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#1 of 27 Old 10-19-2004, 04:14 PM - Thread Starter
 
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My Dd really is getting into masturbating. My question is at what age should I start to set limits to teach her where and when it is appropriate to masturbate? So far I have only been suggesting that she needs clean hands when touching herself because she tends to be a bit rough and I don't want her to get an infection. I will admit I feel a little strange to be nursing her and having her masturbating away in my lap. So when did you start to teach your DC that masturbating was something to be done in private ie their room?
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#2 of 27 Old 10-19-2004, 04:22 PM
 
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As soon as they started doing it, I taught them that it was fine to do, but something that is best done in private, and to always wash hands before and after. No way would I be comfy with my 2yo doing it while nursing. Huh uh.
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#3 of 27 Old 10-19-2004, 04:33 PM
 
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Ditto the pp.
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#4 of 27 Old 10-19-2004, 04:36 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I don't want to exaggerate. She touches herself but she is not masturbating in any sort of coordinated way as I would do if I were to masturbate KWIM? It's not like she's humping in my lap or anything. My parents were just extrememly strict about nudity and masturbating and I guess I don't want to send signals that what she's doing is dirty or wrong. She is not extremely verbal. If I send her to her room when she tries to masturbate how do I avoid making her feel she is being punished?
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#5 of 27 Old 10-19-2004, 04:53 PM
 
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I wouldn't think that just touching oneself qualifies.

I've also noticed that some little children will touch their genitals if they can tell that you're bothered. How old is she? If only 2, I'd think that you probably are best just ignoring it.

That's what we do.
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#6 of 27 Old 10-19-2004, 04:56 PM
 
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My kids never felt punished. I just told them that our privates are for in private. It's not like they are being punished and sent to their rooms for touching themselves. Delivery is key..just be understanding and kind, and they'll know they aren't in trouble. Although it might be harder since you've been letting her do it in public for awhile.
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#7 of 27 Old 10-19-2004, 04:59 PM
 
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When I see my children digging into the genitals, I ask them what's going on. Same as I would for them digging in their noses. If it's more of a butt digging, I offer them a wet washcloth to rub in case it itches. I usually suggest that we do this in the bathroom. As for doing it while nursing? NO WAY! Maybe it's just because I'm pregnant, but I'm very picky about what they do when they nurse. No pinching my arm pits, no poking my belly button, no pooping in diapers... I mean, I don't freak out, I just matter of factly state that it's not something to do while nursing and they can choose to do that activity OR nurse.
My daughter has tried sticking cheerios up her vagina but then she feels irritated later and I tell her it's because she put food up there. She finally got it recently and stopped putting things up there. I've never seen either of my children activity masturbate. I don't really count exploring fingers as masturbation though.
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#8 of 27 Old 10-19-2004, 05:19 PM
 
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wasabi , is your dd still in diapers? If so, changing a diaper, or dressing her, before nursing might be an option. And in general, even if out of diapers, it's gotta be harder to touch herself in public if she's dressed. Why not turn down the heat a bit in your home, and don't discourage underwear-wearing? Sounds like she's often nude and that you don't want to restrict her nudity, but in your place I'd either try to explain the "touching your genitals is for private places only" rule -- and even if your dd is not very verbal, she should be able to hear and understand this with consistent repetition -- or to just plain make it more difficult for her, for a while, until she *does* follow the rule.

The only thing you owe to others is to behave with integrity.
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#9 of 27 Old 10-19-2004, 05:35 PM - Thread Starter
 
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To answer some questions that were asked:
She just turned two last week. She actually has not been doing it very long at all. Not more than a month or so. I think exploring is a good word for what she is doing at this point. Just sort of checking things out. She has only recently become nude more often since she can take off her own clothes. Our house is usually only 65-67 degrees and yet she's still happy to run around nude. She is also very resistant to keeping her diaper on. Until yesterday if she did keep her diaper on she would not touch herself but yesterday she discovered she could just put her hand down the front of her diaper (Pull-up) and still reach herself. She's been very interested in the potty and is showing awareness of when she needs to go so we were looking to start training and were planning to follow the Dr. Sears method of having her be naked which is part of the reason that I haven't really pushed the issue of diapers if she insists on taking hers off. She also nurses a lot and is not at all on a set schedule so changing her diaper before she nurses is not really an option. She doesn't ever touch herself in public because she's too busy checking out the world. She only does it at home.

For those who sent their child to their room does it matter that she doesn't really have a room? What about allowing her to do it say on the couch but under a blanket? Earlier when she started touching herself I was did tell her she could nurse or touch herself but not touch herself while nursing. I was also able to get her to put on a pair of her new training pants. Maybe she'll be more interested in keeping those on?
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#10 of 27 Old 10-19-2004, 06:25 PM
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My first is now 3.5 years old, and has come through that stage. She spent about 6 months naked as we were working on the potty thing. I asked her (nicely, and gently) to not touch her vagina/vulva when she was sitting/nursing on my lap. We decided not to make her leave the room because she wouldn't understand, and it was upsetting to her to have to leave us. So we started by making the not on the lap rule. She dealt with it really well. Occasional reminders, but no hard feelings or anything.

