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Do you think I'm overreacting? - Page 3

post #41 of 127

Grown people need to be very respectful and set boundaries with children re touching -- tickling is pleasurable and bonding and also intimate,  there is a definite out of control dynamic to it.

Yes it is true "riding games" can involve straddling, but riding games usually end for children around the age of 4 or 5. I don't think a girl sitting on a man's lap need be a red flag but the situation you described was not simply sitting on the lap.

 

 From what you tell of the little girls' neediness and the mom's obtuseness I wouldn't be surpised if she were not already being abused, by this guy. He *says* "I'm gonna tickle you under your shirt?"

RED FLAG RED FLAG-- this is both preparing and slightly threatening her -- the situation is outta control, she is laughing -- he in power, she is not. He does not have the right to touch her body. He isn't asking (which would also be inappropriate). He's *telling*.
.
 I have been around the block and then some re how sex abuse happens, how others ignore it and it can continue til the kid is grown right under everyones noses. Then everyone thinks about all the littel off things and how they shoulda known.
People who haven't ever experienced it or been close to a situation where it happened, may think this type behavior is fine, but no it *isn't*.


.Grooming, boundaries crossed, inattentive parent, needy children, adult with
easy access and opportune moments galore with children -- it's all there.
Tiickling is frequently grooming --a way to get
the child comfortable with being touched by you,  seeing how far you can go and where, the child's limits (tickling can start to hurt) -- enjoying a  bonding moment with the child -- but the child is vulnerable and I  am sorry
but alot of sex abuse starts with tickling.

Please follow your gut for this child's sake.  The mom may not ever have really thought about certain things, maybe b/c she is too stressed or has her own unaddressed baggage etc., or is simply selfish and doesn't want to lose free babysitters, but please talk to her and see if any of it strikes a chord with her, a chord either of emotion, or reason.   
Most men don't want to be seen as in any way inappropriate with a child, and they would have no problem being playful with a little girl in a nurturing, playful way that does not involve the 7/8 yr old kid straddling him and him tickling her under her shirt. That just wouldn't happen with a safe man.  The fact he is acting this way in public may  just show he can't help himself (NOT that he is a "safe/innocent" guy.) And/or he is used to acting this way when he gets a chance with kids, due to his wife's complete acceptance and peoples reluctance to address things for many reasons (it's not easy to address something like this when you live there, don't know the guy well, it's not your kid, etc., and others probably would feel the same way).

I'm not saying for sure he is abusing her but the situation absolutely merits close monitoring.
 It also doesn't matter if she asked him, "tickle me", whatever, he is the adult. Most decent grown men would be like, no, and redirect the activity/discussion, and continue interacting with the child but with boundaries established.
 

post #42 of 127

Yeah no way would my husband or any other man I know allow a girl other than his own daughter to sit on his lap like that, or tickle a girl other than his own daughter like that.

post #43 of 127

Okay well now that I've read more, it's kind of strange. The entire house seems sort of strange actually 

post #44 of 127

I would find that really concerning as well.  It definitely seems off to me.

post #45 of 127
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cascadian View Post

As a CPS worker...you'd need more than that. Someone tickling a child - who was obviously not in distress - with other adults (including the mom around) is not grounds for a SA investigation, unless you had other solid, tangible evidence of misconduct when you made the initial call. You don't know any of their relationships. If a CPS worker was allowed to, s/he'd ask the cops to run a background check on the guys (if you had names and birthdates) to see if there were any prior or current alerts wrt kids. Even then, it's an invasion of privacy if ''nothing' (in quotes) else was amiss. The child in no socks *may* be grounds for a 'neglect' talk, and a way to get in the door, but....that's grey territory, as I'm sure most people here can agree. Mom's boundaries do 'seem' off and it could be related to anything (her childhood, mental health, developmental issues). On the other hand...maybe she DOES know the guy beyond what you know? Who knows.

You're basing all of that on this being the only report for this child. None of us know her history. What if there are other, similar reports on this child already? What if another neighbor notices something over the line and reports it in a few weeks--now you're building a history. It's not just about this one situation, it's about being able to document what is going on so IF any thing happens (which hopefully it won't) then there will be a trail for the CPS worker to follow to provide help or services to this child.

The safest thing to do, as far as the child goes, is report it and let CPS screen it out or not. Just in case this is not the first time this child has been in a questionable situation. A girl who is willing to let basically a stranger do that after just one week is a child who may well already have been groomed by another predator in the past.
post #46 of 127

Completely inappropriate and I'm shocked that anyone would think otherwise.  A prepubescent girl straddling a strange adult man?  Heck yea!  Neither one of them know healthy, respectful boundaries.  The tickling UNDER the shirt is icing on the cake! 

post #47 of 127
Quote:
Originally Posted by waiting2bemommy View Post

. 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.


