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Such a thing as "over" protective parenting? - Page 2

post #21 of 103
I'm sorry you had to go through the abuse you did. It is good that you're in therapy because the effects of such abuse are certainly far-reaching.

Food for thought: what if you end up teaching your daughter (while not trying to) to feel shameful about her body? Kids like to be naked. That's part of the innocence of being a kid. As long as you're there with her, why not let her run through the sprinkler naked? If someone perverted sees her naked, it doesn't mean anything will happen to her- simply because you ARE protective and would never leave her alone with strange men. What are you going to do when she rips off her diaper and runs around the house naked in front of whoever is there? Please don't make her feel bad about herself or institute a rigid "clothes must stay on" policy. It's not fair to her to take away the carefree innocence of childhood because of what happened to you. It's not fair to instill fear or shame in a child. Fear will never set you free emotionally from what happened. I understand not wanting her to have male teachers and babysitters, I don't want my son to have male babysitters either. I only leave him alone with male family members I trust 100%- ones who raised me and never ever hurt me. But when he wants to run around naked, I don't worry about it, I celebrate his joy and his ability to not think at all about what other people are thinking about his body. Kids don't understand "modesty" and "privacy" and its beautiful because they don't have any shame yet from society.

Sometimes you don't realize that the things you do are irrational when you are living with so much fear.
When you really think about the Dr.s office incident- what do you think would happen if you did take her diaper off? Do you honestly think your daughter would care? That an infact has any sort of concept of "no that's my girl parts! don't look!"? Do you think the dr. or nurse wants to molest her? Do you think anything at all will happen with you standing right by her side? You don't have to answer to me, but please ask these things of yourself. There is no reason to bring fear and anxiety into situations which are totally harmless. There is no reason to project your sense of "you must be covered up to be protected from perverts" to your daughter. They want to have her with her diaper off to get an accurate weight (to make sure she didn't just wet the diaper) and to make sure she has no signs of abuse underneath the diaper. They are not wanting to gawk at her.
post #22 of 103
yes, there's such a thing as overprotective parenting. this is it.

i didn't read through all the replies, so maybe someone already said this, but if you have issues with "grandpa," you should address that specifically. by all means listen to your gut if you think he's bad news, and keep her away from HIM. however, that's not a reason for her to never be alone with any man, just that one.

it's great that she has a good relationship with her father. i really hope that continues. maybe that can help restore some of your ability to trust?

i really think that it's not good for you or for your daughter for you to be so constantly hypervigilant. even if you think she won't know, she will know. it will scare her. it will not be good for her.

i hope you get the help you need to let go a little.

post #23 of 103
Thread Starter 
Quote:
How is this all going to honestly be feasible? I mean, what plans do you have in place to make this really work? I'm curious as to the ages of your step-sons and what phrases and wording you are using to tell them these special conditions with regard to the rules? And despite the fact that you do not plan on "talking bad" about men or making her hate them, how are you going to teach her to navigate relationships with males she may come into contact with? Or how will she learn healthy, appropriate respect and boundaries with regard to her body and well-being?
Those in my daughters life are in agreement with me. Her dad is a cop. He's seen first hand what sick idiots there are in this world. He just text me a couple hours ago, "Uh! We just interviewed a puke who penetrated his girlfriend's 4 year old daughter! If I was her dad, he wouldn't make it to trial!" I've been on the 4 yr olds side. He's talked to numerous idiots who molest young children. We make a great mix--Lily will be highly protected. (He was/is paranoid about his boys. They're not allowed to go anywhere by themselves. Up until this past year, they weren't allowed to walk home from school which is only a block away. The only people who watch his son's are his mom and dad--NOBODY else. He's even more protective/paranoid with Lily).

