puberty, masturbation and kids

Tara - posted on 10/13/2011 ( 73 moms have responded )

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When talking to your kids about puberty do you/would you/will you discuss masturbation with them? Boys and Girls?
In what context?
How much detail will you be comfortable giving?
Will it be a different sort of talk for your girls than for your boys?

Personally,
I talk to all my kids about masturbation before they hit puberty, as in "It's ok to touch yourself in your private places, but it's something you do in a private place".
When they are older and hit puberty the talk is more personal. It takes on a different level of self awareness and self appreciation especially for girls.
Often boys are told or are expected to masturbate as part of being a boy... built in toys and all..
But girls are not usually thought of as sexual beings that way. They are often thought of as "waiting" for sexuality to happen to them, from some external influence.
I want my girls to know that self pleasuring is not only okay, but can be a rewarding way to deal with the longings of puberty and early relationships. It's much safer and allows a girl to discover things about her own body that she likes etc.

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Eka - posted on 07/09/2012

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first i am from Georgia so i do not know English well /...:) ..but i can say...:i told to my daughter about masturbation..her face was like tomato i asked her what wrong she sad i am masturbating i was like wild but i thinck it is normal to 11 or12 years old girl.

Stifler's - posted on 10/13/2011

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I think masturbation is essential to enjoying your sex life. How will you know what to tell your partner to do if you never discover it for yourself. Kids need to know it's ok and that they are normal for doing this but yes in a private place.

April - posted on 10/14/2011

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"I think the talk is never complete" I like that answer, Laura! Come to think of it, I still talk to my mom about sex. I guess we are still having "the talk" haha!



My mom was very clear with me at 5 years old on how babies are made, so we had the reproductive talk. We didn't have talks about sexual urges, stuff beyond how the physical body works. It took me a long time (years) to get comfortable with talking to my mom about sex and my actual sex life, though.



I think my mom may have realized at some point that she may have given off the impression that certain things were taboo. I do wish I would have said something instead of being shy.



I always touched myself as a toddler, but when I was 5 I really got into full on masturbation. By 3rd grade, I started liking boys and I mean really liked them. I would day dream about making out with some of them and wanting to touch them (not in a sexual place, but feel the electricity of their hand or arm, etc.. accidentally brushing me) . I was 8 years old!



Thankfully, I have always been shy and quiet. I didn't grow up to be promiscuous with all these urges ( I call them urges because they were extremely strong feelings) and actually didn't lose my virginity until 22. I think I am going to go with Laura's answer that the sex talk is never complete and that different ages require separate "mini talks" due to changes that happen. :)

Charlie - posted on 10/13/2011

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I dont think masturbation needs to be explained Im sure everyone can figure it out for theselves I am more inclined to offer them the suggestion to be private and if it does come up explain that it is normal , natural and healthy I dont htink we will have to sit down and discuss it at length.

April - posted on 10/14/2011

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" I just don't think it's necessary to come out with a random masturbation discussion. " I agree! If your daughter, my son, and other children haven't been doing it, there isn't a reason to bring it up at this point! It would be really out of place and irrelevant to their lives. I believe in conversation, but when the time is right. Never met anyone that I know of who just out of the blue started talking about these topics to their toddler, lol!

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Lisa - posted on 04/22/2012

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lol @Laura while my mother was too prudish to do that one time she walked in and semi caught me. A few days later there was a body massager on my bed because i got cramps playing sports sometimes she said ;).

Lisa - posted on 04/22/2012

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My son i won't have to tell as he is 4 and i have caught him bare naked, humping the arm of the couch with his penis sticking straight up a few times lol. I used that as a perfect time to explain to my daughter that is a nice pleasurable thing to do. It's a good alternative to sex with not real risks as long as you wash your hands. Then i explained the rough mechanics of how a girl does it.

Sarah - posted on 04/17/2012

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i talked to my sons about masterbation when i thought the tie was right. This as a mum you sometimes know, they are in there room alot or get uncomfortable at various things on tv, or notice girls etc. I accidently walked in on my eldest son twice whe he was 13.

