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Do you think I'm overreacting?

post #1 of 127
Thread Starter 

Just to preface: if you've been molested, this might bother you.

 

We recently (less than a month ago) moved into a kind of communal living thing.  the idea is for us to lower our living expenses and have a rare opportunity to catch up financially and save some money. The top floor is all families with children and there are four single men who live downstairs. 

 

 There is a family that just moved in here last week....a mom and 2 little girls. The baby is a yr old and the other little girl is 7 or 8. My first impression of the mom was that she was articulate, friendly, and on point with her parenting.

 

But then two days ago I noticed that she was letting one of the other ladies hold her baby almost constantly. This lady is older and her children are grown....I don't really know how they are allowed to live here since it's jsut her and her husband, but there is definitely something "off" about this couple, and others have noticed it as well.

 

I probably should have minded my business, but I took the mom aside and mentioned to her a couple of things that I had noticed in the interactions between this older couple and my kids, and that she might not want to leave the kids around her unsupervised (taking them out to the palyground, to the laundry room with her etc). I don't even let them hold my dd....I don't freaking know them like that.

 

Well, fast forward to yesterday. I went downstairs with my kids (they have an open play area inside) and she was down there with her kids. Her younger dd was dressed in a one piece outfit without feet, and was outside on the porch with the older lady,coatless and barefoot. It was below freezing temps yesterday. The older dd was sitting on the lap of one of the single men who lives downstairs, sitting facing him with her legs straddling him. I didn't even know what to say. The guy was tickling her and had his hands under the back of her shirt.

 

Is that not COMPLETELY inappropriate? The mom does not know this guy from Adam. I know I tend to be oversensitive to men's interactions with my kids because of my own bad experiences. But does that not strike anyone else as being way, way beyond normal boundaries?

 

 

 

post #2 of 127

Way beyond inappropriate. yikes.gif

post #3 of 127

If you suspect the children are being abused, call children's services. Don't just post about it on a message board.

 

I had a 'friend', who was either absolutely clueless or did not care. I spoke with her once about the situation she had placed her child in, and she agreed with me (I won't get into details). I stopped in for a random visit a few weeks later and was agast that nothing had changed.

I made a call, it was taken seriously, the investigation was thorough, the child was removed from the home.

The child was never returned to her care as far as I know.

post #4 of 127
Quote:
Originally Posted by BunnySlippers View Post

If you suspect the children are being abused, call children's services. Don't just post about it on a message board.


This. The situation you described wouldn't throw up any red flags for me if these were not strangers, but it sounds like they are... Are you sure the new family didn't already know this couple? Maybe they have some history & are good friends??? If not though, I would deem that situation completely inappropriate...

post #5 of 127
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by crunchy_mommy View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by BunnySlippers View Post

If you suspect the children are being abused, call children's services. Don't just post about it on a message board.


This. The situation you described wouldn't throw up any red flags for me if these were not strangers, but it sounds like they are... Are you sure the new family didn't already know this couple? Maybe they have some history & are good friends??? If not though, I would deem that situation completely inappropriate...


See and this is why I posted. You're saying that if they were good friends you would be ok with that. I would not even be ok with DP doing that when dd was 8 yrs old. Of course I'm projecting since she's still a baby so I can't say for certain, but that type of interaction between any man and any little girl, regardless of their connection would make me uncomfortable. I actually had to go back on up with the kids because it was bothering me so much i was beginning to have a panic attack. So I realize I might not be judging the situation correctly.

post #6 of 127
Quote:
Originally Posted by waiting2bemommy View Post



Quote:
Originally Posted by crunchy_mommy View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by BunnySlippers View Post

If you suspect the children are being abused, call children's services. Don't just post about it on a message board.


This. The situation you described wouldn't throw up any red flags for me if these were not strangers, but it sounds like they are... Are you sure the new family didn't already know this couple? Maybe they have some history & are good friends??? If not though, I would deem that situation completely inappropriate...


See and this is why I posted. You're saying that if they were good friends you would be ok with that. I would not even be ok with DP doing that when dd was 8 yrs old. Of course I'm projecting since she's still a baby so I can't say for certain, but that type of interaction between any man and any little girl, regardless of their connection would make me uncomfortable. I actually had to go back on up with the kids because it was bothering me so much i was beginning to have a panic attack. So I realize I might not be judging the situation correctly.



