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August Chit Chat - Page 4

post #61 of 276

That mastitis sounds righteous. Woo! I hope you get it cleared up completely. =(

 

Conner had his appt. for his hydronephrosis. It's "definitely not getting worse but may even be a little better". Yay! He's in the clear until February, so well after his one-year mark... It's usually supposed to clear up pretty well by the time they're a year, so cross our fingers for February. =)

 

He's also FINALLY knee crawling! He started it yesterday. He was on the floor and started doing it and I was like, "JEREMY! JEREMY! LOOK!" LOL And he's been doing it ever since. He's also able to go from a crawl to a sit now, which he wasn't doing prior, so that makes me happier. And he had his 5th tooth pop through recently. I noticed it at his 9-month check-up.

post #62 of 276

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Edited by jbk21 - 10/6/12 at 10:11pm
post #63 of 276

Ugh!  Super bummer!!  I'm so sorry J!

post #64 of 276

I'm sure there's somewhere else on Mothering to ask this question, but it feels a bit sensitive, and I'd rather ask you ladies, you know? 

 

My daughter, who is 3 and some, is going through her normal period of body awareness. This is fine. We've talked a lot about it, and I've been very chill about it. Too chill? Maybe. Her special little friend, G, has also been working through his new awareness of his body. He is OBSESSED with his penis. He can't stop touching it. Ever. And the first thing the kids want to do when they get together is get naked and compare. And I want to be relaxed about nudity in our household. I'm not all that modest, and family nudity was just a part of our lives as kids (in Finnish culture, family saunas are always nude, nudity is not really a thing.) But seriously, it is getting out of hand, and we've had to start being strict with the clothing rules when they are together. Which is OK too, really, but it hasn't really stopped them. I can't count the number of times we (his mama and I) have witnessed something completely inappropriate.

 

And then recently it escalated for him. He started, um, forcing, interaction with his privates on his baby twin sisters, my DD and even baby O. And no matter how many times his mama talks to him about it, it doesn't seem to even register. And he's been acting weird. Like total meltdown when my DD wouldn't play the "milky game" with him, which turned out to be penis-related (involving mouths etc) which totally triggered red flags for both his mama and me. She's really stressed out, trying to figure out if little G is or has been abused somewhere, or if he's getting the idea from other kids who are suffering under sexual abuse. 

 

Anyway, I'd love suggestions on places to read up on this kind of thing that are sympathetic to gentle parenting and not involve any kind of shaming. Books for preschoolers would be especially appreciated - ones that talk about body awareness and sexuality not only in terms of where babies come from, but also helping kids understand what is and isn't OK. 

 

It's really heavy, and just like DD's early understanding of death, I am just not ready. 

post #65 of 276

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Edited by jbk21 - 10/6/12 at 10:11pm
post #66 of 276

Nicole, yea for Conner!

 

J, that super sucks. Sorry! hug2.gif

 

Kirsten, I second J's suggestion that the little boy should probably get some counselling. That just doesn't sound normal to me at all. When my dd was 3, she had a male best friend. They would take baths together and notice that they were different. Sometimes they would comment on it. Occasionally they would yell and sing songs about their different parts. That was pretty much the extent of it. If there had been any game involving mouths, I would have probably lost it. As far as your dd, I don't think she needs to know much right now. Can they be supervised constantly when together? She certainly doesn't need to know *things* before her time. Heck, I don't even want my 10 yo to know about any potential penis-mouth connection!  hug2.gif to you, too.

post #67 of 276
Kirsten - that behavior raises MAJOR red flags for me. When I was training to be a mandated reporter, those were the kinds of behaviors discussed as major signs of sexual abuse. I am hesitant to say more than I should here, because obviously I might be wrong. But I am very, very concerned for that boy.

Please do not allow any unsupervised time between him and any other children, and please ask his mama to make sure his little sisters are safe. I believe if he "got the idea" from other kids, he would not have those meltdowns. The meltdowns tell me that he is personally involved with that dynamic elsewhere. I hope he gets some therapy ASAP. I pray I'm wrong.

Hugs!!!
post #68 of 276

I don't want her to know "things" before her time either. She's just a baby!  But what worries me is that she just went along with it, even if she didn't really like it, because she didn't know it wasn't OK. I want some kind of sensitive fix that maintains her innocence entirely while giving her enough to know what is wrong so she can stop it and talk to me about it. That's why I was hoping there was a book to read her or something. And she does already know some things because of this experience, and I want to help her process that in a healthy, innocent way.  I don't think she's bothered much by it, or scarred or anything, though she has been wanting to play with him less and less lately.

 

This is so hard, because this is the family that we are planning to live with. The kids are like siblings. My friend is like a sister. We see them almost every day. The kids are supposed to share a room. I love them, I want to help them, but I want to protect my kids too. It's so hard. 