The second time was more embarssing for him, which shouldnt go into here, but he was upset and in need of a hug, But had the talk with him about self pleasure etc and i vowed not to walk in when he had the door closed. BTW both times the door was half open.

Robyn - posted on 03/03/2012

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Okay I know your posts are like a year old but I'm starting to wonder HOW to talk about this with my daughters. They are 11 & 10 and my 11 yr old is developing quickly. I tried to talk to her about shaving and she got really mad at me and slammed the door. Okay, I didnt mean to walk in on her, I thought she was in the shower. I don't know who to talk to about this, my mom and sister live 800 miles away. I don't think my husband wants to hear about this right now either. So, I'm left to find it out here. So, HOW do I approach these subjects without her flipping out on me? Any help is greatly appreciated!

Jennifer - posted on 02/28/2012

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I haven't read the other post here, but for me, the subject was talked about before the other sex talk. Little kids grab and play with stuff! Little boys are real bad! LOL I just explained that is a private thing to do. No shame, no guilt, just not in public places. That was the end of it, other than some crud jokes the boys throw around. I assume they do it, but don't ask. I also don't take back my lotion or body oil if it some how winds up their bedrooms, and at 12 I teach my kids how to do their own laundry.



ETA- I am married, and assume my husband has feilded some questions. I mean, the jokes fly around him usually!

Jen - posted on 02/28/2012

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My kids already know about sex, as they have heard me have it and asked questions. Granted my girls understand a little better over my 3 year old who just knows it's something people who care about each other do. I think sex ed should be something that you start dialogue on early and as they have questions you answer them over the years is all.

Katherine - posted on 10/23/2011

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My sons a bit young for it,but I def feel that communication should always be there around this topic. its something that is ever growing and ever changing.

When they are young you talk to them about touching themselves in the privacy of their room when no one is around, about how no one is to touch them and they aren't to touch another else there etc.

When they are older its sex, body parts, feelings, changes, erections, periods etc

when they are older still you can still discuss things to keep the communication open.

Hell, I still talk to my mom about sex.....

Merry - posted on 10/23/2011

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Haha vegetables :) never used a veggie but I have to admit I used some less then safe items in my exploration without à guide. I think a vibrator is a tough purchasefor a young girl but I believe you made the right decision!

Jennifer - posted on 10/23/2011

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Most kids touch themselves at a very young age anyway. Heck, it feels good. That is the time that I tell them that it's ok to do that but it should be done in the privacy of your room. It is not something we share with other people. I have always talked openly with my daughter about sexual issues and when she was about 13, she asked if I would buy her a vibrator. (We had also discussed those things as well). I went out and bought her one and explained it was for personal and private use. It was not to be shared with others.

I was given a lot of grief from other parents I had talked to because they thought it was dirty or I was encouraging promiscuity. The truth is, I know my daughter has a safe object to explore her sexuality with. I know my vegetables have not been used for that purpose. I also know that my daughter is 17 and has not had sex yet because the topic isn't taboo in my house. It is HER decision to have sex or not and I have done my best to take the mystery out of it. Having a good open honest relationship with a parent goes a long way in helping a child make good decisions on the subject.

Brittany - posted on 10/22/2011

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I believe it is a natural thing in all humans to discover themselves. I did it, you did it and our kids will do it.

Tara I agree with you on the female part. I do not think we should discourage our daughters from this. This allows them to discover what makes them feel good, give them confidence because, they know themselves better, may even keep them from having too many sexual partners at a young age. If she knows what she wants she may not try to seek it out until she knows she it with someone who will love her and care for her.

When this talk comes up with my children then yes I will tell them that it is ok for you to in private places at private times.

