Teens and Masturbation: If You Catch Your Child Masturbating

Ugh, I did not really want to write this post.  Yet, I get a few emails a week on this topic, and when I went looking for articles on the topic, not much came up.  Well, a lot came up, but it wasn’t helpful for parents.  I was pretty surprised actually to not see many articles written on this huge topic.  It comes up for almost every family at some point and everyone has had to deal with it at some point in their lives.  So, I decided I would try to tackle the topic for the sake of my readers.

1) They are more embarrassed than you

Just keep this in mind.  If you catch them masturbating, it is probably way, way, way more upsetting for them, than for you.

2) Expect a Black Hole

After the incident, your teen might:

-ignore you
-get mad at you for some other innocuous reason
-turn bright red when they see you
-avoid any interaction with you
-think they are in trouble
-pretend it didn’t happen


Just ride it out, it will pass eventually.

3) Don’t Tell Your Spouse Right Away

I never suggest keeping things from your spouse, but you might want to talk to your teen or tween before ratting them out to a spouse.  Per tip #2, there might be a period of awkwardness; you do not want to alienate both parents to your child.

4) Keep It Private

This is not the kind of story you want to tell over the dinner table.  You might think it is funny, but you never want to tell people in front of the culprit, and you also do not want to tell your friends behind your child’s back.  It does not respect their privacy and you never know if that friend will tell another in passing and another and soon enough it gets back to your child, or worse, your child’s friends.

5) Talk If You Need To

Every family and every child is different.  If your child has already had the general sex/masturbation talk, then you probably do not need to have another talk with them.  If you feel they are a little young, or this came out of the blue, you might want to sit and have a talk with them.

6) It Is Natural

I know that some religions and families forbid masturbation.  It is a natural process, so are wet dreams.  Hopefully you can talk to your kids about these impulses as something natural and healthy.

7) Wet Dreams

If you catch them masturbating you might want to also talk to them about wet dreams.  Many of my male friends have shared with me that they were shocked the first time they had a wet dream and were a bit scared.

Overall, this is a very tricky subject. I will tell you I did not enjoy writing this article because it is also sensitive.  Many people believe masturbation is wrong and ‘dirty’ and therefore I was nervous about offending people in this post.  I hope I have not offended anyone and that if this has happened to you (sorry!) or your child (so so sorry) it sheds some light.  If not, they are some good tips to keep in your back pocket.

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