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Children are fond of exhibiting some baffling behaviors and just like rubbing their face aggressively, rubbing themselves on or against the furniture is on the list. At first, you might think much of it, but it keeps on occurring time after time until you begin to get concerns about it.
The first thing that might come to mind is that there is an underlying health issue with your child. However, this is not always the case as kids are still at a developmental stage where they try to explore everything around them.
If you hope to understand what it means when you do this, you are on the right track, as this article will help you discover all the answers you need.
What Does It Mean When Child Rubs Self On Furniture?
No doubt about this behavioral pattern being perplexing and somewhat worrisome, especially if you are new to the experience or never dealt with the situation before. For instance, a first-time mom or dad may feel oblivious to what this habit means and how to take an edge off of the situation. The following are pointers to what this behavior means:
Skin Related Issues
On some occasions, this could be a sign of a skin issue. There are relative skin-related conditions that can trigger itchiness, dry skin, and irritations on the different parts of the skin. These issues can cause your child to sometimes rub the affected area on the furniture as a way of easing themselves from the itch.
It is safe to presume that skin issues like eczema, rashes, insect bites, healing cuts, hives, and dry skin may be the major factor contributing to this newfound habit. You should thoroughly check your child’s skin or the particular area where your child is mostly rubbing against the furniture to be very certain that this is the case.
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Another explanation for this habit is self-stimulation. The dynamics of parenting can be complex and very challenging as it is not a “one size fits all” experience. As much as parents would want to shy away from this possibility, it still doesn’t rule it out.
Self-stimulation is not uncommon among children of four months – 5 years as they are always naturally curious about their surroundings and even their bodies. Although they might not understand what they are doing they might indulge in self-stimulation because it makes them feel good.
To be extra sure that habit is not random or a sign of self-gratification, monitor your child closely when they rub themselves especially the crotch area on surfaces or furniture. If you notice that this action is accompanied by sweating and flushing then it is a clear sign of a self-triggered stimulation.
What To Do To Manage This Behavior
This behavior may not sit well with you as a parent so here are ways to manage it;
- Consult with a pediatrician if you notice any underlying skin condition. This way you can get first-hand professional guidance on how to take care of the situation promptly.
- Do not fret or worry too much about it, if your child seeks comfort in rubbing his or herself against the furniture. You need to first understand that this behavior is common and it is not an indication that you have been a bad parent.
- Try to have a talk with your child but be mindful of your tone. You do not want your child to feel that they are being scolded as this will prompt them to hide away when they feel the urge to indulge in this behavior.
- Try to restrict this behavior by limiting their time around furniture. Also, take note of the particular furniture they love rubbing themselves against, you can either take it out or have it replaced with one that won’t be comfortable enough to rub against.
- Do not make a big deal out of the situation, especially to your child, be subtle about distracting them from this action.
- You need to understand that, kids outgrow this behavior. Keep your expectations in check and give your child time to forget this exploration.
Kids are great at keeping their parents on their toes, and some of their behaviors can be very puzzling causing caregivers to seek answers on the why and what to do. When children start rubbing themselves on furniture it could mean two things; skin-related issues or self-stimulation.
And to manage the situation, parents need to have a good understanding that the child has no sexual intent as this will help them follow it up with patience, care, and love no matter how uncomfortable the behavior may seem. Happy parenting!