Christina - posted on 10/22/2011

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This has been an interesting thread to read, Im glad I joined ladies :) Tara Im not sure I have much advice for you, I guess I have to say that I have not yet had the talk with my son about masterbation as of yet! I have had the sex talk with him a while ago (which I thought he was way too young, but he was just too curious about things) since the talk my son has come to me with questions as they arrise about things he does not understand and such & Im greateful to have that open communication with him. I used to tell his father -- Uhh?? when it comes time for that "Thats Your Department" just tell him to do it in the shower so I dont have to have the dreaded "deer in the head lights" look from my lil baby boy (I will NEVER forget my mom face when she caught my brother lol) I used to say I dont care how many showers he takes a day as long as he does it in there! These were more of jokes at the time....thinking the time would NEVER be upon us....lol, Well....HERE IT IS and Im not so sure I know which direction to go. I think I will attempt to hint around the topic with him for the next week or so & see what he has to say, before I go into it full force convo with him. I do know that I want him to feel comfortable with his sexuality,I want him to know that its normal, but that it is done in privacy with respect to other people in the house.I do agree with you Tara as far as the girl side of it. My mother did not have any talk with us much less masterbation talk. I did seek out attention by boys at a young age out of curiosity & then when I finally did learn about masterbation I was like Whoa, Whoa....Ooook.....Here we go...what the hell do we need boys for?? :) lol -- If I had a girl I would feel the same way & I guess a part of me feels the same with my son -- if he understands that he can pleasure himself & is comfortable with that.....would it prolong sexual relations with girls?? Unfortunatly boys are different by nature...I think it doesnt matter how many times a day they do it at this age...they still want more!!! Ya'll have definatly giving me something to think about for the next few evenings :) THANKS!!!!

Sherri - posted on 10/17/2011

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I think you misinterpreted the wording Tara she is saying it is what happens to all people when they get aroused. Not that they need to only do it in the company of each other only during sex.

Donna - posted on 10/17/2011

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umm no, i believe that they need to figure out what turns them on on their own, i cant do that bc its their bodies not mine. I never said a man was just going to come along and sex was going to be amazing, cuz hell most guys that i slept with couldn't find it with a ten foot pole and a map

Tara - posted on 10/17/2011

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@Donna Clark

If you don't plan on talking about masturbation when you have "the big sex talk" than aren't you leaving your daughters sexual satisfaction up to a man? If you don't include masturbation when speaking to your kids about their bodies and about sexual urges etc. than what you are essentially teaching your daughter is that she is "waiting" for a man to pleasure her and even though she may feel sexually aroused before that time, she is still being told that those feelings are only to occur when a guy and girl are in the mood.

Which begs the question, if your son were being given the "big sex talk" would you be telling him that "when he is in the mood and so is a girl then "this" is what happens."?

Because again, this is telling teens that they are not in any way responsible for how they experience their own sexual feelings and instead implies that those feelings are only acceptable when you have another person with you who feels the same way.



I would rather my kids masturbate when they are experiencing the urges and sexual feelings of youth than simply waiting to find someone who is also feeling those things so they can jump each other.

Personal pleasuring is a great way for both girls and boys to learn about their body and how our unique sexual arousal zones work. I think it makes perfect sense for kids to learn about mutual masturbation as well, it's a safe way for teens to explore sexual relations before they engage in full on intercourse.

Angela - posted on 10/17/2011

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Tara I think as you do and did as you, talked about it. Sex was always an open book in my home.
I also told my kids the mutual masturbation when they were dating. It is normal and later a part of a sexual relationship.

Donna - posted on 10/16/2011

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my 6 yr old has told me she touched herself down there. It kinda threw me off, i just told her thats something you do when you are in bed and no one is around. I dont think ill bring that up when we do have the big sex talk. i'll probably just end up telling them when a guy and a girl are "in the mood" this is what happens.

~♥Little Miss - posted on 10/14/2011

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I actually like you Sherri, so calm down. I am not trying to pick on you, really if it was ANYONE I would call them on it. I am not intentionally singling you out. It just so happens it was a rather recent post that you wrote that.

~♥Little Miss - posted on 10/14/2011

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Well, if you kept your stories straight, I wouldn't have to call you out on so many things.

Erin - posted on 10/14/2011

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I think the 'it's your body and normal that you want to touch it, but it's something we do in private' is an acceptable starting point for this conversation. Most kids, certainly mine, will want more information and then you can go from there.