When she was a little older (around 2.5-3) we started in on how it was fine to touch herself, but that it should be done in another room or in the bathroom. She is a lot less sensitive about needing to be with us at all times, so this worked fine. There were a couple of cute times where we suggested she go to her room if she wanted to touch herself. She ran to her room (hand still firmly between her legs be there for a few moments, run back out again announcing that she was all done.

If she's becoming potty aware, maybe she is touching herself when she feels like she might need to pee? This was one of my dd's cues (of course she did it other times too, so it was kinda confusing).

There is no reason why you can't put limits on what she does in public areas of your house, public areas outside, or on your lap, while still maintaining her sense of curiosity of her body, and understanding that she is not doing anything wrong/dirty.


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#11 of 27 Old 10-19-2004, 07:10 PM
 
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You should tell her the momnent she starts doing it that she should only do it in her room or in the bathroom while she is alone.
Make sure to let her know that it;s not dirty or bad.

I wouls not allow it to be done during nursing. Masturbation is a private thing..not something you do while laying in mommy's lap.
Now my little DS will sometimes grab at his penis while he is nursing, but he just likes to hold onto to something. I don;t consider that masturbation.
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#12 of 27 Old 10-20-2004, 07:28 PM
 
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Both of my two oldest daughters have done this. My oldest daughter stop around 4 1/2. My three year is now doing it. I just explained to her if she needs to do that she needs to go into her bedroom in privacy. That way there is not a big issue made over it.
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#13 of 27 Old 10-20-2004, 07:59 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for the suggestions. I guess at this time I don't feel that my child has any understanding of the concept of privacy or so her behavior when I want some indicates. :LOL I think for now until she is more verbal I will just focus on hand-washing and not doing it in my lap.

Bec she may well be doing it because she is feeling an urge to potty or just in her growing awareness of potty functions. She was also really interested in her butt for a while.
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#14 of 27 Old 10-20-2004, 09:48 PM
 
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I am actually not a fan of the "go to your room to do that." I don't think kids getting pleasure from touching themselves is "masterbation." I think of it more as thumb sucking (physical/sensual pleasure), and I wouldn't ask my child to do thumb suck in private.

Kids are "sexual," but this sexuality isn't like adult sexuality. It is more sensuality. I think we go the privates=privete route because we are projecting adult sexuality on to behavior that is child sensuality.

I plan on letting my kid do whatever in the house (though I'd ask her not to "fidget" while nursing because I'd find it distracting ), but I'd explain that adults who touch thier genitals are experienceing sexual feelings and, though she won't have adult sexual feeling touching herself till she is a preadolent, sexual feelings are highly charged enough in our culture for her to refrain from touching herself outside of the house. (wow, guess I am going to have to work on the wording of that before I actually use it ).

BTW, do y'all make your husband/partner wash his hands before/after sex? Just the whole handwashing thing caught me off gaurd. I never wash my hands before/after (and I've never had an infection). And though I'll buy the infection explanation for before - why after?
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#15 of 27 Old 10-20-2004, 11:37 PM
 
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sorry, but I always told my kids it was totally rude to touch their private parts in public. This would usually get a laugh and a "so I can do it in private" to which I would say, "well I guess that's up to you."

I only had one child who did this a lot and with enough reminders she stopped. She never seemed trauamatized by my reminders or looked like she felt punished. She would do it as a response to stress or if she was zoning out like watching TV.

As far as I'm concerned it's sort of like picking your nose. When I see them picking their noses I tell them to stop too.
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#16 of 27 Old 10-20-2004, 11:50 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ms. Frizzle
You should tell her the momnent she starts doing it that she should only do it in her room or in the bathroom while she is alone.
Make sure to let her know that it;s not dirty or bad.
imo, the problem w/ this is that even if you "say" it is not bad, if you are having them go in a different place to do this activity, they are going to know it is "differeni", which often means bad in our society. i think 2 is just too young to put a child into a room for a prescripbed behavior.
kids, and people in general, have too many sexual hang ups. and i certainly i don't think they should start having them this early.

wasabi, it sounds like you got a good grip on the situation. although i personally wouldn't make a big deal of it if she is generally exploring whle nursing either.

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#17 of 27 Old 10-20-2004, 11:57 PM
 
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It's a private thing and if she wants to do it, she needs to go somewhere private to do so. That worked for us.
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#18 of 27 Old 10-21-2004, 12:10 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mamawanabe
I am actually not a fan of the "go to your room to do that." I don't think kids getting pleasure from touching themselves is "masterbation." I think of it more as thumb sucking (physical/sensual pleasure), and I wouldn't ask my child to do thumb suck in private.

