Advertisement

How can I oppose my child’s masturbation without sexual guilt?

Masturbation is as normal as breathing air. Opposing this behavior will automatically attach guilt. Whether or not we see this behavior as normal, we certainly discourage public display. The best resolution is to distract the child to an acceptable activity until they are able to use language. Then you can tell the child that this behavior is private and personal, not to be shared in front of others.

Review your own feelings about sexual behaviors to make sure you are not burdening your child with your own demons. Share your values instead.

If you truly oppose masturbation, instead of pushing your toddler's hand away from his genitals, gently move it from the area. Or instead of saying something to your adolescent like, “that's disgusting,” share your values on the topic and explain why you believe so. What's considered unhealthy is attaching guilt or shame to masturbation. Some reasons why: Shame can make people feel bad about their bodies, can make it harder to talk to one's healthcare provider about important sexual heath or reproductive health matters, and can even cause sexual problems once they're in adult relationships. Helping your children to feel good about their body is a wonderful gift to them.

Continue Learning about Sex and Relationships

Life After Mastectomy: Sex, Self-Image and Strategies for Coping
Life After Mastectomy: Sex, Self-Image and Strategies for Coping
A woman’s breasts are one obvious sign of femininity and can be a source of great sexual pleasure for her and her partner. But when a woman is diagnos...
Read More
How long does sexual intercourse usually last?
Dr. Mehmet Oz, MDDr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Most men having intercourse last between three and seven  minutes.  
More Answers
4 Signs You Might Have Sexual Dysfunction
4 Signs You Might Have Sexual Dysfunction4 Signs You Might Have Sexual Dysfunction4 Signs You Might Have Sexual Dysfunction4 Signs You Might Have Sexual Dysfunction
They do a number on your sex life—and can point to even bigger health problems.
Start Slideshow
Does the Definition of Sexual Health Change with the Times?
Does the Definition of Sexual Health Change with the Times?

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.