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Such a thing as "over" protective parenting? - Page 5

post #81 of 103
Quote:
Originally Posted by MayBaby2007 View Post
I don't want and will not raise her to be ashamed of her body. My purpose for "staying clothed" is to teach her that her body is HERS--not to be viewed by just anyone. It's sacred. It's special. It's not an "object" for everyone to see.
As a Muslim who dresses modestly and comes from a culture of that, I can see what you're saying. But it's one thing to come from a place of fear and shame,and another to come from a secure spiritual place in which you think of the body as a sacred thing to be covered and revered. I know a lot of people who do the latter but would not think of a baby in those terms, so I think it would be good for you to examine your motivations.
post #82 of 103
Quote:
Originally Posted by MayBaby2007 View Post
Again, thank you all very much. You have given me a lot of things to think about. And you've reinforced what my counselor has told me about over sheltering her and causing her to be a victim. Which tells me that I really have to change my way of thinking. But, like I said--luckily I have time. At least 3 years before she starts really verbalizing/understanding things. At least 5 years before school. She's gonna be okay. I'm gonna be okay. Thanks, mama's.
I'm soo glad that we could share with you in a way you could hear, sorry if you have felt a bit ganged up on, as you can see all women seem pretty passionate about the topic.
Healing can definitely happen an you are on the right path, stay strong, keep pushing through.
Remember that great change does not happen on its own, and often requires you to step out of the comfort zone and challenge your self. And even though you say you have time, it needs to start now. Both because as others have said, she understands and reads a lot more than some folks give babies credit for long before she starts vocalizing that fact. And because change does not happen over night when it is needed, it takes years of practice.
i hope love and safe people for your life, make sure you take nothing less.
post #83 of 103
Quote:
Originally Posted by MayBaby2007 View Post
IWhen she's older and starts running in circles around the house naked after her bath, I'm not going to scream and make her put clothes on. If boys are in the house when she's being bathed, she'll be bathed in a closed bathroom and dressed in the bathroom before she has a chance to run around naked.
But the thing is that toddlers like to take off their clothes without warning. Just because you dress her in seclusion doesn't mean she'll never have a chance to be naked.

I was raised with extreme modesty. I've not even ever seen my mom naked even in passing. I can remember being scolded for "strutting" around in my panties and undershirt when I was about four. The only people home were my mom, my sister and my stepfather. But what message did it send? That I was bad for being partially unclothed. And I have to agree with those who say the kind of regulations you are proposing can lead to a child feeling objectified rather than protected from objectification. My parents wanted me to be modest, save myself for marriage etc. So much emphasis was placed on this that once I lost my viriginity in a not entirely consensual way I felt like all I had that was worth something was gone. So I went on a big promiscuous spree that was not good or healthy for me. You want your daughter to learn that she is more than a potential target and she is more than one body part.
post #84 of 103
MayBaby2007

I just wanted to encourage you to follow your heart and do whatever you feel you need to do to protect your child. I am seen as overprotective too and I only wish that I had set down specific criteria like you did. They would not have been the same but having a frame of reference would have been beneficial. I found that when incidents came up and I did not feel comfortable, I talked myself out of it because I had so many people around me that mocked me or made me feel that I was acting too protective.

If only I had specific standards and had been stronger. Sometimes the warnings are so quiet like a whisper and you can miss it. It will not always be a strong, loud feeling. I really hope that you get healing from your pain. And remember that boundaries can change. You may not always feel this way and if so, you can re-visit what is best for all of you.

I do agree to stay away from fearful stories. I don't watch the news anymore because I am too sensitive. People ask, "How will you keep up with what is happening?" I respond that if it is important enough I will know. I think that people have become so numb because they see so much daily tragedies. Or live in complete fear and anxiety.

Life is a journey that is fluid. I feel confident that you will discover what is best for you and your family.
post #85 of 103
Maybaby, I don't think you're being protective enough when it comes to visits with "Grandpa." The rest of the time it sounds like you are going overboard with your fears of men preying on your daughter, but how come you haven't acted on your bad feelings about Grandpa?

From what you have described, he has exhibited inappropriate behavior towards your baby, and he could be sexually abusing her every time you leave her at his house. If I understand correctly it seems like you were saying that Grandpa was experiencing sexual arousal by holding the baby's feet on his genitals. If this is the case, this is sexual abuse. (If I am misunderstanding something about the situation, I apologize in advance.)

I think you should NOT allow him to hold Lily at all, and you shouldn't leave her at his house without you even if Grandma is there to supposedly supervise him. If I were you, I wouldn't let Grandpa visit with Lily at all.
post #86 of 103
Your story really touched me. It sounds to me like you are doing an amazing job at working out your issues. I admire your courage, strength, and determination. It seems like you are going to stop the cycle of abuse that seems to have been passed down through generations of your family. This is one of your purposes in your life, and one of the many things you came here to teach. You are healing the Earth by healing yourself and passing this legacy on to your daughter. How blessed you are to have this daughter who is motivating you to work so hard on this now!

