How Do I Explain to My 4 Year Old to Touch Herself in Private?

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Betty Dodson

Dear Betty,

I love your site, it has helped me a lot, thank you and Carlin for the wonderful work you do.

I have a four year old girl, since she was three she loves to touch her vulva, she opens her legs and touch her all the time, everywhere, I want to be a sex positive mother so I let her do it, but I always try to make her understand that she has to do it in her room not in front other people, but she touches herself in the subway, in our living room, where she wants, I don't know what to do, if you could help me with your wisdom I will be very grateful to you.

I know it is a good thing that masturbation begin in childhood as you say many times in D&R.

Thank you


Dear A,

Teaching is always about repetition. Just tell her again (and again) that touching her vulva is for her private time. Not in public because it upsets people. Then tell her each time it happens in a level voice and make sure she is listening. She'll get it and learn to save those good feelings for her private times...

Dr. Betty

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