Skip to content


    Attention All WebMD Community Members:

    These message boards are closed to posting. Please head on over to our new WebMD Message Boards to check out and participate in the great conversations taking place:

    Your new WebMD Message Boards are now open!

    Making the move is as easy as 1-2-3.

    1. Head over to this page:

    2. Choose the tag from the drop-down menu that clicks most with you (and add it to any posts you create so others can easily find and sort through posts)

    3. Start posting

    Have questions? Email us anytime at [email protected]

    Early years masturbation-like behavior
    JonInVirginia posted:
    Have any of you dealt with a boy in the 5-7 year age range who rubs his penis frequently, for several minutes at a time? What are your thoughts? How have you dealt with it?
    RTmommy2Liam responded:
    I have experienced the same thing with my 6 year old son. I think it is very natural for that age group, and even younger, and for the age group, it is not necessarily a sexual thing. As early as 12 months old, my son began touching and pulling at his penis during diaper changes and bath time, etc. From what I have read, it is normal for children to familiarize themselves with their anatomy, so there is really nothing to be concerned about.

    The main things to focus on, in your appraoch to "dealing with" it, are: Teach him the correct terminology for his body parts, if you haven't already. Second, make sure he understands that it is okay to touch himself, and there is absolutely nothing to be ashamed or embarrassed about, but it is something he has to do in private--bedroom with door closed--and make sure you knock before entering to allow him privacy. Make sure he understands why his "private parts" are supposed to remain private. If you ask him why he rubs his penis, he will likely tell you that he does it because it feels good. That is the exact reason that a child "masturbates", it feels good. I relate it to a baby soothed by sucking on a pacifier or bottle.
    Also, it may now be time to answer any questions your child may have about his private parts or whatever else he may be curious about, but be sure to read up on the best way to answer those questions for his age. Kids age 5-7 take things very literally, so any form of run around will confuse them. It's best to remain factual but simple for the best understanding. And remember, There is absolutely nothing wrong with your child and make sure you make that very clear to him while discussing these topics. Just tell him that you are trying to teach him things and make sure that he understands and has the ability to ask any questions he has. Another important thing is to make sure your child knows that he can ask you anything, tell you anything and trust that you will not get upset or make him feel embarrassed. Building that relationship with your chils is very important. If anything were to happen to your child that he feels is inapporopriate or makes him feel uncomfortable, he will know that he can talk to you about it--and this is crucial. Once you have discussed what is appropriate and inappropriate with your child, you want to know that if something inappropriate happens, that he will tell you so you can keep him safe/protect him from adults and even other children from abusing him sexually or even emotionally.

    I suggest you read this article, I just googled the subject and found this page and I think it is fantastic for parents who are unsure of how to approach this topic!

    Unfortunately, kids don't come with instruction manuals, but thank goodness we live in a time where plenty of information is at our fingertips! Best of luck!

    Spotlight: Member Stories

    I am Katie (35), married to Randy, and a SAHM of 4 beautiful children. Ella (6 1/2- first grade), Owen (5- preschool), Connor (3 1/2), Lilly (19 mo...More

    Helpful Tips

    Cut the School Morning Rush
    Rushing my kids comes to no good end. They get slower. Things get forgotten. The more we rush-the later and more stressed the morning ... More
    Was this Helpful?
    10 of 19 found this helpful

    Report Problems With Your Medications to the FDA

    FDAYou are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.