my daughter is 4 years old. a few weeks ago i caught her touching herself. when i did she acted like she knew that it was something she wasn't supposed to do. i asked her about anyone doing it to her or telling her to and she said no but it seems to be getting more and more like masterbation to the point that she had a pillow between her legs and a hand on each side pulling it back and forth so i put socks on her hands and do frequent hand checks. now she seems to be agrevated that she cant do "the nasty" as we have been calling it she withes and wiggles around as if to be trying to create the same sensation. i dont know what to do. i am a single mother and it scares me to think that anything could have happened. i need to know how to make this behavior stop.
For a 4 yr. explorations of all kinds are normal. Her exploration of her genitals is no less innocent than with their belly button or ears. Curosity leads them to there but knowing that it feels good is what brings them there again and again. It may look like masturbation, but in kids this age it is'nt. The feeling may be pleasurable but not sexual. You trying to keep her from doing it will only make it more enticing! And you also don't want her to think that the good felligs she's discovered are wicked or forbidden, instead of normal and healthy. At home ignore the behavior. Touching in public places should be discouraged not b/c there's anything wrong with doing it but b/c it's inappropriate in public-and b/c it could trigger dangerous impulses in a ********* viewing it. So explain to her what's okay to do in public and private and let her know the differences. If she slips up while your out quietly remind her, distract her, and praise her for being "big enough" to save her touching for home. Only rarely it may be related to sexual abuse. If your child seems obsessed contact her doctor.
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