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Susan Ivy
Susan Ivy, Nurse (RN)
Category: Health
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Experience:  BSN, MSN, CNS
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s 2 year old child can spend up to an hour masturbating on the couch

Customer Question

Good Morning,
I have a new question. I don't counsel children, and so would be grateful for your input: my personal trainer's 2 year old child can spend up to an hour masturbating on the couch. This makes her parents very uncomfortable, and they try to invite her to come and play with something else, but she persists. Is this a normal part of development? Thanks,

PS I never got the additional answer from Dr. Michael regarding what is appropriate to expect from a 5-6 yr.old in the matter of demonstrating responsibility. Maybe he doesn't see children either? :-) Thanks
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Health
Expert:  Susan Ivy replied 3 years ago.
Hello and thank you for requesting me.

This sounds excessive as it must to you. I will research it further though and get back with you.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
It did sound excessive. This child appears to understand very well what is said to her, but she has only 3-4 words. (Apparently this is a family trait - her Master's Degree'd mother was late speaking too.) This 2 year old " is quite stubborn"...and my thought was that if she picks up on the fact that her parents are not comfortable with this activity...then she might be inclined to do it more. ???
Expert:  Susan Ivy replied 3 years ago.
Absolutely it seems that if attention is paid to the behavior in a way where the child can sense that the parents want her to stop, then she is likely to be persistant - especially a two year old that is working on the developmental issue of autonomy.

It is so difficult since you are not there to see exactly how the parents are interacting with the child. Because for example, if the behavior were noticed, and the a parents engaged her in converstaion trying to get her to stop - then I could see that she might continue as long as her parents attention is upon her and there is an ongoing struggle of will.

I think it is acceptable for her parents to say to her 'this is something that is done in private' and without saying it is good or bad or being as matter of fact as possible, direct her to her private bedroom. Then provide her absolutely no more attention regarding the subject.

If the child is coming out of the room then to do the masturbation in front of the parents - it would seem to be a struggle of wills.

Now also, if it was found that without there being any struggle of will or attention and the child was still spending hours masturbating I would also consider medical evaluation for a possible hormone problem.

In some cases children that have been abused sexually or over stimulated sexually (being around sexual behavior - which might be considered abusive as well, anyway) have been known to engage in increased masturbation. Lets hope that this is not the issue, and it would not likely be, unless this behabior started after the child was left alone with a person that could have engaged her in this behavior. Of course there are often signs of depression, etc. when a child has been forced to do something against their will or their physical boundaries have been violated - so this is not likely to be the issue if the problem is instead more of a 'war of wills'.




Edited by Susan Ivy on 2/1/2011 at 4:38 PM EST
Susan Ivy, Nurse (RN)
Category: Health
Satisfied Customers: 4057
Experience: BSN, MSN, CNS
Susan Ivy and 3 other Health Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Hi Susan,

Altho' you are probably no longer on line... I have tried to contact the HELP desk, regarding the fact that I signed up for "Unlimited Questions" on Jan. 25, because it appears that the Site charged me for my question to you (I did add the tip for you.)Could you put me in touch with someone that could fix this? Or is there a phone number I could call (my queries did not raise any answers). Thanks, EEE

Expert:  Susan Ivy replied 3 years ago.
I absolutely will contact customer service for you. I don't know how long it will take - perhaps up to a couple of days. But they will get to you. If they don't write back to me and I will barrage them. (It is true if you are on a monthly rate, you should not get charged except for once a month - of course except for bonuses.)

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