Yeah. This is such a difficult topic to deal with, and having been sexually abused myself from a young age, I really want to over-react, so I need some advice! Awfully ironic, I was just posting advice to another mama whose niece is possibly being abused...now I guess it's my turn. Sigh.
We know a wonderful family whose girls (the oldest 2 of 11 kids in a devout Baptist family) have watched our kids for over 2 years while DH & I are at work. They are so sweet and responsible, the kids love them, they bake cookies and play games, the kids are always in bed with teeth brushed and jammies on, and the house is always clean when we get home, etc. In other words, the "perfect" babysitters.
Their younger brother (about 11yo?) occasionally comes along to help out and loves to play with the boys. Now I know why. While I was at "back to school night" 4yo DS told DH that this boy plays a game where they "hide" in bed and tickle each other, but they can't tell anyone. Disturbing, right?! DH felt there was something really wrong, and a lot more to the story. So this morning, I casually asked DS what kind of games they play while the boy is here, and he told me about a "game" this boy plays, where he acts like a Monster and DS has to "beat" him by sitting on his head and tickling him under his underwear.
So I asked DS where, under the underwear, he's supposed to tickle him - and he said his butt and his weenie. DS kind of giggled about it, so obviously didn't realize there was anything wrong with it. I said, "Honey, those are your private parts...do you really think it's ok for anyone to touch you there or ask you to touch theirs?" He just looked at me quizzically. So I continued, "Well, the only time anyone should touch your weenie is like if Mom or Dad or Grandma is giving you a bath...nobody else should ever touch you there, and you should never touch anyone else there. If that ever happens, you need to tell mommy & daddy right away, ok?" I don't know how much he understood, but he suddenly seemed to feel uncomfortable, like he was thinking about that "game" differently for the first time.
Of course, I can't prove any of this...it's just the story of a 4yo, and our intuition. When I asked our 7yo DS if he had ever played any "tickling" games with this boy, or seen him play games like that with his little bro, he denied it...but 7yo has a really bad habit of lying and telling you what he thinks you want to hear (which we have been working on, rather unsuccessfully), so I can't trust what he says. Besides, he has no concept of physical boundaries or privacy, and can't understand why I want him to quit staring at his little sister's privates while I change her diaper. Now I'm wondering if this boy's "games" are part of the reason DS has such a fixation on genitalia.
I also realize (from personal experience) that molesters will not do these things when anyone else is around...for example, 7yo is brushing his teeth while the babysitter is getting 2yo DD into her jammies, and this kid takes the 4yo
to his bedroom alone, so it's possible no one else would have a clue what was really going on.
I am totally prepared to call their mother, and address our concerns, but I'm afraid she will freak out and reject the possibility that her son is doing this. And he has younger siblings - so what is he doing to them?! I know this needs to be dealt with asap - but what in the name of holy heck should I do here?!?!