Child Masturbating

Has your child developed a habit of putting his hands in his underwear? Does this make you uncomfortable? Learn how do get them to stop.

At some point, most children explore their genitals just as they explore other parts of their bodies. By the age of 5, children need to be told proper manners when it comes to this private activity.

If your child has his hands in his pants, use a quiet and friendly tone and ask him to stop. Tell him that it’s something he should be doing privately, then encourage his interest in another activity.
Some kids don’t bathe their private areas properly, which can cause dry skin or a rash. Check to see that your child isn’t suffering irritation from a rash that’s causing itching.
Some children masturbate when they are bored in front of the TV set. If this is the case, limit the amount of TV your child watches, and when he does watch, give him an activity to play with, or sit beside him while he watches. It’s best if you don’t even mention the habit as a reason for the change in the routine.
If your child has been falling asleep masturbating, change the bedtime routine. Read for him, and when you turn off the light, stay in the room and talk quietly or give him a back rub. Once your child starts to fall asleep, you can leave the room.

If you have religious views that prohibit masturbation, don’t resort to punishment or shame to stop your child, as this can backfire and force your child to hide this activity and then feel guilty and ashamed.

Purchase a book about sexuality and development. Read it yourself first because there’s lots of stuff you may have forgotten and some things you may not even know! Share it with your child at an appropriate time. Let your child know that you’re available to answer any questions.

Wishing you and your family health and happiness.