The boys are not my step son's. They are Lily's step brothers/her dad's son's. He agrees whole heartedly that they shouldn't and won't be alone with her. He also agrees they shouldn't and won't see her naked. Neither will his dad--or any other man except for him. Boys ages are 10 and 13. As it is now, Lily's dad or his mom take her into the bedroom to change her. The boys have been told, "She's a girl. You are boys. Changing her diaper is private." They don't question anything and stay away when she's being changed. It's very simple.

He trusts his boys and doesn't think they'd ever hurt Lily. BUT...boys are curious. He and I both agree on this and we will not allow an opportunity for anything to occur. He's taken many reports of a step brother/brother assaulting a young girl. With his profession and my experiences--protecting Lily to the best of our capabilities is a no-brainer. Why take the chance of leaving her alone with curious boys or a man who could hurt her? Why even risk it? It's stupid.

She's a baby now. She will be a child for even longer. I will figure out everything else when she gets to be older. Right now, all the rules apply--no men or boys see her naked except her father and no men/boys are alone with her for any amount of time except her father. He's cool with that. I'm even more cool with that. He's paranoid about teachers as well. He's paranoid with EVERYONE when it comes to his kids--especially his daughter. (As the cops say, "In God we trust. Everyone else is a suspect"--or something like that). I told him I didn't want her to have a male teacher--he's all for it. Men are sick. People, believe it or not....men are sick! I'd rather be paranoid and protect my daughter than throw all caution against the wind and "trust" whoever and have my daughter hurt. Sorry...it aint gonna work like that.

Bottom line: Me, her dad, my gramma--the ONLY people who care for her--are all in agreement. My gramma had a male teacher whom she trusted. He molested her for years. On his deathbed, he begged for forgiveness. Gramma never told her mom what happened. She's old school and she had 4 brothers and a dad. Her mom NEVER let her run around in even underwear. She always had to be fully clothed and she was taught you don't run around infront of male's w/o being clothed. She told me that she went up to her grandpa to have him help her go to the bathroom (pulling up her pants or whatever) and her mom told her NOT to do that. I totally agree. That's a mommy/daddy/close female job--NOT a man's job. So, for now--this is what it is. I don't know what will happen in the future. Nobody does. I'd love to write more but I gotta run for now.
post #24 of 103
Quote:
Originally Posted by LoveChild421 View Post
I'm sorry you had to go through the abuse you did. It is good that you're in therapy because the effects of such abuse are certainly far-reaching.

Food for thought: what if you end up teaching your daughter (while not trying to) to feel shameful about her body? Kids like to be naked. That's part of the innocence of being a kid. As long as you're there with her, why not let her run through the sprinkler naked? If someone perverted sees her naked, it doesn't mean anything will happen to her- simply because you ARE protective and would never leave her alone with strange men. What are you going to do when she rips off her diaper and runs around the house naked in front of whoever is there? Please don't make her feel bad about herself or institute a rigid "clothes must stay on" policy. It's not fair to her to take away the carefree innocence of childhood because of what happened to you. It's not fair to instill fear or shame in a child. Fear will never set you free emotionally from what happened.
:

I was looking for a way to say that.

When you make nakedness that big of a deal YOU are the one sexualizing her in an inappropriate way.

To make an infant so sexual that you send people away to change a diaper is warping in and of itself.

-Angela
post #25 of 103
Quote:
Originally Posted by MayBaby2007 View Post
Men are sick. People, believe it or not....men are sick!
This shows how deep your problem is.

I'm so sorry you feel that way, but you are wrong.

Yes. Some men are sick. Some women are sick. Some African American people are sick. Some Hispanic people are sick. Some Caucasian people are sick.

Men, as a group, are not sick. And saying so is wrong. And teaching your child so is abusive. The same is if you taught her all African Americans were sick and out to get her.

Please, please, get into therapy and stay there until you can be a healthy mother for your daughter.

-Angela
post #26 of 103
Quote:
Originally Posted by MayBaby2007 View Post
Men are sick. People, believe it or not....men are sick!
This is a big problem and contradicts what you said earlier about not teaching your daughter that men are bad.

