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Single dad co-sleeping with 6-y.o. DD - Page 2

post #21 of 60
Well, that sucks. But OTOH what are ya gonna do? That child sex abuse is such a pesky thing.

I mean seriously. Better to overreact than underreact, yes?

Notice mamas get blamed for not intervening when children get abused by fathers. And mamas get blamed for intervening the other way too now.

Ah, as the misogyny goes round. :

I mean, I do see your point. Really I do.

But nobody knows what is really going on here. Which side is better to err on? Kwim?
post #22 of 60
http://www.georgiacenterforchildren.org/stats.htm

Quote:
Nearly one-half of the sexually abused children were sexually abused by someone other than a parent or parent-substitute
Just over one-fourth were sexually abused by a birth parent
Quote:
Stepfathers are 7 times more likely to abuse than biological fathers; however, abuse by a biological parent tends to be more severe. (A child who is abused by a biological parent is at higher risk of sustaining an injury from the abuse than those abused by a non-biological parent.)
This child is more likely to be molested by step-dad/mom's boy friend or other family member than her bio-dad.

Sex abuse is very real but acting out in fear is not the best way to handle it or to protect our children. It doesn't empower kids to protect themselves, say no, or speak up when they need to.

We need to create enviroments that kids will come to us. If this child thinks parents will get mad she will start lying and keeping secrets. I think the OP is asking for secrets when she ask about sleep/night time routines. It isn't the best way to watch for abuse. It seems prying, questions loyality, and might make her feel shameful about something that she should feel because mom doesn't do it. It sets up mom to get mad creating an enviorment that causes hostility and adventually the child learning to pit one parent against another. If you relax and listen to what children say you will find out a lot more. Kids that age will slip and say something then you can ask open ended questions. Open ended questions get you more info.

http://www.helpguide.org/mental/chil...lect.htm#signs

I would recommend the OP give a copy of this to dad but at the same time think about his budget. Sometimes you cannot afford two bedrooms and you have to make due. There are ways to work around this.

http://www.jud6.org/ContactInformation/familyLaw/Visitation%20Dos%20and%20Don'ts.pdf

If OP can get a pyscologist involved it might help all. If the child is being abused there will be less "she planted the idea" oppurtinities to argue. Cuts out he said/she said situations.
post #23 of 60
I'm really not trying to be snarky, but it sounds like you're perhaps a bit jealous and resentful that your daughter and ex have gotten so close after being apart for so long. Sort of like, you did all the work all those years he was gone, he waltzes back in, and your daughter is ok with it, and even seems to enjoy spending time with dad, and that's not fair. He's doing things DIFFERENTLY than you did them, and your daughter seems to LIKE the way he does things, so that must mean YOU did something the wrong way, and how can HE know what's good for her after being gone for so long? I'm sure there's a better way to put it...I'm just trying to get it out.

And kids are smart...she's probably already picked up that you don't like her sleeping in her dad's bed, so, she's not going to give you any more details than necessary.
post #24 of 60
Trust your gut. Follow your heart. Examine your motivations. And, again, trust yourself.
post #25 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ruthla View Post
I think it's appropriate for a young girl to co-sleep with her father for as long as both of them are comfortable with it..... However, I am uneasy about not even having a separate sleeping space available for her, should she ever feel the need for more privacy.
I agree. She needs to have her own space. She needs to be able to put her things away, be able to change her clothes in privacy. She needs to have the option of sleeping in her own bed when she wants to.

I think that it is very different for an older child to *choose* to sleep with a parent than to *have* to sleep with a parent because there are no other options.
post #26 of 60
Unless I thought there was some kind of abuse going on, I wouldn't get involved. And if I did think there was some kind of abuse going on, I'd get a lot more involved than trying to get her her own bedroom.
post #27 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by mamazee View Post
Unless I thought there was some kind of abuse going on, I wouldn't get involved. And if I did think there was some kind of abuse going on, I'd get a lot more involved than trying to get her her own bedroom.
I agree completely.


