My dd's ages 5 and 7 yrs, have been playing w/ a neighborhood girls for the past year. Usually for a few hrs on the weekends at our house or hers. I have been gradually becoming more concerned with the friends influence on my dd2. dd2 is a sponge, soaking up and mimicking others behavior much more than dd1 ever has. I figured it might be a product of being the younger sibling??? My dc don't do play dates too often, they play very well together. So honestly this relationship w/ the neighbor is one of the first real Friend they play with for hrs of "free play" at home. In many ways this girl is a sweet 6 yr old. However, she can be very bossy and sassy in her play, manipulative w/dd2 and a bit disrespectful of my rules. These issues have been a "nuisance" especially when dd2 starts acting like the friend. Another issue about this girl is the type of games she tries to initiate. When they play barbie, she has the barbies act out "adult situations", like open mouth kissing, clothes off etc. When I do hear this kind of play, I try to steer them away from it. She also likes to play as she calls it "lets be in college" where she tells my dd2 to say things like "Oh, my, God, its Justin Beiber, he is soooo hot." in a teen-valley girl tone of voice. Sure not a huge deal on its own, but combined with what just happened the other day.....
They were playing in dc's room and from the living room I hear the Friend say "now I'll open myself up and you put your finger in me, and I'll do the same to you". I run into the room and as calmly as possible tell them to put their clothes on and sent the Friend home. I talked with dd2 about the situation. I think she now understand how it is that kind of play was not OK etc. I talked to the friends parents about it as well. But I'm just not sure what to think and do. Sure, kids explore their bodies, but all the concerns I already had about this girls and now this! I don't want to be the mean mom and tell my kids that they can never play with this girl again, especially since she is the only other kid in the neighborhood to play with. If all this stuff sounds normal kid stuff, they maybe I can just lighten up about it and be OK with this friendship. Or do you think these are red flag issues?
It is normal and relatively common for children to experiment with sexuality through sex play with other similarly aged children. However, that is not to say it should be encouraged or allowed. In that situation, I don't think I'd continue allowing the children to play without direct adult supervision, at least not for awhile.
I think you handled it beautifully. You didn't freak out in front of the girls, calmly informed everyone, ect!
I also think it's okay to put stronger boundaries with this particular friend during playdates (direct same-room supervision at all times) which might make it so that your kids see less of her because, well, it's more of a tax on you to have to have eye-line supervision vs. hearing supervision. However, I'd still allow them to get together when you can supervise them. After a few times of no troubles, perhaps you can expand the boundaries a bit.
Um... we're pretty open about everything in our house and putting fingers in the vajayjay is not something they would even think to do. Why because they're still confused about it no matter how many times I've explained it. I would consider this a redflag. Why would she think to do this, how does she know to do this. Is there something else going on.
I think you handled it well, but I wouldn't be allowing your girl over to their house anytime soon. Obviously things will happen that we won't always know about but when we do, we need to do something about it.
I think they pose minor red flag issues. The fingers in the vagina would disturb me, as would the naked 'adult situation' barbies.
That being said, my daughter and a neighbor were caught touching each other twice (but not the finger up the vagina), I can't say it's completely impossible for a 6 year old to come up with the idea of exploring bodies this way. For my daughter, alas, it was a case of her reading ability outpacing her thinking ability. She had read the entire "It's So Amazing" book, and had delved into the "It's perfectly normal: changing bodies, growing up, sex and sexual health" that I was saving for when she was older. She was curious. Alas, our neighbor's mom completely overreacted, shamed her daughter and mine, and has now banned my daughter from her house and her daughter from my house. I'll just say that it only happened at the neighbor's house, not mine (kids play in public areas in our house), but the mom seems to have villainized my daughter, which is increasing the shame factor. The only good news is that this girl isn't a great playmate for my dd anyway, so it's not a huge loss, in my eyes, but dd gets a new dose of shame every time she's told she can't come in.
So, thank you for not overreacting or shaming. I WOULD not allow the girls to play out of eyesight for a good long while, and I'd ask the other parents to do the same. I might also mention to the other parents (out of earshot of the children) about the naked barbies, open-mouthed kissing and ask if she's been exposed to something that might make her want to play along these lines.
Holly and David
Adaline (3/20/10), and Charlie (1/26/12- 4/10/12) and our identical twins Callie and Wendy (01/04/13)
This would worry me - not for the fact that they're exploring their bodies but more for how it's formulated. The quote above is just not an expression, nor is it a behavior, this age group is usually exposed to - definitely a red flag, though the exposure could be incidental, of course.
On the other hand, it seems to me you're not entirely happy with the play dynamics anyway, even before this adult-oriented issue showed up - it's probably a good idea if your DCs have playdates with other children more often. In the meantime, if I were you, I'd only let this kid play with yours when you can supervise.
OP here: we decided to still allow them to play together and only in the living room when inside the house. I have not heard back from the parents as to if there was an situation which prompted this kind of behavior. I sure hope not!! Until I hear back from the parents that nothing has happened, I won't really feel comfortable with my dc over at her house. Hopefully it won't make for an uncomfortable situation btw us parents, but I HAVE to keep my dc best interest my number one priority.
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