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Advice please, dd's (4) habit of touching herself

(15 Posts)
Fuzzypeggy Wed 10-Feb-16 21:48:38

Any advice would be welcomed. Dd is 4. Since she was about 1 she has rubbed her private bits (sorry, don't know how to say it really). I was mortified at first especially when she did it in public, and none of my friends dds do this. Getting older, she has stopped doing this in public and I have told her she can only do this in private in her bed, as her private area is private and needs to stay this way. She completely follows this but I know she still does it a lot. When I check her after she's gone to bed, she has fallen asleep with her hands there. Whilst I would rather she had a childhood without doing this, and discovered this when older but I can't change that and I have accepted it. Dh disagrees and thinks that if we had told her to stop this a while ago then we could have stopped it entirely and she would have forgotten about it. I don't think she would have stopped anyway, she would have carried on in bed IMO but I also think we shouldnt tell her she can do this, it is her body after all, it's not sexual at this age and I don't want to shame her into having a complex about it when she's older. I guess I also worry that she might talk about it to children when she starts school in sept although I have told her it is private Does anyone have any advice Or experience of this? any views on whether I am right in this approach or should I listen to dh?

Fuzzypeggy Wed 10-Feb-16 21:50:03

Typo, I meant I don't think we should tell her she CANT do this

janethegirl2 Wed 10-Feb-16 21:51:49

I'd ignore it if you can. The bigger the issue you make, the more she'll do it.

quicklydecides Wed 10-Feb-16 21:52:53

It's normal for that age. You'll find that she grows out of it.
Then she will rediscover it as a teenager when it becomes sexual.
But for now, it's just a comfort thing.
Please just ignore it and stop noticing and stop worrying.

QuietWhenReading Wed 10-Feb-16 21:57:21

We had this.

She did it lots between the ages of 3 and 4 and then it tailed off.

We were strict about it being a private thing and about washing her hands before eating but didn't make any other comment.

I haven't seen her do it since then so either she doesn't or she keeps it very private.

How would your DH feel about this if you had a DS? Would he say not to do it?

elQuintoConyo Wed 10-Feb-16 22:06:49

I found mine at that age. Used to hump a rather large teddy bear because it felt nice. Parents did nothing but say that it was something to do in private, and that was it. I grew up with no shame surrounding it, as it should be imvho.

Conversely, my 4yo son doesn't touch himself. Ever. Both behaviours are pretty normal, I'd say.

Lurkedforever1 Wed 10-Feb-16 22:11:28

I think it's entirely normal, and your approach of it being ok in private but not public is absolutely the right approach. I can think of several girls who did the same (their mums are friends) and stopped age 6ish as far as anyone can tell. Although now teens so probably began again!

And as a mum whose dd was told by her friend she did it age 4/5, I wouldn't worry on that count either. It went along the lines of 'mummy, x said she likes touching herself like this when she's in bed. So I tried it but I like holding my toy when I'm in bed'. Me 'ok'.

Fuzzypeggy Wed 10-Feb-16 22:23:30

Thanks for the responses so far. Good to see that you all think I'm on the right track. Also good to know that some of you have experience of this, always seems like I'm the only one!
Re the qu about what dh would say if we had a ds, I'm really not sure. I'd have to ask him, possibly not as concerned but I don't know

BarbarianMum Thu 11-Feb-16 09:53:12

It is normal and natural for her to touch herself because it feels nice. Lots of girls do it. Your job is to teach her to do it privately, not shame her about it. Little boys as you know are renown for fiddling and no-one worries about that, do they? They just try to discourage it in public.

goodnightdarthvader1 Thu 11-Feb-16 13:52:27

Whilst I would rather she had a childhood without doing this

Whaaaaaaaaaaat? Agree with pps - this is totally normal. I mean, christ, boys can't go 5 seconds without putting their hands down their pants or showing their penis to everyone else. Just because she's a girl doesn't mean she's any different, she's exploring her body and how nice it feels.

Just KOKO and telling her that it's private, for in bed only. If she talks about it to other kids, so what? They're probably doing it too.

I suspect your DH would egging on his DS, as penises are apparently awesome and everyone wants to know about them hmm

Thurlow Thu 11-Feb-16 13:58:16

DD has been through stages of doing this. Like you, we just say it's something that is private and should really just be done in her bedroom. She tends to do it more when she's tired, and often sleeps with a toy or her hands between her legs for comfort.

Fuzzypeggy Thu 11-Feb-16 14:00:55

Thanks for the unhelpful comment there, how an you possibly say that my husband would be egging a ds on to touch himself because penises are so awesome?? What an unhelpful thing to say and quite offensive actually

Fuzzypeggy Thu 11-Feb-16 14:01:36

Thanks for the helpful responses. Glad you al think it's normal and I'm doing ok with it

goodnightdarthvader1 Thu 11-Feb-16 19:50:36

Your DH thinks you should stop your DD touching herself. Leads me to conclude he may have some misogynistic issues with female sexuality and their bodies. Men like that usually don't apply those standards to boys.

I may be wrong. I hope for your DD's sake that I am.

Tillytoes14 Thu 11-Feb-16 21:49:02

I have never seen my oldest son with his hand down his pants, he's 9 now, so it's probably something he does in private. However, my 4 year old son has his hands down his pants a lot, particularly when I'm reading him a story in the evening before bedtime, when he's tired, I think it's a comfort thing to be honest. It's all normal and a natural part of discovering ones body smile

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