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post #61 of 127

Another strong vote for "you're totally NOT overreacting!" This thread made me feel ill as I read it, and I don't have any triggers that way. I had a healthy childhood, one in which all boundaries were respected, so I don't tend to see abuse when it's not there. But this? This is wrong wrong wrong. I'd even go so far as to say that the girl may have been abused before, seeing as how in one week she's practically throwing herself into the arms of a creepy guy. Yes. He's creepy. And his wife sounds creepy too. I've never called CPS on anyone, but if that were me, this is one situation where I'd call.

post #62 of 127
Quote:
Originally Posted by blessedwithboys View Post

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.

 


 

I agree this girl is at risk,because of the situation and for the reason you state. There are other red flags that I did not know about until follow up posting. So I do think there needs to be great room for concern.

 

But, flame me, I do question the OP perception. If she stated she was not comfortable and could not watch this MAN touch (tickle) the girl I would say call right away - that says there is a gut feeling about this situation. But she says she can't stand watching MEN touching GIRLS. She stated that they do back ground checks, but people are still creepy. This tells me that she might have history or prejudice** that can cause her perceptions to be off. All men are suspect. Any male/girl touching is seen as sexual. She might feel that it wasn't right even if a child's dad, father, et were doing this. (Sorry I don't know why our how the bold got put on but it won't go off.) It also ignores the fact that creep factor does not equate molester. More often than not a molester blends in. OP seems to have a distain that the families have to eat/cook with the single men -- but one of the dads (statistically) is a predator. Her statement about men touching girls also completely ignores what if it was a boy?  Boys can be molested just as well as girls, and less likely to report it.  I also do not agree with straddling = sexual. If a kid sits in my lap often times this will happen. Anytime kids sit on your lap then parts might get rubbed. If they are sitting side ways a pervert could just as easily (if not easier) see how close their hand could go up her crotch.  

 

I also think the OP might have done the wrong thing by going up to the mom and warning about the other couple -- without solid evidence. Sorry but my AP parenting has left me talked about being weird. I think if the situation was -- hey that couple gets drunk a lot, or s/he grabbed my butt the other mom might have listen but the warning as it sounds might have made the OP seem like the weird one.

 

**The time my sister spent in a shelter she said she was on high alert and paranoid because she was so concern and worried about her child.  She later admit this caused her to misjudge people. High stress situations can cause this to happen to the best of us.  

post #63 of 127
Those of you talking about tickling/straddling being ok at your house--I'm sorry but that is irrelevant. This is a STRANGER. That is not comparable to a loving, trustworthy family member or parent.

Men who are healthy do NOT allow strange girls to sit in a position like that. They do not tickle them under their shirts. Men who are healthy are respectful of personal boundaries and perceived impropriety, and are careful not to toe that line.

Children (boys or girls) who are healthy do NOT allow strange men to be that familiar with them. They know and protect their own boundaries.

Of course, for most of us a child straddling our lap is not sexual. But for predators, it IS! Their minds don't think like ours. They do see children as sexual and that act would mean more to them than us. Their minds are ILL, so it can't be compared to the way a healthy parent perceives the same issue.

For example, I remember awhile ago seeing a predator (on Oprah maybe?) who said that if he saw a young girl do a cartwheel in a dress, he would think that girl was flirting with him by flashing her underwear. He would take that as the GIRL making a move on him. His mind is just in a totally different reality. Imagine what that guy would say about it if the girl straddled his lap and let him put his hands under her shirt?!?
post #64 of 127
Quote:
Originally Posted by Spring Lily View Post

Men who are healthy do NOT allow strange girls to sit in a position like that. They do not tickle them under their shirts.


I agree. Those of you who say that your husbands sit with your kids like that, and tickle your kids (which I think is fine, my DS and I snuggle closely all the time and wrestle/tickle/etc.), imagine that a new family moved in next door to you 1 week ago. Can you picture your husband sitting in a chair with the new 8yo neighbor girl straddling him on his lap, with his hands tickling her under her shirt? Would he do that? I'm guessing no, because it's completely different than playing around with your own kids. 

