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I'm concerned with my response to my little girl's self-stimulation and rubbing habits. At about the age of two my daughter started displaying signs of "humping" or "rubbing" her genitals on her. When it first began, it was at completely random occasions, and to my embarassment even in public. I was absolutely concerned and so alarmed that I panicked shunning the behavior and expressing to her that it was unacceptable and not "good". My little girl had never been left alone with anyone but myself and my husband, and my mother and my sister so I felt confident that this was not anything relating to sexual abuse of any kind. But the mere fact that to any adult, this appeared to be a sexual, worrisome act overwhelmed me with worry and embarrassment, and fear. Additionally, my husband and I have always been extremely cautious about our sexual interactions being private. We do demonstrate hugs and kisses and innocent affection in front of our children, as do we to them, but nothing of a sexual natural. When she first began doing these things, my mother and sister fueled my alarm by freaking out as well. Being so young and naive in general as a mother and specifically on the subject, I thought that the solution to this would be to stop it immediately. She was never punished in anyway, I would just pick her up and attempt to distract her with a toy or different activity or if she was in bed I would remove her blankie from her bed. This drew attention to what she was doing and made her think what she was doing was not okay or "naughty". She does grasp the concept that it is not okay in public and only does it when she is in her bed alone. After researching the subject of toddler sexuality EXTENSIVELY, I strongly believe I have responded incorrectly and made this normal, innocent behavior of expressing sexuality into something "inappropriate" and "shameful". And I think my negative attention to it has caused it to become a more frequent activity for her, almost like the "forbidden fruite" concept... I recognize my mistakes and am in need of immediate damage control. I do not want to convey the message to her that exploring herself and touching her Own privates is a horrible, bad thing. I do not want her to grow up to be ashamed of her sexuality or her body. And I fear this is what I have done thus far. I also have a two year old little boy, and do not want to make this mistake with him.

My question is this: How can I address this issue in a manner which would repair my mistake of reacting incorrectly? How can I verbally address this correctly with a 3 year old little girl in a way which will be understood? And when I do address this issue with her, and my little boy, how do I go about that? Do I sit them down both together? Or separate them?

I would greatly appreciate any educated answers and suggestions! Thank you.

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I'm a pediatric urologist but this is more of a question for a psychologist.. i suggest leaving it alone... you may do more damage than trying to correct it.. just discourage public touching and tell her that if she wants to touch herself she needs to go to her bedroom. when the time comes do the same thing with your son.. if he starts touching himself put him in his room, but be sure not to make it a punishment. his/her room should never be a punishment place... time out chair is better for punishment...
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I would say first of all, relax...  you haven't shown anger, disgust or punished her, that's the main thing.  Please realise that little children do explore themselves and discover different feelings etc and that this is actually totally normal and whenever possible I believe should be given very little attention. OK, if it's done in public just discreetly distract her and say - kindly, softly - something along the lines of 'not when you are at the table honey' or wherever it happens to be. Don't make a big song and dance about it. No sermons or big talks, little kids don't really understand all that. Keep it simple, low-key, calm and relaxed. And be confident! I think it's great that you care so much. Good luck.
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i have the same thing happening to my 5 year she rides the arm of chair side of bed or she sits on her heels and moves back and forth please give me a response on this
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