July 29, 2008,
J.D. asks from Meridian, ID on July 15, 2008
5 Year Old Girl Showing Her Private Parts
Hello, my daughter just turned 5 in May and we have been having issues with her showing her private parts. I don't understand why she is doing this. We have talked about them being "private" and how it is inappropriate without making it a big deal. She will be walking around in her swimming suit and will just pull the bottom part over to show me when she knows I am looking at her. Why does she do this? Is it normal? She has also pulled her pants down in front of her 4 year old boy cousin and when asked what she was doing she said "I had to go potty and I wanted him to watch me." It's kind of disturbing to me and I am very curious to know if anyone else is having the same issues and what they did about it. Thank you so much!
2 moms found this helpful
D.C. answers from Boise on July 16, 2008
Ok, this is going to be upsetting and very unpopular, but, this is not normal. I would be concerned as to wether she has saw something she shouldent have, or worse had something bad happen to her. I know no parent wants to face this, but as a servivor of it half my childhood was taken from me. In the very least i would speak with her doctor and see what he sugessts.
L.B. answers from Salt Lake City on July 16, 2008
You mentioned that your are currently at home with your children for the summer. The question that came to me is, who watches your 5 year old when you are working ? My biggest concern is that she could be acting out something that has happened with her while in someone elses care. Of course all children have to learn what is and isn't appropriate, and they will eventually learn, if you are consistant with how you handle it. Is she doing it for attention? If it were my daughter, I would be asking more detailed (not leading) questions about why she keeps doing that.
C.S. answers from Salt Lake City on July 20, 2008
She might have seen someone doing this and she may be copying their actions. I have two boys and the only problem I have with my oldest (five years old) is that he likes to put soft blankets next to his private or watch it wiggle when he is getting ready to get into the bath tub. I'm not sure if it is common or not, but I would definitely talk to her about it and try to see if someone has shown her how to do it without implying it or giving her the idea. I think that at that age they just might be curious about their anatomy and since it is something that they are told not to show they rebel and do it anyway. I know it is really frustrating! I'm sorry I couldn't offer better advice. Good Luck!
R.C. answers from Boise on July 18, 2008
Your a teacher? Then you should know that this kinda of thing is normal. And with you reacting to it will just make her want to do it again. Just ignore her. PLease dont make her feel ashamed with her body. Make it educational everytime you see her drop her pants ask her the proper name for her body. She needs to know. And it will go away. My son did the same thing, We didnt do much with him just told him it was ok to show his body parts,but just do it at home. And now its over. I think alot of parents just over react with this kind of thing.
K.J. answers from Salt Lake City on July 16, 2008
tell her it's not good to show her parts, act disgusted when she does, and show your dissaproval. she's probably just excited about this part of her body, kind of like discovering something you think is cool.
S.B. answers from Denver on July 20, 2008
To a point, I think it is normal. Also, she is geting you reaction. Try to immediately actively ignore her when she does this to you. she found a response, so don't keep giving it to you. Mine did this a bit at just turned 4. We just said: Not interested so what do you want for lunch. Redirect. Mine also had the cousin issue as she was obsessed with him sittin gup to pee when on a houseboat vacation for a week with him. then a week later, my other brother-in-law taught my 2 year old sone to stand and pee. Needless to say, it was a mess aroud here talking about boys and girls. Eventually, it got to be last week's issue.
D.A. answers from Boise on July 29, 2008
I have seen this from two sides. My friends girl would strip down nude every chance she got and was fasinated by what she had... the other side, the little girl was being molested and copying what she saw/done to her... it could be totally normal or it could be more. You know your daughter better than anyone, talk to her and ask questions without being leading... DON'T say did someone show you that, instead say what makes you want to do that... you'll be able to tell by her response if she is just curious about her body (which is completely normal) or if it's something you should be worried about.
R.A. answers from Boise on July 18, 2008
My step son walked around with his hands down his pants at that age. I always told him that if he wants to do that, he can go to his room or somewhere alone, but no one else wants to watch. He would get embarrassed and quit.
A.F. answers from Salt Lake City on July 16, 2008
My first thought was that she may have experienced someone else doing the same thing, or even worse. Yes, kids like to explore their bodies and see what it's all about, but most kids will get the point about modesty and privacy in a short while. If you really feel that she's not getting it, or that she might have had a bad experience, it can't hurt to ask her about it. She needs to know that there are bad people who would do inappropriate things to her and that she needs to be aware and careful. If you've already taught her that, she should know if something inappropriate has happened already and will probably tell you. If it's really nothing and she just isn't listening to you about privacy, then try the time outs or leaving the situation. Anything you can do to let her know that it's serious. Good luck. Hopefully she's not seen something bad.