I'll set the stage and get some thoughts:
Almost 3 year old girl playing with newly 5 year old boy, sweet neighbor friends who grew up around each other. Mom in the room eating lunch while clothed kids play in room and in a popup tent with attached tunnel. Kids get quiet, you peek in tent and ask what they are playing. They are playing puppies (common pretend play for these kids) and little girl is in puppy stance (on all fours). Sit back down again and listen to kids play. Boy goes to the bathroom, leaves door open, keep girl out of bathroom. They head back into tent. Minutes later girl goes the bathroom, girl keeps door open, keep boy out of bathroom. Boy waits for girl. Girl comes out of bathroom (didn't flush toilet), help girl get re-dressed. Boy goes into bathroom, a minute goes by, boy flushes toilet. Kids go back to playing in room and tunnel and tent. Play in tent gets quiet followed by kissing sounds. Mom heads over to tent, hears girl say she doesn't want to get undressed. Mom sees girl and boy facing each other, girls shirt is pulled down to her waist, stuffed puppy tucked under girls shirt by her waist. Ask what kids are playing, boy doesn't answer, "looks guilty", girl responds "babies". Get kids out of tent, send boy outside, ask girl what happened, says boy kissed her "here" pulls down shirt and points to nipple and "and here on my nipple", points to other nipple. Go outisde. Ask boy what they were doing in tent. Boy doesn't respond. Ask again. Boy says he won't do it again. Ask again. Boy says "I kissed her on accident". Tell boy not to ever touch or kiss girl again. Tell boy he needs to go home. Girl cries because boy has to go home. Walk boy him. Boy says 5 times "I won't do it again". Boy runs ahead home. Get to boys home and ring bell. Boy is hiding, boys mom (mom's are friends) asks what happened, says she will ask boy. Wait outside. Boys mom comes back out, boy didn't give coherent answer, just babbled. TBoy and mom talk more inside. Boys mom returns outside and says boy said he "kissed girls bottom". Tell boys mom above info.
I am looking for general thoughts about this scenario, tell me what you think please.
I would bring it up with the mom and have her talk with her son. It wouldn't be ok with me for him to be kissing my dd on the nipples. I'd also have a short, lighthearted, age appropriate talk with my dd about kissing, private parts, and keeping our clothes on.
ETA: I didn't think about the nursing thing. That could be where he has seen that.
He's five. I think some very clear explaining about appropriate touch, including explanations that you always stop touching/kissing anyone anywhere as soon as they ask would've been appropriate. I would've said something like, "It's okay to kiss your friends on the hand or on the cheek, but you should check with them first to be sure they want a kiss (or a hug or whatever)."
Repeatedly asking a child something that they are denying is shaming and embarrassing. I would've said, "Boy name, girl name said you kissed her nipples. (noting I'm not asking. I'm just stating what I've been told) That makes us both uncomfortable. You may not do that again."
And that would've been followed by either continued but directly supervised play or by announcing matter of factly that the play date was over, followed by a walk home and then giving the mom a phone call letting her know what happened.
I'm guessing this was your daughter (and I could be wrong; maybe you are the mother of the boy or maybe this happened to others entirely). Either way, the mother of the girl was clearly and understandably feeling protective, but I think the reaction was extreme and probably made both children feel as if they had done something very wrong and very shameful, which I don't think either of them did.
I would have assumed they were playing nursing (dd has been weaned for a year and a half but still pretends to nurse from her dad and I to be silly).
I think stepping in to say "Girl's name doesn't want to play like that. Please come up with something else to do" would have sufficed.
Chasing the boy back home and going back and forth with his mom certainly embarrassed and shamed him unnecessarily.
Rylie is 7, Ronin is 3.5
I would not let them play in the tent again for a while. They'd need to be out where I could see them at all times.
And I'd tell DD that she needs to make sure that her places are hers and that no one else touches them right now. Nipples are a huge deal, but they are hers, not the little boys. We'd have a talk about saying "NO!" when someone is asking us to do things we don't want to or don't feel comfortable with.
We are an AP family living in a rural suburb in the bible belt. We are the only family I know of in our neighborhood who nurses. This boy was not breastfed, and I have not breastfed in front of him. DD self weaned a month or so ago, after a long period of only nursing at night. As far as I know this boy doesn't even know what a nipple is. His family has personal and religious convictions that prevent them from using actual terminology for body parts.
We have had no issues with this boy and he plays with our 6 year old and his two older brothers (10 and 11). I had no reason to suspect anything innapropriate was going on. This is probably the 2nd time he and our 2 year old have played together w/o either ones siblings who were all at school today. His mom and dad both work and he stays home with grandma and sometimes gma and gpa.