My child is a boy, but he sleeps with his dad sometimes when he visits there (and always when his dad visits us), and I expect he will for another couple years, at least. If he was a girl, I wouldn't change a thing. He sleeps with me and his stepdad about half the time, too, and I'm not worried about that, either. I don't think cosleeping or attachment parenting leads to sexual abuse.
post #28 of 60
Thread Starter 
Thanks everybody for these diverse points of view!

Do I think my ex is sexually molesting our DD? No, I don't.

Do I want him to support the transition-to-her-own-bed process? Yes, I do. It would be easier for me, and I think in the long run it would be easier for her. But I know it's his household. And I know I can't mandate his routines, only ask for his support. I take the point about not creating a situation where she'll want/need to keep secrets from me.

We're still semi-co-sleeping in my house... I put her to bed in her own bed, and she crawls into my bed sometime before morning. I'm okay with that and I'd be okay with her dad doing it. But it is important to me that she have a bed that is hers.

So I think I will discuss it in terms of her privacy, space, and independence, and not make an issue of their bed-sharing.
post #29 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by mothragirl View Post
i think she needs her own room so that she has the option of sleeping in it. the cosleeping is not a big deal. it probably helps them reconnect. in fact, i think it is sweet.
I totally agree. She should have her own bed, so that if she ever gets uncomfortable or wants space, it is easily available.
post #30 of 60
Thread Starter 

P.S. I found some real research!

Just found this issue of Pediatrics journal with a whole section on cross-cultural research on children's sleep patterns and issues, including bed-sharing. Very interesting!

http://pediatrics.aappublications.or...e1/index.shtml
post #31 of 60
Thread Starter 
Sorry, !
post #32 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by BabySlinger View Post
She is a very chatty girl who remembers EVERYTHING, but whenever I ask her about the bedtime routine at daddy's house she just says "I forget." I worry that she would keep quiet and protect him even if something were making her uncomfortable. At the same time I don't like to ask her, for fear of sending a message that she and daddy are doing something wrong.

My ex is very isolated - has no friends (that I know of), no social life. His only relationship here is with DD. And he's just... a weird person. Kind of evasive about everything. Keeps secrets. Narcissistic - thinks "normal rules" don't apply to him. I don't trust him in general.
Are you absolutely sure that there's no chance that he could be sexually abusing her? The above sounds worrisome.

Have you taught your daughter about "good touches" vs. "bad touches" and what areas are private on everyone and therefore not to be touched? I think it's really important to give children this information because if they are sexually abused, without information, they might not have any vocabulary or concept of what has happened to them, so therefore they might not be able to alert you to the situation.

It seems like whenever there's a gray situation like this where it's not clear what's going on, there's a whole tide of posters who fall all over themselves to brush away any concerns of possible sexual abuse. Why is everyone so eager to dismiss the possibility? It happens all the time. I think we all need to be more vigilant. Some biological fathers DO sexually abuse their daughters. So, let's at least admit that it's a possibility even though it's a horrific and tragic possibility.
post #33 of 60
The co-sleeping wouldn't bother me. My nine year old son typically sleeps in our bed still.

I do agree with having a separate space for her when/if she decides she doesn't want to co-sleep.

The 'I forget' could simply be she doesn't want to tell you b/c she feels you don't want her to co-sleep with him. Maybe she figures you would tell her to not co-sleep w/ her dad since she is transitioning to her own room at your house.

My six year is also famous for an inability to describe things without prompting first. How was your day? Fine. Did you do anything? No. You didn't go to ___________ with Mimi? Oh yea! Then he will talk your ear off. Maybe try some specifics about the bedtime routine like what book did you read...that kind of thing.
post #34 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by thismama View Post
I see your point with this in part.

