or Connect
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Mom › Parenting › Blended and Step Family Parenting › This is a touchy subject...
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

This is a touchy subject...

post #1 of 52
Thread Starter 
Hi everyone,
Thyis is a big one! I have a blended family consisting of 5 kids 2 his. 3 mine.
They are 12 (boy), 10(boy), 10(girl), 8(girl), amd 3(boy). The oldest boy has recently started babysitting his younger siblings. He has been doing very well and feels very proud of his new responsibility.
Today, my step childrens mother, brought it to our attention that she is not comfortable with him babysitting because she is worried about the kids becoming sexually curious with each other. She thinks we should not be leaving them together unsupervised to avoid any chance of someone, being tempted to act out sexually with one of the other kids.
I was so shocked and upset by this because our kids are being raised as brother and sisters.
Am I wrong to feel completely insulted that she would think that we would put any of our kids in a situation where they could be in danger of being molested? and that it could be my son doing it?

I'm curious to hear your opinions on this...I am at a loss for words.
post #2 of 52
Do your kids see each other as siblings? My boyfriend, at 15, got his 14 y.o. step-sister pregnant. They were just regular kids, good grades, no history of sexual promiscuity . . . On the other hand, acting sexual with my step-sibs is not an idea I would like to think about.

I read some research that what creates a true adversion to "incest" between siblings is watching ones mother "mother" a child. Nursing it, wiping it's butt, kissing and cuddling it at an early age. Do your kids have that?

I would also wonder where the other mom is coming from? What is her experience that would make her express this concern?
post #3 of 52
Thread Starter 
Hi there! Yes, my 12 and 10 year olds have a three year old brother that they watched be "mothered". Thats interesting that it could help repell incest.
Do you think I am naieve (sp?) to think the kids wouldn't think of each other that way? Maybe this is something that needs to be addressed with them but how do I begin that conversation?
Having a pregnant teenager is not something I want to risk.
post #4 of 52
How old were the kids when you blended families?
post #5 of 52
Thread Starter 
We have been blended for 2 years.
post #6 of 52
Yikes, I would be offended to you mama! I have nothing to offer as advice! Our kids (all girls) babysit the younger ones and bm has issues with this also. She doesn't really state her issues only that she has issues about the older girls babysitting the younger ones. Maybe I'm wrong but I didn't see any issue with a 13 year old fully certified in our local Babysitting Course, very mature step sister for 4 years to babysit two 6 year olds when we are at work. Both dh and I had cell phones, would be available in less than 5 minutes in an emergency. And next door neighbors and our best friend across the street would be there in an emergency. I also didn't feel that we needed to share any of this with BM since she doesn't share when she has babysitters to go out at night.
IMO molestation can happen at anytime anywhere, does BM have babysitters at her home?
post #7 of 52
I would be offended by this, and personally, would not be worried about any sexual curiosity. Wouldn't it be worse never leaving tme unsupervised because you don't trust them? I would think in the long term the distrust would be more harmful.

If they are being raised as siblings, seeing each other be "mothered", I don't see how there would be any worry about developing inappropriate sexual feelings. Also, come on. The oldest 2 are 10 and 12? To me that doesn't seem old enough to really be that interested, but I was a late bloomer so maybe I am wrong.
post #8 of 52
Thread Starter 
I don't see any sexual maturity in any of them yet...thats not to say that it isn't there and I just don't know. I know that I babysat at 12 all the time.
Last night I asked the oldest " what is the first word that comes to your mind when you think of (8 year old step-sister). He said SISTER. That's says alot doesn't it?
post #9 of 52

At least bio mom is paying attention

And it sounds like she put it to you in a very civilized way... such scenarios are not unheard of. Kids do get curious, "I'll show you mine if you show me yours" sort-of thing. I would hope, if I were the bio mom, and I had expressed that honestly to you, that you would respect it and find a way to make it happen without conveying any distrust toward your son. It probably took her some courage to bring this need to your attention.

And to the pp, I don't think it matters what might be in the biomom's experience that she would be concerned enough to make that request. What if it was traumatic childhood sexual abuse, or it was just that she read the papers yesterday, or she heard through the grapevine that the 12 yo step-brother is already curious? That's none of anyone's business unless she chooses otherwise.

