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Yes, that's when you consciously started to masturbate. It doesn't count when you're very small. It's just touching yourself because it feels good, and being unaware of what it is and why it's bad. Sheesh.

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My 23 month old daughter has been "mixing records" since she was about 16 months. She does it daily, mostly when she's tired, before nap or bedtime. I've tried to get her to stop but the doctor says it is perfectly normal.

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83- because curiousity to understand behavior and the world around us is inherent in all people? Some of us just like to understand the world beyond high school and college.

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Or because if you work professionally with children you should have studied Freud's psychosexual stages and learned that from ages 3-5 (preschool years) they are in the phallic stage and their physical curiosity is on their genitals as they learn about and get pleasure from their own body. It's a natural exploration of the body, not the same as when an adult masturbates. Really for OP to be working in a preschool she should know this...

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All the commenters saying that masturbation that young is perfectly normal is 100% correct. OP, you shouldn't have put the poor kid in time out--he doesn't know that what he's doing is socially unacceptable. Teaching kids that masturbating is "wrong" or "gross" or "bad" is a big factor in sexual guilt, and can sometimes increase the child's chances for earlier intercourse without seeking advice or protection from adults first. Just tell the kid to stop, and explain to him in words he will understand that he should only do that while at home. If he continues to do it you can punish him for disobeying, but don't just punish him right off the bat. It sends the wrong message.

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Punishing children for sexual behaviour can give them problem with those situations the rest of their life, next time just say that it is not the time for that right now

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I think that you get the option when on the internet on your computer ... Im not sure because I read FMLs from my iPod. Good luck figuring that one out!

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Freud's theories are pretty much acknowledged as unscientific bunk by the modern psychology community. He is still discussed in class for the purpose of providing historical context for the evolution of the field, but his theories themselves are just historical curiosities, not accepted science. Regardless, it is normal for young kids to explore themselves. You shouldn't make them feel guilty over it or teach them that it's something bad, you just need to make sure they understand it's something to be done in private rather than in front of others.

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Studies have shown that fetuses masturbate, or touch themselves, while still in the womb of their mother. It isn't really that unnatural. Edit: it's only until hormones kick in that people really start to do it with intention.

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Sorry to burst your bubble, but babies have been known to start masturbating in the womb. As early as 3 wks before they're born. So, it happens.

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I don't know why 34 was buried, it is true that children who are abused tend to behave in that way. It may be a bit of an over reaction to see the kid touching him/herself once and start pointing fingers, but it is something you should keep an eye on to see if any other indicators show up.

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190- how exactly is your comment relevant? This thread is about how masturbating is natural, not abusive and unresponsible teenage moms. Plus, the world won't really end because a couple of teenagers are getting pregnant young.

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#20-- Well, people are living longer, we've grown more accepting of other groups, we're learning more and more about how the universe works, diseases are being cured all over the place, education is overall better, etc... I hate when people complain about "today's society". Guess what? The Ancient Greeks complained about the younger generation in their time as well, and just look at how things turned out.

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Well... the Ancient Greek's society collapsed. But most of you are right. It's normal, and the worst thing you can do is make them feel guilt about it. I teach pre-K and I've had a lot of students that touch themselves at nap. A lot of parents have worried and weren't satisfied with my assurances that it's normal, but the doctors they talked to confirmed that it's natural. They also said that we should NEVER punish them for it, or tell them it's wrong. Just tell them it's a private time thing and not to do it at school. Parents aren't failing at their job as parents because their children masturbate, the kids don't know what it is.

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I remember when I was little I used to rub my crotch against my desk. I had no idea what i was doing just that it felt kind of good. I have talked to several other people about this and most have said they did something similar when they were little. Oh naïveté

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How does a 3 year old know what sex is?? They are exploring their body parts at that age.. And I'm assuming the student was a he and he was touching himself

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Exactly what I was going to say - you should've explained that it's something you do at home in private instead of punishing him for it. He'll grow up thinking it's wrong/gross.

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Unlikely. All kids masturbate. They learn about their bodies through touch, and when something feels good they're just gonna do it. It's something the parents have to explain not to do in public, but otherwise it's perfectly natural and healthy.

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I agree you should calmly explain to them that they should do it at home by themselves and that it's only inappropriate in public. Ydi for being a dumbass babysitter.

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Yes, what he was doing is very normal and innocent, but he should have been punished. Why? Because if he weren't, then he'd think that it's okay to masturbate in public, or touch your privates in public, as the kid probably saw it. OP didn't put the kid in timeout for masturbating; she punished the kid for masturbating IN PUBLIC.

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Yea it's actually not that weird for kids at that age to masterbate. They tend to do it for exploration or the physical stimulation, not to fully finish like a 15 year old. I know since i work with young kids and instead of punishing you stop the action and would try to redirect it like a "myself time" in the bathroom at home, not in the playground at school.

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They don't know about sex as we know it. They explore their body and learns what feels good. Touching one's genitals does feel good. Even when your an infant/toddler/child. The child needs to be taught time and place, not shamed. Catholic guilt is an excellent example of that...

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You are absolutely right. Humans are sexual beings and exploring at such a young age is very normal. Although they may not know what they are doing is frowned upon in society. They don't know it is sexual. So punishment for a fact of life is out of line.

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206 - I agree, punishment for a fact of life is out of line. And although the child had no idea what he was doing and didn't think it was wrong to do so in front of other children, there's no other way to teach a child that pleasuring yourself in front of other people is wrong other than punishing them. Think about it. You can have a talk with a pre-schooler and tell them that it's only appropriate to touch yourself during your private time, but they're not mature enough to comprehend or even have an attention span long enough to pay attention to what you're saying. And I repeat: The punishment itself wasn't about the child touching himself; it was about the child touching himself in public.

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231- I agree with the punishment was only for doing it in public, but at 3-5 years old I'm not sure the child would understand that he got punished solely for doing it public. He would most likely think it was for the act in general.

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The reason kids "touch" themselves is because it makes them feel "good". Im pretty sure at least 95% of the kids who masturbate under the age of ten don't know what masturbation or sex is.

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A lot of (most actually) little kids touch them selves. It's like touching us our arm or leg to them. Or getting a massage. It totally fine and you probably havent been around kids too much if you think it's odd

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I don't think that it's going to damage the kid per se...but basically adding a sexual connotation to the kid's actions when they're in preschool isn't a good way to go about handling it. Plus essentially confusing them by punishing them.

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I babysit part time for a handful of people, and two of the children I babysit have developed this habit. The youngest is 22 months old and the other is six. Both of them are girls. I would have been put off by this too, except my little sister used to do it so this wasn't something new to me. The 6 year old will do it after school or after doing her homework. The parents were concerned at first and consulted their doctor, who said it was her way of relieving stress. He also said it was perfectly normal and actually quite healthy for the child to do. TL;DR- A six year old child I babysit does it. Doctor says it's perfectly normal and healthy for said child.

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#14, you are a R'tard!, kids at that age don't even kno what their private part is for other then toilet time, people like you make me sick! And a kid masturbating? Talk to their parents! That is very disturbing! Kids should be more interested in games, and books, not exploring themselves...

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