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DD's excessive "habit"

(8 Posts)
Nomnouveau Mon 01-Apr-13 21:28:49

I feel very strange writing about this but it's not something I feel comfortable talking to other mums etc about in real life.

From an early age (8mths or so) my DD started exploring her genitals. Ok completely normal and I didn't comment on it.

When she got to about 3 she had started rubbing up against soft toys (again I know completely normal) and rolling around the floor with crossed legs etc. This seemed to happen when she was bored or tired and I know this is supposed to be normal and you aren't supposed to make a big fuss but most people try to encourage their children to go up to their room. I do say that DD shouldn't do this in public and she won't do it in front of other people or at school (she is nearly 5) but she does it in front of me and DP. She does it in the car, when she watches TV and worst of all in bed next to me when I'm trying to read her a story (she asks me to put my arm round her and squiggles and squirms and goes red in the face and I ask her to stop as it makes me uncomfortable as it makes me almost complicit as she uses me to twist up against). Even writing it all down makes me feel uncomfortable.

I do ask her to stop it and tell her to save it for bedtime but because of her age I don't send her up to her room to do it because she probably wouldn't go. My partner says I should ignore it but it happens whenever she is sitting on sofa, watching TV (I try to limit TV), in the car etc. I think it has become almost obsessive.

Really I am just concerned it is going beyond what is normal for a child of her age.

Should I be doing anything- I don't want her to feel uncomfortable about her body or humiliate her but I'm not sure whether I'm condoning something I shouldn't.

I know to her it isn't sexual, it is just pleasure, something she does when bored or tired that has become a habit. I know little boys often have their hands down their pants the whole time but you don't hear many people talking about girls in the same way.

I suppose I just want to know if this is normal, excessive or a sign/red flag for anxiety or a medical condition or I don't know what.

I'd love to hear from people who have experienced similar, or someone in a professional capacity, GP, Psychologist, HV etc

Nomnouveau Mon 01-Apr-13 21:30:45

Please don't think I'm a troll because the subject matter is a bit "sensitive". I have namechanged and HQ would verify.

PigeonPair Mon 01-Apr-13 21:52:32

My DD is into this too and I have posted before. It sounds different to you DD and we call it "leg swinging". She will sit on a hard chair and basically rock back and forward, swinging her legs. She becomes very focused on it and goes into a trance like state!!! I know she gets pleasure from it as when I ask what she is doing she says she has to do it until she gets the "fizzy feeling". Honestly I am half blushing, half sniggering writing this but I do understand how you feel. In the end I told her it was fine to do it as long as she went to her room. As she is on the top floor (of 3) she could hardly ever be bothered to go up there, I also moved her "favourite chair" (a small childs one) so she didn't have that trigger. That seemed to do the trick and she stopped for weeks and weeks. I've noticed it's been creeping in again though recently so will probably move the chair again!

yetanotherworry Mon 01-Apr-13 21:57:31

My dd used to do this but fortunately it seemed to have stopped when she started school. I used to tell her it was a private thing to do and she should just do it in her room. If she did it when I was reading her bedtime story, I would just tell her that if she was doing her private thing then I would leave the room.

Branleuse Mon 01-Apr-13 21:59:02

my dd does it occasionally, but not to that extent, but i believe its pretty common, and i dont think kids would be traumatised by you telling them to get their hands out of their pants, or whatever. Ive told my dd to stop touching her foo as she will make it sore. I wouldnt be averse to telling her it was rude and to go and do it in her room if she must.

MrsWhirling Mon 01-Apr-13 21:59:47

My DD5 does this too - quite a lot. She lays down and actually rubs through her clothes. It's awful because I can hear her panting and grunting!!! When we're in the kitchen she will go in the front room and close the door or if I am tidying upstairs she will go to her room. We always know what she is doing because it is the only time she will stay in a room alone with the door shut. She's been doing this since she was about 3. I too wonder if it is normal forbher to do it so much and I know I shouldn't but I have recently started to tell her off after letting her do it for a while as she makes herself sore. I'm cringing writing this too. It's awful!

4posterbed Mon 01-Apr-13 22:25:42

My dds have done it for as long as I can remember, yet my ds does not and I thought it would be the other way round!

I think they are fortunate as I did not 'explore' and did not find out what they've found out until my 20s!

You will find they will become naturally more self conscious as they get older. My eldest is 13 and never does it in public, nor has it made her more promiscuous. My 10 yo dd still does it in the lounge but stops if someone comes in the room.

When I talked about it with them when they were tiny, they said it was tickly/funny. I didn't shame them either, just said it was something they should do in private.

I must say I also was alarmed when I heard my 1st dd grunting and go red faced and do under the sofa to be private when only about 2 but I can safely say, it does them no harm and they grow up completely normal!

Why would hands and fingers be perfectly designed for this if it was not supposed to happen?!!

Many told little boys they would go blind if they 'explored' in the past which is far more shameful.

Nomnouveau Tue 02-Apr-13 19:36:15

Thanks everyone. I knew I would not be alone in dealing with this and it's interesting to hear your similar experiences and your ways of dealing with it. Good to know I'm not the only one who feels a bit embarrassed by it too.

I know it is natural for them to "explore". It's the frequency and obsessiveness that was starting to alarm me as I didn't expect this until the the teenage years although by then I'm sure and I hope it's something I won't know about anyway!

Funnily enough, for the first time in ages, don't think DD did it at all today!

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