11 answers

How to Get My 2 Year Old to Stop Playing with His Privates

my 2 1/2 year old son has recently become obsessed with playing with himself! Is this a behavior I should discourage all together or something I should let him continue? It's also getting problematic at night because he pulls his little thing out of his diaper before falling asleep and then wets his bed every night! It's a little embarrassing in public too! Any words of advice?

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My 21 month old has started this a little so just yesterday I started putting him in onesies....works great. Not as convienient for me but it works!

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At 2 1/2, he should be able to grasp the concept of modesty. I tell my daughter "Don't touch your bottom." when she does it, and when she asks me why, I tell her it's because we only touch there to wipe (after potty) or wash (in the bath). It's also a good time to begin teaching him that other people should not touch him there either. That way he'll know if anyone other than himself, mom/dad, or the doctor touches there, it's wrong and he should run away from the person. Anyway, just try to teach him that it's a private place and not to be touched except when going potty or bathing. My daughter also responds well when I tell her that her hands are dirty and if she touches herself she's passing germs that will make her bottom red or itchy (like diaper rash). Of course, try to talk to him in words you know he'll understand and respond to. I haven't had that problem with my boys yet, but what I suggested is what has worked with my daughter. She still will touch every now and then, but when I catch her, I just remind her. Onesies and footie pj's are a great idea for denying access, but it's not going to solve the problem if he doesn't understand why he's not supposed to touch. Good luck!

I would explain the appropriate and inappropriate times/places to touch himself. I would discourage it all together because it may make potty training more difficult and it also might make him ashamed of his body.

Hi, I have 3 young sons, they are 8, 6 and almost 5. They all did this until about 4.5 or 5 depending on the kiddo. However, the only advice I ever got was "its normal" and from the pediatrician, she told me to just make sure it wasn't because it hurt, so in whatever words your family uses to say "owie" or "hurt" ask him if it hurts, it could be a UTI if it isn't just a facination.
Best of Luck.

Onesies and overalls. It might help. I just hold his hand in public. It is different with each kid, too, so the next one may not be as bad. Our first was worse. Our second has been very little problem. We also used sleepers that zipped or snapped. The light cotton ones seemed to work okay for summer. GL! Congratulations on those precious little men!

It is normal but talk to him about it. He is young but tell him there is a time and a place and the store is not the place. You might go in before you go to bed and tuck it into the diaper.
C. B

I've read in phycology books that it's a stage kids go through. They're discovering their bodies and that there's differences between boys and girls. It prepares them for sexual roles later in life, but should taper off in a few years (and then it'll probably come back after puberty hits! But hopefully he'll know to keep that private!) If you talk to him about it now , I would just be say don't be shaming or degrading about it. My mother did that to me and I think I've dealt with sexual problems now because of it. It's called repression and is probably more common with girls; you don't want to give your child an early impression that sex is bad or wrong, because in the context of marriage it isn't.

lol. The last poster had good advice. Other than that, be sure not to get upset at him, just try to discourage it as much as you can. Good luck!

It is normal for young kids to play with their bodies...and it is just another part of his body. It really isn't even masturbation at this point, he is just exploring. It will take a number of gentle reminders before he remembers to not touch himself when or where you don't want him to. The most important thing is to not freak out. Be matter-of-fact and calm. Otherwise, he may decide to keep doing it for the reaction, or you could give him issues about his sexuality.
You will have to decide how much you want to allow. Many responses suggested limiting him to his room/in private, but it is also alright to explain to him that it is not okay to play with that part of his body (we went that way with our kids because of religious beliefs). But do be VERY clear that NO ONE else is to touch/play with his privates (except Dr. when mom is there)

The what to expect in the first year book recommends giving them something else to hold onto in public like a toy or a cookie. Best wishes!

My 21 month old has started this a little so just yesterday I started putting him in onesies....works great. Not as convienient for me but it works!

After talking to my nephew about it like it says in the other posts to not make him feel shameful, my SIL made her son a 'jedi suit' because he loved Star wars so much but was spending excessive amounts of time playing with himself. He loved star wars and this was a one piece, short sleeved to the knee, zip in the back outfit for under his clothes. He loved to wear it because he thought it gave him secret powers of the 'force' and it cut down on playing with himself big time without her having to make such a huge issue of it. It helped him get out of the habit of doing it all the time. I'm sure you could call the little outfit anything that goes with what he loves. ie race car suit, spiderman suit etc. Good luck.

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