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Bonnie
Bonnie, Psychologist
Category: Parenting
Satisfied Customers: 2189
Experience:  and pediatric nurse practitioner with 30 years of experience counseling parents.
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Parenting

I caught my 7 year old son masturbating. Should I be concerned

I caught my 7 year... Show More
I caught my 7 year old son masturbating. Should I be concerned? Before I caught him he was always touching and scratching his penis area.
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Parenting
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replied 5 years ago.
Hello and thank you for consulting JA:

In a 7 year old this is considered normal behavior...So no need for concern.

Children should never be punished or shamed for masturbating, as this can have major effects on their self-esteem and comfort with sexual activity as adults. There are lots of positive ways for parents to keep their kids from masturbating in public places:
  • Set limits: explain to your child that it is a private activity, much like toileting, and should be limited to the bedroom or bathroom.
  • Distraction: try to get your child interested in another activity with their hands.
  • Ignore masturbation at bedtime or naptime and encourage your child’s daycare to do the same.
  • Increase the amount of hugging, cuddling and parental affection you show to your child.
  • Give your child a security object (teddy bear, doll, blanket) to take in public, since they may be using masturbation to comfort themselves in an unfamiliar situation.
  • For children with developmental delay or other mental impairments who may not be as receptive to reasoning, positive reinforcement techniques may be helpful (for example, reward them for not playing with their genitals with special treats).
Hope this helps....