I haven't read to the end of the thread yet, but this caught my eye. This breaks my heart. THESE are the kinds of kids molesters pray on. Report what's going on. Even if nothing is going on now, something *will* happen. If the mom isn't meeting her kids' needs (and I understand that her circumstances must be difficult), SOMEONE has to protect her children. Please, report.

post #48 of 127
Quote:
Originally Posted by rubidoux View Post



Quote:
Originally Posted by waiting2bemommy View Post


To answer your questions: he made a comment, I don't remember the exact words now, but it was something along the lines of "I'm going to tickle you under your shirt." I remember the comment because when I heard "under your shirt" that was when I freaked out and went back in because I couldn't handle it.



I think you should stay if something like that happens again.  If he feels that there's someone watching and keeping track of him, he's less likely to cross the line and if he does, then you won't have such a hard time figuring out whether to call cps.  Did you leave her alone with him?  If you're feeling worried for her safety I just don't see leaving at the first sign of danger to be the best move.


yeahthat.gif 

post #49 of 127
Thread Starter 

To those of you who said stay and watch, I can't. I'll have a panic attack. Men touching little girls is a major trigger for me.

post #50 of 127
Quote:
Originally Posted by waiting2bemommy View Post

To those of you who said stay and watch, I can't. I'll have a panic attack. Men touching little girls is a major trigger for me.


I understand, but someone needs to watch out for this little girl.

Have you decided what you're going to do?
 

post #51 of 127

Blind posting OP, but I do think you should call CPS on the mom for not properly supervising her children, and letting them go around with potentially inappropriate caregivers.  The little girl's interaction with the man, tickling, straddling, etc., is weird. Very weird.  Very inappropriate.  Some people just have terrible boundaries though. Are people screened before living in this place?  Can you find out if he has a weird history.  I would be so concerned that if he is a sexual predator, this would be exactly the kind of child he'd prey upon.  As long as he isn't doing anything blatantly abusive though, I think the biggest issue for CPS is with mom's lack of supervision...

post #52 of 127

 

post #53 of 127
Quote:
Originally Posted by waiting2bemommy View Post

To those of you who said stay and watch, I can't. I'll have a panic attack. Men touching little girls is a major trigger for me.



If you ever see this again, you say, loudly "Do you think that is appropriate?" to the man and you stare at him a good hard stare (the Mama stare if you will) until he looks away.  If he asks as if you've been rude/accused him of something, act shocked and say "my goodness, it was only a question, aren't you sensitive!?" as if he had something to hide.  Then you can say something like "come on honey, lets go have ice-cream/find your mom/play with the baby/pick flowers/whatEVER.  You don't have to stand and watch him do it, nor do you have to walk away full of dread for her.  Stand up to him, let him know he's being observed by someone who isn't willing to ignore things.  I was abused for 7 years, i know this is hard, but YOU CAN DO IT! :)

 

Honestly, without SEEing it, i can't say if it was inappropriate.  I certainly tickle both my DD's on the bare backs (i was actually taught this at a council-sponsored toddler group during a session on massage and physical closeness!) but then part of the reason i do it is because my DD's enjoy it and i don't WANT them to seek that sort of attention from potentially dangerous strangers.  Straddling is not sexual for the child, and in all but the rarest cases isn't sexual for the adult when a child does it.  I mean DP carries DD2 in the wrap and has carried DD1 in the meitai - he doesn't think of her "straddling" his torso/back, she's just in the carrier.  I don't mean this COULD NOT be inappropriate, i just mean unless i'm there to see it i cannot tell, yk?  I get that him being a stranger is a problem but a) strangers who aren't paedophiles AREN'T PAEDOPHILES, and over-familiar behaviour from children won't make them into one and b) kids do follow their guts much more easily than adults - i'm not saying that means he's ok, because she thinks he is, BUT to HER he might not feel like a stranger, y/k.  If a strange child straddled DP he would be uncomfortable, but he wouldn't reject the child harshly OR abuse it.

 

I really think you can feel empowered in this situation.  Think about it - YOU are able to see what is happening, YOU are able to help this family, whether it be watchfulness, or a CPS call if you end up feeling it is warranted, you are in a positive position, not the position of a victim (i know SA survivors can go back to victimhood when they see triggering behaviour in others, but you don't have to, you're not that kid anymore, you're powerful!).  

 

If i were you i would:

1) be watchful

2) give the little girls the time i could when appropriate (read to her if you're reading to your own etc.)

