Stepson peeping at daughter - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 22 Old 12-15-2006, 03:19 PM - Thread Starter
 
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A couple of months ago, my 14yo daughter caught my 16yo stepson laying on the floor outside her bedroom looking under her door. A few times over the summer we had found a chair from our front porch under her window. Of course everyone in the house denies putting the chair there; however, the night before she caught him looking under her door, she saw him take the chair off the porch and bring it to her window. I was extremely upset to say the least. His father talked with him. There was tension in the house but he seemed to understand the seriousness of this action and I watched him like a hawk. A few days later, he wanted to apologize to her but with extracurricular activities and such, they were never at home at the same time. Then, the following Monday, she caught him again. I immediately demanded counselling and suggested that he go stay with his grandparents that live only a mile or so from us. His counsellor says that he considers my stepson to be a normal 16yo, but how is this normal behavior in a family environment. I am not really sure how to handle the holidays. My husband wants all of us to go to his parents for Christmas Eve but my daughter doesn't even want to be in the same county as him. I can't say as I blame her. I'm still pretty hurt too. What on earth is appropriate? Do I make her go and just avoid him? Or should her and I just stay home?

Any input would be greatly appreciated.
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#2 of 22 Old 12-15-2006, 03:34 PM
 
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wow mama! you are so right to be protective of your daughter. This is totally innappropriate behavior by your DSS and you need to take action now. Your daughter cannot be around him. Is he still living with the GPs or is he back in the home with your daughter?

As far as Christmas, no, don't make her go if she doesn't want to. It is wrong and cruel to force her to be near him, even for the sake of "family" and the "holidays" . Don't send the message to her that fake family harmony (and that's what it is... fake, if she doesnt want to be there) is more important than her feelings and her safety. :
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#3 of 22 Old 12-15-2006, 03:50 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Stepson still lives with his grandparents. I won't allow him back in the house. If he needs something out of his room, I have required that my husband be present when he does. My husband, his father, thinks I'm over-reacting and that it is approaching pettiness.
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#4 of 22 Old 12-15-2006, 03:54 PM
 
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How long have you been married to DH? Sometimes it can be very difficult for teens to see stepsiblings as siblings and not as members of the opposite sex. While it may be normal for a 16yo boy to take an opportunity to look/peep at a fellow teenage girl, the fact is that you are family and incest taboos should/need to apply here. Since the son has repeatedly demonstrated that he is unwilling or unable to halt this behaviour, I seriously consider either

a. Having him permenantly live with his grandparents and eliminating all contact between SS and DD until DD feels otherwise.

b. Set up separate two living situations for the next two years: one for DH and SS and another for you and DD.

The fact is that this may affect your family gatherings from this point forward. Most importantly I'd make sure your daughter knows that she didn't do anything wrong and that it isn't her fault that holidays are spent differently now. It also isn't her responsibility to "forgive and forget" for the sake of family harmony.

BTW, was she able to get counseling as well?
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#5 of 22 Old 12-15-2006, 04:41 PM
 
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Mama, you are doing the right thing. I am sorry that your DH thinks you are over reacting, but you aren't. Clearly the "appreciation" that your DSS has for your DD isn't mutual. Not only is it downright creepy, it's dangerous. If your DSS didnt stop peeping when it became clear that the attention was unwelcome, then he is stalking her. This is preditory behavior and you are right to protect your DD from this.

Deep down I think your DH knows this and is having a hard time accepting that his son may be a predator. None of us wants to think that our children could be capable of such a thing. Your DH may also be thinking that it might be something that he did wrong that caused his son to be this way.

Stay stong for your daughter mama. Don't back down. She's depending on you.
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#6 of 22 Old 12-15-2006, 04:41 PM - Thread Starter
 
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We have been a blended family for more than 4 years, married for 3.5.

My daughter and I have both been to counselling and she seems to be fine. I made sure that she knew that none of this was her fault. She just doesn't want to be around SS and neither do I.

SS counsellor suggested that my daughter should accept part of the responsibility for this situation. (I couldn't believe that he said that!!) She has taken every precaution regarding her privacy. She has the master bedroom with her own bathroom and anytime she is her room, she has the door locked, and she always keeps her blinds and curtains closed. Short of stuffing a blanket under the door, she has done everything right.

