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I think my 12 year old was masturbating. I feel I should be aware of this..so how do I ask her?

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Question - (4 January 2006) 48 Answers - (Newest, 8 March 2008)
A female , *RA writes:

I have a daughter who is over 12 yrs now and knows most everything about the human body, its functions, about sexual intercourse and has also started her periods. A few times, on my way to bed, when I go in to straighten her blanket (she rolls around a lot), I saw her hand inside her pj's. I was shocked to think that she may have fallen asleep, while trying to masturbate. I think she knows all about masturbation, but i can't think of how to ask her if she does, or should I even ask her in the first place. I don't want her to clam up with embarrassment. I feel as a parent, I should be aware if she does masturbate.

Please help !

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (8 March 2008):

let her do it! I, myself am 11 and i started masturbating with

a hair product bottle. my mother walked in and said i bet that feels good, i agreed with her u just hav to understand that you have done it to and its a very healthy stage in life. it gives you a feeling of what sex is like good luck and remember its very healthy.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (7 March 2008):

i think its fine! my daughter masterbates all the time. its just the 2 of us in one house so she'll just being lieing on the floor in the middle of the house masterbating and im fine with it. sometimes we do it together and see who can get an orgasm first. i even by her sex toys and everyone once and a while we invite some girls her age and my age over to have "fun" with. also my daughter is now 16 and she has sex with guys all the time and as long as they use protection i think its great and its very healthy. so i would encourage her to invite the guy she likes over and experience masterbation together.

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A male reader, beenthereandunit United Kingdom +, writes (7 March 2008):

i think that you ought to realise that to confront her about it will embarrass her so much. Much better to realise that she's sexually active in so much as that she's growing up and discovering her body and what feels good. Be prepared for her to ask questions at a later date as to whether it's a normal function then explain about how nearly all people indulge in it as and when they need to either on their own or mutually with their partner.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (20 February 2008):

What you should do is show her how to masturbate and have her masturbate with you. That way she won't have to hide the fact that she does and she knows its ok.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (19 February 2008):

My Stepdad caught me, and made me do it while he watched. He hit me with his belt, while I orgasmed. He said it would make me associate pain with masturbation.

Didn't work, I just love being spanked now 'cos I associate spanking with orgasm

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (11 February 2008):

i think u shouldnt ask about it, im 12 and i dont thinks its ok. dont ask because she needs to explore herself so she will know herself.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (2 February 2008):

I wouldn't talk to her about it. I'm 12 and my friends masturbate and they say if their mum asked them about it they would feel very guilty and embarrassed. Everyone does it at some stage in their life. I'm sure if she wanted to talk about it she would ask you, so just wait until she's older and she might be more open about it. If she talks to you about it, encourage her. It's very healthy to explore your body at a young age.

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A male reader, anonymous, writes (29 January 2008):

let her do it I started when I was 14

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (29 January 2008):

I say let her masturbate, I'm a 20 year old girl and I masturbate and I'm a virgin.. masturbation does not equal to sex and it's horrible to feel guilty about masturbation because it's natural and we all do it... I'm catholic so imagine how guilty it feels haha.. this shouldn't be a issue really because she's a preteen... let her have her privacy.

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A male reader, anonymous, writes (20 January 2008):

there are two things it could be -

1/my sister was found about 7 yrs old with her hand in her knickers everymorning when she was woken up,

it could be a phase some girls go through

2/Ask her if she knows what it is act as if you dont know anything about it and if she knows what ur on about she could be

dont jump to conclusions u never know

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A male reader, anonymous, writes (10 January 2008):

i think it is good you are looking out for your child

but i think it is best not ask her or confront her

as masturbation is a very personel subjuect, its her body

let her do as she please

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A male reader, anonymous, writes (10 January 2008):

I think you owe your daughter some privacy, and let her explore herself. It's very natural and normal for a girl her age to be doing this. Knock before you walk into her room. I am 18, and have been masturbating since I was 14. One day, I was just sitting on my bed, and I started moving my hand up and down my penis. Clear stuff came out of it. And then I discovered the joy of masturbation. It is also a very healthy thing to do. Would you rather have your daughter go out, have sex, and risk getting a disease? This way, she can sexually satisfy herself, without that risk.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (2 January 2008):

If she knows all about that stuff she is probably aware that it is perfectly normal.Im 12 and I've done plenty of research myself. Some babies masturbated in their mothers womb. I would'nt worry about her to much but I would leave her a book and a note stating she can masturbate but not have sex. If your comfortable with it you could even leave her a vibrator too.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (17 December 2007):