 To me, that seems extremely inappropriate.  The only person allowed to touch dd's bare back is DH and that's because I would know he was doing it for a legitimate reason.  My dd is 7.  I would call and say that you saw inappropriate behavior.  You are not being completely paranoid.  Now, I would say you may be sensitive in saying dp can't do that with his own dd, but honestly, you aren't paranoid.  Trust your instincts and call someone to stop this before it becomes something truly devastating to this child. 

post #7 of 127
Thread Starter 

During the day they have a couple of people in the office....one is like a social worker/case manager type of person and the other one is the manager who oversees the whole place but mainly only seems to deal with the numbers, like the residents' income and that type of thing. At night they usually have someone there but they are basically just underpaid security people who sit in there and watch tv. I have said something twice now, once during the day to the manager (about the wife saying something offensive to me) and then last night I went to the office to get change for the laundry room and I told the woman what was going on. Both times their faces registered shock, but nothing seems to have happened. Do I assume that they have been notified (and given the way this place is set up I'm sure they are considered mandated reporters) or do I make a call myself? 

 

And I just had an experience with CPS so I don't trust them at all and know how awful it can be to have them in your life. The mom just seems so...clueless, though.like she genuinely does not seem to realize that allowing people to walk around a public place where who knows what kind of people are living here with her baby, is not safe. 

post #8 of 127
Quote:
Originally Posted by waiting2bemommy View Post


See and this is why I posted. You're saying that if they were good friends you would be ok with that. I would not even be ok with DP doing that when dd was 8 yrs old. Of course I'm projecting since she's still a baby so I can't say for certain, but that type of interaction between any man and any little girl, regardless of their connection would make me uncomfortable. I actually had to go back on up with the kids because it was bothering me so much i was beginning to have a panic attack. So I realize I might not be judging the situation correctly.

 

I don't know. I have very confused feelings about my childhood (& hearing this makes me even more mixed up!) but I know that would be considered typical within my family growing up. However, there are A LOT of things about my interactions with family growing up that make me VERY uncomfortable. I don't know how I'd feel about "any man & any little girl" because I only have a 2yo boy and it's hard for me to imagine, but I can't say I'd think it was weird if DH & my hypothetical daughter were interacting like this. Basically I guess I'm saying you can't trust how I read the situation... trust your OWN instincts though...
 

ETA: I just asked my DH & he feels this totally crosses the line (probably even if it was him & his own daughter)...

post #9 of 127
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by crunchy_mommy View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by waiting2bemommy View Post


See and this is why I posted. You're saying that if they were good friends you would be ok with that. I would not even be ok with DP doing that when dd was 8 yrs old. Of course I'm projecting since she's still a baby so I can't say for certain, but that type of interaction between any man and any little girl, regardless of their connection would make me uncomfortable. I actually had to go back on up with the kids because it was bothering me so much i was beginning to have a panic attack. So I realize I might not be judging the situation correctly.

 

I don't know. I have very confused feelings about my childhood (& hearing this makes me even more mixed up!) but I know that would be considered typical within my family growing up. I don't know how I'd feel about "any man & any little girl" because I only have a 2yo boy and it's hard for me to imagine, but I can't say I'd think it was weird if DH & my hypothetical daughter were interacting like this. Basically I guess I'm saying you can't trust how I read the situation... trust your OWN instincts though...
 

ETA: I just asked my DH & he feels this kind of crosses the line even if it was him & his own daughter...


yeah and see like I said the upstairs is private and only residents are allowed....you're not even supposed to have visitors up there, and there are no kids allowed where the men live. this all took place in the common areas, outside, in the playarea etc. so I can't say with any certainty that he is molesting her. it could just be a man who does not have appropriate boundaries and a mom who is clueless or something. I still think it's inappropriate, but I can't guarantee that there is anything going on based just on what I have seen. The little girl seems to like him...she seems very needy and wants attention from everyone. She will even knock on people's doors and ask them (adults even) to come out and play or read to her.

post #10 of 127
Quote:
Originally Posted by waiting2bemommy View Post


See and this is why I posted. You're saying that if they were good friends you would be ok with that. I would not even be ok with DP doing that when dd was 8 yrs old. Of course I'm projecting since she's still a baby so I can't say for certain, but that type of interaction between any man and any little girl, regardless of their connection would make me uncomfortable. I actually had to go back on up with the kids because it was bothering me so much i was beginning to have a panic attack. So I realize I might not be judging the situation correctly.