I went to all-girl's school and we had plenty of male teachers. You can't control what teachers your daughter has in school. Or what assistants or 1:1 aides help in the classroom or work on yard duty, etc.
post #27 of 103
Well, it sounds like you are all in agreement that this is the best way to raise this little one and you are not really looking for advice on how to change it or for reasons that point ou it is a really sad way for her to live. Each and every one of you who care for her are keeping each other all jazzed up and in a perpetual state of fear about what could happen...your past abuse, your grandma's past abuse, and her cop father relating every case of child rape/violation/molestation that comes through the doors. I think perhaps you may just want someone here to say, "yes, you are absolutely right. You are doing the exact thing you need to be to keep her safe".
I really am sorry that you have to live like this. I sincerely hope you find peace in your existance to give your daughter true joy, to let her experience a wonderful, carefree childhood without someone else's demons. Best wishes to you and to your daughter.
post #28 of 103
So if she's three and her 13 and 16 year old brothers want to take her to the park, you won't allow it? That's not healthy. The vast majrity of men are good and honorable and have no desire to hurt your daughter in any way... and they have a lot to offer her.

Do you know that women can abuse, too? I was abused by a woman...

I agree with people who have suggested that you empower your daughter, rather than shelter her. Teach her to listen to her instincts, give her the tools she needs to protect herself, and keep an open and honest relationship with her.

And yes, please stay in therapy...

Dar
post #29 of 103
Quote:
Originally Posted by PikkuMyy View Post
This is a big problem and contradicts what you said earlier about not teaching your daughter that men are bad.
This is a good point. At first you insist that your daughter will not know what you're doing. And that you won't teach her than men are bad. But this statement shows where you are really coming from.

How on earth is she ever to establish healthy relationships with half of the human population if she is taught this from birth?

-Angela
post #30 of 103
My husband and sons are not sick.

They protect and support their sister. They also take baths with her without thinking sexual thoughts, they help with her diaper changes, they kiss her and love her. They tickle and laugh with her. My daughter will grow up being adored by the men in her life. She will know the difference between normal non-sexual relationships and pervs. By making ALL relationships with men into DANGER for your daughter you are effectively severing her ability to judge and protect herself in the future.

The way you protect is to teach what is normal so that your daughter can be "on guard" for the ABNORMAL. If EVERY man is abnormal how in the world can you expect your daughter to know the difference??

You are crippling her ability to function. I surely hope that as she grows up you are able to make this less about her and realize it is your issue that you need to overcome for the good of your daughter's mental health.
post #31 of 103
Quote:
Originally Posted by Demeter9 View Post
When your "protection" limits her ability to form normal relationship and develop, you are "over" protecting her.

I am sorry for your problems. But making your child the focus of all your fear is not the answer, and will not serve her in good stead in her life.

Personally, I would classify what you are doing as being a form of abuse.
I agree. to you.
post #32 of 103
Quote:
Originally Posted by PikkuMyy View Post
This is a big problem and contradicts what you said earlier about not teaching your daughter that men are bad.

that


I was going to defend your OP until I read this...bleh.

I also don't like the implication in this thread that it's only daughters that you need to worry about, as if a boy being victimized is such a rare occurance it's a non-issue.
post #33 of 103
Quote:
Originally Posted by attachedmamaof3 View Post
The way you protect is to teach what is normal so that your daughter can be "on guard" for the ABNORMAL. If EVERY man is abnormal how in the world can you expect your daughter to know the difference??
Excellent point. How do you expect her to EVER have a normal, healthy relationship with a man?

Do you think it's possible to have a normal, healthy relationship with a man?

-Angela
post #34 of 103
Quote:
Originally Posted by mz_libbie22 View Post
I also don't like the implication in this thread that it's only daughters that you need to worry about, as if a boy being victimized is such a rare occurance it's a non-issue.