Personally I beleive there is no problem with masterbating and there is no need to ask your daughter about this. It is a perfectly normal thing to do, and asking her would seriously make things akward, so I think it isn't neccesary.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (17 December 2007):

im a 13 year old and when i was 11 my parents gave me the talk i couldnt realy understand it from them so i went to my sister who is 2 years older then me and she explained every thing including masturbation i told her it felt good when i took showers and i told her i wanted to masturbate whith her so i could learn how and i did about 5 times and now i do it 3 times a day and sometimes at sleep overs 30 times or so. one time my mom walked in on me when i just turned 13 and i was masturbating with a hair gell bottle and she told me it feels good doesnt it and the nexed day i found a sex book and a vibrateing dildo on my bed. So i say you should get her a dildo and a book and tell her you do it and its ok and you think she should do it alot and you like to do it alot

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A male reader, anonymous, writes (17 December 2007):

Im a 12 year old boy and when i first got intreted in sex a year ago he told me what masturbation is and i asked if i could do it because ihad wet dreams and i got erections and when i was in the locker rooms i herd a boy say i had a big penis i was uncomfortable i asked my dad about and he told me about masturbation and i said i wanted to so he told me how he gave me a light porn magazine some tingleing and told me to be responsable its not hard core porn but helped me ejaculte

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (17 December 2007):

listen my daughter masturbates and she is 11 she is in six grade shell be twelve in two months. Shes starting to look at porn, house old items go missing and the oil baby supply go's down. I had the talk with her and explained masturbation in a modern way not all medical like but a little then i found out she liked this boy in her class is was fine. But i came in the house one day for lunch and when i went to my bedroom to relax i heard her saying his name and groaning i waited about two minutes then knocked on the door i told her to go get the mail i looked in her room and found nothing or no one. I just figered she fantasized. then she started going over to her friends house and having her come here for sleep over i heard groans and noises and found panties and pubic hairs that were not hers i new this because my daughters blond these were black it was her asian friend jin i got worried and talked to my friend she said she had sex and masturbation at this age but only with th same sex so she didnt get pregnant or nothing she said its time to let her expore sex for her own now i blocked all chatrooms but not porn sites and i left my porn acount open and made sure i new where she was going after school. then i was cleaning and i found a couple dildos and other sex toys and lubricants i was tolerent and didnt touch them instead i had my friend talk to her about massturbation and one day i walked in to her room to see what she was doing and she was masturbating and she was so deap into it she pretended not to notice me and i left quik and when i looked back to see if she was looking at me she was going into a deep orgasm and she started to scream. another time i walked in on her and another girl having sex and i hurried out. she came into the kitchen the other day and told her i knew and i told her not to lie and i asked her questions like if she was gay and she said know she just felt better whith a partner then i asked her if her friends parents knew and she begged me not to tell so i respected her buisness. and once me and and my friend talked to her she said it was healthy and they wore protection. This all happened from the age 11 two 14 she never had sex with a partner till she was forteen so i didnt freak now things are under control. and the point is it is important now that she is a teen you are supportive ant protective my friend said when her mom found out she was masturbating she left her a book called masturbation sex and techniques that talked about how to masturbate and do it healthy and suport it and her mom put a new rubber dildo on her bed it may sound weird but it helped her become more open about sex and and now she can handle these things very well. Myadvice to you is to buy a educational masturbation book or movie then put it on her bed along with a dildo and heating or tingleing lubricant and send her up to her room and tell her to come rite back then in private tell her about your first sex expierences and tell he not to do things whith other kids especialy the other sex and tell her she can mastubate whenever as long as it is her room or shower. GOOD LUCK

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (15 December 2007):

I wouldnt ask her because it is part of her growing up and bieng sexually aware of herself, plus it will make her confident in herself.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (14 December 2007):

yea. my mom totally did this to me and it was horrible. I don't think you should say anything to her if she masturbates unless its like against your religion or something its not like if she's doing anything wrong and even if she was having sex its not really your business because its her body and she already knows all about it as you said. its totally unecessary to say anything to her

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (10 December 2007):

yes you should because she might have issues and might be thinking about having intercourse

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (14 November 2007):

Me, only being 11, know about mastrubation. It is a natural process of age, and I' sure you have done it too. This just shows shes trying to be a normal girl. I haven't mastrubated, but I know of people who have. AS long as she doesn't streak or involve in any sexual activity, then everything is safe.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (5 November 2007):

I am an 18 year old girl, and I started touching myself at 10 years old. It started when I was in the shower and while cleaning myself I noticed it actually felt good. I would do it for a minute or so then I stopped. About a year later, I got my own bathroom in the house, and I started taking a bath. I would let the faucet water run on my vagina, and one day I orgasmed. At that point I was hooked. at 12 years old I began using tampons, and inserting my finger inside myself because a friend told me to. To this day I masturbate almost every day. It's completely normal. It's my own body and orgasming is good for you.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (28 October 2007):

your daughter is innocent and normal.

use your discretion.