 

 

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.


That's a false dilemma though -- your only 2 choices aren't "stay and watch" or "leave the room and do nothing." You could intervene, you could ask the girl to come do a project with you, you could get her mom and tell her to do something. Do what you wish someone had done for you. 

post #65 of 127
Quote:
Originally Posted by blessedwithboys View Post

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.  

 


I said that (tickling your own child is okay) because a couple posters had said, "eww, I wouldn't do that/wouldn't allow my husband to do that w our own daughters."  And being terrified to touch your own children bc there are people in the world who victimize children is like throwing the baby out with the bathwater, imo.  The very fact that there are dangerous people in the world should not keep people from expressing love and affection with their own children.  I watched a documentary recently where they were interviewing men who, as boys, were manipulated into testifying against someone who was being tried for molesting them (there had been no abuse at all) when they were six.  The defendant ended up spending 20 years in prison.  And when they asked these men how they were now, two of them were in tears bc they said they couldn't have freely loving relationships with their own children.  Both of them, in separate interviews, said they had never given their own child a bath bc of fears that they would be accused of something.  That is an extreme example, I know, but it looks to me like people are expressing similar inhibitions here and I find that pretty upsetting.  It is sad for the parents and I feel like it can't be good for the kids and then I wonder what things will be like several generations down the road.  How are our kids going to feel as parents, and so on?  I think it's only been about 30 years now that child molestation has been something that's openly talked about and in the news and such and I wonder how the first generations of people raised in that environment feel compared to those who came before.  

 

One thing I'm confused about is whether people think cps should be called bc this man is acting inappropriately or bc the girl's mother is being neglectful or is it a more generally "this girl is at risk bc she's living in a home w questionable people and we don't trust her mother to handle it."  If I was living there and witnessing it, I think I'd want to talk to the girl's mother, both to warn her about my suspicions and to feel her out in terms of what she's thinking about all this.  If she was really oblivious and still didn't seem to care after I told her, then I'd probably be more vigilant until I saw more.

 

I think BoBecGo wrote a brilliant post!  I think you can do it, too, OP!  The best outcome here would be if the guy was scared off before anything happened at all.  Even if you call cps, I doubt that they'd be as effective as you would be, and they certainly wouldn't be as timely.

post #66 of 127
Quote:
Originally Posted by limabean View Post


I agree. Those of you who say that your husbands sit with your kids like that, and tickle your kids (which I think is fine, my DS and I snuggle closely all the time and wrestle/tickle/etc.), imagine that a new family moved in next door to you 1 week ago. Can you picture your husband sitting in a chair with the new 8yo neighbor girl straddling him on his lap, with his hands tickling her under her shirt? Would he do that? I'm guessing no, because it's completely different than playing around with your own kids. 

 

I guess I am still not convinced that this little girl & the man didn't already know each other. I've been in many situations where I moved into somewhere new & shouldn't have known anyone I was living with but because many of us had been repeatedly in similar circumstances, we often knew each other well (& bonded well, because there is a certain camraderie that often results from living with 'strangers' in circumstances similar to your own). I just wouldn't assume they were strangers simply because the woman & her kids just moved in.

 

But yeah, if they truly are strangers.... ummmm something's up. greensad.gif

post #67 of 127
Quote:
Originally Posted by Spring Lily View Post


Children (boys or girls) who are healthy do NOT allow strange men to be that familiar with them. They know and protect their own boundaries.
 

 

Seriously? You know...ds1 is one of the most emotionally healthy people I've ever known. I'm trying to think back to when he was 8, and I don't think tickling under his shirt would have happened (although he probably wouldn't have been wearing one - he frequently wasn't)...but jumping on someone he hardly knew? Yeah - that would have. And, if he happened to end up in a straddling position, he'd have stayed that way. While it does sound as though the little girl the OP is talking about has some boundary problems (or is possibly just really, really lonely), people come in all kinds of different personalities and temperaments, and it's not as simple as "a child who sits straddle style on a strange man isn't healthy".

post #68 of 127
Quote:
Originally Posted by Storm Bride View Post



Quote:
Originally Posted by Spring Lily View Post


Children (boys or girls) who are healthy do NOT allow strange men to be that familiar with them. They know and protect their own boundaries.
 