Except for the "don't *make* him" bit. Mamas get held responsible for fathers' actions all the time. He is a big boy, he can be in charge of maintaining healthy appropriate intimacy with his child. Mama looking out for her child is okay too, and if he is on the up and up, will not have the power to take this from him.

And, except for that pesky ole sexual abuse perped by men that just keeps popping up. It's everywhere. So unfortunately we have to be on it, in a big way.

I do agree that it is wise to stay out of the other parent's relationship with the child, if we are assured that the child is safe and comfortable.
If the dad is doing something inapproprate, meaning other than sleeping and cuddling with his child, then seperate bedrooms aren't going to make a difference.

OP are you asking if sleeping with a 6 yo girl means he is abusive? I don't understand the context of the question. If it is ok for him to hold her and hug her when they are awake I don't see the difference if they cuddle when they sleep.
post #35 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by rayo de sol View Post
Are you absolutely sure that there's no chance that he could be sexually abusing her? The above sounds worrisome.

Have you taught your daughter about "good touches" vs. "bad touches" and what areas are private on everyone and therefore not to be touched? I think it's really important to give children this information because if they are sexually abused, without information, they might not have any vocabulary or concept of what has happened to them, so therefore they might not be able to alert you to the situation.

It seems like whenever there's a gray situation like this where it's not clear what's going on, there's a whole tide of posters who fall all over themselves to brush away any concerns of possible sexual abuse. Why is everyone so eager to dismiss the possibility? It happens all the time. I think we all need to be more vigilant. Some biological fathers DO sexually abuse their daughters. So, let's at least admit that it's a possibility even though it's a horrific and tragic possibility.
......

CoSleeping is not a sign of sexual abuse.....


Here are real signs of sexual abuse, does your daughter exhibit any of these? If not chances are she is not wanting to talk to you about it because you have decided to stop co-sleeping when she didn't want to and now she can get that comfort from her father.

If your daughters attitude and personality has not changed, chances are abuse is not happening. If they have then you have a red flag.


http://www.protectkids.com/abuse/


Waking up during the night sweating, screaming or shaking with nightmares.


Masturbating excessively.


Showing unusually aggressive behavior toward family members, friends, toys, and pets.


Complaining of pain while urinating or having a bowel movement, or exhibiting symptoms of genital infections such as offensive odors, or symptoms of a sexually transmitted disease.


Having symptoms indicating evidence of physical traumas to the genital or anal area.


Beginning wetting the bed.


Experiencing a loss of appetite or other eating problems, including unexplained gagging.


Showing unusual fear of a certain place or location.


Developing frequent unexplained health problems.


Engaging in persistent sexual play with friends, toys or pets.


Having unexplained periods of panic, which may be flashbacks from the abuse.


Regressing to behaviors too young for the stage of development they already achieved.


Initiating sophisticated sexual behaviors.


Indicating a sudden reluctance to be alone with a certain person.


Engaging in self-mutilations, such as sticking themselves with pins or cutting themselves.


Withdrawing from previously enjoyable activities, like school or school performance change.


Asking an unusual amount of questions about human sexuality.


Sexual Preoccupation
Children who have been harmed by viewing pornography may be excessively curious about or overly preoccupied with sexuality. Some children expose their genitals to others or engage in a sudden, unusually high level of masturbation.

Age-Inappropriate Sexualized Behavior
Some children may display sexual knowledge and behavior beyond that which is appropriate for their age. According to the American Psychiatric Press, this is one of the few reliable and distinguishing characteristics that identify sexually abused children. Very young children may enact adult sexual scenarios and behaviors in their play with other children or with their dolls and stuffed animals.

Age-Inappropriate Partners
Having learned the message that sexual overtures are acceptable ways to get attention and rewards, children may enter into unhealthy relationships, particularly with older, age-inappropriate partners. Additionally, believing the myth generated by pornography that their bodies are for the use of others, young girls may become promiscuous. Children preoccupied with sex may attempt to engage younger children in sexual behavior because younger and smaller children are easier to manipulate and often more cooperative.

