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Such a thing as "over" protective parenting? - Page 3

post #41 of 103
Quote:
Originally Posted by MayBaby2007 View Post
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).
I'm not sure this is such a good mix. Here's how I see this situation: Your partner, who is aware of your past, is reporting a his work experience to you in ways that encourage you to be fearful for your children. (Is he a cop who works specifically with victims of sexual abuse? Or is that just part of his work? Does he text you this way when he works on a murder or a drug bust? Or is he working you on this one point?)

Yes, there are sick sick people out there who abuse children. But this behavior isn't normal, it isn't usual, and people (regardless of age or sex ) need to be able to know how to choose people to trust. Some men are sick. So are some women. But not all, and not most.

I worry for your stepsons too - they should be able to be with people besides their parents, steps and grandparents. They should have the opportunity to develop contacts and relationships with people outside their family. They will need those contacts a lot in their lives: when they apply to schools, look for jobs, move out on their own, or just when they need help in their everyday lives. I worry that isolation compounds abuse when abuse occurs.

It is, IMO, part of the work of parenting to help our children become part of a community containing people they can trust. It is part of my job as a parent to introduce my son to people who can help him with what he needs, whether that's medical attention, math homework, or just a reasonable adult he can take his troubles to. If anyone gives me a bad feeling, they don't get to be around him. If anyone hurts him, I will do serious damage. But he needs people in his life. He needs a whole support team, and I'm recruiting for him until he's old enough to recruit for himself.

I strongly recommend Protecting the Gift by Gavin de Becker as a good book on keeping children safe, which is not the same as keeping them away from people.
post #42 of 103
Quote:
Originally Posted by MayBaby2007 View Post
Men are sick. People, believe it or not....men are sick!
This is scary sad. SOME men are sick. So are some women.

My dad watched my little girl every morning when she was in afternoon K. They played games together, had tea parties, he made her lunch, they watched Zabu. Days off, he'd take her to the zoo, the museum, you name it. They have a very special relationship, and I'm so glad that fear never came into play to ruin the possibility of it.

MayBaby.... really... you are taking this several steps too far. Keep working on your issues with your therapist, and have her help you learn that not all men are looking at your daughter as a sex object.
post #43 of 103
Quote:
Originally Posted by MeepyCat View Post
I'm not sure this is such a good mix. Here's how I see this situation: Your partner, who is aware of your past, is reporting a his work experience to you in ways that encourage you to be fearful for your children. (Is he a cop who works specifically with victims of sexual abuse? Or is that just part of his work? Does he text you this way when he works on a murder or a drug bust? Or is he working you on this one point?)

Yes, there are sick sick people out there who abuse children. But this behavior isn't normal, it isn't usual, and people (regardless of age or sex ) need to be able to know how to choose people to trust. Some men are sick. So are some women. But not all, and not most.
I agree with both of the points above. It seems odd to me that your ex supports your views to such a degree, and that he goes out of his way to bring awful stories to your attention, given that he knows your past and your issues with stuff like that. It's like he's egging you on in what's already an unhealthy situation.

Children aren't supposed to be sexualized-- they shouldn't be seen as sexual beings/ objects. Right now, you are treating your daughter like a sexual being-- acting as though she's a source of temptation for every and any man and boy "out there". Once she's old enough to understand (sooner than you imagine, probably), that point of view is going to warp the way she sees herself. A little girl shouldn't see herself as a potential victim, an object of desire for pervs.

I know this is hard to imagine with your compounded bad experiences () but most men are good. Most PEOPLE are good. Most women here are surrounded by fathers, brothers, uncles, husbands, sons, step-sons, who are good people; good people that would be disgusted at the idea of hurting a child. I would trust any of my male relatives with my potential children just because I know who they are.

If you raise your daughter to fear men, to see herself as a sexual object/ potential prey that must be defended at all times, how is she ever going to be able to live a normal life? How will she be able to determine for herself which men and boys are decent, and which set off alarm bells? By fearing everyone, she won't know who to fear. Someday she's going to be a teenager, then an adult-- flirting, going on dates, falling in love. That's going to be so hard without that crucial ability to form healthy relationships with men, which in turn is based in being able to trust and to judge.
post #44 of 103

Over protective

Since you are not the only person in your child's life, there is no way of protecting her. You may trust her father now, but no matter how hard you try you will not be able to control his relationship with her forever. You are already trusting a lot of people to care for her and she is only a baby.

