulators as children .
Actually, I was. Don't assume. But I didn't actually bleed, that is a little beyond the scope of normal imo.
post #24 of 46
Perhaps she continues to rub herself until she is raw because she thinks the pain may stop and it will feel good again......??? Kids' minds work in strange ways.

I also cannot really understand the lube offering, and I would never be comfortable doing something like that.

Is there any way to put a physical barrier there so she can't rub without taking off her pants/skirt, panties, etc? I was thinking of something like a maxi-pad (but not the thin ones--- one of the really big and thick ones, like overnight pads), to cover the whole area and be thick enough that she won't feel the rubbing. And if she rubs the pad, she won't be rubbing herself to cause physical damage and pain. Because, gosh, that's got to hurt so bad for a 6.5 year old little girl!

It sounds like an obsession to me.
post #25 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by DianeMarie View Post
Perhaps she continues to rub herself until she is raw because she thinks the pain may stop and it will feel good again......??? Kids' minds work in strange ways.

I also cannot really understand the lube offering, and I would never be comfortable doing something like that.

Is there any way to put a physical barrier there so she can't rub without taking off her pants/skirt, panties, etc? I was thinking of something like a maxi-pad (but not the thin ones--- one of the really big and thick ones, like overnight pads), to cover the whole area and be thick enough that she won't feel the rubbing. And if she rubs the pad, she won't be rubbing herself to cause physical damage and pain. Because, gosh, that's got to hurt so bad for a 6.5 year old little girl!

It sounds like an obsession to me.

To me, that sounds rather controlling and possibly very damaging

also- I'm pretty sure a 6.5 yr old would be able to 'reach' herself even if she had a diaper-like thing on (which, IMHO, could cause some crazy psycological issues..)
post #26 of 46
Quote:
As a general comment, not to your post specifically, but to others who have mentioned the same thing, I used to think I was somewhat open-minded, but I see now I am clearly not. I'm surprised by the number of people who have recommended giving her lubrication. If the phraseology had been "creme" or "lotion" intended to soothe the burning, I would have agreed, but it seems some feel she should be given lube in order to masturbate more easily at the age of six?
Well I was going to say "lotion" but then I was like, well, let's call it what it is. I am coming at this from the point of view that masturbation for a child is not an overtly sexual thing as much as it's sensual. She has no idea that these are the organs that she will use to make a baby, or if she does, that that's why they are pleasurable.

I mean, you can use lubrication for a car, you know? For me, lubrication is not something purely sexual. I wasn't suggesting AstroGlide or anything.

After posting I read the responses and I do think it would be appropriate, as MusicianDad suggested, and others elaborated on, to find the source of the stress and help her deal with it.

But really, lubrication could help her stay healthy, because open sores on your vulva and near your vagina are not safe. They could get infected. Poor thing.
post #27 of 46
At first read I thought to myself..."rubbing herself raw!! Something must be DONE!" - just because I can image the hurt and burn of that...but I think that other mamas are right...if it is a stress linked compulsion...getting hot and heavy with the "redirection" may just make her more stressed. Plus, shame is no good and you can never really tell what will shame a kid...some are more sensitive than others.

I think the oil idea is a good one. Maybe the mama could say "here, I got this oil for you to put on your vulva so it doesn't hurt, take a little bit and rub it on there with your finger and it should make it hurt less" - or something like that...the little girl will figure out almost instantly that rubbing WITH the oil feels much better than rubbing without and maybe will switch to "rubbing with" exclusively. If the mama instructs the girl to keep this by her bed or somewhere in her room...it may actually help the girl to create more "scheduled" (nighttime, bedtime type of thing?) private time to enjoy this activity, you know? Like...maybe instead of rubbing any ole time she thinks of it, the thought of doing it when she has the oil and is alone in the room will make her hold off? If the oil makes it hurt less (feel much better) she may be more prone to wait til she has the oil and the time...I don't know, though, maybe it will make her just hole up in her room all day with the oil. I went through a period of time like that in junior high (12-13 years old)...I discovered how nice it was to fantazise about boys I liked AND rub myself at the same time...so all I wanted to do was just that. ALL. DAY. LONG. My poor mother thought I was in a deep depression (in part, I was...but really, for a long stretch of time...I just wanted to be in bed fantasizing about boys I knew, so I would sigh heavily and say "I'm tired, I need to lay down" and then would go and do that!!).