 

And yes, after yesterday (the "Milky Game" incident) they have been supervised (mostly - we have three babies between us two as well). After your comments, they will be supervised always. 

post #69 of 276

Whoa! The little "games" he wants to play really raise red flags with me too. He might have seen some stuff too. My niece witnessed porn(she JUST turned 2 yesterday) when my sister and her boyfriend were separated. Her boyfriend was watching on his laptop while she was awake and she was trying to mess with my sister's breasts after they got back together.(not a breastfed baby, so she wasn't going for a nurse)

post #70 of 276
That's tough, Kirsten. I was thinking last night that sometimes we get too caught up in the idea that any restrictions involving sexuality will be shaming. I think there is a balance. I think it is good to tell little ones that nudity is okay, that touching your own genitals is okay. But also that there is a time and a place. I do not think it would be shaming at all for the little boy to be told firmly what is and isn't appropriate. I also don't think it would be wrong for him to have a consequence. If he was biting, no one would be worried about a consequence potentially shaming him. This is the same thing: he is violating someone else's person in a way that makes them uncomfortable.

As for your daughter, I think the same conversation would work. Without it being at all sexual, you could tell her that certain parts of our bodies are just for us to touch. Establish that her body is good and healthy and normal, but that there are important boundaries that no one should cross with her. Teach her to say no and tell you about certain things. You can present them just like you would hitting or biting. If someone were to hit her, you would have her tell you, right? This can be the same thing. No big drama, no sexual note to it.

My concern for her would be that if she doesn't learn it is inappropriate and to say no, she would be much more likely to allow another person to do the same thing to her. Does that make sense? Also, I am sure that there are books out there on teaching children to have healthy boundaries with their own bodies. I'll see if I can find any.
post #71 of 276
Ok, wow. I just googled "teaching children boundaries body" and got a ton of good results. Many were sexual abuse prevention sites. Darkness to light seems like a good site with a series on the topic. Some of these places probably have book recs. I'm sure there is some info aimed at younger kids. Anyway, it may be a good place to start.
post #72 of 276
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Edited by jbk21 - 10/6/12 at 10:11pm
post #73 of 276
Thread Starter 

I tried to respond to this earlier and I typed out a whole long message and the power went out :/

 

Anyways...

 

I grew up in a foster home.  I was the only bio child amongst many fosters.  Most of the foster children had experienced sexual abuse.  I can share with you some of the most important things I learned through experience and education.  First of all, saying that childs behavior is a red flag is an understatement.  Its a screaming siren.  Normal exploration of sexuality at that age could include things like showing parts to others, touching of the own private parts, rubbing parts on other things, or even light touching of the parts of others NOT in a sexual way- but rather in the way of curiosity.  Putting or demanding private parts be put into another child's mouth is a learned behavior.  I would never hesitate to say that it sounds like this child is either witnessing sexual acts he shouldn't be, or being abused. 

 

Its your job to protect your children AND this child.  Something is going on here.  Best friend or not, you need to really be looking at who this child is exposed to.  Perverts and molesters don't always seem creepy and raise red flags.  They are, most of the time, incredibly social people who make friends easily and seem very likable.  Stand up members of society.  One of my sisters was molested by her father for 10 years- he won "father of the year" 4 years at her elementary school, and led the Girl Scouts.  Nobody had a clue.  I'm not saying we should all distrust everybody, but if a child is exhibiting these signs-  distrust away.  It is the absolute only way to keep your children safe.  Even if it ruins your plan for future living arrangements or babysitting or...whatever. 

 

With my kids, we have a very open dialogue about what is ok and what is not.  Ive made sure to teach them things like, "these are our private parts- they should not be touched by anybody out of anger, they should not be touched as a secret, they should not be touched if the touching makes you uncomfortable".  We also include things like, "its ok to touch your own private parts, but only in the bathroom or your bedroom- you cannot walk around the living room or grocery store with your hand down your pants".  You have to let your children know that its ok to say NO and say it boldly, and to always tell you immediately if someone tries to engage them in something that makes them uncomfortable.  Make sure they know how important it is to ALWAYS tell an adult, EVEN IF THEY THREATEN TO HURT YOU OR SOMEONE YOU LOVE.  <---that is the main reason children report not telling an adult. 

 

Perhaps she needs to start a dialogue with her child about what is ok, and what can make us feel bad or make others feel bad. Either way she needs to have him seen by a counselor or doctor,.

post #74 of 276
Quote:
Originally Posted by dashley111 View Post

I tried to respond to this earlier and I typed out a whole long message and the power went out :/

 

Anyways...

 

I grew up in a foster home.  I was the only bio child amongst many fosters.  Most of the foster children had experienced sexual abuse.  I can share with you some of the most important things I learned through experience and education.  First of all, saying that childs behavior is a red flag is an understatement.  Its a screaming siren.  Normal exploration of sexuality at that age could include things like showing parts to others, touching of the own private parts, rubbing parts on other things, or even light touching of the parts of others NOT in a sexual way- but rather in the way of curiosity.  Putting or demanding private parts be put into another child's mouth is a learned behavior.  I would never hesitate to say that it sounds like this child is either witnessing sexual acts he shouldn't be, or being abused. 

