Family turmoil from cousins touching issues - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 8 Old 06-24-2012, 06:29 AM - Thread Starter
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Apologies in advance for the novel.  My sister and I look after each other's children regularly.  She has two girls ages 6 and 8.  I have a 2.5 yo boy.  Several times I have found the younger girl and my toddler behaving oddly together. On several occasions I went upstairs and found him naked, when asked, they said he had to poop but there was no poop.I felt like she was answering with some evasiveness that made me suspicious but there was not much indication of anything bad. 
My son recently learned the word 'vagina' and since then he has become extremely fascinated by the concept.   He asked if every female he could think of had a 'gina', repeatedly.  Since then, I once found them in the bed and he was apparently trying to touch her parts and she wouldn't let him, and another time when I had to leave the room for a minute to get some dry pants after they had been hosed off, when I got back down he was trying to touch her again and she was pushing him away.  
My sister and I told them that they are not to touch each other's private parts, and that she should not be undressing him.  
She is quite interested in her own parts - she does a sort of leg-crossing masturbating numerous times a day and has been for at least the past year.  We have all told her repeatedly that it is fine when she is in private but not in front of anyone, so now she usually remembers to go into another room or around a corner but she does that several times a day, and does not stop if anyone enters unless you ask her to. 
She also has a 'love/hate' relationship with my boy.  When he was born she was very bitter about not being the baby anymore and was very honest about hating him.  When he got old enough to play with, she started being nicer to him as long as he does what she says.  As soon as he rebels, she turns witchy on him. 
The other night when he was going to sleep, my son started whispering the name of one of my neice's friends, a girl, and the words 'penis' and 'vagina'.  I asked him what he was talking about but he said he wasn't talking to me, that he was talking to himself, and then he was quiet but started up again a few minutes later.  This went on for half an hour or so.  He has never put the concepts of male and female parts together, and this freaked me out, especially the whispering about it.  When he finally fell asleep, I was overcome with the idea that he has been exposed to more than he should at his age, and that the exposing would have been done by my  niece.  I called my sister meaning to talk about it and wound up completely hysterical and when she got defensive about it I called her daughter a nympho due to all the masturbating, which of course completely alienated my sister.  I am quite ashamed of that, and only wrote it here because she insisted I do so if I was going to post about this.
So, I am afraid that my son's curiousity and my neice's explorations are heading towards or have already gone over the line, to something unhealthy.  He absolutely adores her, but as I've said, she does not compltely adore him, which gives her an immense power over him.  She has already used him as a tool in her battles with her older sister by turning him against her (even though the older sister has always loved him).  I do not feel that she would have any compunctions about using him for any purpose. 
My sister is so upset about what I said, that she does not want to watch him anymore under a cloud of suspicion as she puts it.  This does not actually pose any hardships except that the kids do enjoy playing together and obviously this is not the way I would have liked this to end.  My husband and I just want the younger kids not to be left alone together.  I apologized the next morning for freaking out that night, but she is not ready to let it go.  And even though I am very sorry that I lost control and referred to my niece that way, I still do feel suspicious. 
Anyone have any perspective to shed on all of this?
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#2 of 8 Old 06-24-2012, 07:43 PM
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Kids are curious about bodies and stuff - that's normal.   It all sounds innocent to me.  I really hope you can patch things up with your sister.

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#3 of 8 Old 06-24-2012, 11:34 PM
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It seems pretty normal to me, too.  I agree with keeping an eye on them and redirecting them to other forms of play, but as long as the adults don't lead the kids to think it's a big deal, they'll forget all about this in no time and it will blow over.  I hope you and your sister will make up with no hard feelings.

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#4 of 8 Old 06-25-2012, 11:19 AM
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deleted- accidental entry

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#5 of 8 Old 06-27-2012, 02:56 AM
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It is so uncomfortable to be aware of our kids early learning in this department!!!!

I hope you can make up with your sister!

"That's the way it is, if that's the way it seems to you."

"Cosi e se vi pare."

Luigi Pirandello

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#6 of 8 Old 06-27-2012, 11:16 AM
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It sounds really normal to me. I have four kids - 7, 5, 3 and 8 months. My 5 and 3 year old take tubs together and they are often laughing and trying to grab each others penises, etc. They are obsessed with their genitals - talking about them, looking at them. My 3 year old is also VERY aware of all the terms, due to his older brothers. Penis, vagina, even butthole (ugh, embarrassing to admit that one). When my oldest was 3 he said "tushy" and that's about it. So, yes, I think its very normal, especially when exposed to older kids, for little ones to "know more" about that stuff. But it is still sounds very innocent. Your niece is still SO young, so innocent herself. 


Just want to add - my 3 year old has a 4.5 year old girl pal on the block that he plays with regularly. I've found them naked, rubbing hand soap all over each other in the bathroom, writing on each others butts with markers, etc. They're usually giggling. It's not sexual, of course, just normal play.

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#7 of 8 Old 06-27-2012, 11:39 AM
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I don't blame your sister at all for her reaction to what you said. I wouldn't want to share child care with you anymore, either, if you had said such a thing about one of my children. I hope you can patch things up. I would apologize profusely to my sister if I were you and hope she can get past it. Even with that, though, I don't know that I'd trust you to watch my children anymore if you are going to pass those kinds of judgments on them.

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#8 of 8 Old 06-27-2012, 08:32 PM
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So, how willing would you be to "let it go" the next day after your sister called your son a molester/rapist for continuing to try to touch her daughter after her daughter said "no", just because she called the next day apologizing for "losing control" during the conversation?


What you said was outrageous.  I would not trust you to be a safe person around my children either--because that kind of loss of control and disgustingly inappropriate shaming response would throw up a huge red flag for me--about you and your judgement and safety.


Your niece is not capable of being a "nympho" at her age, any more than your son is a rapist.  You need to apologize about MORE than "losing control".  IMO. 

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