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Carol Kryder LMFT
Carol Kryder LMFT, Mental Health Professional
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 808
Experience:  APA Board Certified, Diplomate,Substance Abuse Professional, 20 years family therapy experience
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my five year old daughter lies on her stomach and rubs her

Resolved Question:

my five year old daughter lies on her stomach and rubs her privates on the floor. I have tried to make her stop by redirection and even explaned to her this is not acceptable behavior. Today her principal called my husband in for a conference because the teacher caught her doing this at nap time. What am I to do? Is this a symptom something is wrong with my child. Have I failed her as a mother. Please help us!!
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Carol Kryder LMFT replied 7 years ago.
Hello and thanks for using

Many children your daughter's age masturbate, and not knowing our social standards, will often do it in public. The first thing I would do is take her to her pediatrician to determine if she has an infection or rash, or other medical issue which needs attention.

Secondly, a careful analysis of the situation would include a rule out of any sexual abuse. I realize this is frightening to you as her mother and it absolutely does not mean you have failed her in any way, but I would want to make sure no one has touched her on her privates. The doctor can ask or you can take her to a therapist for an evaluation.

Most likely, her behavior is normal, or at worst due to a rash or other medical issue. Please do not think you have done anything wrong. However, she does need to be examined by a doctor just to make sure she is OK.

After the doctor clears her and it is determined she has not been touched, she needs to be told that if she wants to do this, she must go to her room and do it in private. Sometimes children will continue to engage in this behavior because they know it bothers the adults. You need to be very calm and matter of fact about this. Just tell her to go to her room if she wants to do this, and it is not appropriate behavior at school.

If this has been helpful please click on the "Accept" button. If you need clarification on anything I have said, please let me know.

Good luck.
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