Kids are "sexual," but this sexuality isn't like adult sexuality. It is more sensuality. I think we go the privates=privete route because we are projecting adult sexuality on to behavior that is child sensuality.
wasabi - my dd3 is almost the same age (11/22) and she does the same thing, while nursing, when her diaper is off, doesn't bother me a bit. I don't think she's verbal/old enough to understand the "go to your room" thing and it's totally exploratory. My dd2 did the same thing at the same age as well, just before potty training and I never made a big deal (or any deal) about her doing it either. She doesn't really touch herself at all now. It hasn't been an issue with her (3yo) or my dd1 (now 5yo).

My younger sister used to masturbate up to Kindergarten and my parents just did the "private thing in a private place" thing. At that point, if my child were still doing this, I would probably implement the "in your room" rule and also explain that no one else is allowed to touch you there and you don't touch others, that's not appropriate, but at 2yo, I just don't see it as a big deal at all.

And I thought I was a prude. I guess not?

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#19 of 27 Old 10-21-2004, 12:42 AM
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I agree about sending a non-verbal (or even very clingy) child away. They won't understand. That is why I would set dd1 down to do this.

I waited until she would understand, and not be frightened by it. She asked me why. I told her (with some fumbling. Hey, it was my first time at it) that when she touched herself there, it can feel very good and cause some very strong emotions, and that she might not want to share those emotions with everybody, and everybody might not want to share those emotions with her. I also took that opportunity to tell her that she is the only one that is allowed to touch herself (now that she's potty trained, I feel confident saying that to her. Before, it would have been too complicated considering diaper changes and the like.), and she is the only one that may give permission for someone to touch her (like a doctor or parent who is helping her clean herself). I also told her to tell me if anyone ever does touch her there (can you tell I've been reading Protecting The Gift?).

To the OP, if this is a potty readiness signal, I might simply ask her if she wants to sit on the potty whenever she touches herself.


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#20 of 27 Old 11-01-2004, 05:56 PM
 
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#21 of 27 Old 11-02-2004, 08:42 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mamawanabe
BTW, do y'all make your husband/partner wash his hands before/after sex? Just the whole handwashing thing caught me off gaurd. I never wash my hands before/after (and I've never had an infection). And though I'll buy the infection explanation for before - why after?
After every time I have touched my (or dh's) genital area, I wash my hands. Whether I have wiped after peeing or pooping or have touched it sexually... it doesn't matter. I wash my hands before doing anything else. It's just good manners/good hygiene practice.

Do you not wash your hands between touching your genital area and preparing food?
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#22 of 27 Old 11-02-2004, 08:52 PM
 
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My daughter is 30 months and she has been doing it for about a year. For her, it is definately more than exploration. She gets flushed, sweaty, grunts, and lets out a little sigh when she's done. Sometimes she even says, "There!" She also has her own word for mastubation: Nanu-nunu. No idea where she got this! She is just now *sort of * able to understand that she needs to go into another room to do this. When it first started, I definately felt afraid that she would feel as if she was being punished if she was sent into another room, so we just turned our heads, embarrassing as it may have been. Recently I have started gently telling her that it is something that people do in private and could she please go in the bedroom. She has started to sometimes go into the other room and then she usually gets distracted by something in there and forgets why she went in.

My dh is a lot more bothered by it than I am and I have caught him telling her to "cut it out."
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#23 of 27 Old 11-02-2004, 08:59 PM
 
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Immediately I told her to do it alone. I would be very uncomfortable having my child touch her genitals while sitting in my lap.

Mom of a 7 yr old, 4 yr old, and 1 yr old. Wow. How did that happen?
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#24 of 27 Old 11-02-2004, 09:16 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I thought I was a prude until I read the responses here too. :LOL A friend IRL is a MDC mod and when I told her I posted something about masturbating limits she asked if I got flamed (meaning for even suggesting there should be limits). Anyway thanks for the advice I just don't think it's applicable to my child at this time.
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#25 of 27 Old 11-02-2004, 11:28 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Corvus
After every time I have touched my (or dh's) genital area, I wash my hands. Whether I have wiped after peeing or pooping or have touched it sexually... it doesn't matter. I wash my hands before doing anything else. It's just good manners/good hygiene practice.

Do you not wash your hands between touching your genital area and preparing food?
I wash my hands befor preparing food no matter what. THAT is good hygene practice.

So you get up out of bed and wash your hands and then return to bed to sleep?

I don't think my vaginal secretions are any more gross than my sweat, and I don't wash my hands after I touch my sweaty face. People have different "clean" issues, I guess. Just wanted to make sure there wasn't something more to it.
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#26 of 27 Old 11-02-2004, 11:38 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mamawanabe
I wash my hands befor preparing food no matter what. THAT is good hygene practice.

So you get up out of bed and wash your hands and then return to bed to sleep?

I don't think my vaginal secretions are any more gross than my sweat, and I don't wash my hands after I touch my sweaty face. People have different "clean" issues, I guess. Just wanted to make sure there wasn't something more to it.
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#27 of 27 Old 11-03-2004, 01:46 AM
 
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Closing at the OP's request.
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