It is a shocker for many parents when they first discover their little ones rubbing their private parts either with their hands or from side to side against furniture, toys or in bed before going to sleep. It’s a hard idea to associate with your children since you never think of them as sexual beings at this young age, what are they doing?
It couldn’t be masturbation!? But how is that possible they are so young!? Do they even know what they are doing? For many parents along with all the questions, it strikes some fear about the implications of what this could mean and why their children do it.
Many parents tend to tie this behavior with the fact that their children will be more sexually deviant as an adult. Rest assured you have nothing to worry about, around the age of 2 it is commonly observed that some children engage in masturbation. This situation is known to be uncomfortable for parents. You must be aware that this is an aspect of childhood sexuality and can be dealt with in the most understanding ways, without the need of secrecy.
Though masturbation is a very strong word to be used for young children many like to view it as a self-soothing technique instead.
Reasons why Children masturbate?
- Exploration of their bodies
- Feeling unhappy about any change in their routine. For example taking away their pacifier, bottle, diapers etc.
- Reacting to some kind of punishment
- Reacting under pressure from parents to stop masturbation completely.
How should parents react?
- The most common mistake is when parents physically punish their child for masturbation, yell or lecture about it.
- Teach your child that this behavior should be done privately, not in the presence of people:Parents should know that the only thing they can control is where their child masturbates.
- Understand that spending quality time with your child; decreases the chances of this behavior to continue. Therefore, parents should give at least an hour of physical affection, such as hugging, kissing, and playing with their child.
- Masturbation should be dealt with in the right way at school, which is why parents should discuss the situation with the child day care or preschool staff, and inform them about this approach.
Advice to all parents, do not see this as a shameful or embarrassing situation but instead see it as an opportunity to teach your kids about their sexuality and about the differences between public and private activities. And rest assured this behavior will not continue for long. By the age of 5 and 6 they will start being more aware of their actions and will no longer do it publicly.
Do you have any questions regarding this issue?!