J.N. asks from Philadelphia, PA on May 09, 2008
My 3 year old little girl is now in the habit of "tickling" herself. There are times I just look down and see her hiding somewhere with her pants down and she is playing around down there. I really am not sure what to do, since she is only 3, do I tell her this is her private area and she shouldnt touch?? What do you say and is this a normal thing?? I never had issues in this area, so I am not so sure what to do.
So What Happened?™
Thanks to all who responded, at least now I know this is normal behavior and I have not made a big deal out of it. I feel a ton better!!
M.G. answers from Philadelphia on May 10, 2008
tickling is normal.
Just teach her to do it in private--like going to the bathroom, it's something you do by yourself.
C.K. answers from Pittsburgh on May 12, 2008
Telling your daughter not to touch herself can instill a sense of shame about her body. Masturbating is completely normal, and childen often explore their own bodies.
Rather than telling her not to do it, it would be much healthier to teach her that those are HER private parts and if she wants to touch them (outside of bathing or using the bathroom) she should do so in private. It might also be a good idea to start teaching her good touch from bad . . .
C.G. answers from Philadelphia on May 09, 2008
Yes it is completely normal for this age. Just tell her that it is something that is done in private and she should go to her room if she wants to do it. Don't yell at her or punish her she is just exploring. Just simply tell her that she should do that in her room away from other people. Just watch that she doesn't become obsessed with it. Some children do it when they get to school age and have done it in school, make sure by then she knows that it should only be done at home in her room. Hope this helps, and please remmeber that yes it is normal, uncomfortable but normal.
E.D. answers from Philadelphia on May 10, 2008
No don't tell her she shouldn't touch! Just let her know that kind of tickleing is something that sould be done in her room in private.
A.P. answers from Allentown on May 10, 2008
That's perfectly normal! I think what I would (and have done w/ my now-almost-5-y.o.) is told her that I know that feels good & that it's perfectly fine for her to touch and explore her own body. However, those are "private parts" (meaning only she, mommy or daddy or a doctor IF there is a reason and IF mommy or daddy is there!) can touch them; and private parts are for private places like their bedroom or in their bathroom at home with the door shut.
There's some good books off of Amazon about private parts & bodies & stuff too. We just got one that was really good--I THINK it was called "My Body is Special" but I'm not sure.
K.B. answers from Harrisburg on May 10, 2008
This is a normal thing, boy or girl. You don't want to tell her to stop doing it, but yes, do tell her that's private, just for her. Tell her you expect her not to do it out in the living room and in front of you or others. And she certainly shouldn't be pulling her pants down, no matter what the reason. That's just not proper behavior. All 5 of mine have done it to one extent or another. As they got older I'd just tell them if they were going to do that go do it in their room, lol! It's not the action that's wrong, but the time and place.
mom to 5 including triplets
D.P. answers from Pittsburgh on May 09, 2008
If she's doing it in private, ignore it. If she's doing it in public, tell her she can do that in private. Don't make a big deal out of it. Explain how parts of the body covered by a bathing suit are private.