AND boys AND girls are victimized by women as well.

We need to teach our children a variety of healthy relationships so that they can recognize when something within themselves says *SOMETHING IS WRONG*

You are teaching her instead to ignore that small voice. Instead to always assume something is wrong. This is JUST as dangerous as telling her that everything is okay if it's a family member or whatever else.

-Angela
post #35 of 103
Quote:
Originally Posted by alegna View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by MayBaby2007
Men are sick. People, believe it or not....men are sick!
This shows how deep your problem is.

I'm so sorry you feel that way, but you are wrong.

Yes. Some men are sick. Some women are sick. Some African American people are sick. Some Hispanic people are sick. Some Caucasian people are sick.

Men, as a group, are not sick. And saying so is wrong. And teaching your child so is abusive. The same is if you taught her all African Americans were sick and out to get her.

Please, please, get into therapy and stay there until you can be a healthy mother for your daughter.

-Angela
: Please, please mama - get the help you need to process this awful thing that happened to you. But don't silently instill this fear into your daughter.

And I believe this is a very important thought (bolding mine):

Quote:
Originally Posted by attachedmamaof3 View Post
My husband and sons are not sick.

They protect and support their sister. They also take baths with her without thinking sexual thoughts, they help with her diaper changes, they kiss her and love her. They tickle and laugh with her. My daughter will grow up being adored by the men in her life. She will know the difference between normal non-sexual relationships and pervs. By making ALL relationships with men into DANGER for your daughter you are effectively severing her ability to judge and protect herself in the future.

The way you protect is to teach what is normal so that your daughter can be "on guard" for the ABNORMAL. If EVERY man is abnormal how in the world can you expect your daughter to know the difference??
You are crippling her ability to function. I surely hope that as she grows up you are able to make this less about her and realize it is your issue that you need to overcome for the good of your daughter's mental health.
I also want to ask what happens when the boys she's been in class with suddenly get into puberty - will they then all of a sudden be untrustworthy as well? Will she suddenly not be able to be friends with them anymore?

I am truly, deeply sorry for what you had to endure as a child, but this is really beyond the range of being alert and aware...this is extreme paranoia, and is not healthy for her to grow up around. Even if you think it will "just so happen" that she never has a male teacher, or coach, or whatever....she'll know. She'll start to understand. And it's not healthy. for the child you were who wasn't protected. And for what happened to you recently. Please stay in therapy.
post #36 of 103
i agree with other that this IS a case of over protection. you are giving your daughter a very warped view of the world - one to be very afraid of. i cannot imagine what growing up paranoid of men sneaking looks at you would do to a growing child.

like at teh doctor's office - what exactly are you worried about? do you think something will happen right in front of you? i dont think infants are concerned with privacy.

not ever being alone with men (or boys i suppose) will mean no activies without you - scouts, camp, school field trips, sports, etc. unless you plan on hovering over your child 24/7 until they are an adult i do not see how that is feasable. does that sound healthy to you?

growing up in fear of the penis is not a healthy thing to teach your daughter.
post #37 of 103
I don't think you came here looking for opinions and feedback about your proposed boundaries and rules. You came for validation. None of us are going to give that, because (and gosh I hate to sound harsh but I think in this case it's absolutely accurate) they are not grounded in logic and reason. They are based on an irrational fear of ALL MEN. All men are not sick. All men are not perverted. You had your most basic control stolen from you as a child - control over your own body. Now that you are an adult, and a mother, you a reeling and going to drive yourself into a looney bin trying to control EVERYTHING to do with men around your daughter, to make up for the control you lost. You are wielding your control without regard to the possible consequences to your daughter. You're not doing this for her sake - your unwillingness to consider the possible repercussions of your hypervigilance display that much. You are doing this for YOUR sake, to make yourself more comfortable in a world filled with men, nearly every single one of whom you view as a threat.