I don't think she should be made to stop. It's her vulva, her business. It feels good, we all know that...I think it's her business. True, true...if she were eating ice cream constantly until it made her tummy hurt because she liked it so much...we would all be screaming for the mother to just take the tub of ice cream away...but rubbing her clitoris and eating iced cream aren't exactly the same thing. I don't even think it's so much "allowing her to express her sexuality" as much as teaching her from an early age that her body is her business and her "personal space" is hers to manage. I don't have a DD who rubs for the moment, maybe she will sooner than I thought...but I don't believe I would ever want to teach her that MY expectations should apply to "use" of her own personal pleasure space. That's HERS.
post #28 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by janey99 View Post
If this behavior did not have a sexual component that some are reluctant to curb because of their views of sexual freedom, would anyone have a problem telling a kid to stop doing something that is hurting her? Don't we have that responsibility as parents? It does seem there's an element of compusion to it, and that's not entirely healthy regardless of the outlet, plus at 6.5, I'm not sure she's old enough to do the analysis, and then carry out the actions, of "this hurts after a while so I have to stop before it does." I mean, plenty of adults with compulsive or addictive tendencies can't do that, YKWIM?

Jane
Jane, I agree with this. I think it's totally fine for kids to masturbate, but that it's not okay for kids to purposefully harm themselves. If a child was making any other part of her body red, raw, bloody and painful, most parents/people would see the need to help her stop. Why should it be different just because it's her vulva??

My suggestions would be:

1. Get the girl some kind of healing cream/ointment/oil/whatever, framed as "medicine" or "remedy" to help heal the injury... not as lubricant to make the masturbating feel better, because that's not the point. If she is rubbing herself to the point where it hurts, that is a compulsion that needs adult help, not just normal masturbating because it feels good.

2. Explore the stressors in her life, by talking with her, and the adults in her life.
Also, keep a log of when she rubs herself - write the location, time, duration, what's going on in the situation, etc., to see if there's a pattern to it or if there are any insights to be gleaned. e.g. does she rub herself when she is feeling anxious, and it calms her? Does she rub when she is trying to avoid being talked to, or asked to do something, and the behavior distracts the adults so the situation changes? Does she rub herself out of boredom when there's nothing going on, or as a way to "tune out" when there's too MUCH going on? Etc., etc. Figuring out what positive results she is getting from the behavior is the key to figuring out how to address it, and get her needs met in other ways.
And yes, I am assuming that she is NOT rubbing herself out of a genuine need/desire for the pleasurable, sexual feelings. Because it's not pleasurable, if she's rubbing to the point of making her vulva raw, bloody, and painful to the point where it hurts when she pees.

3. Based upon observations of the context of her rubbing and what needs it may be fulfilling for her, strategize new ways of helping her meet those needs. Examples:
- yoga and breathing exercises for stress relief
- fidgety objects to hold in class, if she needs something like this to help her focus - a Koosh ball, squishy toy, lump of clay, a piece of rope with lots of knots to untie, etc.
- more sensory experiences, such as a swatch of velvet or suede to rub and touch, fingerpainting with shaving cream or pudding, bubble wrap, swinging, merry-go-rounds, sandcastle-building, playdough/clay, that cornstarch-and-water mixture that's both hard and soft, silly putty (mixture of elmer's glue and laundry starch), healthy gum to chew, etc.
- exercise
- self-expression methods to relieve stress and anxieties, such as journaling, art, using puppets to talk