I don't agree with the other mamas that you need to worry about needing to be PERFECT right now. I understand that they think you should stay motivated, but I think you need to be easy about it. Praise yourself often for your successes. It is such a great example to set, your daughter gets to watch you work so hard at healing yourself. That's such a great lesson of perseverence (sp?). I think your daughter will understand if you need to change your mind, if it's to make both your lives healthier. KEEP IT UP!!
post #87 of 103
I wasn't able to read all the posts because the server is acting up, but not sure if these points have been brought up:

1) your father needs HELP, and I would personally not let him NEAR HER period. I would not let him TOUCH HER (you said yourself he was letting her bounce on his crotch?!?! Oh God...). He needs professional help, not sure if he was abused as a child or not, but he needs some serious help. He needs to stay away from children. http://www.stopitnow.com/warnings.html

2) Girls and boys are both abused, and men and women both are child abusers. Boys get abused as well, maybe not as much but the numbers are very close (if you count circumcision the numbers jump WAY up for boys).

I feel so bad that you had to go through that abuse and don't blame you for being protective of your DD. But please keep her away from the person who abused YOU as well. I hope you are able to get through the trauma you experienced as well.

I was also disturbed to read that boys get molested more often than girls, the figures change depending what article you read though.

Here are some ways you can help keep your DD safe:
http://www.stopitnow.com/howtokeepkidssafe.html
post #88 of 103
Quote:
Originally Posted by MayBaby2007 View Post
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.
How can you really even trust your DD's father? I mean, he *says* he wasn't abused, but you say it's 'everywhere', right? How can you even trust him, he's a man, after all. What if he's just telling you what you want to hear?

I'm sure he's okay, but you see where I'm going with this.... You can't just keep her in a plastic bubble.

The abuse I do 'remember' (there is something that may have happened to me that I can NOT for the life of me remember) was a sicko in a car would come to where I was waiting at my bus stop and pull up in his car. He'd have "it" out and pretend like he was asking for directions. It happened two times. For some reason I knew to not 'act scared' or 'freak out' because I knew he'd enjoy that. I have no idea WHY I knew this, since this happened 2 times when I was in grade school. BUT, my point is, you never know where or when or with whom it could happen.
You just have to try and relax a little, like the OP's have said you can't be with her 24/7. My mom kept really good watch on me and my sister too. But she didn't keep us cut off from the outside world, she would just have some rules that we had to follow, like let us know where we were going to be at and who was there. Common sense stuff. You need to trust your instincts, like if you get a genuine 'creepy' feeling from someone, then be aware and don't let your DD alone with that person. When your DD gets older you need to tell her what is 'appropriate' and what isn't, like a stranger wanting to 'touch' her down there is bad and she needs to tell you right away, stuff like that. Or if a man in a car approaches her, she needs to know what to do. My sister had that happen to her on our street, walking home from school. She remembered what the guy looked like and I remember her telling my mom who called the police. A neighbor friend of ours a few streets over almost got grabbed by a guy in a car. Luckily she got away. Your DD needs to know how to defend herself but she can't be chained up at home, never allowed to be alone. That will just make her more vulnerable if she ever does find herself walking down the road and someone comes up to her asking to find a 'lost puppy'.

She needs to learn survival skills, but not be insulated from the whole world.
post #89 of 103
Quote:
Originally Posted by Demeter9 View Post
They do have exposure. Often teachers are male. They have relatives. They aren't there every day of their lives.

And it is abuse. You are limiting the person she is because of your own fear of men. You are living out your fear through your daughter. That is the very soul of abuse.

When you teach a child that all men/women/a group are to be feared, when you create and encourage an atmosphere of terror in a child's life you are not protecting them. If you teach your child that all men are bad, all men are to be distrusted, that all male touch is sexualized and disgusting, you are NOT teaching something that is FOR her. It is a warped and terrorizing World that you are not only teaching her, but planning on instilling throughout her life. That isn't protection.

Teaching her her own body. Teaching her to be confident in herself. Teaching her that she is ALLOWED to insist on her own limits. That she can TRUST the people around her - and if she CANNOT trust the people around her that is a legitimate issue for you to address. She should not be around people she cannot trust.

If to you that mens all men ever, you are again taking it too far into the realm of teaching her to be afraid and terrorized by her World.

That is not fair. It is not right. It isn't even CORRECT. Essentially, you are planning on teaching and having her live a lie to fullfill your own demons. I challenge you to rise above it, and instead of perpetuating the cycle of abuse change it.
I think you've said it perfectly.