To be sure she is protected you would have to be willing to take care of her yourself 24/7. You would have to make it impossible for her father to see her. You would have to be willing to homeschool. You would have to be willing to take part in all of her childhood activities with her and not let her out of your sight.

Any lapse in protection can be an opportunity for abuse. I know a family where the youngest child was extremely protected, he had a rare medical disorder. The child was always with the mother or one of his two older brothers. The mother didn't work and he was homeschooled. He never met his father and she didn't date. She was involved in everything he was involved in. Yet, he was abused.

Your fear of abuse may cause psychological problems for your daughter. You want to make rules but allow her to be cared for by others. You won't let her be out of a diaper at the doctor's office when you are with her and can make sure she isn't abused.

It's got to be difficult for you when she's not with you and you can't be sure she isn't safe. It must be difficult to 'trust' her father, a man who you weren't married to and now is married? to a woman with sons. How can he be married to another woman when your baby is only 6 months? Why would a woman marry a man with a child that young?

How can we protect our children from abuse? Being over protected isn't the answer. Not all children that are abuse were 'under' protected. You may be worried about abuse because your baby is being cared for by so many others.

She may legally have to be with her father without you but it may help if you limited the number of people caring for her to one care provider while you work.

My children's diapers were never changed by anyone other than me when they were 6 months old. Is there any way you could care for your baby full time? You can't control other's behaviors while you aren't watching.
post #45 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.
Yeah... it's right up there with homeschooling, UC'ing and all that.

No way is it abuse.

Mama, I feel for you. I think seeing a counselor is a good thing for you, and if you are overprotective to the point of 'abuse' then so am I.

I don't trust PEOPLE with my kids, mostly. My husband, my mom and brother and sister. That's about it though.
They are as equally protective. We don't leave the girls alone with boys their age or older EVER. I think that by the time your dd hits school age maybe you will have worked through some of the trauma you experianced and you will see a male teacher as not a 'bad' thing. Or maybe you won't.

You're the mom. Work through your fear of males and female (female pedophiles are out there as well. So please don't keep blinders to one sex on), of molestation...and raise your daughter as you see fit.

I can't get all up in arms about someone doing their damndest to keep a child from being molested.
post #46 of 103
Oh, and please find a different therapist.
post #47 of 103
My response is the same as the other mamas: hypervigilance to this extreme is not healthy for you or for your daughter.

Have you read "Protecting the Gift"? It's excellent, and helps bring the fears that you (and that all mothers, to one point or another) have under a realistic light. The author encourages us to use our God-given intuition, and explains how we come up with our typically very accurate analysis of each person we come into contact with, however briefly. The key is having plenty of contact with all sorts of people, so that we have experience to draw upon when noticing someone or something that is not "right." Constant fear immobilizes this intuition/feeling. By overprotecting your daughter (and yes, this is what you are doing, protecting her to the point that she can not learn to protect herself), you are passing along a legacy of fear to her, and she will not learn to read those signs. In essence, you are placing her in more danger than she'd be if she had normal relationships with the men that would normally appear in her life, because she won't trust herself, and not trusting yourself means that you put too much trust in what others tell you, making you a prime target for a predator. Please don't pass this fear onto your daughter.

I'm so sorry for all that you've been through.
post #48 of 103
Certainly some men are sick, as are some women. I wonder if you would be doing anything differently if you had a son.

I'm sorry that you weren't protected properly.
post #49 of 103
Quote:
Originally Posted by attachedmamaof3 View Post
My husband and sons are not sick.
Really. : The only people who are sick, are sickos. Generalizing an entire gender based on your own hurt and fear is wrong. And by demonizing the many spouses, children, relatives, and siblings of anyone you share this warped philosophy with you are alienating yourself even further, and will not only segregate your daughter from men, but from ANYONE who is offended at the notion that you think their husband is "sick". I would not socialize with someone who thought my husband was a pervert simply because he has a penis. I think it's more important to protect my family and my children from people like you, then you think it is to protect your daughter from men.
post #50 of 103
Mama, I've thought of your situation and the responses all day. I kept coming back and wishing there were something to help you heal. I read through most all of your posts and you have been raped by the system, by those you've trusted, and repeatedly by many people. I feel how much pain you are in. I am sorry for the pain that you are experiencing during this time with your daughter turning 6 months, after your horrific birth experience.

