The child shows interest in its genitals: is it a reason to worry?
It happens at the age of 3 (or mostly at the age of 4 or 5) that the child starts to touch their genitals, rub them to get pleasant feelings. It’s not a surprise that at first parents are confused about it.
Parents can confuse the natural process of studying the body with masturbation. For example, the boy can reach his penis after the diaper is taken off because of the interest in his own body.
And it’s not masturbation. You shouldn’t worry about it, just distract the kid with something else. Also, don’t use too tight clothing, which doesn’t allow air to pass through. Otherwise, it’ll provoke the child to rub their genitals. So make sure your child’s genital care and hygiene are great.
Sometimes, children pay too much attention to their genital organs due to some physiological reasons: for example, itching or belly worms. If you suspect something, you should consult a doctor and get the child tested.
Of course, any child’s masturbation in preschoolers has psychological reasons. Children can do it to calm down or to release emotions.
Analyze when exactly it happens: for example, think about what happened. Was the child upset? Did you shout at them? Probably, it occurs particularly on those days when the kid is physically and emotionally overwhelmed or, vice versa; they lack activity.
When you see such manifestation, distract the baby, stroke their hands, massage their palms. If the child is doing it in public, take them away. Extra attention can only increase their interest in a child’s genitals.
Never scream at your child for that! You can make it even worse.
If distractions or some other methods of relaxation don’t work, you should consult a psychologist or child neurologist.
- Tips to Handle a 3-year-old’s Behavior for Development
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