Name: Ben & Kim
Number of kids: 1
Ages of kids: 1 1/2 years
Problem: Our daughter cant seem to keep her hands away from her genital area. We are wondering if this is just a phase or if we should be worried about what's going on at daycare or elsewhere. Any advice would be helpful.
Solution submitted by Rene from Oakland, CA: My 3 year old likes to press her genitals onto objects like her rocking chair or rocking horse. It is obvious that she is deriving pleasure from the pressure and she will totally tune out other people when she does it. We began to tell her that it was ok to do that but that it was something people do when they are alone. When she starts to do it while we're in the room we remind her again. The only problem is sometimes she yells at us because she wants "to be alone." I am assuming that her activity is normal and she will eventually understand that masturbation is done when no one else is with you. (I don't believe masturbation is the right word but it is the closest word I can think of that describes what she is doing.)
Another solution submitted by Dr. Jeffrey Rosenbaum from Livonia, MI: Do not be concerned! At the current age of your child, this is appropriate exploring behaviour. They are learning about their bodies. Typically, as they get older, I tend to instruct parents to use terms like behaviour, or words which are appropriate for the bathroom, or when they are by themselves. By doing this, you are not giving them things to "shock" you with, when they wish to misbehave.