 

Seriously? You know...ds1 is one of the most emotionally healthy people I've ever known. I'm trying to think back to when he was 8, and I don't think tickling under his shirt would have happened (although he probably wouldn't have been wearing one - he frequently wasn't)...but jumping on someone he hardly knew? Yeah - that would have. And, if he happened to end up in a straddling position, he'd have stayed that way. While it does sound as though the little girl the OP is talking about has some boundary problems (or is possibly just really, really lonely), people come in all kinds of different personalities and temperaments, and it's not as simple as "a child who sits straddle style on a strange man isn't healthy".


Yeah, ^this. Totally this. In this circumstance...it is the *adult* whose behavior is really weird, NOT the kids. Some kids start to be more aware of boundries, etc when they are 6, 7, 8..but some kids that age have about as many boundries as a happy-go-lucky toddler and will snuggle up to anybody. I don't think it's a sign of trouble...I think, in many cases, it's the sign of a kid who hasn't been taught to be ashamed about their body, nakedness, closeness, etc.

 

As for the kid standing in bare feet in the freezing weather...I don't know that it's great parenting, but shame on anyone who would get CPS involved in someones life for something like that. That's crazy! My DD, when it starts to snow, will often times scream and shout to go out and twirl around in a first snow, she will NEVER sit still for boots, etc...she slips on whatever shoes are handy and don't have laces and then will go out on the back porch, often in PJ's and untied sneakers, to twirl around. After about five minutes, she comes running in and is sooo cold...but then says "HAT, COAT, BOOTS!" - and we put it on her and she goes back. I don't consider that bad parenting.

 

The OPs initial post made me really uncomfortable because it's a man that is a practical stranger...that's weird. That would absolutely never happen to my kid because I would bristle, hard, at the mere "sit on my lap" vibe...not to mention straddling and under the shirt tickling. Yuck. But if this was happening between my DH and DD...I wouldn't blink an eye. Granted, my DD is 2.5, but her father is the light of her life and I don't get upset at all when they snuggle and sit together.

 

So, yeah. The fact that it's a stranger, makes it a way red flag moment. I would have a serious talk with the mother before I called CPS. But I do believe her kids are high risk, from what I've read, and I'm worried about them and sad that they are so starving for attention. :(

 

FTR, I'm way, way highly suspicious of CPS, so, you know.

post #69 of 127
Thread Starter 

I have kept an eye out since the last time I posted but I haven't seen anything else happen. The mom seems to be more on the ball....yesterday I took my kids to a hill right behind us to go sledding and I saw her going in with her kids from playing in the snow. I think that's great. I haven't noticed creepy guy around much, although the weird old couple seem to be stalking me, I swear. They knock on my door multiple times a day in spite of a sign I put out front that says "baby sleeping DO NOT DISTURB." I am 99% sure they are abusing some substance. Judging from their weird behavior I think they're on methadone but I have no way to prove that. Yesterday I was downstairs with my kids and she came in and started covertly taking pictures of my dd with her camera phone and I had to control myself not to snap that phone in half. I did manage to stop her without screaming in her face but next time I really might. The people who live next door to them have made several complaints about the noise level at night so hopefully they will be evicted soon. Everyone else here is really decent but they are CRAZY and they creep me out. Luckily they are at the opposite end of the building from me.

 

Strange thing though, they loaned the mom I posted about a space heater until she could buy her own, and yesterday she took the heater back over to them to return it. She came to me really weirded out, telling me that the old lady commented "you got some new undies, huh?" The underwear in question was some that she had just bought that day and had not yet worn, and she had not even taken it out of the bag. She had brought it straight into her place and put the whole bag, wrapped up, under her bed where her little one wouldn't get to it. So....are these people breaking in and snooping through other people's things? They are such weirdos.......if nothing else I'm hoping she wioll be sufficiently creeped out to stop sending her kids out without her to watch.

post #70 of 127

Just because YOU do not see anything happening lately does not mean it is not. or will not.

