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You are here : home > Raising Children > Behavioral Problems > Children and Masturbation

Children and Masturbation

Masturbation is a mix of self-abuse and self-pleasure for lonely and insecure older children. Due to parental negligence or poor upbringing, children craving for attention find solace in masturbation. To know how to deal with and prevent such behaviour in children, read on.


Children masturbate for the same reason that adults do – it gives them pleasure. For parents, masturbation can be one of the most embarrassing aspects of raising children. Parents may struggle with emotional upheavals as they find it hard to believe that their innocent little child is indulging in such behaviour. More often than not, parents are privy to wrong or incomplete information regarding masturbation, owing to its taboo nature, and believe it to be harmful to the sexual development of the child. It is important to note that masturbation is a completely normal behavioural characteristic. It causes no harm to their physical or sexual development. It causes no harm to your child unless it is done to an extreme.

Masturbation in Toddlers

Toddlers are just developing. They have just begun to walk, run, skip, play, etc. Their minds are agile and curious. They look around the world with wide, inspective eyes; eager to know and learn all that they can about the world surrounding them. That makes many of them as curious about their genitals as they are about their fingers, your hair and nose, etc. When you start making your toddler wear underwear in place of diapers, many of them find access to their genitals for the first time. They may touch their private parts out of curiosity and realise that it feels good. Many toddlers may unknowingly masturbate themselves until they get an orgasm! Despite that, masturbation in toddlers is completely asexual as they are too young to understand what sex is.

What to do if your Toddler is Masturbating?

Masturbation is absolutely normal behaviour and has no physical or mental side-effects unless done excessively. Masturbation, so early in their lives, does not indicate that your children are obsessed with sex or are going to become sex maniacs in the future. If, however, your child has been taught that masturbation is bad, he will definitely fear being caught with his pants down and brought to shame. This fear could lead to an extreme state of anxiety that would require proper counselling and therapy.

Studies have shown that parents would do well to ignore masturbation in very young kids. You are advised to not make a big deal out of your child’s tendency to masturbate as that would only serve to make him more conscious of what he is doing. It would also make him feel unnecessarily guilty of something that comes very naturally at that age. According to the dictionary, masturbation is self-abuse. And no very small child would indulge in self-abuse. If he is made to feel conscious that he is doing something very wrong, it would only make him more aware of it and then result in a need to derive pleasure in this way. But if this tendency is ignored, the child might grow out of it quite naturally and would not suffer from feelings of guilt.

Extreme Masturbation in Older Children is a Behavioural Disorder

In the case of an older child, if masturbation is taken to an extreme degree and the child tries to derive pleasure by stimulating his sexual organs excessively, it indicates a behavioural disorder that may lead to stunted sexual development and would interfere with his sexual life in the future. An older child may resort to excessive masturbation as a means of deriving self-pleasure if he has been mistreated or ignored. Reasons why an older child may resort to excessive masturbation are listed below:

Lack of Parental Attention

This kind of behavioural disorder generally affects those who come from broken homes and are totally neglected by their parents who have absolutely no time for them. These children are not only very insecure but crave any kind of attention or company. If they do not get it from others, they give it to themselves. And if it gives them pleasure, as masturbation most certainly does, it becomes a habit disorder and is most difficult to give up. The child tends to get entirely lost in this pleasure seeking activity and some even seem to enjoy it without any shame or fear. It is only after he is totally immersed in this activity and it begins to interfere with the rest of his life that it comes to the notice of his parents. And this is when the fear or anxiety syndrome starts.

Sexual Abuse by Family Members

In some cases it is poor housing facilities combined with inadequate sleeping arrangements that provide plenty of opportunity for child abuse. And in some it is the older child who seeks pleasure by defiling the innocence of the younger one. Or sometimes it could be a totally frustrated older relative who is starved for any kind of entertainment or pleasure seeking activity. Once the child is introduced to the stimulation of physical excitement it is very difficult for him to give it up and if he cannot get it from anyone else, he will give it to himself. But parents of the upper stratus of society must not relax their guard as you can find frustrated, deviant relatives anywhere. Nor should you leave your child totally in the care of the servants because you never know what they are up to behind your back. So once again it all comes back to parental negligence which is the root cause of all problems.