4. Talk with her honestly about the problem:
"Lots of girls, when they are in private, like to rub their vulvas because it feels good! But it should only feel good - if it hurts, there's a problem. See how rubbing TOO much makes your skin red and painful." Ask her for her thoughts and ideas. But like you said, Jane, it's too much to expect a 6.5-yr-old to be able to figure out, on her own, how to stop a compulsion... which is why I am suggesting all the other things in 2. and 3.
Helping a child stop injuring her genitals is really not the same as shaming her for masturbating!
post #29 of 46
I wouldn't do anything unless your friend asked you specifically for help.
post #30 of 46
Right, I agree with duchess_of_dork. I don't recommend actually doing anything unless the parents specifically asked for help.
I was offering my thoughts in a more general, this-is-how-I-personally-would-handle-it-if-it-were-up-to-me kind of way.
post #31 of 46
My first thought is yeast or worms. I would have her tested to make 100% sure it isnt an underlying medical condition.
post #32 of 46
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Inci View Post
Right, I agree with duchess_of_dork. I don't recommend actually doing anything unless the parents specifically asked for help.
I was offering my thoughts in a more general, this-is-how-I-personally-would-handle-it-if-it-were-up-to-me kind of way.

Um, yeah - my first post says I'm just curious what others would have done. In case it wasn't crystal clear, I'm not canvassing a message board intending to collate a file of options for my friend to review!

Jane
post #33 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by AverysMomma View Post
I don't think she should be made to stop. It's her vulva, her business. It feels good, we all know that...I think it's her business. True, true...if she were eating ice cream constantly until it made her tummy hurt because she liked it so much...we would all be screaming for the mother to just take the tub of ice cream away...but rubbing her clitoris and eating iced cream aren't exactly the same thing. I don't even think it's so much "allowing her to express her sexuality" as much as teaching her from an early age that her body is her business and her "personal space" is hers to manage. I don't have a DD who rubs for the moment, maybe she will sooner than I thought...but I don't believe I would ever want to teach her that MY expectations should apply to "use" of her own personal pleasure space. That's HERS.

but what if she was a teenager cutting her self? what if it felt good to her? it is after all her body shouldn't she be allowed to do it if it feels good? it is her persoanl space, should a parent stay out of it or should they intervene? I mean maybe it will be come a problem and maybe she will self regulate...who knows. maybe she is just one of those kids who needs to do it more than others.

I don't know, I think any time a child is hurting themselves in any way a parent needs to intervene. I really think if she was doing this to any other part of her body no one would question the need to help her curb the compulsion and find out what the underlying cause was.
post #34 of 46
lilyka, I didn't get the impression that anyone was saying the parent shouldn't intervene.

If one of my children were hurting herself I would most certainly see it as my responsibility to get to the bottom of WHY she was feeling a need to do this.

But you know there's no way (short of institutional lock-down) to forcibly-stop a teen from finding a way to cut herself. And yes if my child were determined to do this, and I couldn't help her find a safe outlet for meeting those needs, I might have to resort to lock-down just to keep her alive ...

While I continued looking for ways to identify and solve the underlying problems, so my child could safely live free again.

But whereas cutters are doing it TO experience the pain, the 6yo doesn't seem to be self-stimulating for this purpose: the pain is a byproduct of how frequently and intensely she is doing it.

Indeed, if this mother helps her child identify what's causing the stress, changes what she can, and also follows Inci's advice to provide her with a wide variety of sensory experiences -- I would be very, very surprised to find that the problem is still continuing.

I think everyone agrees that it's unacceptable for a child to be hurting herself, and parents need to be concerned and intervene: we just aren't all agreed on the best methods for intervening. Which of course is to be expected.
post #35 of 46
self harm releases endorphins that feel good. i knowe it is hard for people to undxerstand but some sle fharmers do it because it feels good. If it hurts eventually is inconsequential because in the moment it feels good.
post #36 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by janey99 View Post
Um, yeah - my first post says I'm just curious what others would have done. In case it wasn't crystal clear, I'm not canvassing a message board intending to collate a file of options for my friend to review!

