8 Yr Masturbates At School
by MomInNeedofHelp, Apr 18, 2007
I am at my wits end about this issue with my 8yr daughter.  She is currently in the 2nd grade and we found out in 1st grade that she masturbates during class.  This happens 2-3 times each day at school. We told her that it was fine to do so as long as it took place in private like at home in her room.  She seems to understand when we talk to her, but the problem has continued thru 2nd grade. We don't really know if its anxiety related, just a bad habit or poor impulse control. Other than this issue, at school, she is an excellent student, well liked by classmates, but somewhat introverted. It has not affected her work and tends to occur when she is somewhat bored and at her desk.  Her teacher says my daughter doesn't appear to be stressed and corrects the issue by asking her to sit up straight or hands on the desk.  At home, she is overall a good child, but tends to have a short temper, has a few irrational tantrums that blow over quickly, shows some fears of being alone during the daytime and especially at bedtime.  We had her evaluated by a social clinician last year who determined her to have some mild anxiety and generalized fears.  We've tried to follow the suggestions the clinician suggested and overall, my daughter's behavior has improved, but the masturbation at school has continued.  Also, she occasionally (1-2 per day) does this at home, but always in her room.  Can you provide any suggestions to control this behavior?  Should we seek more mental health help for her?  Any advice would be appreciated.  Thank you.
by Kevin Kennedy, Ph.D.Blank, Apr 18, 2007
It's time to treat the matter just as you would any other example of not doing what she is told. It's OK to have her earn some privilege she likes at home (e.g., viewing television) by adhering to behavioral expectations at school, including refraining from masturbation. You can ignore the fact that the behavior is masturbation and focus solely on the matter of doing as she is told.
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Member Comments (4)
by Cervantes, Apr 18, 2007
I right i am going to give you some advise but you are not going to like it. Children have feeling and they explore but your child has become obessive.

To me, this is a red flag for sexual abuse, she may seem happy and healthy, as many children are - but i would definately look into this option - I have had several expirences with this and constant need for gradification is usually one of the most visable signs for children who are being touched. They feel the need to get the satisfaction that being molested forces on their body.

I know that you are probably freaking out but that is usually the case when i hear this type of situation.
by MomInNeedofHelp, Apr 18, 2007

I'm pretty sure you're wrong about this.  I have been my daughter's primary and pretty much only caretaker since she was born.  She has not been to any sleepovers and doesn't hardly have any contact with older children or other adults without my presence.  I know the exact time when she discovered her private areas and began this issue at preschool, but her teachers never said anything about it until 1st grade.  Her doctor said that was because it is thought of as normal if children masturbate at school and only becomes an issue if the child doesn't stop beyond Kindergarten.  Plus her doctor ruled out sexual abuse during her evaluation period.
by MomInNeedofHelp, Apr 18, 2007
Thank you for your quick response.