I don''t understand why, if you were so freaked out, and so sure it was inappropriate, you did not call and have not called anyone on that (and any other incident).

You are no longer a victim, you are an adult.  At the very least, confront the mother, face to face, eye to eye. Talk to the girl- get to know her better.

(I still think you should call)

post #71 of 127

Frankly, it doesn't seem like the living situation is healthy for any child or family if you're living and sharing the same space as addicts and people who are "creepy."

post #72 of 127
Quote:
Originally Posted by gbailey View Post

Frankly, it doesn't seem like the living situation is healthy for any child or family if you're living and sharing the same space as addicts and people who are "creepy."



I was thinking the same thing.  Are you estranged from your boyfriend?

post #73 of 127
Quote:
Originally Posted by gbailey View Post

Frankly, it doesn't seem like the living situation is healthy for any child or family if you're living and sharing the same space as addicts and people who are "creepy."


This is what I'm thinking! I just cannot imagine putting kids in this situation, around all these weird people. No way.
 

post #74 of 127
Thread Starter 


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by D_McG View Post



Quote:
Originally Posted by gbailey View Post

Frankly, it doesn't seem like the living situation is healthy for any child or family if you're living and sharing the same space as addicts and people who are "creepy."



I was thinking the same thing.  Are you estranged from your boyfriend?



No, we are together. And trust me, no one messes with his kids. Believe me.

 

I'm glad to update that last night me and another mom kind of confronted the mom of the little girl. Apparently she really did not realize the extent of his interactions with her dd. Yesterday I noticed that she didn't send either of the kids out without her so that is good too. I saw her later in the laundry room and I overheard her talking to her dd about "bad touches" so hopefully this means she is keeping a more vigilant eye. I think the application process that you go through to move in lulls people into thinking that all the bad folks get screened out but that just isn't true. They pretty much have the same requirements as every apt complex in the area which is no outstanding warrants, no registered sex offenders, no one convicted of a violent crime, etc. It doesn't mean that every *potential* creep is screened out because there is no way to do that.

 

And there are crazy people everywhere. I lived in a single family house in a decent neighborhood with my mom and dad who were respected in our religion and liked by many, and I was homeschooled. And I was molested.  It can happen anywhere. I really don't care if people are addicts as long as they stay the hell away from me. And I have no problem whatsoever getting physical to protect myself and my children. Not that it has come to that, but I'm just saying. Let me catch somebody sneaking into MY house....shoot. I can't worry about what other people aer doing. There are perverts everywhere and you can't avoid them. You can only protect your chidlren  and teach them to protect themselves. My 3 yr old can hold his own and when my dd is old enough I will teach her too. Rather than try to live in a bubble I would rather teach my chidlren to stand up for themselves.

post #75 of 127

That is a good update.  I think it is good that you brought it to her attention and she is being so attentive.  I think you should also try to find a way to bring it to the attention of the people who do the moving in screening because it sounds like they didn't know each other, they didn't have a bond, and something seriously wrong was going on with that guy.

post #76 of 127

That's a good update OP. Good for you for bringing it up with the mother. 

 

Would it help for you and your DP to pool your resources so that you could all live alone together? 

post #77 of 127

I'm glad to read your update, OP.  I read through the entire thread just sick to my stomach.  Now that the mother is aware and responding to the situation, I feel a little better.  I'm proud of you for speaking up and talking to her about it.  That couple sounds truly disturbed.  I would be going to any lengths to ensure that they had no contact with my children at all.