I just don't think it's necessary to come out with a random masturbation discussion. I would rather take my cues from her while she's still so young.

Sherri - posted on 10/14/2011

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Complete talk would include intercourse, safe sex, STD's, date rape, sexting, respect of themselves and any girl they are with, not being pressured, not pressuring anyone else, no means no, pregnancy, responsibility, birth control, changes in their body, changes within a girls body.
Their father and I's feeling on it and the most important just keeping the lines of communication always open so if they have more questions or need help with something they will continue to feel comfortable coming to us.

That is what I can think of just on top of my head and I am sure there is even more that I may be forgetting.

Merry - posted on 10/14/2011

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I think the talk is never complete! It might be complete for on age of child but as they grow it expands and grows into more of a discussion.

Merry - posted on 10/14/2011

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I never got 'the talk' my mm intended on it when I was 8th grade but she was quite sick with cancer and chemo so she forgot and I went online and learned everything I know :-/ let's just say I had issues with porn for a long time.
Not the way I should have learned it all but I can't fault my mom for being sick. I should have went to her and reminded her I had questions but I was too embarrassed. That can fault her on, she and my dad raised us to be very ashamed of our bodies.

April - posted on 10/14/2011

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oh and Sherri, would you mind sharing what your version of "complete sex talk" includes? I think that could be different for every family! Maybe others can follow and share what their opinion is of "complete"

April - posted on 10/14/2011

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I am noticing a lot of people saying that when they see it happening, they'll tell the child that the place for it is in a private room. I agree with this, but I also want to make sure that if my children want tot talk about it further, that they feel comfortable to do so. The quick answer of "it's for your bedroom" and then never to talk about it again...does anyone think that could send an unspoken message? Such as, "This topic makes me uncomfortable. I want it to end quickly, while still getting the point across that it's ok." Seems like in the back of your mind, you really don't want to have an actual conversation about it? Btw, my son is only 2 so I don't know what such a conversation would entail. I just want to make sure any questions my kids have will get asked, that's all...

Krista - posted on 10/14/2011

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That's the thing: a lot of times the "sex talks", whether they're done by the parent or done by the school, are just NOWHERE near comprehensive enough.



I took a human sexuality course in my 3rd year of university (hey, it was a fun elective), and it covered so much: historical and cultural perspectives on sexuality; the biology of the reproductive system, pregnancy and childbirth; sexual development throughout a person's life from birth to death; sexual practices and masturbation; attraction, love, lust and relationships; GLBT issues; fetishes and paraphilias, contraception and STDs, sexual coercion and rape. That's just what I remember off the top of my head, anyway. (There was no talk of sexting, as I'm an old fogey, and texting was non-existent back in my day.)



Unfortunately, a lot of parents and educators only discuss how babies are made. They might discuss contraception, if it's not some stupid abstinence-only program. But that's usually about it.



Sex, in some form or another, affects our everyday lives. I wish more parents and educators would devote the time it deserves to make sure that kids are fully informed and prepared.

Sherri - posted on 10/14/2011

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I agree that it should include sexting, date rape, STD's etc. Laura.

Others find it very important to include masturbation with their talks and don't consider it 100% without it and others don't find it as important and still consider their talks 100%.

Sherri - posted on 10/14/2011

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Well things change now don't they Marina. Your kids don't change?? Mine do and my answers change to reflect the changes as they do.



No big deal Marina since you call me out on everything now don't you? Can't post anywhere without you saying BS to one of my posts. Used to it by now.

Merry - posted on 10/14/2011

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Ok, the reproduction talk doesn't need to include masterbation, oral, anal, etc.
But the 'sex' talk is all inclusive to everything sexual in nature including masterbation and stuff like sexting, date rape, statutory rape, stds, etc.

~♥Little Miss - posted on 10/14/2011

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Sorry Sherri, I call bullshit. It was rather recently you stated your 14 year old, or any of them do not masturbate. It may have been on the last circumcision thread, or the one before that. But it was in the last 1-2 months you stated this. I remember cause I was laughing out loud that you knew for sure your son does not masturbate. Sorry, had to call you on that one.