Daughter's counsellor says that she should not have to live in fear in her own home. I tried to tell DH but he doesn't understand that voyerism (sp?) is illegal.

SS is permanently living with his grandparents. I told DH that he needs to be with his son until he decides where he wants to be. Whatever he decided would be his own decision and uninfluenced by me. He chose to stay at home and visits son regularly.

This has really been hard on everyone. SS hasn't even apologized to his own father for essentially, for lack of a better word, "ruining" this family. Counsellor told DH that SS is feeling like the victim not the offender since his living arrangements was been revised.
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#7 of 22 Old 12-15-2006, 04:46 PM
 
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While it may be normal for a 16yo boy to take an opportunity to look/peep at a fellow teenage girl, the fact is that you are family and incest taboos should/need to apply here.
Regardless of kinship, it's NOT OK to "peek" at a girl against her will. It wouldn't be OK for him to "peek" into the girls' locker room at school, either.

I'm very sorry you're dealing with this situation. Normally, I think it's terrible to kick a partner's child out of the house, but in this case I don't know what else you could have done. How sad for everyone involved.
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#8 of 22 Old 12-15-2006, 04:47 PM
 
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*rolling eyes and adopting a snarky tone*
well too bad for SS! He is the victim because his living arrangements were changed? Criminals have their living arrangements changed too. It's called Jail. Are they victims too?

why should your daughter be victimized yet again by being made to leave her home when she did nothing wrong? And she had absolutely NO responsibility for what happened.

I can't anything more or I'll violate the UA.
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#9 of 22 Old 12-15-2006, 05:01 PM
 
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I'm sorry for you. He is displaying predatory behaviour.

Perhaps the grandparents and father are reinforcing him not taking responsibility for his actions.

it needn't be blown up with lots of emotion - but realistically you should find out why your husband doesn't feel that his daughter/sd being the subject of predatory behaviour isn't a problem. The boys behaviour will not change if the people around him think that what he is doing is normal.

It would be normal - if he hadn't been pressing the issue. If he wasn't intentionally seeking out the taboo/risk factor associated with his actions. At that point what you are looking at is a serious behaviour problem, particularly in this age group. He has (passive) AGGRESSIVELY pursued a set of actions that violates another's privacy but in doing so he has titillated his urges with the aggressive and taboo-ness and the possibility of being caught. That's dangerous. That sort of behaviour escalates.

Your husband should be looking at this as an opportunity to fix his son's potential adult problems with sexuality. As a man he should understand that excitement/risk/reward cycle and how dangerous it can be to a boy's growing sexuality.
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#10 of 22 Old 12-15-2006, 06:38 PM
 
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It would be interesting to see a few men's points of view here.

As the Mom of a 14 year old girl, I think I would flip out. I don't know that I could have an objective point of veiw at all here.

I DO think that even though this would be considered "normal" 16 year old boy behavior, I don't see how violating his step sister like that could be normal. It just seems like he would/should be creeped out by the thought of it.

By 16, most kids have their own outlets for exploring sexuality. I would think that he would have his own friends, girlfriends, dirty magazines... whatever 16 year old boys need. But, not his stepsister.

Does this boy have anybody? Friends, girlfriends, hobbies, a job, sports? How is his relationship with his Dad? If he is "normal" in every other way (except the sister peeking) I might think that he will move on. (I still wouldn't trust him) But, if he is a loner, and doesn't have a good Dad/son relationship, I would be overly cautious.

I am sure sorry about this stress. Please try not to treat him differently. He is still young, and still deserves to be treated with love and respect. But, he doesn't need to be around your daughter.
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#11 of 22 Old 12-15-2006, 06:45 PM - Thread Starter
 
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As far as friends, etc. At the time of this incident, he had a steady girlfriend. He has only a couple of friends and tends to exaggerate most everything. His relationship with his father is good. His mother, on the other hand, is not active in his life at all.