Mamas, please be gentle.


Pat
post #51 of 103
I am so very sorry for your very traumatic past. But, I have to agree that you are really going very overboard. The vast majority of men do not see little babies/girls as sexual. Only a very tiny tiny minority. Yes, they are sick. Yes, they hurt people.

What if your dd had a brother? Like a brother 3 years older or younger? Would you let them be naked together? My kids are 3 yrs apart (girl/boy) and shower/bathe together on a daily basis. I can't imagine keeping them apart. There is NOTHING sexual about it. At all. And I think by constantly being so vigilant about covering her diaper area, telling her brothers it's 'private' you're only making it more interesting. If it's just a normal thing, there isn't anything to be curious about.
post #52 of 103
I think you are kidding yourself if you don't think your attitudes about men won't pass over to your daughter because you think you are silently protecting her.

I have trust issues with men as well but this is sooo over the top. I really hope you get some therapy that works for you.
post #53 of 103
Thread Starter 
I'm trying to understand all the opinions here. But having a hard time understanding. I guess me/my ex are just a small percentage of the population who feel like this. Maybe the only ones. I don't know.

My ex wasn't abused. Yet, today we were talking about this online discussion. I asked him, "Do you think it's okay for a child (not just a girl, but a child) to run naked in the backyard playing in a sprinkler?" He responded, "No way!"

He was an only child. Just him, his mom, and his dad. He never ran around naked. His mom always had him wear clothes. That's how he was raised. He wasn't abused. He also said that Lily will never run naked around his son's. That's a no-brainer.

He's as protective with his son's. He knows boys and girls can be abused. Like I said, his parents are the ONLY people who have ever watched his son's. They're 10 and 13 and still aren't allowed to stay home alone yet. They're very sheltered. They're allowed to go to school dances and go to a friends house--but dad knows exactly who their with, the parents at the house, etc etc. I'm sure I'll be the same way with Lily when she's older (Course if there's an older brother or father at her girlfriends house--they can just come to my house to play). His kids aren't "social butterfly's" but they're as normal as can be otherwise. What's so wrong with that? I don't understand. Really. I don't understand. I'm trying.

I'm also highly aware that women abuse too. Really, I get that. I have to work. No way around that. Gramma watches Lily. Daddy watches Lily. 2 people and myself. (His mom hasn't watched her alone). I guess if I lived in my car, I wouldn't have to work and she wouldn't be with "so many people". (Well, then I would be abusing her, huh?) There is nobody else I trust to watch Lily. At church, Lily stays with me...or we don't go. I don't trust the volunteers in the nursery at church to watch my baby. (The volunteers in the nursery aren't screened. They aren't checked to see if they're on the sexual predator list. Men volunteer in the nursery. And there are no checks done on people. It amazes me that parents drop their kids off. I don't get it. I'm just a very small percentage I guess. I just don't get it.)

Do I think the doctor would have molested her if I took her diaper off to get weighed? Really? C'mon. It had nothing to do with that. It had to do with respecting Lily and her privacy. When the doctor comes in to check her out, she peeks in the diaper to check for abnormalities/abuse/rashes, etc. That's fine. But to strip her down butt naked to weigh is just ridiculous. (Even if she did wet her diaper: Either the pee is inside or outside and it would weigh the same...so what's the difference? But, she always has a dry diaper on--so it stays on. Period. If they don't like it, I'll find another (female) doctor).

I will get a copy of "Protecting the Gift", a couple of people have recommended it during this discussion.

I'm not not willing to change my viewpoint. I'm just having a hard time understanding a view point other than mine. The only man I'm close to in Lily's life is her dad. I don't know any other men that well. Maybe if I did, all of this would be different. I don't have uncles, cousins, or other male family members close to me. My ex DOES have that--but he still wouldn't trust them to be with Lily alone. My ex's dad never hurt him--but he wouldn't leave Lily alone with his dad (probably more so because I don't know his dad and I will flip out if she's alone with him). I never had a close trust worthy man in my life.