 

Frankly, I was just sick to read so many posters justifying the tickling and straddling.  I know it happens in many happy, healthy, and safe homes, but in this situation, it was completely inappropriate.  I also come from a very affectionate family, but this circumstance is different . . . 1. They had just met a week ago, 2. She was straddling him, 3. He was tickling her, 4. His hands were UNDER HER SHIRT, 5. Mom seems a little checked out, 6. The little girl is emotionally needy and seems to be the perfect target.  OP, if I saw this happen again, I would follow the advice of the PP and speak up.  Make eye contact and tell him he's being inappropriate.  

post #78 of 127
Thread Starter 

It was really obvious to mne last night that he knows he is wrong, because I looked at him, and he immediately dropped the little girl and kind of pushed her away. It was at that point that me and the other mom spoke to the mother to make her aware. I really don't know how she missed it since we were all in the laundry room, but whatever. We are trying to come up with a way to get him evicted but taht is hard because he has as much right, legally, to have a place o live as anyone else. Unless he does something clearly illegal, there's not much we can do. Jut like we can't get rid of the neighbor who lets her trash pile up for a week at a time.....

post #79 of 127

No offense but your post sounds a little delusional OP.Obviously there are crazy people everywhere but it's not a safe environment to have children in when there are "creepy" people and meth heads around. It's one thing for a meth head to live across the hall from me when I am able to go inside the safe confines of my apartment and don't have to deal with him/her than when you are in a situation where you do. The state of Virginia has wonderful resources to help parents who are struggling financially and/or need help with housing.

 

Your three year old can hold his own against whom? He's three years old. Even the smartest three year old can do but so much.

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by waiting2bemommy View Post


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by D_McG View Post



Quote:
Originally Posted by gbailey View Post

Frankly, it doesn't seem like the living situation is healthy for any child or family if you're living and sharing the same space as addicts and people who are "creepy."



I was thinking the same thing.  Are you estranged from your boyfriend?



No, we are together. And trust me, no one messes with his kids. Believe me.

 

I'm glad to update that last night me and another mom kind of confronted the mom of the little girl. Apparently she really did not realize the extent of his interactions with her dd. Yesterday I noticed that she didn't send either of the kids out without her so that is good too. I saw her later in the laundry room and I overheard her talking to her dd about "bad touches" so hopefully this means she is keeping a more vigilant eye. I think the application process that you go through to move in lulls people into thinking that all the bad folks get screened out but that just isn't true. They pretty much have the same requirements as every apt complex in the area which is no outstanding warrants, no registered sex offenders, no one convicted of a violent crime, etc. It doesn't mean that every *potential* creep is screened out because there is no way to do that.

 

And there are crazy people everywhere. I lived in a single family house in a decent neighborhood with my mom and dad who were respected in our religion and liked by many, and I was homeschooled. And I was molested.  It can happen anywhere. I really don't care if people are addicts as long as they stay the hell away from me. And I have no problem whatsoever getting physical to protect myself and my children. Not that it has come to that, but I'm just saying. Let me catch somebody sneaking into MY house....shoot. I can't worry about what other people aer doing. There are perverts everywhere and you can't avoid them. You can only protect your chidlren  and teach them to protect themselves. My 3 yr old can hold his own and when my dd is old enough I will teach her too. Rather than try to live in a bubble I would rather teach my chidlren to stand up for themselves.

post #80 of 127

Whew.  This thread had me on edge...glad the mom was made aware and is being more vigilant.  I agree a strange man tickling an 8 yr old under her shirt, and verbalizing it as well! is way off.  There are many little girls in our circle of friends, and NONE of the men of the group behave this way with them.  It would be, and is, shockingly inappropriate. 

 

That said, I was sad to see many who discouraged OP's heightened sense of awareness, by making it seem she was indeed over-reacting.  I've faced abuse as well, and have a heightened sense of creeps.  I don't get "creepy" vibes randomly.  When I do get them, I absolutely take it seriously.  When I get those vibes, I go on guard immediately.  I was introduced to a man once, and simply upon shaking his hand, EVERY red alert inside me went crazy! serious creep alert.  It was almost an immediate physical revulsion.  He was being introduced to me because he was going to be my "home teacher" (for our church) and would be visiting me in my home.  Guarantee you, I never allowed him to visit, or get anywhere near me.  And asking around later, there were "incidents" with his own children which were questionable (which validated my vibes, but I didn't really need the validation).

 

Even if this man had not yet done anything to the girl, OP's intuition, and close observation, informed her he had the potential for harm.  Kudos for paying attention, and taking the needed action of informing the mother. 

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