Thanks to all how had input. I really appreciate it. Y'all confirmed that I'm not blowing everything out of proportion - besides I would rather err on the side of safety for my daughter's sake.
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#12 of 22 Old 12-17-2006, 02:22 PM
 
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Is your husband spending more time with his son despite the living situation? Seems this is a situation that requires more intensive fathering on his part than less.

DS counselor seems to have his head up his rectum. Any chance of getting a new one for him?
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#13 of 22 Old 12-17-2006, 10:54 PM
 
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It would be interesting to see a few men's points of view here.
Thinking back to myself at 16, going through puberty and hormones raging, I was just beginning to become extremly fascinated with girls. This is the age when boys are extremely curious about everything female; looking at girlie magazines, masturbating, experimenting sexually, talking to their friends about sex. This is all perfectly normal.

Your stepson is a 16 year old boy, and therefore probably immature as 16 year olds are. When he is peeking at your daughter, he is probably hoping to get a look at a naked girl, not looking at his sister. If they were biologically related or had grown up together since they were small children, I would say that there was a more serious problem. I am not trying to lessen what is going on in any way. Your stepson is also not likely thinking about this from your daughter's perspective - that her stepbrother is trying to look at her naked and how uncomfortable it would be for her. Boys tend to look at body parts and be able to dissociate them from who the person is; and he is probably not thinking of seeing her as his step sister, but just as seeing a naked girl.

As husband and wife, I would take son and daughter out for a day seperately (father and son, mother and daughter) doing something they each enjoy. After a day of bonding, they are more likely to feel comfortable discussing sensitive subjects. As the boys father, I would sit him down and try to get him to open up and share his true thoughts on the situation. Then I would try to make him see this from his sister's perspective. I would ask if he understands why this is wrong, and have him explain why to me in his own words. I would make sure he understands that she is his sister, biological or not. Then I would have him promise me that this won't happen again.

In the case of our daughter, if I were the mother I would wait until the right moment to talk to the daughter about the issue. I might explain to her that as she is developing into a young woman, she is going to begin experiencing a lot of looks from boys and men. Reassuring her that what her brother did is wrong, I might ask her if she would be willing to give him one more chance. I would make sure she also knows that she isn't at fault.

I would hope that my son would keep his promise and that this wouldn't continue to be an issue. If it were, than ongoing counseling would be the best alternative I could think of. And yes, I would require him to live with his grandparents in order to keep our daughter feeling safe. I wish you the best of luck with this difficult situation.
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#14 of 22 Old 12-18-2006, 12:42 AM
 
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Boys tend to look at body parts and be able to dissociate them from who the person is;
And this is really not something we want to encourage, is it? It's called "dehumanization."

"Peeping" is wrong whether the perp is related to the victim or not. In fact it's considered illegal. I think the OP is right to react as strongly as she has.
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#15 of 22 Old 12-18-2006, 02:07 PM
 
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It's not wrong because she's his stepsister; it's wrong because he's creeping around trying to violate her privacy and look at her naked against her will. It's not a kinship issue, it's a sexual coercion issue.
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#16 of 22 Old 12-18-2006, 02:26 PM
 
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And this is really not something we want to encourage, is it? It's called "dehumanization."
Yes, and if you look at a lot of media, especially pop videos, you'll see that they are indeed encouraged to think this way. The industry behind this really knows where the weak spots are and exploit them.
I would say that kids who have been brought up in a naturist environment are less likely to dwell on those parts of the body which mainstream society is so inclined to cover up.
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#17 of 22 Old 12-18-2006, 03:16 PM
 
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Boys tend to look at body parts and be able to dissociate them from who the person is; and he is probably not thinking of seeing her as his step sister, but just as seeing a naked girl.
I just wanted to clarify what my DH was saying here. We both have seen research that says that initially most men look at body parts versus the whole person. DH was trying to explain that this is a biological trait of men and not in a way encouraging it or the SS behavior. Guys tend to look at breasts or legs or butts before looking at the person as a whole - women tend to focus on the whole person, and as women it is important to understand that. I know DH was not encouraging it or even giving it as an excuse, but more of an explanation as to how the SS could look at his step sister without truly focusing on the fact that it was his step sister.