Sherri - posted on 10/14/2011

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@April my oldest is older since those threads originally started probably virtually a year + older. So obviously with the changes in my kids obviously my answers are going to change.



Also I NEVER stated I didn't want them to masturbate only that they didn't at that time. Never said it was wrong or hinted to the fact that it was.



And yes our sex talk was 100% complete you don't need to talk about masturbation to have a sex talk be complete.



I got the 100% sex talk with my parents too and never once did it include masturbation. I didn't ever need help it is something that comes naturally and certainly doesn't need any explanations. I am with Feen on this one.

Jenn - posted on 10/14/2011

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I've told my kids that we don't touch other people's penis/vaginas but that it's OK to touch your own, but it's a private thing that you do in your own room. I'm not sure what else I will tell them when they get older. I guess I'm just figuring some of these types of things will come up along the way.

Merry - posted on 10/14/2011

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I don't think a full on discussion needs to happen but there has to be at some point a mention of touching yourself and that it's fine in private.

Most kids will do it at some point and if there's never been any mention of it to them they may think it's fine, but most likely they will worry they're the only ones whove ever done it and feel embarrassed about it.

So something simple at least I think should be said, like, touching/playing with your body is fine, just keep it private and only discuss it with me or your dad.

Krista - posted on 10/14/2011

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I dont think masturbation needs to be explained Im sure everyone can figure it out for theselves I am more inclined to offer them the suggestion to be private and if it does come up explain that it is normal , natural and healthy I dont htink we will have to sit down and discuss it at length.

I'm with Feen. I don't really feel the need to talk about all the nuts and bolts of masturbation with my kid, but I will at least make sure to tell them that it's normal and healthy but private, and will also (especially if I ever have a girl) emphasize the importance of preventing infections from unwashed hands or toys. Other than that, I'm sure they can figure it out.

April - posted on 10/14/2011

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"Nope we had the complete sex talk and I didn't and won't be talking about masturbation. I don't think it is wrong but honestly that is something I can assure you they do not need help with or explanation for."



Sherri, with all due respect, if you had the "complete" sex talk but did not include masturbation, then the talk wasn't really complete. Also, I've seen you state on other threads that your teen boys do not masturbate. I got the impression that you don't want them to do it or that you don't allow them to (so I'm surprised here that you are saying you don't think it's wrong). Just curious because you have insisted on past threads that they don't masturbate and I believe you even once said they didn't know what it is?

~♥Little Miss - posted on 10/14/2011

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I WILL talk to my children about it. I would rather ME talk about it rather them finding out through friends or on the streets. I was NEVER talked to about sex, masturbation, or even my period. (I somehow missed every sex ed class in 5th grade). I did grow up in a Catholic home, but was never raised to believe the human body was bad. I was just never taught, so I thought it was bad on my very own. My mother thought I knew everything since I had 2 older sisters. Not true. Hell, when I got my period, I just kept thinking, why is my crotch bleeding. It really freaked me out. I think it is the parents job to have these difficult discussions, no matter how embarrassing, cause truly you have no idea what your kids know and don't know. I want it all to be clear.

Lady - posted on 10/14/2011

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One of the great things about having children at different ages is that quite often the behaviour of the younger ones can give you an opertunity to talk to the olders ones about something important.
My younger daughter was touch her privates when she was very young and the older two were complaining but I was able to tell them it was fine - it was her body and she was allowed to touch herself wherevever she wanted and it probably felt really nice - I explained that she was just a baby and didn't know that she shouldn't really do it in front of other people but I would explain that to her when she was older but that there was nothing at all wrong with her giving herself a nice feeling by touching herself - my then 6 year old (now almost 11) admitted then that she touched herself sometimes in bed and I was able to tell her that was alright and normal - I was so pleased to be able to let her know that there was nothing wrong with what she was doing - I hope I can pass it on to the other as well.

