26 answers

7 Year Old Girl Touching Herself

Well, I don't know how to react, my daughter did it yesterday while watching tv, she says it's not the first time. I know they explore their bodies and all, but I'm angry anyways. She was watching tv, and a friend was there, and she did it anyways, with a friend there. They didn't do anything together, the other one asked her what she was doing (she had her clothes on) and then she realized that the other one noticed and that she was in trouble, so she went and told me that she had done something that she wasn't suppose to. Any ideas how to deal with it??? I'm sooo disappointed and mad, I don't know why, but I am, maybe I want my daughter to be perfect???? she's such a great student, but right now all I can think of is this.

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

Thanks everyone! She did tell me yesterday that she does it because it tickles, and it feels good. I am mad at myself, maybe I should have said that, because I'm angry, I know it's natural and all, but I can't help but get mad, so I'm mad at myself too, if that makes sense, sorry, it's hard to explain. Thanks to everybody and your stories helped me to see that a lot of moms go thru the same, so a lot of kids. I guess it upset me that she did it in front of somebody else, and she's 7, she knows what private means. Well, everything will get better. I know she is perfect in her own little way, all kids are, but I don't want to be expecting too much of her, or being "pushy" too much. Well, I'm gonna leave it here, because I'm making a mess of myself. Thank you ladies!

Featured Answers

First of all, it's not the end of the world. I did it a lot myself as a very young child because it felt good and not a lot else around me did. Even in preschool I knew it was a good way to diffuse the stress I felt. Do not be disappointed or feel she's not perfect. It isn't about you. Tell her in private that if she feels that's something she needs to so, to do it in private, with her door closed.

1 mom found this helpful

My personal opinion is this is quite normal. I think the part you need to worry about is her doing it in front of people. My son used to do this (he is 7)without thinking and I sat down with him and told him it was very inappropriate to do that in front of people but that I understood he wanted to explore his body but to do it alone. He has stopped. Anytime I see him doing it in the room while watching tv even if no one is in there.....I tap him and he stops. He forgets. I have since found him in the shower fiddling but he now gets embarrassed so he stops when I come in. Thank goodness!!!
Also, I remember being a young girl and having a friend who used to do this. She used to tell me very innocently 'Have you ever tried this because it kinda feels good' well, I didnt then but I did when I was much older. Try not to be angry and make her think she is bad just teach her to be respectful of others and be alone whilst doing it. We are certainly in a society that tries to be perfect so I work daily in trying to change that with my outlook as a parent.
Goodluck!

1 mom found this helpful

You shouldn't get mad or make her feel that she is doing something completely wrong or she may feel ashamed of her body. You should explain to her that what she is doing is normal, but that there is an appropriate time and place. Explain that touching should be done in private only and only by her - NO ONE ELSE. It is awesome that she came to you to tell you what she had done. If you react negatively or get mad at her, she may not tell you later when it is REALLY important! Good luck! I know its got to be hard! I have one girl now and another on the way...I am just waiting for this time to come!

More Answers

Wow. All the comments are really shocking to me. I am a devout Christian and didn't realize that so many people feel that it is okay for a "child" to masterbate as long as she/he does it in private. Let's call a spade a spade.

Yes, it is normal to children to be curious about their bodies. But it is our responsibility to guide and direct them.

K., sounds like you do not want your child touching herself. I have 2 girls and from a young age I taught them about there bodies and that there private parts were private. I do not agree with masterbation and I taught them (lovingly) that we are to respect our bodies and there private areas are God given and very special and should not be "played" with and touched inappropriately by anyone not even themselves. There are many other ways to comfort and relax themselves which doesn't include touching there private parts.

This is just my view because it sounds like you are not okay with her "touching" herself.

Talk to her about it during a nice quiet time and explain why she should touch herself. Make sure she understands that she is not a bad person for doing it. I definitely wouldn't punish her or react angrily but if you see her doing it just remind her about your conversation and give her something else to do.

Sorry in advance to all the moms who don't agree with my viewpoint.

D.

3 moms found this helpful

I am offended that a grown woman is mad and angry with a 7 y.o. for doing something completely natural. Touching your vagina feels good! God made it feel good so we would, eventually, procreate. It is our job as parents to teach boundaries without adding our own hang ups to it. Perhaps you should talk to your pediatrician. Treat it like picking your nose- it is something that we some times do and it should be done in private. And the stronger you react to it the more she might rebel against you and do it more.

