May 25, 2008

Pictures of Pornography: Kids and Sexuality

By Anonymous for this

My daughter has done self-stimulation ever since she was a baby. It has been distressing to me, but I have not said anything. I was afraid that, if I said the wrong thing I might instill shame in her about her body. I might create the kind of “forbidden fruit” situations that seem to lead to trouble later. There were some difficult times we went through when she was a baby, and so I thought it might be her way of coping, and I left her alone. Sure enough, she has not done it nearly as often as she has gotten older.

I found her the other day, though, when I went into the spare room where she was napping to get something. She is six now, and I thought, I should probably say something. I was afraid of making her feel guilty, but also afraid that if I did not give her any kind of guidance about sexuality, and what those feelings she was after were about, I would also fail as a parent. Especially if I want her to avoid masturbation one day. As a teenager, a habit like that can be much harder to break.

I thought for a moment and said a silent prayer, then sat on the bed. She had stopped as soon as I came in, and I could tell by the wary expression on her face that she was ready for me to chastise or shame her. I just looked at her in the face and told her, calmly and lovingly, that I understood that what she was doing made her feel good. I told her that lots of kids do it, and it doesn't make her a bad person that she does it sometimes. I also asked her if she could try not to do it, because it's not something Heavenly Father wants us to do very much, and that those feelings are special, for when we get married. She nodded and looked at me seriously during the discussion.

I went downstairs and took a deep breath, and sat in the chair in front of the computer. I thought the conversation went fine, but I wondered if I had handled it right. Should I have been more stern? Should I not have said that lots of kids do it, almost validating it? Should I not have told her to try not to do it? She is not even eight; accountability does not apply to her yet. And yet... the habit. I did not want to make life harder for her because I was afraid to speak up.

Several minutes later, she came downstairs and climbed into my lap and gave me a big hug. She is not normally an actively demonstrative girl; most of the hugs are ones I ask for, or sometimes she will playfully hug me. This was a real hug; an honest-to-goodness, “thank you for being my mommy” hug. I will remember it forever.

I think I did the right thing.


Putz said...

is this kind of discussion hard for anyone else?????

Putz said...

i think i will go back to a discussion on tickling

Chas Diamond said...

How do you know the heavenly father doesn't like people wanking?

I mean - why on earth ddi he give people hands and genitals?

Not only that, but hands which happen to hang at around EXACTLY THE SAME HEIGHT as your genitals.

Co-incidence, or creation?

Of course, I'm biased as I make my living out of masturbation.

NoSurfGirl said...

OK guys... while I am all about openess and honesty in this topic, I say let's stick to real terms, not slang. Just for the purpose of respect and real discussion. In future, any "slang" terms or flippancy will be moderated.

Chas, I don't think that it is wrong in every situation. Within the bounds the lord has set (marriage) I know some people have found self-stimulation to be conducive to their intimate relationships. I'm not discussing that. I'm not even discussing telling your kids to never never explore themselves or even engage in a little pleasure seeking. I think it is a normal childhood activity. I challenge anyone out there to say they never did it themselves. (And also that nobody ever picked their nose.) :)

But as someone who has been taught that sexuality is for marriage, I personally agree with this account... that it's important to teach children this purpose, and encourage saving it for that time.

David L said...


This is an issue which will probably come down with overwhelming evidence in favor of masturbation. I would dare say that most psychologists conclude that masturbation is a healthy and even necessary activity. And that is why living prophets are so very vital.

The simple answer is this: The Lord has revealed through modern prophets that the practice should be avoided. It's that simple.

There may be reasons, there may not be reasons, but the ANSWER is "Because God said so."

By the way, I would like to point out that most medical professionals once believed smoking to be healthy and beneficial while the Lord, at the same time, said don't do it. If push comes to shove, I'm going to listen to the Lord, not the professionals no matter how many letters they add after their names.

Anonymous said...

I think it's good that you told her that other people also do this. With other issues requiring self-discipline or delayed gratification, we acknowledge that it's a universal challenge. Lots of people lose their tempers, and we should have the self-discipline to learn patience and other ways to deal with frustration. Lots of people want to buy something immediately, and we should learn to delay gratification until we can buy it without going into debt.

Sexual satisfaction is also something subject to self-discipline and delayed gratification, so it's fine to say that everyone has these feelings and enjoys the sensations, but we need to control them.


Barb @ getupandplay said...

I think what you told your daughter was age appropriate in its detail and message. I think you did an excellent job of not shaming her or the behavior and giving her a reason why it feels good and that someday it will be a wonderful feeling to be enjoyed in marriage. You have probably also set up a relationship of openness so that in the future she will seek you out for other questions about sex.

Stephanie said...

After reading the comments on the other posts, I was contemplating what I would say to my sons about the same thing, and I came up with pretty much the same thing you told your daughter. It seems like wise parenting to me.

Anonymous said...

I think that what you did was the right thing because you sought guidance from your loving Heavenly Father. Who not just loves you but also loves your daughter even more than you love her. If you keep that up and never excuse the action as "okay" but as something that does need to be remedied because it is wrong, you'll be okay. You'll know what to say and when to say it.

Children know when they are doing something they aren't supposed to even when they are six. And they want to do the right thing, they just need support.

For the record, I have picked my nose. In fact I still do. But I have never used my hands to self-stimulate myself to ejaculate. I am probably an oddity, but I don't think I'm that odd in this. But I have had other sins over my head that were/are extremely hard to rid myself of. Those that were were conquered though a loving God and his Son Jesus Christ and brought the greatest sense of freedom I have ever felt. Those that are left I believe can be conquered the same way.


A loving Father