I emailed this link to DH because someone suggested we get a guy's point of view. DH and I talked about it at length and we both agree that the OP is doing the right thing, protecting her daughter, and she is not overreacting. I hope his comments were taken with this in mind.
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#18 of 22 Old 01-17-2007, 07:31 PM
 
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How long have you been married to DH? Sometimes it can be very difficult for teens to see stepsiblings as siblings and not as members of the opposite sex. While it may be normal for a 16yo boy to take an opportunity to look/peep at a fellow teenage girl, the fact is that you are family and incest taboos should/need to apply here.

I was about to ask the same question. I know from experience with my daughter and my ex's MANY ex's(AFTER our separation) I've had to deal with and all their kids, he has always expected her to just act as though they are instantly brother/sister (no saying that is the case in your situation). Either way, when she was 6, I found he and his new GF lived together and allowed my daughter to sleep in the same bed as the GF's son, who was around 6-7 also. NOW, keep in mind that my ex tends to date someone one time, they go back to either one of their houses and are instantly living together from that moment on, so saying he is "living with" his new girlfriend does not indicate they were together for a long time (maybe had been together 2 months at the time). He insisted I was being rediculous when I told him I didn't think it was a good idea because they were "brother and sister". Within a few weeks, I found out the boy had talked my SIX YR OLD DAUGHTER into "show me yours and I'll show you mine". I realize it may have been nothing actually sexual and more on a curious level of children wanting to understand differences between boys/girls, but it could've been prevented if he'd listened.

Either way, the point is to stick with your instincts. Children don't snap into family mode automatically when we adults marry, date, move-in, move-out, etc. It is a lot for kids to deal with and in reality, they don't see the step siblings any differently than another child at school unless they've been a part of their lives as siblings for many years.
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#19 of 22 Old 01-17-2007, 07:42 PM
 
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SS counsellor suggested that my daughter should accept part of the responsibility for this situation.
This is victim blaming talk. This person should NOT be a therapist. PLEASE do not see them any more.

Peeping is a type of sexual assault and those who do it are convicted of sex crimes. What your SS did was totally inappropriate regardless of where it happened or who it happened to. This is sexual predation. The therapist that called this "normal" behavior should be stripped of their license. Seriously, please please please consider reporting this therapist to your state's licensing board. Please.
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#20 of 22 Old 01-17-2007, 07:44 PM
 
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And this is really not something we want to encourage, is it? It's called "dehumanization."

"Peeping" is wrong whether the perp is related to the victim or not. In fact it's considered illegal. I think the OP is right to react as strongly as she has.
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Originally Posted by Thalia the Muse View Post
It's not wrong because she's his stepsister; it's wrong because he's creeping around trying to violate her privacy and look at her naked against her will. It's not a kinship issue, it's a sexual coercion issue.
Yes and yes. (!!)
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#21 of 22 Old 01-17-2007, 09:38 PM
 
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I think you should lodge a complaint about the therapist. I would not even ask your child to participate in any family events where the ss will be there as the ss, dad and possibly the rest of the family want to minimize what happened, and not hold ss responsible for his own behavior. There is no way I would consider her safe with that type of abnormal behavior of all parties .
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#22 of 22 Old 01-26-2007, 03:37 AM
 
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This is victim blaming talk. This person should NOT be a therapist. PLEASE do not see them any more.

Peeping is a type of sexual assault and those who do it are convicted of sex crimes. What your SS did was totally inappropriate regardless of where it happened or who it happened to. This is sexual predation. The therapist that called this "normal" behavior should be stripped of their license. Seriously, please please please consider reporting this therapist to your state's licensing board. Please.
:
My 12 year old autistic son acted slightly inappropriately (he didn't know what he was doing) about physical boundaries with one of his younger sisters. We had him at the grandparents until we could get a plan in place with his therapist for her safety (to make sure he didn't really do something wrong at a later point). His safety plan is very strict, and I don't think what he did was half as wrong as what your SS did. If I were your DD, I don't think I would even feel comfortable with him in the house. I know my DH would back me 100%. He has a mother that was molested, and he has no tolerance for predatory behavior.
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