2 moms found this helpful

Hi K.:

I have been down this road before. My daughter also did the touching thing. I immediately thought that someone was doing it to her, so I ended up taking her to her ped. From what I was told children are just exploring their bodies. They are apparently understanding that they have different parts and are just amazed by them. SHE WILL GROW OUT OF IT. However, in the mean time as long as you know that no one else is touching her, don't make her feel ashamed of her body. Simply tell her that somethings are not appropriate. She is your perfect girl regardless!! Trust me when I say...you ain't seen nothing yet. If it makes you feel better, my daughter told me that boys have been asking for her to be their girlfriend!! This will be just drop in the river of her life. Best of luck to you and your daughter.

2 moms found this helpful

Relax mom! I know it's easier said than done, but your daughter is doing something very normal and natural. I think that does make her perfect! What she needs to learn are the social rules. Be very careful with this one... you don't want to shame her or make her feel guilty about her body or sexuality. If I was in your shoes, I'd tell her it's ok to touch her body, but touching private places should be done privately. She'll figure it out - by getting older if nothing else. Best if you handle it, instead of her friends. Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful

My personal opinion is this is quite normal. I think the part you need to worry about is her doing it in front of people. My son used to do this (he is 7)without thinking and I sat down with him and told him it was very inappropriate to do that in front of people but that I understood he wanted to explore his body but to do it alone. He has stopped. Anytime I see him doing it in the room while watching tv even if no one is in there.....I tap him and he stops. He forgets. I have since found him in the shower fiddling but he now gets embarrassed so he stops when I come in. Thank goodness!!!
Also, I remember being a young girl and having a friend who used to do this. She used to tell me very innocently 'Have you ever tried this because it kinda feels good' well, I didnt then but I did when I was much older. Try not to be angry and make her think she is bad just teach her to be respectful of others and be alone whilst doing it. We are certainly in a society that tries to be perfect so I work daily in trying to change that with my outlook as a parent.
Goodluck!

1 mom found this helpful

I agree that children seem to "explore" however I think you need to sit down and have a serious conversation with your daughter. I am not saying anything has "happened" but better be safe than sorry.
I have twin daughters and they were basically raised around my nephews and their sister (my neice). They moved away from here to a different state and we went to visit them for a weekend. Two weeks after we got back I caught them both in a very sexual position and I was freaked out of course. After questioning them both I found out that weekend that my nephew had touched them inappropriately.
I believed them because they were only 4 at the time and didn't think that a 4 year olds could just come up with a lie to such a degree. My thought was they had to of seen or had something done to them in order to learn what I witnessed.
My nephew did finally fess up to it to some degree but I know what my daughters did and I know what they told me and I believe them over my nephew-period. I realize that my girls are not complete angels but I just had to go with my gut-unfortunately it was right. I personally do not speak to my brother-in-law or sister-in-law because of the situation and how they handled it, and it breaks my heart in two because my kids were always so close to their cousins. I now have to worry about "parties" because I don't trust my girls not to do this same type of thing to someone elses child. I feel alot of guilt but honestly it was something out of my control and I would have never imagined that my nephew would do something like this. It is so much easier to hate a stranger for doing something like this to your child than it is a "family" member. The relationship as a whole has been ruined and I have forgiven my nephew because he himself was a victim somewhere down the line. My brother-in-law and sister-in-law refused to take him to see anyone besides the preist of their catholic church to explain to him that it was wrong in God's eyes. They said they really couldn't "afford" to take him to see a professional. As a whole I think the whole situation could have been resolved a whole lot better than what it was-but what is done-is done. Follow your gut and you might just want to contact a child psycholigist just to get some direction on "how" to question her if you don't feel comfortable enough doing it on your own. I hope and pray that exploration is all-but this day and time you just never ever know and I would have a serious conversation with her. At least she is 7 rather than 4 she would have a little more understanding than my girls were at the time my situation occurred.

1 mom found this helpful

First of all, it's not the end of the world. I did it a lot myself as a very young child because it felt good and not a lot else around me did. Even in preschool I knew it was a good way to diffuse the stress I felt. Do not be disappointed or feel she's not perfect. It isn't about you. Tell her in private that if she feels that's something she needs to so, to do it in private, with her door closed.

1 mom found this helpful

I have to agree with the others here... it is totally natural, and while we all know this, it's still a shock to see it. I haven't had this experience with my kids (they're too young), but as a teacher, I've had parents ask me about it. Your best bet is to do what the other moms have said... tell her it's normal, and that you know it feels good and is somewhat of a curiosity to her, but that it's best done in private, just like changing your clothes. And if you see her doing it, just remind her. Don't stress, but don't worry too much about your feelings about this, either-- it's also normal for you to be upset about it, because it's an emotionally charged issue for many of us.

