26 answers

Is Touching Genitals Normal for a 4 Year Old?

My 4 year old daughter has recently started touching her "girly parts." During bath time she will play down there and even rub herself through her jeans during the day. Should we just ignore it or should I tell her it's wrong? She hasn't been exposed to movies or situations that could spur this so I don't know what to do.

What can I do next?

Featured Answers

This is normal and is not "wrong." What you may want to tell her is that this is okay to do in private (when she is alone).

1 mom found this helpful

I would imagine it's normal. When you find something that feels good, you will do it again.

Anyway, my son discovered his parts and would frequently touch himself. He already knew about good touch/bad touch at this point. I explained to him that this was a sort of bad touch. If he feels he has to do it, he has to be in his room (or the bathroom) with the door closed. It might feel good, but it's not appropriate to do it were others can see you.

I hope this helps.

More Answers

Hi E.,
I first came across this when I was working in a Daycare. A little girl would do exactly that while taking a nap. How my boss had me handle it was to nicely let her know that it is nap time, not play time. I did some research after that and found out that they do not do it for sexual reason as adults think of it. They do it because it feels good, not knowing why. My tip would be to let her know that it is not appropriate in public or at school, etc. But not to treat it as something bad or forbidden.
Hope this helps,

2 moms found this helpful

My personal opinion- God gave of bady parts that feel good to touch so that we would want others to touch them as we got older, so that we would have children. It is perfectly normal to want to experiment- to them it's just another body part- nothing sexual about it at all. And yeah, it feels good to them...
IN our family, I try very hard to not make my daughter feel badly about her body, and I feel like if I start making her feel like certain body parts are "dirty" she will have a harder time in adolescence. Little boys "play" with themselves and they are "just being boys." My question is why do we treat little girls differently when it comes to this.
I do however teach her that it is not ok to touch ourselves in front of other people
Yes, your daughter is completely normal

2 moms found this helpful

This is normal for her age, Ignore it if you can and you can tell her this is somethng we do only in our room. She is learning about her body. Also if you haven't done so it is a good time to talk about good touch bad touch.

2 moms found this helpful

This is normal and is not "wrong." What you may want to tell her is that this is okay to do in private (when she is alone).

1 mom found this helpful

It is perfectly normal to an extent. I guess if it was constant I would be wondering if she maybe has an infection you are not aware of...have you asked her if she is sore, or itchy there?
I would tell her in a kind way that is not appropriate, however you don't wanna make too big of a deal out of it, because then it becomes something dirty to her, and it is natural.
I have an 11 yr old girl and 2 boys that are 7 and 9...and through the years I have learned that there is so much that is natural when it comes to exploring their bodies, and even other siblings and friends. I can remember a few times I freaked out!!! But found out by talking to others it is normal. Just teach her that, and make her comfortable now talking to you...you will figure it out!
good luck,

1 mom found this helpful

She doesn't know what she's doing...she just knows it feels good. There is nothing wrong with it at all.

You can put boundaries in place. "If you want to do that you have to go to your room because that is a private thing"

Dont' shame her or tell her its bad/wrong/gross etc.

1 mom found this helpful

first i think i would make sure it wasnt physical. even little ones can get yeast infections.
then if it isnt, i would explain to her that that is something you do in private.

Well, considering how normal it is, it's hard to see how it's wrong. It is socially-inappropriate behaviour, which is why parents are urged to encourage their children do handle themselves in the privacy of their baths and bedrooms.

Your smart little girl has worked out that there is a nice, friendly bunch of nerves all clustered together there, and is doing what any sensible person would do: creating a small place of pleasure in her busy day. She just needs to know that we don't handle private parts, even 'over clothes' in public.

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