Jane
And FWIW my reply was given in that regard... I would never give a friend's kid lubricant for any reason, obviously. I thought that was clear because of the way the OP framed it.

So in case it wasn't... let it be clear now... I'm saying, if this were my kid, not, the OP needs to go advise!
post #37 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by lilyka View Post
but what if she was a teenager cutting her self? what if it felt good to her? it is after all her body shouldn't she be allowed to do it if it feels good? it is her persoanl space, should a parent stay out of it or should they intervene? I mean maybe it will be come a problem and maybe she will self regulate...who knows. maybe she is just one of those kids who needs to do it more than others.

I don't know, I think any time a child is hurting themselves in any way a parent needs to intervene. I really think if she was doing this to any other part of her body no one would question the need to help her curb the compulsion and find out what the underlying cause was.
Cutting is different, because the desire is for pain itself. It's masochism. Masturbation, even with unintended consequences (rawness, lost time, etc.) is not masochism. It is self-pleasuring.

I'm not saying that nothing should be done to address the stress. I think that regardless, this girl may continue to pleasure herself, and she needs to have that safe place, and to know how to do it without hurting herself.
post #38 of 46
how is it self pleasuing if it lead to rawness and bleeding? i think it has clearly crossed the line from pleasure into painful compulsion. rubbing any part of your body uuntil it is raw swollen and bleeding is painful. just because it is her vulva or clitoris doesn't mean it feels good. there is obviously something about it that makes them feel good but just because something makes you feel better does not make it healthy.
post #39 of 46
having a child with anxiety - one thing i know for sure - is you cant take the source of teh stress away.

so it would mean a two pronged action from me.

one to find out other ways of stress relief. which for my dd involves enough rest and enough physical activity.

secondly not saying about the self rubbing but instead offering her some oil for it. by giving her better techniques to handle stress - or help her try different ways to handle stress, might stop the constant rubbing.

i see rubbing the same as kids who suck on their collars, or fidget. offer them different methods of stress and htat might stop or reduce the amount of self touch.
post #40 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by lilyka View Post
but what if she was a teenager cutting her self? what if it felt good to her? it is after all her body shouldn't she be allowed to do it if it feels good? it is her persoanl space, should a parent stay out of it or should they intervene? I mean maybe it will be come a problem and maybe she will self regulate...who knows. maybe she is just one of those kids who needs to do it more than others.

I don't know, I think any time a child is hurting themselves in any way a parent needs to intervene. I really think if she was doing this to any other part of her body no one would question the need to help her curb the compulsion and find out what the underlying cause was.
Riiiiiighhhht....a 16 year old cutting herself to cope with anxiety and a 6 year old rubbing her clitoris excessively because she has discovered it feels really really good are the same thing. Ok. When a teenager is cutting herself...that is a purposeful self injury....the six year old rubbing her clitoris raw is not hurting herself on purpose...she is pleasing herself to the point of hurting herself...and there is a difference, in case, somehow, you can't see that.

I didn't say that the parents should do nothing...I said that the parents should try to push her in the direction of rubbing which is not going to chaffe her to th point of being raw, like with oils....instead of shaming her by trying to make her stop the behavior all together. If there is an underlying stressor causing this issue, I would obviously advise my friend to discover what that issue is and help her to find ways of coping which do not end up hurting her....

But to be honest....I wouldn't really think it's any of my business either. If this were my kid, I would be a bit miffed at a friend thinking she had the right to tell me what to do here. Not only is it really none of MY business if my DD wants to rub her vulva a lot..but it's REALLY none of my friends business.

I would sit back and let this one play out. I would give the girl some oil and try and help her to discover other relaxation methods without sending the message that I want her to stop rubbing herself...but beyond that, I would let it go. Some kids rub. Some kids rub a lot. Apparently, some kids rub until they are raw. Not to be innapropriate...but there was a time, when DH and I were newly living together, when we had relations with a frequency which caused more than a little bit of discomfort and chaffing...but it felt really good. Should someone have stopped us?
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