3) call anyone around her behaving oddly on how they are behaving

4) IF you feel you need to call CPS, ask to discuss this with an experienced CPS employee - tell them plainly what you saw and give them the "heads up".  Sadly neglected children ARE candy for paedophiles because they are so desperate for intimacy, connection and attention from adults.

post #54 of 127

**Everything** Spring Lily said.

This may be the only thing can be done at this time for this child, but it should be done.

 

What kind of man would make mention/notice or make a point of saying he is now putting his hands "under the shirt" on a 7 year old. Very disturbing. Blah. Please do follow your gut on this. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

post #55 of 127

 

Quote:
Honestly, without SEEing it, i can't say if it was inappropriate.  I certainly tickle both my DD's on the bare backs (i was actually taught this at a council-sponsored toddler group during a session on massage and physical closeness!) but then part of the reason i do it is because my DD's enjoy it and i don't WANT them to seek that sort of attention from potentially dangerous strangers.  Straddling is not sexual for the child, and in all but the rarest cases isn't sexual for the adult when a child does it.  I mean DP carries DD2 in the wrap and has carried DD1 in the meitai - he doesn't think of her "straddling" his torso/back, she's just in the carrier.  I don't mean this COULD NOT be inappropriate, i just mean unless i'm there to see it i cannot tell, yk?  I get that him being a stranger is a problem but a) strangers who aren't paedophiles AREN'T PAEDOPHILES, and over-familiar behaviour from children won't make them into one and b) kids do follow their guts much more easily than adults - i'm not saying that means he's ok, because she thinks he is, BUT to HER he might not feel like a stranger, y/k.  If a strange child straddled DP he would be uncomfortable, but he wouldn't reject the child harshly OR abuse it.

 

 

There is a huge difference between straddling a child who is a baby or toddler and straddling a 7 or 8 year old.  HUGE difference.  You can't compare straddling an 8-yo to carrying a baby in a meitai.  Those are two completely and totally different things.  My husband and both hold our 2 1/2 year old son straddling on our lap sometimes (mostly for comfort, he finds it comforting to bury his head in our shoulder).  Our 6-yo daughter will  sit on our laps for stories or during church, but almost never straddling, just regular facing forward.  Our 8-yo doesn't sit sit on our laps at all, ever,  We give her hugs or will sit next to her (she leans her head on our shoulder) but I can't imagine having her sit on our lap and definitely not straddling.  This is definitely something where the age of the child makes a big, big, difference.

post #56 of 127

My meitai "baby" is nearly 5 though...?  And DN (DP's niece) is 7 and also rides in it once in a while for fun....?  And i remember very clearly straddling my mother to cuddle when i was 10 (i know i was 10 because i got riding lessons for my 10th birthday and i remember straddling hurting my inner thighs as i was sore from not being used to riding yet).  I last sat on her lap when i was 17 (last sat on my dad's lap when i was 28 or so, and i often now lay on the sofa with my legs across his knees as he sits beside me and reads).  I think this sort of thing differs between families and is not absolute.  I saw both my parents nude all the time, we were, are, always very physically affectionate, my dad was at my recent birth.  In my house growing up the ONLY person who was private about his body and reticent about physical affection around my parents was my brother, who was being molested and who molested me for 7 years.  What's normal and completely healthy for one family might not be for another - if my mother had discouraged me from physical affection with her, at any age, i would have been devastated.  Likewise i'm sure if you forced greater physicality on your eldest DD it would really distress her.  I think what's important is respecting the boundaries other people have, not what those boundaries are.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ameliabedelia View Post

 

Quote:
Honestly, without SEEing it, i can't say if it was inappropriate.  I certainly tickle both my DD's on the bare backs (i was actually taught this at a council-sponsored toddler group during a session on massage and physical closeness!) but then part of the reason i do it is because my DD's enjoy it and i don't WANT them to seek that sort of attention from potentially dangerous strangers.  Straddling is not sexual for the child, and in all but the rarest cases isn't sexual for the adult when a child does it.  I mean DP carries DD2 in the wrap and has carried DD1 in the meitai - he doesn't think of her "straddling" his torso/back, she's just in the carrier.  I don't mean this COULD NOT be inappropriate, i just mean unless i'm there to see it i cannot tell, yk?  I get that him being a stranger is a problem but a) strangers who aren't paedophiles AREN'T PAEDOPHILES, and over-familiar behaviour from children won't make them into one and b) kids do follow their guts much more easily than adults - i'm not saying that means he's ok, because she thinks he is, BUT to HER he might not feel like a stranger, y/k.  If a strange child straddled DP he would be uncomfortable, but he wouldn't reject the child harshly OR abuse it.

