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ASK DR. JILLIAN: “I walked in on my daughter masturbating …”

Raising Teens |

I just walked in on my preteen daughter masturbating in her room – what do I say to her about it?

I understand how awkward and uncomfortable this must have been for you both. It’s hard for us to let go of the image of our kids as children and accept they’re becoming young adults. The good news is that while it wasn’t ideal to walk in on her doing this, the fact that she is doing it means she is exploring her body in a safe place, and that’s a good step toward a healthy view of sexuality.

When it comes to what happened, I am not sure you need to say anything. You may want to apologize for intruding on her privacy and leave it at that. If she seems really embarrassed, then stay calm and tell her that it is completely normal and that many people do it. Ask her if she wants to know more about female sexuality and if she says yes then you can find age-appropriate resources. As she gets older you can help continue providing her resources, like OMGyes.com.

And for anyone in a similar situation with their son, the response is the same – this is normal and healthy and you can direct them to resources to help them further develop a healthy perspective on sexuality.