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How would you approach the subject of masturbation with your child?

For both current parents/guardians and any who want to simply hand out their opinion, how would you go about this as an athiestic/agnostic parent? Is their any reason to be against it without religion, and is their an argument to encourage masturbation and to what extent of encouragement? Perhaps their could be limitations on where or when the child is not allowed to masturbate, or on the other end of things, perhaps access to masturbation aids and pornography is permissable. Or maybe the subject could be ignored, with the child given room to figure it out on their own.

What would be your strategy?

Sheitelhau 5 Mar 19

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37 comments

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1

I want to know the answer as well. I have 7 year old twins a boy and a girl. Not sure how to approach that subject .

20

I've had the conversation. When my son was about ten, he came home from school absolutely disgusted that another boy skipped an entire class period to masturbate to porn in the bathroom. My son was mortified. I simply explained that perhaps the time and place were inappropriate, but that everyone masturbates. He asked, "Really?" and I corrected myself, saying that not everybody does, but everybody should. He was incredulous and wanted to know why. I told him that it gives him a chance to learn his body, it releases all kinds of good hormones, and it's fun!

I didn't want him to grow up with the same kind of body and sexual shame that I was raised with. I've always been straightforward and honest with him, from the very beginning.

@Key23 I've found that the truth usually is!

12

Masturbation would be the last thing I would be worried about with a child, seriously. Every child will do it, and I wouldn't want to make them feel weird for doing something totally natural.
When my daughter was entering the age where she had questions, and me being a single dad; I went to the library and got a book that answered those questions, and it was written by someone who was educated and qualified to give the correct answers. It was many years ago, so I don't remember the title or author. I didn't even hand her the book, just left it where she could find it. She picked it up and poured over it for days.

It was one of the best things I could have done. It prevented her being misinformed by peers or preachers.

Trust me not every child. Not if there is religion involved.

Or if someone has said something untoward about it.

@RavenCT
There are always exceptions to the rule. I've never met anyone who didn't, but I'm sure there are some.

My parents did similar. Just got a couple of books written by experts about anatomy, sex, puberty, etc, and left them in the center bookshelf where they were plain to see. If I had a question, I didn't have to awkwardly approach someone, I just looked in the books. It's more or less what I plan on doing for my daughter, though of course if she does ask me anything, I'll do my best to explain.

9

Don't in the family room watching tv...just don't. Take care of yourself in private.

7

We decided to talk to our child about it when we noticed that he was starting to seem interested in that "part" of him. We noticed it right after he watched "Alien" with the scantily-clad Sigorney Weaver scene! We told him that it's OK to do, but he must do it in private and be sanitary. We haven't seen him do it since, so either he lost interest or, more likely, is following our advice. We have not yet broached the topic of porn... that will be a much lengthier discussion, as I will want to make sure he does not get into anything illegal.

7

All I did was to say something like “your balls are going to hurt if you don’t go take care of that” or “dude, you see the size of my right arm?”. Just don’t allow subjects to be taboo. We’re just animals experiencing that form of life.

LMAO!

7

Just make sure your hands are clean before and after, and try to keep it to appropriate times.

6

AS IF a kid isn't going to find/try it?
And what, exactly, has learning about one's own body have to do with morality or religion?
Stop helicoptering

6

"who want to simply hand out their opinion, "

That's a good start...

4

I told my son it's nothing to be ashamed of -- that it's normal and most people do it -- but it's a very private behavior and he should carefully guard his privacy when he does it.

4

Why bring religion in too it at all? Its a natural human desire that we all do at some point and shouldn't be ashamed of it. Don't forget to tell him he'll go blind! Lol

4

I would advise that masturbation is frowned upon at the Dinner Table, in the company of their parents, in public, and in front of a Police Officer.

4

It's a normal part of being a human. To try to make it anything else is sinful.

