I am a parent. And, I have been looking into the faces of babies, parents, and grandparents for over 20 years in my work as a clinical and public health nurse. I have felt the joys, hopes, disappointments, traumas, grief, fears, concerns, laughter and love of parents and children. I have heard their thoughts and feeling. I have seen their actions and the effects of those actions. I have interacted with the myriad of professionals who weave in and out of family life. Because of this and being a parent, I have a great appreciation for the range of experience that exists within and between each parent and child.
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Parenting Q & A
My two year old touches herself, if you know what I mean. Is this normal?
Yes, what your daughter is doing is normal. Keep your response simple – distract her without commenting. If it’s blatant in front of others, she’s ready to hear (in private) that this is something we only do in private.
It’s helpful to know that sexual development ISN’T ONLY about the act of sex. Sexuality includes the development of ideas and feelings around intimacy, sensuality, sexual identity, sexual health and reproduction, and sexualization.
Self awareness of body parts, including “private parts” starts during the first year of life and keeps on developing from there. Just think of how they are learning about poop and pee, the sound and feel when they pat/hit their head, the difference between the feeling and meaning of gentle touch vs aggressive touch, the fun and limits of tickling. So yes, they also discover and explore their private parts and begin to feel sensations. It’s normal. It goes with the rest of their development.
Want a great resource to learn more? All ages and stages are covered here. http://www.ncsby.org/content/childhood-sexual-development
Your child already asking questions? http://bit.ly/1rHnslH