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How can I stop my daughter from rubbing her genitals?

Q: My 4 years old daughter has a habit of rubbing her genitals against any hard or soft surface for the last 3 years. How should I stop her?

A:It seems that you have allowed the practice to continue for quite some time. It should have been attended to earlier.

Children can be excited by some stimulation to their genitals. But, you should make your daughter stop. Give her rewards (for example, a word of praise or a new toy). Put up a bulletin board in the house at a level where she can see it. Create a system of pinning a silver or gold star on the bulletin board when she stays for one or two hours without stimulating herself. Gradually increase the time for the reward. Make her understand. Explain that she will have no friends and will be teased by other children if she does not change.

Plan other ways of engaging her attention, like painting, drawing with crayons, clay work, plasticise play and so on. Be firm with her when you say no, but do not punish her physically or harshly in any way. Be sure that all the adults in the family are aware of the rules and work cooperatively.


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