3

I've caught all three of my children masturbating when they were very young. I just explained to them that it's natural but something you do in the privacy of your room. After that, I just asked them to go to their room and they either stopped or went to their room.

3

Three scenarios spring to mind...I remember being with a friend and looking under her brothers bed for a game. We found his porn collection by mistake. He was quite a bit older, mid to late teens. She told her dad and I belive the conversation went along the lines of, 'The magazines need to be kept up high out of our reach'.

I have a friend who went to find some suitable magazines with her husband and left them in a bedroom drawer for their teenage son to, 'find'.

When working with adults with disabilities there always boundaries that touching themselves happens alone in their room and that we should knock on bedroom doors when they are shut.
I'm not a parent, I guess everyone finds their own way, but a bit of help around boundaries never hurts.

What I'm really curious about is how do parents go about getting porn magazines today? Most of it has gone online, and there is indeed a lot of it out there, some of which is way too much for any adolescent to see.

My dad basically handed me a stack of Playboys when I hit that age. Today, Playboy is so tame by comparison to what is available for FREE on the Internet that one has to wonder about the exact opposite, how to prevent an adolescent from viewing questionable porn.

My friends went into a sex shop and looked at what they thought were ok I think. I guess they(young people) are going to see questionable porn, it's about providing guidance about what is respectful/ legal and realistic. Also some people seem to be addicted to porn to the extent that it impacts on real expectations and limits their ability to have an actual relationship. It must be tricky being a parent!

2

No one had to talk about it with me, I became a pro without the talk.
😀

2

If they are a reader I'd hand them a book. [parkslopeparents.com]

Should be a normal part of growing up if you aren't religious. Religion can just make the entire teen experience awful.

Preach! (Haha, see what I did there?)

2

My kids are still pretty young, kindergarten and 1st grade, and as a single father with an ex wife who hasn't always been... Consistent... I hace to be very careful how I approach this topic. When they've "explored" in my presence I've told them that it's ok, but to only do it in private when they are alone, and to clean up and wash their hands after. To my knowledge they haven't continued since then. As far as pornography and aides go, I'd say keep it legal. If you find your underage child veiwing porn talk to them in private about the legal ramifications for both them and yourself, and make sure they understand that what they are going through is completely natural. Same if they are sharing nudes. Probably limit their access to cameras and social media. I wouldn't buy ...toys... for them. But if I found they had one I'd either ignore it or if it was in plain view explain to them that they need to be more discrete. If they were getting into truble in other areas in their lifes I might try to find out where it came from and that they have a good understanding of sex ed. Probably the sex ed thing even if none of the above was going on. But like I said, my kids are still young. Most of that was going off my own experiences as a teen.

1

I have a two year old boy so this subject has both already come up and has a little while. So far I tell him not to play with his penis if he has dirty hands or if someone else is in the room. Toddlers are constantly learning about their own bodies and I want him to grow up without shame.

1

Been there, done this...I told my children that masturbation was natural, and probably the safest sex there is. Straight up, honest communication. I also advised them that there was a proper time and place for it, in public, in front of people was neither the time or the place.

Haha, the second to last line had me thinking this was going in a different direction.

1

Not with my hands.......😉

1

After I left religion, my children quickly followed. So many topics that were originally off-topic, suddently became acceptable. When my daughter graduated, my other daughter bought her a vibrator as a gift. It was a great moment.

K8TE Level 5 Mar 21, 2018
1

It's natural. However, anything sexual shoudl be done in private, whether or aloen or with soemoen else. This is nto because it is wrong or unnatural, but becuse it will just freak other people out. Especially the religious.

1

What we told our daughters when still in diapers (and later) was, "honey, that is perfectly fine, just not at the dinner table, and not in public."

Girls grew up to have happy healthy sex lives

1

Start with Waking up in the Morning and see where it goes from there.

1

Do I have to explain it to them? Nobody explained it to me, and not to brag, bit I'm pretty good at it.

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