22 answers

Need Help with 4 Yr Old Realizing Her Body Parts

OK not really sure how to say this and it MAKES ME SICK asking BUT has any other parents on here noticed or had they child realize their body in certain ways? My daughter is 4 and has been rubbing her privates on a fan up be the knobs it FREAKED me out and I said AVERY what are you doing and she said MOM it tickles I am tickling my body. So I really did not make a big deal about it BUT I did talk to her about it. THEN I was in kitchen and she was to help with setting table and I asked her to please come and do so and she said WAIT a min and shut her door SO I went in and caught her doing it AGAIN.... I am not sure how she knew and even THOUGHT of doing this but I am not sure what to do. I have a back massager with heat on it and she found it closet and I had gotten out of shower and walked in lvg room and she was rubbing on herself. I wanted to CRY I have NO CLUE where she is getting this from. My hubby and I NEVER do ANYTHING in front of kids nor talk about sex or feelings so it fathoms me how she even thought of this. She is with me 24/7 not in daycare so I am lost and we NEVER watch anything unfit on TV so it was not there. I am LOST and CONFUSED on what to do. I have sat her down to talk to her but not getting in her head. Any advice would be GREAT... OH and her clothes are ALWAYS on when she is doing this...

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

Well I guess it is normal like everyone says... I know it will happen and my son is 22 mo and low in behold he is on his potty chair and boom he is pulling on it I say OUCH bubby do not pull it lol so I guess I might as well get over it since I have the other doing it as well. Mom never recalls me ever doing that but not saying it will not happen again I am sure it will as long as she does not grow up to like girls and not boys lol. I will be happy..... I am sure last comment will get reaction but Just my opinion. Thxs for all the post.... She is a VERY SMART girl. She will ask questions you would not even think of a 4 yr old asking adn at 2 she KNOWS smoking is bad and she saw a guy in front of us buying cigs a the store and said MOM LOOK he is going to get cancer he is smoking. What was I to say other then you are right honey. I got the WORST look from him and can you believe he was outside the door when we walked out smoking and BLEW smoke in her face. You talk about MAD I was FURIOUS BUT I kept it cool just looked at him and said that was very rude and Avery said NOT NICE out loud lol.... She does know she came from my belly c section she has seen the pictures so she might know certain things she might need to wait on but she picks up on things FAST.. We will be taking the fan out of her room and get one on the floor that she can not do anything on. I am afraid she will get the knob or something and get really hurt.

Featured Answers

Just like little boys explore their body parts so do little girls. It's perfectly normal and not to worry about it. The only time you should say something is if she does it in front of somebody or in a public place. Then you need to explain to her that it's something we only do in private. This is part of her sexuality discovery and it would be very bad to tell her it's bad or not to do it. It will pass and she will grow.
Hang in there.

1 mom found this helpful

Calm down, breathe... Ok now first off this isn't about ANYTHING you are or are not doing. You are reacting very strongly to what is NORMAL. She's 4 it isn't sexual. If she has an itch on her arm, or she finds a way to tickle her foot she's going to do it. It's her body and she's realizing all the strange things it does just like when she used to eat her toes. Explain to her what is and isn't appropriate, that isn't what a fan is for, we don't do that in public, ect. but be careful if you make to big of a deal out of this A. shes likely to do it that much more, and B. it's very possible you could seriously mess up her view of her body and sex in general later on in life.

1 mom found this helpful

More Answers

I don't have a girl, but have talked about this actually twice this week...since my son was "adjusting himself" often on the pitchers mount at the tball game the other day. His grandfather showers with him, but here I let him shower alone and his grandfather said that he can't keep his hands off himself lately--it's like the toy he always has with him. I believe it's a totally normal process in growing up- to find your body parts. One of the other Mom's on the team whose son just turned 5 said the same thing. My neice is only 2, and I know we have to remind her on the potty that her hands need to stay out of there so the pee can come out. She likes to reach down there too.
On the other hand, if it's actually itching and that's causing her to do such things then it could be an infection.
Again, I think it's normal to begin to learn about their body parts and realize such things are there. nows the time to teach them appropriate manners/behaviors about such things.

2 moms found this helpful

Actually, this is completely normal. Every child figures this out sooner or later. Please don't make a big deal about it - if you do, she can develop problems with her future sexuality. Just let her know that there are times when it's appropriate to do this and times when it isn't. Let her know it's ok, but that we do this privately, kind of like going to the bathroom. You're going to have to deal with your own feelings first though - please realize that we are all sexual beings from the time we are born; even infant boys get erections sometimes. The sensations are there, and why wouldn't she want to do something that feels good? Like I said before, it's time to set limits but please don't make a big deal or forbid this; it could give her problems later on, but it could also backfire severely. 4 years old is a stage where they are finding their individuality, and doing something forbidden is a great way of rebelling. My sympathies are with you - I'm sure this is hard for you to deal with. Just be reassured that this is completely normal, and not because of anything you have done.