 

 

There is a huge difference between straddling a child who is a baby or toddler and straddling a 7 or 8 year old.  HUGE difference.  You can't compare straddling an 8-yo to carrying a baby in a meitai.  Those are two completely and totally different things.  My husband and both hold our 2 1/2 year old son straddling on our lap sometimes (mostly for comfort, he finds it comforting to bury his head in our shoulder).  Our 6-yo daughter will  sit on our laps for stories or during church, but almost never straddling, just regular facing forward.  Our 8-yo doesn't sit sit on our laps at all, ever,  We give her hugs or will sit next to her (she leans her head on our shoulder) but I can't imagine having her sit on our lap and definitely not straddling.  This is definitely something where the age of the child makes a big, big, difference.

post #57 of 127



I think what happened in the OP is very inappropriate, but your 8-year-old doesnt' sit on your lap, ever?  My 9-year-old regularly sits on my lap, in whatever position she wants.  We love snuggling in this house, and there's absolutely nothing wrong with snuggling with your 8-year-old child.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ameliabedelia View Post

 

Quote:
Honestly, without SEEing it, i can't say if it was inappropriate.  I certainly tickle both my DD's on the bare backs (i was actually taught this at a council-sponsored toddler group during a session on massage and physical closeness!) but then part of the reason i do it is because my DD's enjoy it and i don't WANT them to seek that sort of attention from potentially dangerous strangers.  Straddling is not sexual for the child, and in all but the rarest cases isn't sexual for the adult when a child does it.  I mean DP carries DD2 in the wrap and has carried DD1 in the meitai - he doesn't think of her "straddling" his torso/back, she's just in the carrier.  I don't mean this COULD NOT be inappropriate, i just mean unless i'm there to see it i cannot tell, yk?  I get that him being a stranger is a problem but a) strangers who aren't paedophiles AREN'T PAEDOPHILES, and over-familiar behaviour from children won't make them into one and b) kids do follow their guts much more easily than adults - i'm not saying that means he's ok, because she thinks he is, BUT to HER he might not feel like a stranger, y/k.  If a strange child straddled DP he would be uncomfortable, but he wouldn't reject the child harshly OR abuse it.

 

 

There is a huge difference between straddling a child who is a baby or toddler and straddling a 7 or 8 year old.  HUGE difference.  You can't compare straddling an 8-yo to carrying a baby in a meitai.  Those are two completely and totally different things.  My husband and both hold our 2 1/2 year old son straddling on our lap sometimes (mostly for comfort, he finds it comforting to bury his head in our shoulder).  Our 6-yo daughter will  sit on our laps for stories or during church, but almost never straddling, just regular facing forward.  Our 8-yo doesn't sit sit on our laps at all, ever,  We give her hugs or will sit next to her (she leans her head on our shoulder) but I can't imagine having her sit on our lap and definitely not straddling.  This is definitely something where the age of the child makes a big, big, difference.

post #58 of 127

 

Quote:
, but your 8-year-old doesnt' sit on your lap, ever?

 

no, but I will say that my 8-yo (almost 9) is around 95 lbs and easily the size of kids 3-4 or more years older.  She simply can't fit on my lap and is too tall and too heavy.  I have adult friends (petite women) who will give clothes to her that don't fit them anymore.   We do snuggle...give hugs, I 'll put my arm around her, she lean her head against my shoulder while we read books, she does get physical affection, but to actually sit on my lap..no.  However, that might be her size more than age, it's just not comfortable to me to have someone that big sit on my lap. 

post #59 of 127
Quote:
Originally Posted by GoBecGo View Post

I really think you can feel empowered in this situation.  Think about it - YOU are able to see what is happening, YOU are able to help this family, whether it be watchfulness, or a CPS call if you end up feeling it is warranted, you are in a positive position, not the position of a victim (i know SA survivors can go back to victimhood when they see triggering behaviour in others, but you don't have to, you're not that kid anymore, you're powerful!).  


This. I know I tend to totally shut down & go into 'flight' mode when I am triggered, but pushing yourself to stand up for this little girl & do something about this could be very, very healing for you...

post #60 of 127

REPORT!  Please, report.

 

To all the PPs who keep saying how you tickle your own kids on their bare skin, that is so totally irrelevent here.  Those are your kids, the man and child in the OP are total strangers living in transitional housing.  I know this will be seen as an unpopular, classist POV, but transitional/halfway/homeless housing attracts all types.  Plain old regular families that are down on their luck, for sure.  But also those who are in their current situation because of drug abuse and mental illness.  Also sometimes folks with intellectual challenges that may make it difficult for them to maintain gainful employment.  Unfortunately, drug abuse, mental illness, and reduced intellectual capacity can sometimes cause lowered sexual inhibition. 

 

The girl is at risk.  What the guy did does sound very much like grooming.  Make the call.

 

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