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Question
Posted by: Susan | 2009-08-21

Child phsycology 3 year 8 month old boy

I posted this question to the paediatrician, and was advised to seek an opinion from a child phsycologist, please will you advise what your opinion is on my child' s behaviour, if needed i willl definately book an appointment with a child phsycologist. Please let me know your thoughts about this, i am extremely worried.

" My son started '  masturbating'  when he turned one year old. It started out by him lying on his tummy humping the bed, or his hands (he presses his hands on his winkie underneath his body)

We ignored it, thought it will pass but he is almost 4 now and it is getting worse. He will roll up his blankie, press it under his winkie together with his hands and hump until he is red in the face, sweating and groaning, the whole bed shaking.This will continue for about 5 to 10 minutes, after which he will sit up with a sigh and take a break and then start all over again. This can continue for anything between 30 minues and an hour every morning and every afternoon, every single day.

We have not done anything about it, quite frankly we have no clue what to do as it becomes embaressing, especially when there are visitors or when we are not at home.

When we try and get his attention away, for example tickling him he gets extremely angry. He also gets shy and tell us we must leave him he is '  cooking food'  or '  cleaning his willy' 

Could this be because he is curcimsized and is there anything we should do?

EXPERT' S REPLY
Subject:
Posted by: Paediatrician | 20/8/2009
Difficult as you may find this to believe,your son' s masturbation is not considered to have a sexual reason at this age. It is usually thought to be due to curiosity on the part of young children. Your son' s behaviour really does seem to be very different to the average child and appears occupy his whole day. It would be a good idea to consult a child psychologist about his habit. " 

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Our expert says:
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Masturbation is entirely normal, in child and adult. But it's a matter of proportion. IF indeed he is spending a major part of his day doing this, and appears unsatisfied by it, this is something worth understanding better. It is the quantity of this behaviour you describe that is unuual, and his irritation on being disturbed --- and hi being prepared to do it apparently elsewhere and in the presence of others. Sometimes an element of such a situation could be irritation of the penis, but this would be more likely in an uncircumcised kid.
Seeing a child psychologist could help a lot, and could hardly make anything worse. They have indirect ways of exploring his concerns, which can be most helpful, and can then advise on methods for distracting him and reducing this behavior back to normal proportions

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

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