I'm not trying to be difficult here, really I'm not. Everytime I make any kind of breakthrough in counseling:

-I see a grandpa on Dr. Phil who molested his granddaughter. "We never suspected" "We never thought" "He wasn't the type...." I don't want my DD to be that kind of victim. I don't want to say, "I never thought....."

-Or I see Chester Stiles on the news. Cringe.

-Or the Ex will have another case of child abuse

-Or.......

....and any progress I had is thrown right out the window.

See what I mean? It's just "everywhere". It is terrifying. I will probably never have a relationship ever again....unless we live in different houses. The thought of having a boyfriend living in my house with my daughter is just something I don't think I could ever do. (A lot of the times, it is the "boyfriend" who abuses though).

Yeah. I guess I'm just completely phobic right now. I am. I'm completely phobic. Crap. Her dad wasn't abused and he's on my same level though. He deals with it though. He knows what happens. I guess. I don't know. I guess we'll deal with things as they happen.
post #54 of 103
There are several ongoing threads with other mamas with a history of childhood abuse. You will find comfort, support, and understanding for the daunting challenge of breaking the cycle of abuse. A friend has a saying "When we have children we are woken to our childhood pain and either work on healing or inflict it on them"~ J.A.Wood

Support outside of the "surviving abuse" forum:http://www.mothering.com/discussions...ighlight=abuse

Parenting and Rage: http://www.mothering.com/discussions...d.php?t=394579

"ladies in waiting" for the abuse forum:
http://www.mothering.com/discussions...urviving+abuse



Pat

post #55 of 103
I'm so sorry that terrible things have happened to you. You are surviving and learning to thrive - keep up the good work!

My number one piece of advice would be -- not advice at all, really. But just to know that nearly EVERY mother is paranoid during her first child's first year. We are biologically hard-wired, I think, to be as protective as we would have to be in the wild. So our instincts are looking out for eagles, bears, flooding rivers, famine, drought -- and there is nowhere to put all that adrenaline but to turn it on those around us! Every little thing seems so dramatic, every early experience we had ourselves comes flooding back, everyone, even our nearest and dearest, can seem intent on thwarting and destroying us. One of our most important early mothering tasks, I think, is learning to distinguish between genuine threat, and harmless flag-raiser.

One important thing you can do for yourself is, if you must set rules now, at least know within yourself that these rules may change during your daughter's life. If you truly cannot back off of the "no one with a penis" diaper-changing rule (which I do think is unnecessary, especially with her brothers, if they are lovingly supervised), then at least don't worry yourself about male teachers/coaches and the like right now. I'm not going to try to force you to look at the reality that your daughter WILL have contact with males and WILL be outside your view someday; on the flip side, try to give yourself a break and don't obsess now about how those distant-future contacts can be controlled.

ETA: I wanted to add that it sounds like, from your recent bad date experience, perhaps you yourself are still in the process of developing a reliable "radar" about men and safety. (Totally understandable, given your experiences.) If I'm off base here, ignore, but here goes: Are you concerned that if you yourself can't always spot when a man is dangerous (like the man you went on a date with), you may not be able to give your daughter good tools for detecting danger -- so it's easiest to just keep her away from any male alone? If that is part of your fear, please give yourself credit - you do have some ability to distinguish, and you are working on it now (maybe bring it up in counseling). Everything you learn you can teach your daughter, directly or indirectly. You can do it.
post #56 of 103
Quote:
Originally Posted by MayBaby2007 View Post
The only man I'm close to in Lily's life is her dad. I don't know any other men that well. Maybe if I did, all of this would be different.
Did your mother shelter you after you were abused? Is that why you don't have male figures in your life? Do you WANT your view point to be different? Do you WANT more men - uncles, cousins, friends, whatever, in your life? Do you WANT that for your daughter - to have loving, trusting, relationships with men?

I think it's telling that you don't have any healthy male relationships. That says a lot. This is what life will be like for your daughter in 20 years - in fear, unable to trust, and unaware of her instincts.

Quote:
Her dad wasn't abused and he's on my same level though. He deals with it though. He knows what happens. I guess. I don't know. I guess we'll deal with things as they happen.
There is such a thing as post traumatic stress disorder, and it's very common among police officers, fire fighters, etc. It's not normal to adapt your life to such a drastic point based on what you see at work, and doing so is a huge indication toward PTSD. Has he been to counseling with you?
post #57 of 103
I understand the terror. The terrible alone-ness, the need to control every-thing...your intense love driving your need to protect at all costs.