1 mom found this helpful

Calm down, breathe... Ok now first off this isn't about ANYTHING you are or are not doing. You are reacting very strongly to what is NORMAL. She's 4 it isn't sexual. If she has an itch on her arm, or she finds a way to tickle her foot she's going to do it. It's her body and she's realizing all the strange things it does just like when she used to eat her toes. Explain to her what is and isn't appropriate, that isn't what a fan is for, we don't do that in public, ect. but be careful if you make to big of a deal out of this A. shes likely to do it that much more, and B. it's very possible you could seriously mess up her view of her body and sex in general later on in life.

1 mom found this helpful

I'm not sure why you are so upset. Masturbation is a normal part of healthy sexuality. The only things she needs to know is that you AREN'T ashamed of her body and neither should she be, and that it's something you do in private. If she is using the potty or in her own room or taking a bath, these are appropriate times to explore her body, it just shouldn't be done in the middle of the living room or in public.
As for how she came up with it...she has the same sense of touch you do. Most babies start exploring their bodies during diaper changes around 6 months (or earlier!) It has nothing to do with seeing someone else do it and everything to do with a brush of a hand as she pulled up her pants or wiped after going to the bathroom.
I think the real problem is that you have such a problem with it. You said you don't "do anything" or talk about sex or feelings. How is she supposed to grow up into a normal, expressive human being if she doesn't have that modeled at home? You need to stop being so retentive and kiss your husband, hold hands, give hugs. Otherwise she's going to have major hang-ups when she hits adolescence.

1 mom found this helpful

It really isn't something to freak out about. It doesn't mean she has a whacked out, supersexuality. It just means she is growing up! She has discovered that certain parts of her body feels pleasant when she rubs things against them. She doesn't think of it as anything really sexual. She isn't fantasizing or anything. I teach 4 and five year olds, and have heard it called everything from "exercising" to "wiggle worming." Now is the time to set the groundwork, though. Explain to her that while tickling herself might feel good, it isn't something other people should watch. Do not forbid her to do it, because that could really mess her up. Some kids tickle themselves to calm them, some do it without thinking. LOTS do it before they go to sleep. It is a part of nature and the novelty will wear off eventually.

1 mom found this helpful

Just like little boys explore their body parts so do little girls. It's perfectly normal and not to worry about it. The only time you should say something is if she does it in front of somebody or in a public place. Then you need to explain to her that it's something we only do in private. This is part of her sexuality discovery and it would be very bad to tell her it's bad or not to do it. It will pass and she will grow.
Hang in there.

1 mom found this helpful

I agree with some of the other posts... you need to step back and take a deep breath and realize she is NORMAL. Almost every kid goes through this phase around that age. She discovered something that feels good. Masterbation is not bad and it's certainly not sexual at this young age. She's simply exploring. This is a perfect opportunity for you to step in and guide her. If you tell her to hide and act like it's evil she's probably going to grow up being ashamed of her body and her sexuality. Tell her the correct names, tell her it's OK to do it but only in private in her room or bathroom and to use her fingers instead of other household items. Tell her she's being normal so she's not thinking she's doing something bad.

If you are open and honest about this she'll be more likely to come to you when she's older (teenagers!) with sexual/puberty questions. If she gets the 'vibed' from you that it's not normal and she's bad then she'll more than likely not feel like she can talk with you.

I'm glad to see all the good advice you've gotten already! My son is not even 2 yet, and he is rubbing against everything.

If she is becoming aware of her body you need to stay one step ahead of her. Get her some books from the library, aimed at her age, to teach her about body parts. If you over-react now or make her feel guilty, she'll be less likely to come to you when she's older and has questions about sex.

1 / 3
Required Fields

Our records show that we already have a Mamapedia or Mamasource account created for you under the email address you entered.

Please enter your Mamapedia or Mamasource password to continue signing in.

Required Fields

, you’re almost done...

Since this is the first time you are logging in to Mamapedia with Facebook Connect, please provide the following information so you can participate in the Mamapedia community.

As a member, you’ll receive optional email newsletters and community updates sent to you from Mamapedia, and your email address will never be shared with third parties.

By clicking "Continue to Mamapedia", I agree to the Mamapedia Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.