Loneliness and Limited Social Interactions

In a normal household, with the correct sort of upbringing, no healthy child would just take to this kind of disorder without any cause. It is only if he or she is very lonely and does not have friends or siblings to play with and no entertainment or pleasure seeking activity to participate in, do such problems arise. However, if parents spend quality time with the child and share a healthy rapport with the child, then it ensures that the child has good social interactions and participates in games and sports and other constructive activities. Thus he will find no compulsion or urge to derive pleasure from any such kinds of deviant behaviours.

How to deal with Masturbation in an Older Child?

Parents can reassure their child that they love him by spending time with him and making more of an effort to create a meaningful bond with him. Parents can also use diversion into other activities to make it a passing phase. They can encourage their child to participate in more social situations and teach him to interact with different people. Encourage your child to talk about his fears and hopes and dreams. Not only will this help cement your bond with your child, but will also ensure that your child will come to you in case of any form of abuse. Propagate your child’s self-esteem by showing him how proud you are of his small and big achievements. A healthier and cleaner self-image will mean more confidence and happiness which will slowly quell the need to gratify oneself and find pleasure from deviances such as Child Masturbation.

Parents are also advised to take their child to see a child counsellor. When a child is brought into a child guidance clinic to deal with the problem of masturbating, the counsellor first tries to divert his mind away from the problem by suggesting rigorous physical exercises, sports and other fun activities in order to sublimate the instinctual pleasures by healthier physical activity. The counsellor then goes on to reassure the child that urge to masturbate excessively to derive pleasure is a passing phase and that there is a way out of it. In some cases the child is taught about sex to make him understand that it is not necessarily dirty if handled in the correct way at the right age. Then the counsellor tries to find out and eradicate the real cause of the behavioural disorder and helps the child to overcome the problem through long hours of therapy. Then it is for the parents to take it one step further and provide a healthy, loving and secure atmosphere for the child to bloom in.

Does your child masturbate? How have you faced this issue as a parent? What are your opinions on a child who masturbates? Discuss here.

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Recent comments (176 comments)
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Name: Toddler Indulges in Mast**
Country: India

Hello My Son is 2.5 year old and recently started going to pre-school. We have been noticing strange behaviour offlate. He tries to find quiet place, removes his pants and tries to erect / play with his private parts.
Name: Toddler Indulges in Mast**
Country: India

Hello My Son is 2.5 year old and recently started going to pre-school. We have been noticing strange behaviour offlate. He tries to find quiet place, removes his pants and tries to erect / play with his private parts.
Name: helping hand
Country: India

TO KID.... i think u r too young for will make u feel energyless.. so juz go out and play games,seriously its so good n entertaining for u,play 4 matches badminton n u get tired "this tiredness" will make ur health good n make u fit n taller..... while wasting ur energy in it will make ur proteins that u eat will get waste n u will not get taller n fit as proteins make ur hormones which make u tall...... try to stop it by distracting urself,so go n enjoy ur life with ur friends,play outside,
Name: Believing
Country: India

@hello, hey i'm a guy and I have the exact issue as yours. I think about sex in disgusting ways. I wanna get out of it. Wanna experience my life in a natural and good way. Don't want to an ***hole. Your post really gave me some hope. I've read a lot about this and the only thing that comes to mind right now is, you should not disrespect yourself. You got this habit by touching (i was molested, damn i hated that memory all my life). So, it's never ur crime or something. Put a fight against it. As hard as you can. Trust me, you need to do it. Don't harm your mentality of self respect. Forgive urself. Stop thinking bad stuff. Don't think about sex if u can right now. Cuz all of it is about those men. Try being good and appreciate what you do. Like making good grades, beating challenges in sports/contests. Engage in life. In my religion, Islam, it is encouraged to enjoy life in valid ways. Forgiving urself at any time is a good way to appreciate what Allah(God) has created, YOU. He took the most care when he did, cuz he doesn't make mistakes. I believe it. I honestly hope Allah lets everyone find their way out of problems. God bless u sis.
Name: IR
Country: U.S.A.