 

Its your job to protect your children AND this child.  Something is going on here.  Best friend or not, you need to really be looking at who this child is exposed to.  Perverts and molesters don't always seem creepy and raise red flags.  They are, most of the time, incredibly social people who make friends easily and seem very likable.  Stand up members of society.  One of my sisters was molested by her father for 10 years- he won "father of the year" 4 years at her elementary school, and led the Girl Scouts.  Nobody had a clue.  I'm not saying we should all distrust everybody, but if a child is exhibiting these signs-  distrust away.  It is the absolute only way to keep your children safe.  Even if it ruins your plan for future living arrangements or babysitting or...whatever. 

 

With my kids, we have a very open dialogue about what is ok and what is not.  Ive made sure to teach them things like, "these are our private parts- they should not be touched by anybody out of anger, they should not be touched as a secret, they should not be touched if the touching makes you uncomfortable".  We also include things like, "its ok to touch your own private parts, but only in the bathroom or your bedroom- you cannot walk around the living room or grocery store with your hand down your pants".  You have to let your children know that its ok to say NO and say it boldly, and to always tell you immediately if someone tries to engage them in something that makes them uncomfortable.  Make sure they know how important it is to ALWAYS tell an adult, EVEN IF THEY THREATEN TO HURT YOU OR SOMEONE YOU LOVE.  <---that is the main reason children report not telling an adult. 

 

Perhaps she needs to start a dialogue with her child about what is ok, and what can make us feel bad or make others feel bad. Either way she needs to have him seen by a counselor or doctor,.

 

Quoted for truth!  Great advice.  Also: you cannot act quickly enough.  This situation requires immediate action.  

With regard to how to speak with your daughter I think that Ash gave great examples of things to say.  Also, she needs to  know by your tone and demeanor that this is EXTREMELY important.  I think a book is a great idea to supplement this conversation, but can't be the only thing you do.

post #75 of 276

Wow, quite the heavy topic!  I don't have any experience or advice to give, but big ((HUGS)) and I hope she can get the help she needs for her son and that you and she can figure out how to navigate this situation within your friendship.

 

On an exceedingly lighter note, Christina and I entered the World Breastfeeding Week Photo Contest.  Enter your own pics for a $25 Amazon gift card!  Please vote for our pics if you get the chance!  Just click the thumbs up button at the bottom of the post and then click the "add to reputation" button.  http://www.mothering.com/community/t/1360569/celebrating-world-breastfeeding-month-photo-contest#post_17077872   Mine start at post #15.  Thanks in advance!

post #76 of 276

This is a heavy topic, and a heartbreaking one.  Kirsten, I hope you can take this advice to heart and take action.  There is something serious going on with this boy, and he is telling you in the only way he knows how, and it is your job (and the job of every adult in his life) to listen and take him very, very seriously.  I wouldn't move forward with your plans to live with this family any time soon - if ever.  I know this is terribly disruptive, but his behavior is a dead-on signal that he is and has been deeply disturbed by something and is trying to process it by acting out on others.  Please, please don't treat this gently.  I am a proponent of gentle discipline, and of avoiding body shaming... but this is a whole new game, and demands new tactics and interventions.  I hope this boy gets help today.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Becky Wheeler View Post
My niece witnessed porn(she JUST turned 2 yesterday) when my sister and her boyfriend were separated. Her boyfriend was watching on his laptop while she was awake and she was trying to mess with my sister's breasts after they got back together.(not a breastfed baby, so she wasn't going for a nurse)

 

... why on EARTH did she get back together with this guy?

post #77 of 276

Thanks everyone. She is going to take G to a counsellor, and she does set boundaries for him, does stop him when this is happening, is giving him consequences for this behaviour. She doesn't believe that there has been any abuse, but she is taking all precaution. I believe she is doing all she can, but I'll be keeping my eye on the situation.

 

And thanks for giving me the language to talk to my daughter. This is how I've already been talking to her about it, it's nice to know I've been doing it OK. I've never had any experience with sexual abuse, so I appreciate your input. 

post #78 of 276
Quote:
Originally Posted by MrsKatie View Post

 

 

 

... why on EARTH did she get back together with this guy?

Because she's in a typical cycle of an abusive relationship. greensad.gif I hate it just as much as anyone else.

post #79 of 276

I posted that earlier before reading the last few replies - I am going to think seriously about this, I promise. I am having a hard time with it - she's my best friend, and changing our plans would be devastating. It's not her fault, and I can't fathom punishing her for this by distancing myself when she's having such a hard time. But I also don't want to put my children at risk. I am going to proceed carefully, I assure you, and make sure G gets help ASAP. Thank you so much for your concern for all of us. 

post #80 of 276
Quote:
Originally Posted by KayPea View Post

I posted that earlier before reading the last few replies - I am going to think seriously about this, I promise. I am having a hard time with it - she's my best friend, and changing our plans would be devastating. It's not her fault, and I can't fathom punishing her for this by distancing myself when she's having such a hard time. But I also don't want to put my children at risk. I am going to proceed carefully, I assure you, and make sure G gets help ASAP. Thank you so much for your concern for all of us. 


hug2.gifOf course this is hard. I can only begin to imagine.  I'm so sorry you're dealing with this.

 

Keep us posted, friend.

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