1 mom found this helpful

It is completely normal. My child is almost 3 so I have not had to deal with that yet. However, I babysat 2 different children when I was younger, one girl, one boy, different families and at age 5 I saw each of them touch their selves while watching tv. It was over their clothing and I didn't know what to do so I just walked out the room and came back in a minute. They had stopped and honestly I do not even think they realized what they were doing. Yes, they might think it feels good but more than likely they do not even realize the sexual part of it. I was only 13 at the time and when I saw the first child do it I told my mom about it and she said she thought is was normal but if I saw it again I should say something to the mom and tell the child that they do not do that in front of people. I never saw them do it again.

K.,
Try not to be too upset. She is young and is just doing something that feels good to her. Just explain to her that touching herself is something that she can do privately in her own bedroom.

It is totally normal and natural for her to explore her body. Unless she has watched some after hours movie, or someone told her, she doesn't know what that area is for except for going to the bathroom. But don't think that just because she is 7yrs old, she doesn't have feelings in that area either. And yes, even to her at a young age, it probably feels good when she does it, she doesn't know why but hey, it feels good so keep doing it. You can't get mad at her for it. You need to sit her down and get her to open up to you about it. Ask her why she thinks she does it, etc. But if you are the slighest bit angry, mad, upset, etc, she isn't going to tell you much because she is going to be afraid of getting in trouble. And if she gets in trouble for it, the more she is likly to go hide some place and do it and not just let it be a phase.

Just explain to her that it is ok to explore, in her room, in private and that if she ever has any questions that she can come to you. This is your chance mom to open that door for when she goes into the tween stage and the teen stage to keep that open mom/daughter relationship so she can come to you 6yrs from now and tell you about the boy that makes her heart and feet feel like they are floating away!! Don't shut that door before you even have a chance to open it to her.

As far as your daughter being perfect. She still is. I don't know what you mean by what you said, but all children are perfect, they just need proper guideance to grow up in this ever changing world we live in.

Good luck
S.

First, you need to ask yourself why are you mad at your daughter for doing something that is innocent and natural? Next, you may want to explain to your daughter that touching herself is a normal thing, but it is also a private thing that she may do when she is alone in her room. Hope this helps.

Of course they all will explore them selves, but you need to let her know that it's wrong for her to do it as well as anyone else. Unless it's a doctor and your there and explain why the doctor can but why no one else can. Then if she keeps doing it then make sure she knows that you will punish her for it until she stops. The next time she does it take something away, like a special toy or T.V. time, or even let her know that she can't have friends over until she can stop because that touching herself is rude in front of other people. Hope this helps.

I don'tt think there's any reason to be angry at her. She's just curious. She obviously didn't evenrealize she was doing it. I think the thing to do is just tell her that it's normal and there's nohtnig wrong with it, but it is something she do by herself and not in front of other people. It sounds like a cliche, but it''s just a phase she's going through.

I am just curious as to why you seem so upset or even angry about this. This opens the door to teach her about privacy, her body and also thing that she is permitted to do but only at certain times. Do you think that this is as a result of something negative that she has been exposed to? If that is the case then you shouldn't hesitate to take action by getting authorities involved and find out all the details. If this isn't the case then you should take the time to use it to teach her about her body and the proper places and times to do something that personal in terms that she can understand. If you don't feel comfortable having that discussion then try to find another female that you trust to either help you talk to her about it. Not every child does this but a lot do. It is a natural thing and okay as long as she understands that there is a time and a place for it. Reprimanding her and making her feel bad about it without discussion could lead to her having issues with herself down the line.

First of all, it is very normal for children to touch themselves. Unless you have strong religious views that say otherwise, this is not bad.
What you can do is let her know it is okay, but it must be done in private such as in their room with the door shut. Most children, when told this, follow this rule and there is no longer an issue.
To tell her it is wrong and letting her know of your anger and disappointment can cause her to think she has done something wrong and that maybe something is wrong with her. If you still have these feelings, I would explore them as it is something to do with you and not her.

I am sure you understand now by the other responses, that this is normal for kids and you just need to have a discussion with her that it is okay and normal, just in private. Doctors will tell you if you make it a big deal or punish her, she will have major issues and problems with sexuality when she gets older. Doctors also say the more you emphasize it the more they will do it. Good luck!