DD1 is almost 8, so about the same age. This interaction, if it were with someone she knew, wouldn't bother me much. I might find the tickling under her shirt a little weird, but if she didn't happen to be wearing a shirt, the exact same scenario wouldn't even make me blink. The legs straddling a grown man doesn't bother me, as I know dd1 jumps on people like that sometimes. The tickling her naked back doesn't even register on my radar. I just sometimes get a bit odd about people going under a child's clothes...otoh, dd1 may well ask someone to tickle her, and not want them to keep their hands on the fabric, so....yeah - if it were someone she knew, it wouldn't likely bother me.

 

It does seem like an odd interaction with a stranger, but then...dd1 takes a long time to warm up to people. I could see that with ds1 at the same age, easy.

post #11 of 127

That's very innapropriate and would not fly with me.

He could be harmless or not, but I don't take chances.

I would never even think to interact that way with someone elses child.

His reasoning alone, makes him suspect to me. He could be getting her comfortable and trusting him for

other shady stuff later.

post #12 of 127

Don't let your own involvement with CPS cloud your judgment. This is something that needs to be reported if you feel something is off. Call now. They should have a 24 hour reporting line.

post #13 of 127
Quote:
Originally Posted by PiggyPiggyOinkOink View Post

Don't let your own involvement with CPS cloud your judgment. This is something that needs to be reported if you feel something is off. Call now. They should have a 24 hour reporting line.



Agreed.  If your instinct says something inappropriate may be going on, you owe it to that child to report it.  Better safe than sorry; I'm sure you can report anonymously, or ask someone else who lives there to make the call. 

post #14 of 127

None of what you said raises any red flags for me. I'm sorry. You probably want validation but I just don't see anything here that is worrisome to me.

post #15 of 127

I can't say for sure since I didn't witness it with my own two eyes, but I'm pretty darn sure that that would have struck me as way off, and suspicious.  The baby out with uncovered feet and hands in below freezing weather also doesn't seem cool to me!  Going on what you've posted I'd say yes, make the call to CPS.

post #16 of 127
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by BellinghamCrunchie View Post

None of what you said raises any red flags for me. I'm sorry. You probably want validation but I just don't see anything here that is worrisome to me.



no, not at all. Especially after the fiasco I endured because of an unwarranted CPS call I really, really *really* don't want to make that kind of call. I will if I have to, but i'm not at all eager to. And in a case like this where I'm leaning towards thinking the worst, I'd much rather be wrong.

post #17 of 127

My dd hops on my dh's lap in various positions and if she were on his lap facing him and he were tickling her backk even under her shirt, it wouldn't bother me.  Tickling a child's bare back and sitting like that would be sexual with an adult, but would not necessarily be with a child.  Just like when I kiss my toddler's tummy it isn't sexual but it would be with an adult.  It would bother me however if it were an adult other than my dh, particularly someone I didn't know very well.  And the barefoot baby in the freezing weather is also off.  I guess this seems very weird to me.

post #18 of 127

I would completely flip out if someone put their hands in my child's shirt even if it was just to tickle her.  That is completely inappropriate and I think you should call CPS about possible abuse and let the office staff know that you saw the child out without a coat or shoes in below freezing temperatures and see if they can give her a referral to get the child proper clothing.

post #19 of 127

A man tickling an 8 year old girl under the back of her shirt doesn't really bother me as long as the man isn't acting odd in any way. If he is smiling strangely or seem to be enjoying it in a non-appropriate way I would do something. I honestly can't imagine the police or anyone else getting involved over a report of a man tickling a little girl's back. 

 

Do you know how well the lady with the kids know the man who was ticking the child? Could they know one another better than you think they do? I wouldn't want a stranger tickling my daughters like that but if it was someone I knew and trusted I wouldn't mind at all.

 

Having the baby outside in the cold without appropriate clothing is an issue but unless you see it over and over again I wouldn't worry all that much about it.

post #20 of 127

Wow! the way you tell it - I am envisioning every predator in that communal situation has already honed in on this unsuspecting single mom with her two little girls! I would not call cps immediately but I would have made very clear to the mother what you saw and also to make it clear ( during the situation ) to that man that was tickling that little girl- what he was doing is completely inappropriate ( so that he would know that others are watching him closely) and to make him uncomfortable enough to stop his completely inappropriate behavior with the child. He may not have realized what he was doing was wrong- but a stranger touching my daughter in that way would be treading very dangerously ( and she is 8). My hubby was as shocked as me when reading this and mentioned that "  communal living situations are prime areas that creepos target to get  close to  those who are more vulnerable- that compounded with the fact that studies show creeps will seek out single mothers to molest their children". I just really think that there should be a very clear boundary set especially when children are involved about how the communal living will take place.

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