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My 7 year old daughter is masturbating in school
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My 7 year old daughter is masturbating in school

This started about 3 months ago, I received several phone callse from her teacher and counsler saying that she is having to be asked every day 5-6 times to stop masturbating in class. I spoke to her and explained that it is a very natural thing to do, but also VERY personal and needs to be done so when she is alone. After catching her over and over at home, as well as guests catching her, I finally got her into the habit of closing her bedroom door and doing it in there. The issue with her doing this in school still remains though. I finally decided to take her to her primary care doctor since her insurance does not cover mental health, and was hoping for some advice. After speaking with her for a long while she decided that this was very abnormal behavior for a 7 year old and said it had to be learned somewhere. She then called Child Protective Services on me stating that she needs to be evaluated. I then called a organization that does these evaluations and they assured me that the doctor overreacted and they think my daughter just has an anexiety issue. So... I am still at square one... what do I do to stop it?!!!! I sent her in a pull-up today, thinking if I make it harder to do maybe it will slow it down. Her teacher called though and said that she is really embarassed and that we should find another way to approach it. I am all out of ideas here. I dont know what to do to stop her public masturbation. Please help.
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1212365_tn?1329972136
Hi,
Let me start off by saying that you are actually encouraging such behavior by telling her its okay to do it just in private. Reality is, masturbation is intended for us grown ups and that is something that needs to be established between you and her.
Now have you tried sitting with her and asking her why she does this and where she learned it from? Does she still act like a normal child other than what shes doing? Last question was the teacher embarrassed or your child? If your child was, then i'll keep sending her to school and pull-ups maybe the embarrassment will slow down the public side of the masturbation.....
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Avatar_f_tn
I personally feel that you should never punish a child for this behaviour. I have read about it, and I don’t think it would work. Also you should also determine the reasons for this too. It could be for sexual pleasure (although that is unlikely) while it could also be just her exploring her body.

Children in general do not have the same awareness of privacy as adults, and genuinely do not see the need to do this in private. In my opinion you are correct with what you are saying to her, perhaps add in the fact that she doesn’t see mommy or daddy doing this. Although the lack of modesty usually refers to younger children I feel that with anything children develop at different times and mature differently, so your daughter may not have yet grasped the concept of privacy while her peers may have.

When my now 8 year old son was 5, he had a similar issue with touching he penis in public, although it was not sexually related, it had to be knocked on the head! I blame it more on his immodesty rather than anything else..

However, if it is sexually related, there is to be honest, no way that you could deter this. That would be like me asking my 18 year old son to stop masturbating, it would probably never happen! Although an 18 year old would do it in the privacy of their own bedroom, which shows the fact that it is something that your daughter would grow out of. Its not like this thing happens to all children either, my eldest never did it, and my daughter has never done it, but my 8 year old has.

My one concern is this: When I was 16, there was a Russian girl who was rejoining the school. She had been at the school when she was about 5 and then left to go back to Russia and was returning. Prior to her return, some of the people in my class were recounting memories of her, and she touched herself in class similarly to your daughter. Although they were only 5 at the time, her classmates clearly remembered the way in which their teacher would have to ask her to go and wash her hands. It shows that children remember and notice these things, its not as if I ever judged her for this as I know that it is just something that kids do, but it has stuck in my memory since then and I would hate for the same thing to happen to your daughter and possibly for her to get bullied for it. This just shows the need for this problem to be sorted..I hope this was of use, reading back through it, there isn’t much here apart from reassurance. Basically I feel it is perfectly normal, just don’t punish her and highlight the need for it to be private. Good luck!!
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Avatar_m_tn
Misti 84, don't let anyone make you feel bad for trying to do the right thing for your daughter and trust your instincts. What a ridiculous comment, "masterbation (masturbation) is intended for us adults." Every child explores their body and they should NEVER, EVER feel bad about exploring their bodies and should do it in private. To also make her feel embarrassed is no way to address the issue. This will only make her more anxious, decrease her self-esteem, and create more problems with herself, teachers, and other students. Maybe creating some sort of social story for her would be appropriate for her. To encourage her to engage in activities, practice deep breathing, have a fidget toy in public to create a replacement behavior for her. Also, show pictures of private places (bathroom/bedroom) where it might be appropriate for her to "explore" her body. Of course talk to your daughter about what is bothering her, support her, give her back rubs, hugs, or play relaxing music for her to decrease anxiety so she knows other ways that are appropriate to decrease anxiety (rather than explore her body).  I know this post was old, but just happened to see it and was appalled by the comment above. If you don't know anything about child development and are completely ignorant, maybe you should keep comments to yourself and not offer uneducated advice.
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