However, she sounds beautiful.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (21 October 2007):

I'm am 12. I love masturbating especially to orgasm....i would be soo emmbarased if my mom came up 2 me and said anything about masturbation! I don't talk to anyone about it. YOU as a parent should NOT talk about it by any means. what she is doing helps her relax and calms her hormones down alot! masturbation is 100% normal, you'd be surprized to know who does it!

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (9 October 2007):

I started masturbating when I was around her age, maybe even a little earlier. I don't think you should bring it up, it will make things awkward. Masturbating will not harm her, or anyone around her.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (9 September 2007):

Lets her masturbate its only normal that she started he period so she has lots of hromones flowing through her body!! Ages usally very from 10-14 is when they start!

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (3 September 2007):

don't ask, let her masterbate

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (20 August 2007):

I think that if your daughter wants to masturbate then i say more power to her. When I was at about her age ,maybe even younger, I started exploring my body, it's normal. I am myself only 15, and I would be so embarassed if my mom askrd me about it. I doesn't mean she will have sex at an early age, what she's doing is perfectly normal.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (15 August 2007):

i think that your daughter was feeling very horny and to finger herself was probably the best way but ask her first to check if she needs a chat that u will always be there for her good luck xXx

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (1 August 2007):

My first piece of advice is not to call attention to it. If she discovers that "it's bad" to masturbate, that she surely will continue just to spite you! Also, it may cause some mental conflicts in her teen and adult years, or cause her to be confused or especially guilty over it. As you probably know, masturbation should be a private, guilt-free activity done in moderation for those who chose to masturbate.

What you want to do when you see your daughter masturbating, is to draw her attention elsewhere. If she's in the pool hanging out by the returns, go over to her "excitedly" with a ball and encourage her to play catch with you. Don't bring up what she's doing, and don't say "don't do that" -- just distract her with something more appropriate. This will especially be important if you have company over, or if you're in public. Just don't make her feel guilty about it for "being bad"

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A male reader, anonymous, writes (22 March 2007):

it is normal for all children to masturbate, and will do it one way or another. You really need to let it happen, there are a lot of good things that come out of it, and is safer than sexual intercourse. It is COMPLETLEY normal for your daughter to masturbate at her age, and you should NOT be concerned, try searching "masturbating during puberty" on google, and you'll see, males and females alike at 12 or older start masturbating, and is a cycle of life.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (19 November 2006):

I do not think it is nesassary to ask her if she does. During the teenage years yyou wouldnt believe how many teens mastruabate. Mastruabation is a private thing. You do not have to know that she does.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (21 June 2006):

Well my daughter is 10 years old now and she masturbates. Now I'm not saying I don't have a problem with this,but I think it's natural, and I infact don't really think that I should bother her about it. I feel that you should just let her masturbate because it's a natural part of life you'll eventually know that she's had sex and everything so don't get so worried about her masturbating.

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A female reader, Anika +, writes (17 January 2006):

Anika agony auntYou say your daughter knows most everything about how the human body functions. Does this include the topic of masturbation? Does she know that it happens and what you think of it? If so, there is nothing more to bring up to her about it.

Whether or not she masturbates is not your business. As a parent, it can be hard to feel that there is a part of your child’s life that isn’t something you have a right to be aware, but it is true. Masturbation is a private thing. If she is masturbating, she is not harming herself physically in any way, which should remove any practical concerns you may have about it. If your concern is spiritual, then you should let your daughter know what your views are, but that, in the end, it is between her and God - NOT between her and you. You still have control over many facets of her life, but what she does with her own body when she is completely alone should not be one of them. That would be akin to prying into every thought in her head, and while some parents wish to do this, that would not make it right if they could.

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A female reader, Angelface +, writes (15 January 2006):

You need to calm down. I am an 18 year old girl that doesn't masturbate. But when i was her age i would fall asleep with my hands in my jamas. I still do it now.

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A female reader, nogames +, writes (12 January 2006):

Why were you shocked? I'd be pleased! It does not mean she will go on to have sex too young! I can't remember how old I was when I started masturbating, younger than 12 I'm sure, but when it came to having a serious relationship with someone, I waited for the right time and I was 22.

I'd be pleased to know that my daughter wasn't embarrassed about touching and exploring herself. I've been surprised to discover recently how many women don't know how to or what an orgasm is! Wouldn't it be sad to think of her growing up and not knowing how to even make herself orgasm?

