Should I be concerned about my 2yr old daughter being too interested in her private parts?

Melissa - posted on 02/06/2011 ( 5 moms have responded )

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My daughter is almost 2 1/2 yrs old and seems to be increasingly curious about her private area. I sometimes find her touching that area and when I catch her, she quickly moves her hands away and laughs. I sometimes find myself telling her No when I catch her and tell her that's not nice to do, which now in hindsight I feel must make her even more curious. Also, when I give her a bath, she never wants me to wash that area and will giggle and move away when I try. Is this normal, or should I be worried?

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Erin - posted on 02/07/2011

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Children that age are curious about their bodies. Add to that, touching that area feels good. However, she has no "sexual" understanding at this time. My eldest son is almost 3 1/2 yo and still touches there. Sometimes it's the need to go potty; others it's just him "exploring." Now would be a good time to start teaching her that some things are private. Don't tell her it's not nice to touch there (you don't want to accidentally give her the "wrong" message). I tell my son that it's not polite to touch there in public. I've also taught him that he has a penis and testicles and that he should be careful who gets to see them. Teaching children the anatomical names of the privates keeps them safer from child molesters too (it's harder to make it a "secret" game if the child is open and honest about all body parts). As far as washing goes, that's an area she can reach easily. Some day, she'll have to wash herself, so use her moving away from you to start the lessons.
All in all, what you are experianing is normal. Just seize the moment for some long lasting life lessons.

Angel - posted on 02/08/2011

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my now 5 year old was always pretty curious about her privates...and now my 2 1/2 yr old is as well. I would always refer to her parts as vagina or bottom...when I would notice her touching that area, I wouldn't say anything-unless she started doing it in public...so when I noticed it happening at home more, I then sat down and talked about it. Very basic information at that age...I said something like, "I notice you have been exploring your vagina and that is totally fine...but it is a private part of our body so I want to make sure you know that we don't do that kind of touching when we are out in places with other people. It is a private thing we do in our own home by ourselves". She got the message...now 5 years old, goign to Kindergarten, she knows about her body, she respects her body and she knows that no one is allowed to see it nor does she do anything inappropriate around anyone. I know she masturbates-she tells me she touches herself, but she also says she does it when she wakes up in the morning-in her bed, in private and all is good. Just be open and honest. I plan on talking to my 2 1/2 yr old when the time is right and keep talking to her so she knows she can ask you questions and knows you are open with her and she isn't doing anything bad. Hope my experience helped a little :)

Heather - posted on 02/07/2011

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Absolutely Normal! I agree 100% w/ my fellow below posters. You don't want them to be ashamed of their bodies now put the idea in their sub conscious (sp?) That they can't come to you later in life w/ questions. Just enforce cleanliness, privacy, & take it as another lesson you can teach your child about what those parts are called, etc. I know it can be hard as we, or at least I, was not taught the proper names (we had nick names) & an uncomfortable undertone, easily picked up on by kids, was always in thetone when discussed. I have had to work very hard not to do the same. Good Luck!

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Jane - posted on 02/07/2011

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Maybe you could have a talk with her about it? explain how it all works, try to take some of the fascination away from it. Its a hard one and not sure if this advice is any good sorry. Best of luck

[deleted account]

Normal. The only thing I would be concerned about is the cleanliness of her hands (which is fine in the tub, but she should be encouraged to wash her hands frequently to prevent causing irritations by touching).... or if she's touching because it is already irritated (possible infection).

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