Coercion
Aggressive attempts to undress, sexually touch, or attempt intercourse with others are not uncommon among sexually preoccupied children. When a tendency toward secretive play combines with intense sexual preoccupation, a child may be vulnerable to repeating his or her abuse with other children in ways that can create chaos and further victimization. Such a child requires extensive parental supervision and therapeutic help.ii
post #36 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by rayo de sol View Post
Are you absolutely sure that there's no chance that he could be sexually abusing her? The above sounds worrisome.

Have you taught your daughter about "good touches" vs. "bad touches" and what areas are private on everyone and therefore not to be touched? I think it's really important to give children this information because if they are sexually abused, without information, they might not have any vocabulary or concept of what has happened to them, so therefore they might not be able to alert you to the situation.

It seems like whenever there's a gray situation like this where it's not clear what's going on, there's a whole tide of posters who fall all over themselves to brush away any concerns of possible sexual abuse. Why is everyone so eager to dismiss the possibility? It happens all the time. I think we all need to be more vigilant. Some biological fathers DO sexually abuse their daughters. So, let's at least admit that it's a possibility even though it's a horrific and tragic possibility.
It is also possible that women can sexually abuse their children so why do we always assume that a man is doing something inappropriate but not a woman? I think it is really screwed up that as a culture we are always examining men's relationships with their children to see if they are sexual predators or not. My mom was sexually abused her entire childhood so I understand the concern. We can't just assume that because a father has an affectionate relationship with his child that means he is abusing her. How awful it must be for men to be viewed as a sexual predator all the time.
post #37 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by lyttlewon View Post
It is also possible that women can sexually abuse their children so why do we always assume that a man is doing something inappropriate but not a woman? I think it is really screwed up that as a culture we are always examining men's relationships with their children to see if they are sexual predators or not. My mom was sexually abused her entire childhood so I understand the concern. We can't just assume that because a father has an affectionate relationship with his child that means he is abusing her. How awful it must be for men to be viewed as a sexual predator all the time.
:
post #38 of 60
I wouldn't think nothing of it.
Quote:
"...It's what she wants."
I think this sums it all up right here. As AP parents, isn't this what we follow?
post #39 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by lyttlewon View Post
It is also possible that women can sexually abuse their children so why do we always assume that a man is doing something inappropriate but not a woman?
Statistics, baby, statistics. And they are scary.
Quote:
I think it is really screwed up that as a culture we are always examining men's relationships with their children to see if they are sexual predators or not.
I think it is too bad that we have to.

Quote:
My mom was sexually abused her entire childhood so I understand the concern. We can't just assume that because a father has an affectionate relationship with his child that means he is abusing her. How awful it must be for men to be viewed as a sexual predator all the time.
Yep, that's gotta suck. I think it's really ironic that we focus on the 'poor men' angle of sexual abuse. Who's perping it? Men. In large, large numbers, the vast majority of perps are male.

I also think it's odd how many people here fear really random things, like stranger kidnapping, which is about as likely as getting struck by lightning. Yet real issues such as this get minimized, pooh poohed. Coz the poor men, you know.

My dd's father is affectionate and very involved with our daughter. I *know* he is not abusing her. You can see lots of mamas posting similarly on this thread. This one mama had an icky feeling, so she wanted to talk it out.

I think it is wise to notice when we feel creeped out by something, and really pull it out and examine where it is coming from.

Especially where our children and sexual abuse are concerned.
post #40 of 60
Personally, I have no issue with a dad co-sleeping with a six yr. old...but in our culture I realize it can raise people's red flags. My dd's father and I decided when she was almost 3 that it would be best if they stopped co-sleeping. The last thing we wanted was for someone to think it was something it wasn't. Her dad had a studio apartment then, but kept a toddler bed under his bed that he pulled out and made up whenever dd visited.

Go with your instincts, though. If there is something that is making you nervous I would examine it further.
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