Response to: hello from other I'll start by assuring u that u are definitely NOT alone. I've seen many cases like this. It's slightly difficult to give solid answers when it comes to these matters, especially when no professional in this subject has seen u since birth, to "know" u & all that you've been through. But in some cases that child, before they had reason, they were molested & thus taints the psyche & may resort in masturbation. (Not saying this is your case). Other cases show that the child was just itchy or irritated & rubbed or scratched & felt great relief from doing so, thus they proceeded w/ the action even when it didn't itch. Most of them cannot consciously note the fact that it started as an itch, since the other pleasure derived is stronger. Another independent study of spiritual physiology & psychology have theorized that all human behaviors, habits & thought patterns are imputed by the world at large through what is known as: general conscious perception. They say this takes more negative effects on our newborns, if the parents don't practice 'conscious procreation'. Which means if the parents don't purify & clean their minds & hearts fully & consciously for the sole purpose of coming together to create a new being, then they are at risk. In other research, natives claim that it's a curse placed by some shaman or witch doctor & has effect until the individual breaks the curse through strong will against the impulses. They say evil spirits compel you to act without reason, thus u become a slave to impulses & desires with no control. You can be free, when u start to rationalize & take control of your mind, will, & emotions. In other words: the more you see it 'as a problem', the worse it becomes, & u are always defeated.  I'll conclude by saying don't be scared, grossed out, worried, nor hopeless. The journey called life can be challenging.. But u will always win if u believe.  God bless ^_^
Name: hello
Country: Other

hello. i m a girl and there is some very serious problem with me. since the age of 4 i ve been doing it and now i am 17. when i was small i didnt know what i used to do but i used to find every place or every corner in the house where i could be alone and could do it. i was also many times seen doing it but was ignored, it used to be very embarassing though. i was so small, i hadnt even seen any porn movie but i used to do it still, was i born with it or something?...perhaps i have inherited it?.. even today, after promising myself tht i will not do it again i still do it untill i reach the peak of it and then when once i do it, i feel like doing it again and again. n i picture disgusting men! yuk!! i hate it!! please tell me what to do?? it just with me or is it with many others???..please tell me here!!!
Name: chica
Country: puerto rico

i am not a mother but i think that the teens are the only ones that can choose in their lives.but the children can not pass their limits.
Name: Question...
Country: usa

how many boys go to bellingham memorial middle school?
Name: hmmm
Country: Other

hello.. there is no problem with you its natural. just isolate yourself. thing of something else when the urge comes. when you stop you will become "more" focused in rl, and no you are probably not the only 1 who. some number of people have masterbated at that age.. however i find it odd for someone to be doing at age 4.
Name: Rashad
Country: sri lanka

hey friendzzzzzzz i would like to knw whether masterbuate upsets our health? does we lose our energy or become thin> please please please somebody advise.........
Country: india

i never masturbate because ithink that i will be habitual of it and it will be wrong for me.
Name: name here
Country: U.S.A.

try to not do it for a week and then try for two and keep going from there
Name: name here
Country: U.S.A.

you need to take a day at a time then a week and so on
Name: venus
Country: India

what r the effects of masterbating?
Name: JoeBlow
Country: U.S.A.

look girl you need some god in your life no human in this wourld can realy healp you so you need to stop lisning to this kids and get some real understanding so that you cas uncover your eyes see truth.
Name: some guy
Country: U.S.A.

how is masterbating bad for health probelms
Name: jed
Country: Philippines

hi... before i cant stop doing it... and i love it too...the only thing to do is just control your self and have dicipline... instead of masturbating, get out and find some chores! or call your friends and hang out into other places... just keep your self busy...! hope i can help... god bless>>>
Name: love it
Country: U.S.A.

just stop doping it to yourself and get a girlfriend go out with her and for a few months and well she will help u
Name: someone
Country: India

masturbating is not harmful,but it should not become habitual
Name: guy
Country: India

i frequently masterbate myself n realy think sometime is it right or wrong... but after reading things about m sure is not that bad after all its safe... so happy masterbation freinds... keep rockin lol
Name: hello
Country: U.S.A.

masterbating is perfectly fine, it dose afect the health. but do it in the privacy of you home, your bedroom.
Name: harry
Country: India

will masturbation cause any nervous problems... ????
Name: fatima
Country: U.S.A.

i think that there is no reason in this world to publicies things like this and i think that if a pastor decides that he wants to publicies the doings of the church goers then he is just as bad if not worse. that is sick. these are freakin children for christ sake!!!! what is wrong with you people this has to be illegal in some form or another....really. ok if u dont have an issue with it then good for you but you are not supposed to go around and let others know of your issues. get it together people.
Name: concerned mom
Country: U.S.A.

my 2 yr old just started doing it. but it has become distructive. she will take objects and rub them against herself...i think she actually orgasms. she is starting to get very red and even has blisters from constantly rubbing herself(w/ a hair brush for example, or a building block). i am so lost on what to do...please help!!
Name: sakthi maidhan
Country: India

don't do masturbation it will make u mentally weak.u cannot achieve your goal with this masturbation so, please don't do this


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