What if her dd has had some bad experience with some OTHER, unrelated family, and bio mom needs to help her dd feel safe without betraying some trust her dd has put her in about that negative experience?

A mother has a right to ask for and expect any surrogate mother involved to honor her wishes with regards to caring for her child. I think we would all, each and every one of us, hope for the same.

OP, I hope you can honor biomom's wishes, and know that it's not about you or your son, most likely, but it's about biomom needing, for some reason, to ask for you, and TRUST you to, provide a specific care for her dd, based on what she has deemed important. Perhaps you can have a dialog with the bm about how you can explain this to your son, so that you're in agreement with whatever story you make up, so as to not hurt your son's feelings? Like, bm doesn't think 12 is old enough, and everybody is allowed to have their own parenting rules?

Good luck.

VF
post #10 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by Viewfinder View Post
And it sounds like she put it to you in a very civilized way... such scenarios are not unheard of. Kids do get curious, "I'll show you mine if you show me yours" sort-of thing. I would hope, if I were the bio mom, and I had expressed that honestly to you, that you would respect it and find a way to make it happen without conveying any distrust toward your son. It probably took her some courage to bring this need to your attention.

And to the pp, I don't think it matters what might be in the biomom's experience that she would be concerned enough to make that request. What if it was traumatic childhood sexual abuse, or it was just that she read the papers yesterday, or she heard through the grapevine that the 12 yo step-brother is already curious? That's none of anyone's business unless she chooses otherwise.

What if her dd has had some bad experience with some OTHER, unrelated family, and bio mom needs to help her dd feel safe without betraying some trust her dd has put her in about that negative experience?

A mother has a right to ask for and expect any surrogate mother involved to honor her wishes with regards to caring for her child. I think we would all, each and every one of us, hope for the same.

OP, I hope you can honor biomom's wishes, and know that it's not about you or your son, most likely, but it's about biomom needing, for some reason, to ask for you, and TRUST you to, provide a specific care for her dd, based on what she has deemed important. Perhaps you can have a dialog with the bm about how you can explain this to her son, so that you're in agreement with whatever story you make up, so as to not hurt your son's feelings? Like, bm doesn't think 12 is old enough, and everybody is allowed to have their own parenting rules?

Good luck.

VF
great post...ITA
post #11 of 52
Thread Starter 
Yes, I agree that she did try to aproach it in a civilized manner and was uncomfortable bringing it up. I also, agree that we have to consider her wishes as to how to raise her kids. Of course! I am a mother too and have kids who have a step-mom and would like to think that she would always listen to what I have to say.
That being said...I'm married to their father who loves them and would do everything to keep his kids safe. He needs to have an opinion and be trusted with his parental judgement. He would know if there was some kind of past trauma in dd's life and would have considered that before allowing the 12 year old to babysit.
post #12 of 52

Step-mothering; a sacred trust between mothers

Yes, you are a mom, too. I apologize if it came off sounding like I had to point that out to you. I came into this section looking for info and perhaps to post a question regarding a blended family I am close to, and came upon your thread... thought it might contain the same subject I am concerned about. It's not, but, I had to respond to you.

I am neither a step-mother, nor a bio-mother who has to share her children with another mother, but I know that if I was either, it would be a huge emotional challenge, no doubt about it.

I'd rather be the step-mom... I think that would be much easier to handle than being forced by law to entrust my child to the care of a woman I did not choose, and a man I am divorced from if I split from him with critical feelings about him as a father, and to the environs of an entire new family of siblings and other relatives, whose upbringing I had no part in, and therefore know basically nothing about; to a household whose neighbors are unknown to me; etc.

I cannot be there, with MY child, doing what is my most important, most meaningful, powerful job in all of life; a job I committed every single minute of my life to for the next twenty-odd+ years and that is ripped out of my hands everytime I have to give my child up to my ex-husband and you: nurturing and protecting my child. Yes, of course he is the father, your husband; he's going to be looking out for our child, one would hope, but, actually, let's say I didn't have much faith in his ability to do that when we were married. I am divorced from him. Maybe I have more faith in you than I do in him, but we do disagree about 12 yo boys babysitting my child.