Your daughter is an infant and is helpless. Right now she needs her mother to watch out for her and protect her.

As she grows, she needs her mother to tell her that her body is normal, is beautiful and is nothing to be ashamed of. You need to give HER the power to say NO so that she will not be a victim. You need to give her normalcy so that she can spot the abnormal.

For example, it is normal to be careful who watches your children. It is not normal to refuse to allow your child to be taught by a man.

It is normal to teach your children rules about who is not allowed to touch/see their genitals. It is not normal to refuse to allow your sons to be in the same room during diaper changes.

It is normal to be afraid for your children. It is not normal to relive our abuse through our children.

It is normal to monitor and be aware of who your children are playing with. It is not normal to be planning your child's playmates (based on gender) when your child is still an infant.

It is not normal to think all men are sick. If you continue with these methods you are going to harm your growing daughter. Please hear my words with all the gentle intent that I have in my heart for you.

What you are doing is not okay. I think you know that deep, deep down. I think you are overwhelmed with love for your daughter and this is the only way you know how to MAKE SURE SHE'S SAFE!!! YOU are doing damage to her. This is not a normal response. Please get help.
post #58 of 103
Quote:
Originally Posted by MayBaby2007 View Post
Everytime I make any kind of breakthrough in counseling:

-I see a grandpa on Dr. Phil who molested his granddaughter. "We never suspected" "We never thought" "He wasn't the type...." I don't want my DD to be that kind of victim. I don't want to say, "I never thought....."

-Or I see Chester Stiles on the news. Cringe.

-Or the Ex will have another case of child abuse

-Or.......

....and any progress I had is thrown right out the window.
Please consider turning off Dr. Phil and the news. They are NOT there to educate -- they are there to titillate and terrify. That's what sells advertising dollars.

And I would really beg you to ask your ex to STOP pushing your buttons with these work stories. He is NOT dealing with normal everyday reality! Yes, it is the reality of police work, but not only is it not the everyday norm, it is killing your ability to move on. At least try it for two months. He should not be texting, calling, or processing this stuff with you. If he needs an outlet he needs to find another ear to talk to -- it is REALLY impeding any progress you are making.

Once again I congratulate you on all the work you are doing. You are a loving mother and like all of us you are doing your very best!
post #59 of 103
Quote:
Originally Posted by MayBaby2007 View Post

He's as protective with his son's. He knows boys and girls can be abused. Like I said, his parents are the ONLY people who have ever watched his son's. They're 10 and 13 and still aren't allowed to stay home alone yet. They're very sheltered. They're allowed to go to school dances and go to a friends house--but dad knows exactly who their with, the parents at the house, etc etc. I'm sure I'll be the same way with Lily when she's older (Course if there's an older brother or father at her girlfriends house--they can just come to my house to play). His kids aren't "social butterfly's" but they're as normal as can be otherwise. What's so wrong with that? I don't understand. Really. I don't understand. I'm trying.
I'm curious as to how he acheives that. Does he have sole custody? Do they never have visitation with their mother? If they do, how does he ensure that she plays along with his idea of protection? If they don't have visitation with their mother, why is that?
post #60 of 103
Quote:
Originally Posted by alegna View Post
This makes me so sad... : Do you really find it scary or irresponsible for a little girl to have a tea party with her grandpa?

My dad is often alone with my dd. I would trust him with her life (or mine)

-Angela

I gotta say that I agree with Angela 100%. My girls have a wonderful relationship with my father that could not ever be replaced. I understand that you have been through one hell of a life thus far that you do not want to see your daughter repeat but by sheltering her from all men you are almost teaching her to fear them unnecesarily. I have a ridiculous fear of Doctors and needles - had a bad experience as a child that I have not gotten over. I recognize my fear and go out of my way to make sure that I do not teach my children to fear doctors as I do. Their dad takes them to their doctor and dentist appointments so that they can avoid seeing fear in my eyes as I believe that they can.

Honestly, if you have such a negative opinion of men how is it that you can trust your daughter's father with her - he is as likely to abuse her as any other man in her life.

Please do not teach your daughter to fear all men - the vast majority of men and boys a kind and loving, not at all the abusers you see them to be.
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