Some of the things I said that I simplified purposely to save reading time and emotion:
When I went over to the tent to see what they were doing: "What are you two playing?" In a curious, lighthearted tone. Not accusatory.
sent him outside: "Ok, we're done playing with the tent. I will put it away and we will go outside and play on the swingset" (Boy runs outside on his own giving me a minute to ask DD in private on our way out about what happened - at this point I also said to boy to give me more time with DD "Hey (boys name) why don't you show me how high you can swing on your own w/o anyone pushing")
asked the boy what happened: "Hey (boys name) what were you and DD playing in the tent" At this point I was intentionally not trying to be accusatory or degrading because I wanted his personal view. I did not want to put any ideas into his head and wanted to give him the chance to tell me on his own. I felt I was being pretty fair here. I did not get in his face or raise my voice (that is not something I am inclined to do). I remained calm and removed from him (on the deck where he was on the playground on the side of the yard) to not intimidate.
Tell boy not to ever touch or kiss girl again: "(boys name) it's not ok to kiss DD there or to touch her body"
Tell boy he needs to go home "Ok kids, playdates over, (boys names) mom is probably done with her phone calls (she was working from home today) and we have to go get DD's sister from school" Boy runs home, as he does all the time.
It went on like that. When we went to the moms house I stayed outside with DD to give them the space to talk about it on their own, to give them the space. When they had their time I went in with DD and had a cup of coffee with mom and we mused about it and doctors play in kids. I won't go in with the direct quotes and hope you can infer from above how I reacted. I feel I handled it eloquently, and I offered boys mom a hug.
I didn't want to make a big deal out of it all, especially in front of DD who is too young to understand or infer negativity in the whole thing.
So, is this normal doctors play or something more to be concerned about?
Thanks for your replies mamas.
[ETA] At this point I am not worried for our DD about this incident. I am though wondering if we should be concerned for the 5 year old boy, if this is a possible warning flag of something happening to him by someone outside his immediate family. And no, this was not a consenual act. DD is still two, and the boy is 5. There was no reciprocation on DD's part and she has never before asked anyone to nurse on her nipple (though our eldest who nursed till age 4 loved to pretend play nursing). She seemed to be doing 'what she was told' in order to play the 'game'. At this point we are still processing how this will impact their interactions. That said, I do feel I handled it fairly, but I feel there is a difference between kissing on the lips, and on the nipples (and belly button which I left out earlier). The boy and our eldest (age 6, she was 5 he was 4 ay the time) informed us last year that they had kissed, we all laughed about and made a no kissing rule.
I do feel this scenario is different, the boy has played alone with our eldest DD and I am confident he has not done this type of thing to her (though we haven't discussed with her, still trying to figure out if we should because of our close relationship with the boy and his whole family). The age discrepancy and the fact that we are talking lip to nipple kissing and not lip to lip or touching which I think I may view differently cause me to think twice about this incident.
Hope I've cleared up any possible confusion.
Mommy to my amazing 6 yr old dd, we , and 27 weeks and have been sick the whole time so far, grrrrr!!!!!!!
Blogging at http://chronicladybug.blogspot.com
I would be cautious but I don't think that this incident, in and of it itself, is necessarily cause for alarm. The fact that the boy said he kissed your daughter 'on the bottom' is kind of weird, but if, as you say, the family doesn't talk about the names of 'private parts' very well, he may have only been taught that private parts are the parts under your bathing suit, and not really understand ??? Reaching a bit here, I know, but maybe? Also, maybe he said something like 'somewhere private' and the mom assumed 'on the bottom' ??
My first thought reading that they said they were playing "babies" was of a sexual nature. But on second thought I definitely think nursing. Funny how even on MDC our first idea of mouth on nipple is not of breastfeeding. (is there a smiley for shaking my head at myself?)
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what bothers me is he seeme to know it was not appropriate. I think you handled it fine. when stuff like this happens I just remind them that we don't play that way and clothes always stay on. For kids who know it is inappropriate but do it anyway we address that (knowing the rules and breaking them). But we don't realy make a big deal out of it. if however inappropriate behavior becomes a pattern we end playdates all together with that kids. also during playdates kids are kept close by so these sorts of things can be addressed quickly before they turn into something mome.
The truest answer to violence is love. The truest answer to death is life. The only prevention for violence is for the heart to have no violence within it. We cannot prevent evil through any system devised by mankind. But we can grapple with evil and defeat it, but only with love—real love.
My first thought reading that they said they were playing "babies" was of a sexual nature. But on second thought I definitely think nursing. Funny how even on MDC our first idea of mouth on nipple is not of breastfeeding. (is there a smiley for shaking my head at myself?)[/QUOTE
I didn't think of a possible pretend nursing link either until reading it in the responses, and I nursed two kids for a total of over 6 consecutive years nursing. Like I said, the 5 year old was not nursed. It was both of the kids who on their own choose the word kiss, and our 2 year old (an early talker) is fully aware of the differences between nursing and kissing and the uses both words appropriatly. I hadn't considered this but it is a possibility, just not my first inclination.
The girl needs to know that her friends won't be taken away just because she has denied them or said something. The boy needs to have re-inforced that games that involve other's privacy and particularly games that the other person does NOT want to do are not to be pushed.
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