oh my, as the time draws nearer for my nearly 12 year old step son to move in with us, this is one of the most daunting things I can think of. At least with my daughter, we have talked about everything and anything no holds barred since she was a toddler, but I don't have that same rapport with my step son (although we do have a pretty good relationship). Muddle muddle muddle through.
To answer your questions:
1. No idea how I'll handle it. Still thinking about that.
2. Totally normal and ok, just be conscious of where they're doing it (ie. not at the dinner table please! LOL)
3. Girls definitely do it too.
My dear step son (who I raised since age 6) was a very sexual being. I think I got my clue about him being ready when there was a sudden wall papering of sexy girls on his wall and roof. I mean one day there wasnt, the next.. HELLO!
It was really quite unspoken but he knew that I knew and vice versa.
I just started giving him the privacy he needed.. ie knocking on the door before walking in.
Errr he knew he had to clean up after himself too. I told him I wasnt dealing with it and if something needed washing to just drop it straight into the washing machine.
It is normal. Definately dont make it vile or their natural curiosity will feel dirty and wrong.
And yes girls do it too. My step daughter wasnt really interested in it much though.
I can't comment as a parent going through this yet, but in my old life I taught sexuality education to kids and teens. Definitely see masturbation as normal and really - essential - for developing a healthy sexuality. For girls just as much as boys.
I do think it's important that there be some discussion around it. Even if it is uncomfortable and based off a "how to talk to your kids about masturbation" leaflet, I think it is really important that they know nothing is so off limits that they can't talk to you about it. If for no other reason than because 1 in 3 girls and 1 in 6 boys are sexually assaulted - many of these kids don't disclose until someone finds out from a physical indication or until the perpetrator is no longer a threat and in most cases it's ongoing, not an isolated event. If it were my child, I'd want to know they would come to me before it happened again.
Hehe 3 times in 15 minutes! He must have been like "Mum, seriously. P*** off! I'm dying here"
Nice thread B. DP and I had a good chat about this last night and we both feel that it's a very healthy and normal thing to do. During our own teen years, it was definitely more acceptable for a boy than for a girl and if we ever have a DD, we'll aim to normalise the concept so that she has the freedom to explore her own sexuality in the safety of her own room if she chooses.
DP feels that in his childhood home, it was quite taboo and with hindsight, that was detrimental to his development. He felt that he had to be covert and which made him rushed and focused on quickly reaching the end result, rather than using those healthy early experiences to explore and practice in readiness for sexual union. He also felt that he needed more open discussion about it, so that he felt more prepared for his own feelings and sensations in the early teen/ late childhood years.
We're thinking that we'll make sure all our kids have their own rooms in their teen years, have open honest communication from an early age about this sort of thing. And implement a throw your own sheets and towels in the machine and empty your own rubbish bin policy from about age 12 or whenever, so that they have the privacy they need if they need it. Dunno, jump that bridge when we get there!
Imagine how these poor blighters would feel if they knew that their mums were talking about them jacking off, on the internet.LOLSeriously, great thread. Really eye-opening.