Post # 1
My Fiance abad I both have a daughter from a previous marriage. His is 7 and mine is 6. I noticed his started playing with herself about a year ago, we’re watching a movie and she’ll be under the blankets doing it. I only asked him recently if he had noticed she discovered certain things feel good and he said he had. We both understand is normal. However, since she does it in common family areas and my daughter wonders what she’s doing under the covers and why she won’t come and play, should I bring this up to him so he can have a conversation with her that these things should perhaps be done in private in your room? what do you think?
and question #2, my daughter picks her clothes, dresses herself and fixes her bed before coming downstairs for cartoons and breakfast in the morning before school and work. He lets his go downstairs, lay in the couch , picks her clothes for her and undresses and dresses her himself. I don’t think I should interfere with this aside from giving my opinion, if anything, but then he lets her leave her pjs on the coffe table which I end up putting away since the three leave for school and work before I go to work. Not a big deal, but should I encourage that she at least picks up after herself? Although since he does everything for her it may be him picking stuff up 🙂
Post # 2
Lara_11: sorry in advance for grammar errors. Typed this from my phone
Post # 3
1. Sounds like a talk about how some things are private is in order. Be careful not to shame her, just say that since private parts are private, so is touching them. Honestly, this might be better coming from you than Dad. I don’t know, though.
2. I would discuss with your Fiance that you want to encourage the girls to be more independent and come up with mutual goals for them – maybe “get dressed by themselves” and “put away dirty clothes” are ones that you suggest.
Post # 4
There are some awesome social stories about masturbation that the child could read herself as well as having the conversation with you/her dad. I think it’s important to have some sort of talk for sure and I think it would be good if both of you were present.
Post # 5
Lara_11: I think you can tell her that what she’s doing is 100% normal and healthy, but that it’s something she should do in private. I would equate it to other things she does in private (like using toilet, other hygiene) so she knows it’s not a bad thing but just simply not to be done in common spaces.
I would discuss independence goals as PP said – your girls are the same age and you’re living as one family now so there isn’t any reason that there should be different expectations for them.
Post # 6
I definitely think you guys should have a conversation with her that it’s completely normal and healthy, but something to be done in private in her bedroom/bathroom. There are many resources online regarding speaking to young children about masturbation so I’d definitely look into those. At her age I doubt she understands the concept of masturbation, shes just doing it cause it feels good so I think it’s appropriate to just let her know that we dont touch our genitals in public (like picking your nose etc).
Regarding leaving clothes in the living room, I think this needs to be addressed. She won’t learn to pick up after herself if she never has to do it. I’d definitely bring this up to your Fiance and figure out how you wanna go about it. I used to babysit for 2 families, both with 6 year old boys and the differences in their maturity levels were night and day, because of the chores/responsibilities they had. Maybe make a chore list for both girls so she doesn’t feel singled out?
Post # 7
I think it’s wonderful you want to help her understand what’s appropriate without shaming her for something that’s normal and healthy. I think that you could have a conversation in which you explain that touching your private parts feels great and can be fun but should be done in private, even if it’s uncomfortable.
Post # 8
When you see her doing it, simply distract her… “Anna, look what’s on my phone” or “Anna, How funny what that part in the movie?” The last thing you want to do is startle her or bring attention to what she is doing because that will lead to embarrassment.
Then, when you find an appropriate moment alone with her, discuss how masturbation is a normal thing but it is private and private things should happen when she is alone.
No shaming and remember K.I.S.S. = Keep it Simple Stupid… meaning keep your information short and to the point. Many times, we adults give a lot of information when chidren will be satisfied with a direct answer. If they want to know more, they will often ask. If you don’t know the answer, say “I don’t know but I can find out.”
Post # 9
Also, when you talk with her, I wouldn’t make it this big sit-down thing because that can lead to her thinking she did something wrong. Just bring it up naturally while you are doing a typical activity together like homework or cooking.
Post # 10
Just explain that we don’t touch ourselves in private places when we are in public. Explain that family counts as public with this situation.
Post # 11
Echoing PPs on the masturbation thing–just a simple conversation about only doing it in private in the bathroom or her room will suffice, just like how we only play with play-doh in the kitchen or play with bubbles outside.
Post # 12
208bride: I agree. This is wonderful advice.
Post # 13
- Wedding: May 2015 - Walnut Hill Bed & Breakfast
As far as #2, if the girls are both living with you and you’re getting married they will both be “our” children. They should be treated the same – especially if they are close in age. If your daughter has to make her bed and dress herself, then his should too.
Post # 14
Lara_11: your post reminded me of this!
It’s pretty simple- you’re free to do it, just do it in an appropriate place.
Post # 15
I think you got some great advice on issue #1.
As far as #2, I think it’s important that you and your Fiance get your girls on the same page as far as routines and rules go. Since you plan to be married, you will be one family unit and you should not treat the girls differently based on bio parents. Think about how this will play out as the girls grow up. You and your Fiance should be a united parental unit and raise those girls to be true sisters, not separate entities with different structures. As she gets older and realizes that she gets what she wants with Daddy and you have no say about it…. do you see where this is headed? And then your daughter, seeing her step-sister get away with whatever while she’s stuck following your rules? Raising children isn’t an easy task as it is, but you are setting yourself for much more trouble by letting this go on.