I wouldn't talk to her about it, I'd smile and be thinking, "that's my girl!"

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A female reader, jolene +, writes (10 January 2006):

jolene agony aunti would be horrified at that age if my mum mentioned anything about masterbating to me whetherit be about me doing , her doing it or the dog doing it!

you should leave her alone on that matter just like you would with her having a bath going to the toilet or changing her tampon, believe me if shes anything like every girl i know she will get all the "girl talk" she needs from her girl friends her own age

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (9 January 2006):

In this question, I find every point of view quite interesting. My personal opinion is that I think that you should not mention this to her. I am only 15 years of age myself and I would be terribly upset and embarassed if my mum asked me if I masturbated or talked to me about it. I would probably not talk to her for quite a while with the embarassment. hope you sort your problem. peace out, Anna x

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A female reader, Dawnest +, writes (9 January 2006):

Your little girl is doing what is natural,normal and should not be treated as a 'sin'. If you see her touching herself, just ask gently "Hmm! feels good doesnt it? I do it myself" That will open up discussion without fear of being told she is naughty/dirty or depraved.

You would be wise to talk about contraception and sex in a casual way so that your child doesnt grow up thinking that sex is a subject that should be taboo.

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A male reader, GLforever +, writes (9 January 2006):

GLforever agony auntWow, I can agree with just about everything everyone has said so far on this topic, particularly purrfectionist84.

The only thing I would add is that I feel children should be told before they are 12 years old that masturbation is a natural, normal, healthy, and private activity. They shouldn't have to be terrified that someone will discover what they are doing.

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A female reader, TaylorMay +, writes (9 January 2006):

TaylorMay agony auntfirst of all girls hit puberty its life and also when there body changes and her masterbating is just exploring her body its completly normal and not an issue i think u should raise as it will cause more emmbarrisment than good

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (6 January 2006):

I don't think you should ask her about it at all. Really it's none of your busines if she is masturbating, How embarrased would she be if you asked her about it!! I know you care for your daughter, but the best thing to do is to just leave her be. She's at an age where kids explore their bodies, and masturbation is not wrong. By asking her about it or even mentioning it, your daughter will feel terribly upset and feel you are invading her private space.

As a teenager my self, i would just die with embarrasment if my mother were to ask me about masturbation.

It's best to leave her alone, forget about it. Frankly it's none of your business!!

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A female reader, eyeswideopen United States +, writes (5 January 2006):

eyeswideopen agony auntMind your own beeswax on this one Mom. It's not a problem so don't turn it into one.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (5 January 2006):

Leave the masturbation bit alone - there's no point to it. If you're worried about her getting into a sexual relationship at so young an age, focus on the actual worry, instead of some scarecrow that seems easier to deal with.

Talk to your daughter often about sex, about the boys she knows, about all the reasons it's important to wait until your older (or married, depending on your view) to get sexually involved with someone. Make sure she understands that there's a lot more to life than boys and sex; make sure she has interests besides dating, and things that can give her self-confidence.

But don't bring up the masturbation.

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A male reader, harshbutfair United Kingdom +, writes (5 January 2006):

harshbutfair agony auntYou have no right whatsoever to know whether your daughter is masturbating. If you ask her you will start to sew seeds of sexual self-doubt in her which could fester and cause problems later in her life. It's her private space, allow her that privacy and avoid embarrasing her unnecessarily.

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A female reader, purrfectionist84 +, writes (5 January 2006):

purrfectionist84 agony auntYour daughter is at an age where masturbation can be expected. It is normal and healthy, and there is nothing wrong with it. If she is masturbating, as you suspect, that doesn't mean that she is going to go out and have sex right away.

Frankly, I don't think that it's any of your business whether she is masturbating. It can't get her pregnant or give her STDs like actual intercourse might, so basically it's the least of all evils, and it shouldn't concern you as her parent. Besides, asking her would just embarrass her and make her feel ashamed. I could not imagine my parents discussing masturbation with me at the age of 21, let alone 12! That's one of those "don't go there" topics!

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A reader, anonymous, writes (5 January 2006):

no i dont think you should ask her, lots of people start exploring there body at a young age, this does not mean she will start having sex or anything she is just curious. if you ask her she will be embrassed and think she is doing something wrong and she isnt

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A male reader, Joe United Kingdom +, writes (5 January 2006):

ask her about it obviously try not to force things on to her though theres nothing wrong with it i started at the same age, but try not to be to worried about her masturbation possibly leading to an early sexual relation with any one.

people seem to think when their kids begin masturbating they will get involved in sex at a early age, fair enough some do and some don't but because their child has started masturbating dosen't mean they have the confidence to show their body to another person.

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