OP, I am sorry for all you've been through, but I do think you are being extreme and will end up hurting your daughter if you go on like this.

It is not at all funny that you are teaching her to hate and distrust men. It is sick and sad.
post #90 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 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.

This is all what I wanted to say. Please don't teach her that her body is shameful!
post #91 of 103
Quote:
I've caught him twice standing over my shoulder when I'm changing Lily, after he's been told NOT to do that!. (I also caught grandpa standing Lily up on his crotch, multiple times. Like, directly on his penis--you could see the bulge and see Lily stepping all over it. Ugh! I talked to him about it. It's just not normal, in my opinion, to stand an infant directly on your penis and not see something wrong with that or not move her onto your leg or something. It wasn't just me who saw him do this.
I have 2 children myself and I don't think I've ever had them standing or bouncing on my crotch. This sounds really wrong to me. I know you don't trust your instincts about men, but I would give this a lot more thought and discuss it with your counsellor. If "grandpa" is doing these things, your dd should not be anywhere near him.
post #92 of 103
I think its really odd that what the OP is doing is being considered abuse in a forum where women regularily 'protect' or 'shield' their kids life experience from the potential dangers of McDonalds, plastic toys, non organic milk, TV, hospital births, formula, ultrasounds, disposable diapers and the media.

Strikes me as odd.

That being said, I think do the OP is being extreme in her fears and may need some guidance towards self healing.
(Ditto for mamas who wont let their kids watch a second of tv or eat a french fry.)
post #93 of 103
I just wanted to second the recommendation of the book Protecting the Gift by Gavin De Becker. It will really help you live with less fear and reawaken your instincts and intuition so that you can be more present with and appropriately protective of your daughter as she grows up.

It also gives great info about how to support your child's intuition and keep it strong.

I also really appreciate the list of interview questions he has for potential babysitters, school administrators, teachers, doctors, dentists. Very helpful!

I think there may be a few threads here on Mothering specifically about Protecting the Gift and if you do a search, you can gets some more info about the book from there.

It's wonderful that you are consciously working through these issues yourself. What a great gift your self healing will be for your daughter.

Good luck, mama!
post #94 of 103
Quote:
Originally Posted by andrea View Post
I think its really odd that what the OP is doing is being considered abuse in a forum where women regularily 'protect' or 'shield' their kids life experience from the potential dangers of McDonalds, plastic toys, non organic milk, TV, hospital births, formula, ultrasounds, disposable diapers and the media.

Strikes me as odd.

That being said, I think do the OP is being extreme in her fears and may need some guidance towards self healing.
(Ditto for mamas who wont let their kids watch a second of tv or eat a french fry.)
Um, seriously? Teaching your child that all men/boys are to be feared, that her naked body is both shameful and enticing (to all males), objectifying and fetishizing her body is the same thing as not feeding your children french fries? I hardly know how to respond.
post #95 of 103
Quote:
Originally Posted by NYCVeg View Post
Um, seriously? Teaching your child that all men/boys are to be feared, that her naked body is both shameful and enticing (to all males), objectifying and fetishizing her body is the same thing as not feeding your children french fries? I hardly know how to respond.
:

Thanks for saving me typing that out...

-Angela
post #96 of 103
Quote:
Originally Posted by NYCVeg View Post
Um, seriously? Teaching your child that all men/boys are to be feared, that her naked body is both shameful and enticing (to all males), objectifying and fetishizing her body is the same thing as not feeding your children french fries? I hardly know how to respond.
Teaching your child that every part of the fast food industry is to be feared, that eating junk is both shameful and enticing (the forbidden fruit), objectifying her body by putting it under your moral control and setting the stage for eating disorders and body image issues, teaching a child that she cant trust her own body with trying new things and using in moderation...... is the same thing as not leaving your baby alone with a man? I hardly know how to respond.

Again, I am not defending the op's actions, but pointing out the hypocrisy of this entire flame-fest directed at her.

Im sure we are all guilty of something that another could consider 'abuse', why not support and help each other instead of stomp on a mama with superiority when she reaches out to the mothering community?
post #97 of 103
Quote:
Originally Posted by andrea View Post
Teaching your child that every part of the fast food industry is to be feared, that eating junk is both shameful and enticing (the forbidden fruit), objectifying her body by putting it under your moral control and setting the stage for eating disorders and body image issues..... is the same thing as not leaving your baby alone with a man? I hardly know how to respond.

Again, I am not defending the op's actions, but pointing out the hypocrisy of this entire flame-fest directed at her.
First, I don't see a "flame fest" here. I see a lot of concern for a poster who has said outright that her view of men is warped due to abuse she suffered. Suggestions have been therapy to deal with the past abuse, reading material, etc. And the OP has gone far beyond not wanting to leave her child alone with a man--she has said that she will never allow her child to have a male teacher, to allow her sons in the room with her child when she is having a diaper change, etc.