If your daughter attends public school, she will be assigned a teacher at the beginning of each school year. It just may happen that there are no female teachers in that grade (that happened in our 5th grade year, the one female teacher took that particular year off because she was pregnant). What happens when she is assigned a male teacher and there IS a female teacher she can switch to? What will you say when she asks why you want to switch her teacher? What will you do if she can't be switched to a different class? If she develops an interest in, say, lacrosse, will you bar her from playing on the team because there's a male coach or aide? You are kidding yourself if you think she is not going to notice a pattern, or pick up on your odd, irrational behavior.

Also, I would suggest asking your ex to stop telling you the gory details of every sexual abuse case that crosses his path. They are not helping you process, cope, or move on from your trauma. In fact, it sounds like it is only sticking you deeper into a sense of constant, ever present danger.
post #38 of 103
My mother was Over protective..to the point where if I forgot to wear underwear as a child, I'd get in big trouble. she picked out my clothes and I had to cover my head. She didn't make me wear a burkah because she didn't wear one herself. All through my childhood, I could sense her paranoia and fear.
guess what? I got molested anyway, at five. Do you think I felt that she would be the person to go to? No. and I didn't. I knew she would blame me and herself for not preventing it. Her world would fall apart..she would realize she had failed and I feared the consequences of telling her. You are not doing her any favors raising her this way.
post #39 of 103
The tragic irony of being overprotective is that while it may keep your child safer in the very short term, it puts her in more danger in the long term. That's true for every situation in which parents are overprotective, and yes, in this one too.

You will NOT always be there to protect her. Yes, you can do that 100% of the time while she's an infant, but a young child? Preteen? Teen? Grown woman? She needs to learn what is normal and okay and how to protect herself from what is not normal or okay. If she's never allowed to learn that, she WILL be victimized.

Cultures in which women in general are not allowed to be alone with men other than their fathers (or later, husbands) are some of the MOST abusive towards women.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MayBaby2007 View Post
Gramma never told her mom what happened. She's old school and she had 4 brothers and a dad. Her mom NEVER let her run around in even underwear. She always had to be fully clothed and she was taught you don't run around infront of male's w/o being clothed. She told me that she went up to her grandpa to have him help her go to the bathroom (pulling up her pants or whatever) and her mom told her NOT to do that. I totally agree. That's a mommy/daddy/close female job--NOT a man's job.
But all that DIDN'T keep her safe. She was molested for years. She didn't tell her mom. Why do you think repeating that pattern will work any better for you and your daughter?


Edited to add: I wanted to mention that I don't really see a problem with not allowing other people to do diaper changes, or remaining clothed at the doctor's, or letting a toddler run naked through the sprinkler, or even not allowing men/boys alone with your infant daughter. Because right now, that helps YOU feel safer. And that's okay, and not running around naked is not going to damage your daughter. But keeping her away from men and boys forever WILL, and will put her at risk. Do what you need to do right now in order to calm your own inner demons, and work on conquering them so that you don't let them hurt your daughter as she grows into a child and young woman.
post #40 of 103
As a social worker/clinician, I've known many people who have been molested as children and are struggling with "reteaching" themselves appropriate boundaries, appropriate relationship skills, appropriate ways to manage their fear, etc.

I've also known many people who were over protected as children. Those adults also struggled to learn appropriate boundaries, appropriate relationship skills, appropriate ways to manage fear, etc.

I hope you can find a balance for you and your daughter. I believe you may be passing on to her the same fear, frustration and anger you feel. That's not her load to carry.

If you teach her that men can't be trusted, you are also teaching her than she can't trust herself to make good decisions about other people. SHE WILL BE MORE LIKELY TO BECOME A VICTIM IF SHE LEARNS THAT ALL MEN ARE TO BE AVOIDED, OR THAT HER TODDLER BODY SHOULD BE HIDDEN AND COVERED. And yes, I do mean to "yell". I'm concerned.
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