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"I caught my child masturbating, Doctor. What should I do?"

It is not unusual for physicians to hear this question from worried parents. However, masturbation is a part of normal human sexual experience, and chil­dren find it pleasurable. Assuming it is not excessive (not interfering with nor­mal routines, responsibilities, or play), elimination of masturbation may not be desirable.

Nevertheless, make sure your child understands that masturbation, like many other things, is a private activity, not a public one. If you observe him touching his genitals in a public place, you might say to him: "It is not appro­priate for you to be touching your penis [or vagina] here. It should be only done in the privacy of your room when no one is with you." As you discuss masturbation with your child, do not label it as bad, dirty, evil, or sinful. This will create a sense of guilt and secrecy that may be un­healthy for his sexual development.

There are certain situations in which children should receive an evaluation by a behavioral pediatrician, child psychiatrist, or psychologist. These include:

· Frequent excessive daily masturbation, both at home and in public.

· Public masturbation that continues even after you have talked about it with your child.

· Masturbation that takes place in conjunction with other symptoms of be­havioral or emotional difficulty, including social isolation, aggression, destructiveness, sadness, withdrawal, bed-wetting, or soiling (encopresis).

· Inappropriate sexual talk or other sexual activity.

Source: AAP

Author: TxNaturalPediatrics

By training, I am a American Board Certified Pediatrician. But in my younger years I grew up with natural alternatives. As a mom I have tried to incorporate both for my kids and it has worked wonders. And finally, as I am studying natural & alternative medicines, I realize the beauty and wisdom of living closer to earth. Hence in my practice I integrate both...for acute ailments I follow American Academy of Pediatrics recommendation but for simple and/or chronic conditions I prefer natural alternatives. In western training we were raised to think that "health is the absence of symptoms and problems". But eastern sensibilities has educated me that "Health is state that allows one to use the full capabilities of their body, mind and intellect. Therefore, healthy living is a balanced state of well being: physically, mentally, socially and spiritually." This implies that healing is not a "one-pill-fits-all", but a personalized experience.

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