@Carol - don't worry about getting embarrassed you'd be amazed at what your kids will ask you and you don't actually get embarrassed - my oldest asked me about blow jobs once and because I was just so pleased he felt able to ask me about something so intimate gave me the ability to just answer him like I would any other question - if it's something you feel you want to pass on to her you'll find it in yourself to talk about it without embarrassment.

Charlie - posted on 10/14/2011

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I guess because i dont live in very religious community I dont really fear they will get the wrong information, I never knew it was a "sin" until I was an adult however I would hope if one of them were faced with that idea he would question it and would come be open enough to ask us about it.

This is probably the only sex issue I dont really feel the need to bring up I guess, I am all for proactive sex education in most cases but I just feel in this enviroment and with us being very open in all areas of communication including sex that it shouldnt be too big of a deal.

My personal worry isnt so much what the prudes may tell him but what his oversexualized classmates will tell him.

Stifler's - posted on 10/13/2011

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I think it doesn't need to be like " ARE YOU MASTURBATING?" but yeah if you notice they are doing it inappropriately tell them it's ok to do it but in private.

Minnie - posted on 10/13/2011

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My concern if one doesn't talk about it is other people who may be more prudish that a child has access too. Say mom and dad think it normal and good but someone else doesn't and the child hears from that person that they are dirty and sinful for masturbating. Hopefully a child doesn't have access to people like that, but you never know.

Charlie - posted on 10/13/2011

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My Mum and Dad never had the talk with me though I just had my privacy of my room , so it was never bad or good it just was and I enjoy/ed it.

So maybe unless they ask or are doing it in an innapropriate way there isnt a need to really talk about it.

Johnny - posted on 10/13/2011

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I'm sure there is a book. I'm going to give my daughter the book. I know that no matter how hard I try not to be embarrassed when explaining it to her, I will fail. I don't want her to take my embarrassment as a sign that masturbating is something to be ashamed of. Maybe I'll get cooler when we're both older, she's only 3 now and I've never seen her touch herself. But I'm going to start looking for the right book just in case.

I'm very pro-masturbation, big fan ;-P I'm also a big dork.

Chelsea - posted on 10/13/2011

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i honestly think it needs to be discussed especially with girls i never did till after i had already had swith my husband who is the only man ive been with i was 18 before i was ever sexual at all with someone, i didn't even realize girls masterbating and it was ok, even now i feel like im wrong if i do and i don't want my children feeling it is wrong. My oldest is only 2 1/2 but is to that i'm gonna touch myself stage and i will just let her know we don't do it in front of other people we do it in our room during alone time rather then in the middle of the living room or in the bath tub

Charlie - posted on 10/13/2011

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There is science behind lust.
There is the matter of how we choose who we like and dont like why we feel lust towards a person reguardless of relationship status , how we aquire our "tastes" Pheremones being one reason ( pehermones are a strong signal for immunity we unknowingly are attracted to people with opposite immunities as a means to produce stronger children ) , then there is visual for men and smell for women ( men use visuals to see signs of fertility hair , breast ect we use smell for immunity ) although we do look to the opposite too ( women visual apparently hip to shoulder ratio comes into play for women , men smell ) .

the amygdala plays a leading role :
" Note the bold sentence on the amygdala - our "inner guardian". It greatly influences dopamine and oxytocin, which are necessary for love.
The neurochemicals are probably circular:
Behavior/intentions>>>release oxytocin>>>> act on amygdala>>> reduces fear>>amygdala causes dopamine to release in reward circuit>>>> leads to I'm attracted to him/her>>>more oxytocin released feeding back to amygdala. Bonding behaviors are the beginning of the cycle, as they calm the amygdala, saying "this person is safe, hormones and genetics. " ~ cupids poison arrow a scentific look at love and lust.

I just wonder if this is something that can be scientifically explained as a natural occurance how it could be wrong ?

Is this one of those human things we were "given" but shouldnt have in the opinion of some like .....dare I say it circumcision ?

And sorry I REALLY dont want to debate religion just sexuality although I know it will be an undercurrent as we discuss this , this isnt about questioning religion just I am more interested in questioning how something natural could be wrong......

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