I am not sure that I would want her to think it's "wrong". Instead I think I would just say that private parts are just that, private... and that she can explore all she likes in her room or while in the bathroom (in private). She is perfect... perfectly normal.

Anger just isn't the reaction. Yuck, maybe a little... Letting her see you're upset, though, will backfire by manifesting itself turning bodies and what feels good into "wrong".

Not sure I have a great answer for you. Being as there are only 5 years age difference in us, I think I can relate enough to share that at one time in my life I probably would have had the same response. But after reading different things in magazines and looking back to when I was young, and being a mom of 4 children - It could be just self exploration. I think you should explain to your daughter that it is natural/normal that she may want to touch herself and if so, teach her that there are certain times and places that are appropriate and other that are not. God did not creat us to be nasty, society and our minds make us so... You also may want to consider that she may have irritation or a yeast infection that is causing her to touch herself in a way that is soothing? I've read that you can react in a way that makes children feel that they are doing something nasty and in that case can eventually lead them to have sexual issues in marriage. Be careful...it can make a difference in your daughter's future how you respond now... Take a deep breath and tackle this step...in helping your daughter not feel ashamed to discover herself and hopefully she will live a happy healthy life. I've noticed my 8 year old granddaughter do the same when she is irritated or while in the tub, I just try to redirect her thoughts in getting her bath complete. Don't make too big a deal, they are still very young but impressionable, so staying calm and collected is best for all involved.

M. (mother of 4 - ranging in age 16 - 27 - 2 girls, 2 boys)

Hey

I have a 7 yr old and have not had this yet, but we have the "always fixing her underwear". I sat her down and talked to her about it. Of course asked why( I did not know she was just fixing underwear at first)and we talked about that being a bathroom only thing. She has to get up and go to bathroom to fix or adjust her underwear.
I have been waiting for her to touch herself, figure it is a stage they go through. I personally plan to sit her down and ask her why she does it and go from there. They say it is natural for them to explore, not saying it is something I want to catch or want to happen. I try to be open and talk to her about everything and then go from there.

OI wish you luck and hope this helps

T.
Mother or 3

Well let me just say that I have an 8yr now who did this at 5 yr. The school called it to my attention at nap time they would see her with her hands under her lying on her stomache and rolling side to side with her hands at this area. Not in her pants. I have never seen her do that. only outside of her clothes lying on her stomache. When I got a call from the teacher. I took her to the Dr. thinking she had an infection of some sort or something. The Dr that checked her over explained that they had two girls and one of them did the exact same thing and this was a normal thing. They encouraged me NOT to make a big deal over it. The suggestion was to act as if you don't see anything but at the same time call her to do something for you when you see her. Like get something or help you in doing whatever at the time. This gets her to stop and takes her mind off of it without you pointing out you seen her. She should not be embarassed about it. It could, like others have said, steer her to confusion later on in life. This has seemed to work for us. I was not mad when I was made aware of it only embarassed myself. I did talk with her in the beginning and I did punish until I spoke with the DR. And as I said before they and the guidance at school both said DO NOT punish for this. I hope this helps If you need to talk more please feel free to get back with me.

The only advice I've ever heard people say about this is first off, tell her she didn't do anything wrong. Exploring there bodies is a part of growing up and if you make her think she is doing something wrong, they say it can inhibit her in the future. This is not masturbation as another poster stated, it is curiosity. A child does not process that by touching themselves they are getting some sexual gratification. Just tell her there is a time and place for everything and if she wants to do that she needs to do it in privacy.

You shouldn't get mad or make her feel that she is doing something completely wrong or she may feel ashamed of her body. You should explain to her that what she is doing is normal, but that there is an appropriate time and place. Explain that touching should be done in private only and only by her - NO ONE ELSE. It is awesome that she came to you to tell you what she had done. If you react negatively or get mad at her, she may not tell you later when it is REALLY important! Good luck! I know its got to be hard! I have one girl now and another on the way...I am just waiting for this time to come!

Hi,

My little girl touches herself all the time. I just tell her not to do that in front of people--no one needs to see her privates. I think it's normal for them to touch themselves in exploration--it tickles them. Try not to be mad. Just tell her that if she is going to explore her body, she needs to be by herself in her room with noone around.

Good luck!

Maybe let her know that is something to do in privacy of her own room. And, it is completely inappropriate to "touch herself" with company over. Try and end on an up note. My daughter is only three and we have had this discussion. Hopefully, without shame and some guidance she will grow up with a healthy outlook regarding her body, sex, and what is appropriate. All we can do as parents is our best. Hope it all goes well!

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