I babysit a 4 year old little girl and have noticed here lately she has her hands down her pants playing with herself. My question is, is this normal? I would assume that it is, but not sure. I know she doesn't understand exactly what she is doing and only exploring, but she does it alot! Should I let her mother know and if I see her doing it, stop her?
Most things i've read that masturbation and touching themselves is common and totally normal in young children and distraction methods are the best way to tackle it. They do it for much the same reason grown ups do it-it feels good and they are at a loose end (there won't be any thoughts of sex for a little one) I think the important thing is not to stigmatise the behaviour or make the child feeel they are doing something wrong as its totally natural (but obviously there are times and places where its inappropriate)
Its also not a sign of anything sinister, children like to explore their bodies.
used to get this all the time when I taught reception class, they're just exploring but I'd have a word with the parents to let them know she is doing it, and also when she does it try to distract her to do something else instead
A daycare girl I used to take care of liked to hump things (her blanket,etc) while laying on the floor and was doing it cause it felt good to her but she was too young to really know what she was doing (she was around 2 1/2 and still in diapers).
Her parents knew about it and they asked their dr who said to NOT make a big deal about it or that it would make her think it was bad or she'd want to do it even more cause she was told not to -etc. Anyway - we would always tell her it was something that we do in our bedroom at home - not at daycare and I would need to distract her sometimes as it wasnt enough to make her stop. We were told not to embarrass her about it either - be discreet around the other kids.
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