"As children grow older, parents must give them greater freedom, including greater freedom to make mistakes. "

4 Year Old Boy's Baffling Behavior

Question

We adopted our son in October 2018. He was almost 3 years old. Right away I noticed he banged his head in his sleep or to go to sleep. Banged into his hands or pillow, almost rhythmically. I know it was a self soothing technique probably acquired while in his orphanage. It took me almost 1 year, but we finally broke that habit and his sleep became much better. Fast forward about 4 months. He's now 4 years old and from watching him on the camera in his room, I now see that he's masturbating in order to fall asleep. If he can't get into his pants then he lays on his stomach and puts his hands under him and bangs his pelvis up and down into his hands. I'm at a total loss on what to do next! Is this a normal 4 year old thing. Is it due to some trauma he may have experienced before coming to us? Did this just replace his rhythmic head banging? Do I allow this to continue and monitor or put a stop to it and if so, how? Thank you so much for your help and guidance!

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