I find the fast food analogy ludicrous. Explaining to your child that fast food restaurants engage in business practices you find unethical is not the same as telling them fast food restaurants are to be "feared" or that eating fast food is "shameful". If my child was not severely food-allergic, I would be raising her as a vegetarian--not because eating meat is "shameful", but because it is not consistent with my ethics to support the meat industry. We don't eat fast food in our home--we don't like the way it makes us feel, we don't like supporting the practices of the companies who produce it, and we try to eat healthy, sustaining foods. That's not the same thing as "controlling" or "objectifying her body"--some day she will be older enough to go out by herself and make her own choices. I've yet to see an MDC parent lock her 15-year-old in a room to prevent her from getting a cheeseburger. We all--ALL of us, every parent--raise our children in accordance with our values. When they are older, they will make their own decisions.

My parents "let" me eat anything--including lots of fast food. I wish they hadn't. I have had lifelong gut issues (which probably contributed significantly to my dd's food allergies), and issues with sugar addiction and yeast. Oh, and I also had an eating disorder. Eating disorders are not about food, btw. I know MANY people who were raised in families who only ate fresh, whole foods (no fast food, no processed food) and they didn't "get" eating disorders because their parents valued healthy eating. I also know many people who grew up in "permissive" households who did have eating disorders.

Finally, if my child "rebels" against my values by eating a fast food cheeseburger (or 10), so be it. That's not the end of the world. To equate that to a child, say, losing her instinct for predators b/c she is taught that all men are predators, or feeling potentially lifelong shame about her body...again, I just don't have the words. I just can't support the idea that teaching your child to think critically about advertising and media, to think about how the food she eats affects her health, and to interrogate the business practices of places that get her money is even in the same ballpark as what's been described in the OP.
post #98 of 103
Honestly, NYCVeg,
Can you not see how it is all subjective?
Here you are defending your choices, values and views in accordance to what you perceive as truth.
So is the OP.
How do you figure that yours are right and hers are wrong?
post #99 of 103
Quote:
Originally Posted by andrea View Post
How do you figure that yours are right and hers are wrong?
It is clearly, unquestionably, wrong and abusive to raise a child to believe that half of the population is evil just because of your own damaged mental state.

-Angela
post #100 of 103
Quote:
Originally Posted by andrea View Post
Honestly, NYCVeg,
Can you not see how it is all subjective?
Here you are defending your choices, values and views in accordance to what you perceive as truth.
So is the OP.
How do you figure that yours are right and hers are wrong?
I don't figure that mine are "right" and hers are "wrong." I figure, based on evidence, that the things she says she does have more potential to cause harm to her child than the things you listed above. The OP has said that she suffered abuse and therefore has an unreliable perspective on men. She has said she is not in a position to make sound judgments. I've read enough about sexuality and child development to recognize that extreme views on sexuality (either extreme protectiveness, fear, and "shaming" or extreme permissiveness and oversexualization) are vastly more likely to cause girls to have poor self-image and engage in dangerous sexual behaviors than are more moderate views on sex. Many posters have replied that their personal experience bears this out (e.g., not having the instincts to recognize predators b/c all men were "bad"--and therefore ending up in abusive situations). Many of the books suggested to the OP listed in this thread also bear this out and provide healthy models for dealing with issues of sexual predation and sexuality in general.

My research on the fast food industry is similarly grounded in fact. They engage in practices which provide food that is healthy neither for the body nor for the environment. My acknowledging that is NOT the equivalent of my telling my daughter that fast food is evil, covering her eyes when we drive by a fast food restaurant, telling her that she should never associate with anyone who eats it, and telling her that eating it would be shameful for her--those are closer to how the OP is dealing with sex than not eating fast food in your home is. If the OP said she was doing those thing with regard to fast food, I would certainly say she was being (dangerously) overprotective, even though I don't eat fast food myself. Acknowledging facts is not the same thing as inculcating shame and fear. The OP has suffered sexual trauma--when her child is significantly older, I think it would be perfectly reasonable to discuss sexual predation and even to draw on her own experiences. But, if it was me, this conversation would involve facts, research, and realistic solutions and ways of coping, not scare tactics and extremism that is more likely to cause harm than do good.

Finally, sexuality, body image, and gender relations are not cheeseburgers, television, and plastic toys. The latter are EXTERNAL things that we choose to consume or not, that we talk to our children about, that they will ultimately make their own decisions about; the former have to do with our internal perceptions of self, our biology, the most fundamental aspects of humanity. These categories are not simply interchangeable.
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