8 year old girl has boyfriends - Mothering Forums

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Old 12-20-2006, 05:35 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I am asking this question for a friend of mine who is a single dad. He has an 8 yr old DD in 3rd grade who has had several boyfriends, she kisses them (with tongue) on the mouth, dances slow dances with them, chats on the computer with them and phones with them. She was recently treated for vaginosis so he is worried there might be more than kissing going on. This has been going on for a while but he is very worried about it.

Basically he feels paralyzed because he has never discussed this stuff either with his DD or his ex. And while he doesn't want to tell his DD what to do, he feels that age 8 is too young for what she is doing (and what she might be doing). He wants to tell her to stop, but he doesn't feel like it is his right, plus, he feels like it'sprobably too late, anyway, to get her to change her behavior.

She is very smart, only just turned 8, is in an accelerated academic program in school, and doesn't have any emotional or psych problems that he knows of.

What is your advice?? I will relay it to him...
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Old 12-20-2006, 05:44 PM
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His right?!?! No, it's his RESPONSIBILITY to keep his child safe!
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Old 12-20-2006, 05:44 PM
 
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Oh, wow. It seems possible to me that this little girl has been sexually abused. She's sexually precocious and learned those activities somewhere, either because someone did them to her or she's been inappropriately exposed to these activities through television, movies, etc. Simply forcing her to stop, or trying to, isn't going to work. However, he does need to let her know that these things are not appropriate for a child her age. He can do that without making it sound like these things are "bad," because these things aren't bad in and of themselves-- a girl kissing a boy, talking on the phone, dancing-- they're just inappropriate. I think parents have far more impact on their children's decisions than we give ourselves credit for sometimes.

When does she have the opportunity to do these things? Why does she have access to a computer that allows her to chat unsupervised? Why does she have access to a phone to talk unsupervised? Why is she unsupervised long enough to be kissing a boy "with tongue?" It seems like there is a lot going on here.

ETA: How old are these boys? I don't know a single 8yo boy who would be interested in any of those things. Come to think of it, I don't know any 8yo girls who are, either.
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Old 12-20-2006, 05:50 PM
 
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Oh. Wow.

I wish I had advice. My dd is seven and thinks boys are "dumb" for the most part, still says, "Ew! Yuck!" if she sees anyone kissing IRL or on TV, etc.. I just cannot imagine.
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Old 12-20-2006, 05:54 PM
 
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EIGHT? Holy cow.

Is there a history of sexual abuse? It sounds like it. Most eight year old children are completely oblivious to the opposite sex. Where is the dad when she's kissing and possibly going further? I mean I realize that he's single - but it sound slike this child needs more supervision.
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Old 12-20-2006, 06:25 PM - Thread Starter
 
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She just turned 8 last month .

Apparently she always had "boyfriends" since kindergarten, but it is progressing to kissing, phoning, chatting, etc.

Both of his kids have totally unsupervised, full access to the internet. As far as I know, the kissing takes place at birthday parties, dinners, school, and dances.

As far as he knows she has not been sexually abused.

I also told him it is his responsibility to have her stop, somehow, and understand that she is hurting herself... but he is acting like the sitution is hopeless.

He thinks these boys are her age, but I agree with mothra, I don't know any 8 year old boys who would do this stuff either .
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Old 12-20-2006, 06:31 PM
 
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Unfortunately, chances are pretty good that he wouldn't know that she's been sexually abused. I'd be pretty surprised if she hasn't been. That behavior is just so far out of the spectrum of typical for a child that age. If my child started doing those things I'd get her into counseling pronto to find out what was going on. Also, he has to supervise her. That is far too much unsupervised time for an eight-year-old.

It must be hard for you to see your friend's child go through this.
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Old 12-20-2006, 08:07 PM
 
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She just turned 8 last month .

Apparently she always had "boyfriends" since kindergarten, but it is progressing to kissing, phoning, chatting, etc.

Both of his kids have totally unsupervised, full access to the internet. As far as I know, the kissing takes place at birthday parties, dinners, school, and dances.

As far as he knows she has not been sexually abused.

I also told him it is his responsibility to have her stop, somehow, and understand that she is hurting herself... but he is acting like the sitution is hopeless.

He thinks these boys are her age, but I agree with mothra, I don't know any 8 year old boys who would do this stuff either .


Here is another spin.

Maybe she hasnt been sexually abused, but one of her 'play boyfriends' which IS normal for school agers to have school boyfriends, mine started around 9, maybe 8, however it is possible that one of her boyfriends had been molested or had been exposed to sexual behaviors and wished to express them and she was a 'willing' so to speak participant. No one would know if it went to far except her, but she may not be the one who was originally molested.


Peer pressure can work wonders at this age, it is sad. If she is a pleaser and one of her 'school' boyfriends educated her on kissing, then she would be propogating it too.


I would find out how old these boys are, and there would be ZERO alone time with them. There is no reason anyways. 8 year olds should not be going to dances. Period. as for at school? what kind of school doesnt have supervision 90% of the time? the only time a kid is unsupervised is hidden nooks on a playground and all it takes is one call to the playground supervisor and ask them to keep an eye on your daughter and they will.