I know, OP, mother to five children and wow, that's a lot of mothering, that I could only wish with all of my heart that this woman who has been given this gift I did not wish to give, would have the honor and decency as a human being to give me a gift that perhaps she doesn't want to give... respect my wishes regarding my child's care.

Please, accept my apology if I hurt your feelings and pride as a mother yourself, but have a heart about it---hopefully you will never find yourself in the position of entrusting your children to someone whose parenting practices may, in your view, expose your child to an unnecessary risk, like say, letting your 12 year-old son be babysat by her seventeen year-old son, whom you don't know. Imagine how hard it would be to ask her and your ex-husband not to do that if you didn't happen to think it was safe for some reason?

VF
post #13 of 52
I wouldn't be offended. I'd ask her more questions and find out what is worrying her.
post #14 of 52
Thread Starter 
No apology needed! This is why I wrote the post...I wanted to know if I was being irrational about my feelings about this and to get the opinions of other moms and step-moms.
The BM and I have a very good relationship when it comes to the kids. This is the first big issue that has come up.
I'm having a problem with her not trusting my son in particular not just any 12 or 17 year old babysitter. I completely understand that she has the right to ask for her kids to ALWAYS be safe. That goes without saying. BUT...there has never been an issue with their dad being an incredible father, she would be the first to say how amazing he is with them. I wish he was the father of mine too!
This is an issue about step-siblings getting sexually curious with each other and how to get my head around the whole idea of this being a problem that needs to be dealt with.
post #15 of 52
I would sit your son down and have a talk with him about it.

Tell him that this is a common concern for people of blended families (don't make it about YOUR family), explain about it, etc. Give him the chance to tell you that he would never do that, NOR ALLOW IT among the younger children.

Don't accuse him, just lay it out as if, "Now that you're taking on this extra responsibility, this is something you should be aware of that sometimes happens, and although we think it's extremely unlikely with our family, blah blah blah."

Gauge his response. Gauge his maturity level surrounding it.

Go from there.

Then remind biomom that no matter what, this is a chance you take when you have a babysitter of any age. If you have a 60 year old woman come over and babysit... and Joe and Sally are in the other room... and she's sitting there watching TV and not watching them like a hawk, they can be in there playing 'doctor' or 'house' or 'show and tell.'

It isn't like it's isolated to only if the kids are "home alone." There are a huge number of situations in which they could be sexually molested. At some point, you just have to take the risk and be realistic. You can't live your life in fear of this sort of thing, or you'll never leave the house and never take your eyes off of any of them. That's just not realistic.
post #16 of 52
Is it your biological child who is babysitting? Honestly, the mother bring that up might be enough to make me rethink the situation just because she might accuse my child of something. But, my thoughts might be tainted her because of a particular biomom I have in mind . Well, I have known teen/preteen stepsiblings who um, did some experimentation and as much as they felt like "family" they just didn't have that feeling of incest between stepsiblings. I'm sure it depends on the individual and the length of time the marriage and the custody and all that. Actually, I would not be comfortable with such a young babysitter, though I was a babysitter at that age. I think it must feel strange to have your kids at another house with a babysitter.
post #17 of 52
IMO, they were fairly young when they became siblings, so I would think that they would have sibling-style feelings for each other, but you never know. I would suggest that DH and BM talk it over and reach an agreement.

I also like the idea of talking with your son about it to gauge his reaction.
post #18 of 52
I am a child of a blended family and I can only say that the more people communicate and respect each other the better off for everyone IMO.

OP you sound like your heart and head is in a good place to understand where "other mother" is coming from.

Good Luck.
post #19 of 52
WOW!!!

And not a single post on why a 12 year old should not be watching siblings. In Oregon, it is not legal for sibling to watch each other until the age of 14. So even if you have a 13 year old, with ten year olds, you still have to get a more mature sitter. So here you are breaking the law, not to mention putting a lot of responsibility on a 12 year old boy's shoulders.

I recently found out that my former spouse is having his wife's older boys watch my children so they can go out on a date while the kiddos are there. I am sorry, it is wrong on way too many levels. (especially since the boy's bio father is in prison for "sex crimes")
post #20 of 52
Thread Starter 
We are definately NOT breaking any laws! The Red Cross does babysitting courses from 12 years and up. He has a babysitting certificate from them.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Mom › Parenting › Blended and Step Family Parenting › This is a touchy subject...