She may not have been the one instigating the behaviors, but once someone (even as young as she is) is exposed to them, you need to deal with the reality that they WERE exposed and you can't 'close' that can of worms easily.


Family counseling that isn't directed at the child would be my best advice. Counseling where the therapist knows the situation but doesn't focus on it, focusses more on the health of the family and the self esteem of the kids.


Good luck.

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Old 12-20-2006, 08:15 PM
 
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She just turned 8 last month .

Apparently she always had "boyfriends" since kindergarten, but it is progressing to kissing, phoning, chatting, etc.
This is a fairly easy fix initially to separate her from the activity while discussing the reasons. Remove all access to phone and computer....period.

Those are priveleges, not rights. They require the person to be responsible and use them correctly. She isn't.

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Originally Posted by meowee
Both of his kids have totally unsupervised, full access to the internet.
Again....bye-bye computers. Unsupervised full access internet is asking for problems. She is probably viewing all kinds of porn sites, which can definately teach you a thing or two.

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Originally Posted by meowee
As far as I know, the kissing takes place at birthday parties, dinners, school, and dances.
That is a pretty easy one too. No unsupervised parties or such. WTH are the parents during the parties that they can go off and kiss. Those activities are priveleges as well, not rights. If she can't be supervised, then she doesn't go. Why is she going to dinners and dances at that age? They don't even have those at my kid's school.

Dad needs to put his foot down immediately. He needs to talk to his ex immediately as well. Who has custody? If she does, then he needs assurance that his ex is implementing the same rules or I would take it a step further and ask for custody to be reviewed. If mom isn't going to protect this child, then he needs to.

Rebecca wife of Megan...moms to six crazy kiddos! Seth (15), Madison (13), Zachary (12), Trevor (12), Alex (10), and Nicholas (9)
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Old 12-20-2006, 08:21 PM
 
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What Houdini said.
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Old 12-20-2006, 08:30 PM
 
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Well, I think some of this sounds normal, and some doesn't...

When my dd1 was nine and in 4th grade, she had a "boyfriend". They didn't see each other outside of school, but they did talk on the phone. He is actually a very nice boy and I was fine with it. I don't think they kissed, but I was not in the info loop.

There were a number of boys and girls in her 4th grade class that "dated" and called each other on the phone. My dd and her female friends would email each other about the boys; it all seemed pretty innocent to me. I remember my classmates doing this in 5th grade back in the day, so a year earlier doesn't seem too far off. I actually was the first of my friends to have a "boyfriend" - from kindergarten. I just saw his mom, dad and brother the other day! It can be innocent.

I think the slow dancing and french kissing sounds a little (ok, a LOT for the french kissing part) much for 8 year olds. Also, unsupervised access to the internet is crazy IMO. I'd stop that immediately.

And yes, as her father he absolutely DOES have the right to tell her to stop! Who in the world is supposed to help keep her safe if not him and her mother???

I don't know if this is as bad as it seems it could be, but if I were the parent I'd be getting all up in the middle of it! Eight seems a little old for having UTI issues, but my dd had them at four or five when she'd be too busy to stop, holding it for too long. It could be an issue or it could be nothing. But the father absolutely has the right - and I agree with another poster, the responsibility - to figure out what is happening. More supervision, and less acess to the internet would be the first step I think.
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Old 12-20-2006, 08:43 PM
 
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wow. not typically normal behaviour for an 8 yr. old in the least. I have raised two daughters to adulthood and have an 8 yr. old now and I can assure you this behaviour needs to be discussed asap between the dad and his daughter. If he cannot,or feels inept to have this discussion then he needs to get outside help soon. Maybe she is getting way too much time alone,and not enough with dad.
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Old 12-20-2006, 09:25 PM - Thread Starter
 
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They live in Montreal, so maybe it is different there regarding dances and dinners (I have no idea)... he lets them unsupervised on the internet because he is too burnt out to monitor it.

He keeps waffling back and forth between thinking she is just "precocious" and thinking this is a serious and disturbing matter. I think this would be precocious behavior for a 12 yr old... in an 8 yr old it is disturbing. Also the vaginosis seems like a red flag,

Yoshua, I had the same thought, that maybe she herself was not sexually abused, but that she has been exposed to a child who was.
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Old 12-20-2006, 09:30 PM
 
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They live in Montreal, so maybe it is different there regarding dances and dinners (I have no idea)... he lets them unsupervised on the internet because he is too burnt out to monitor it.
Then he needs to eliminate the computer altogether. If he is too burnt out to monitor it, then it shouldn't be there at all.

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Originally Posted by meowee
He keeps waffling back and forth between thinking she is just "precocious" and thinking this is a serious and disturbing matter. I think this would be precocious behavior for a 12 yr old... in an 8 yr old it is disturbing. Also the vaginosis seems like a red flag,
Sorry, but it sounds like he just doesn't want to parent his child. He is in denial and/or making excuses for not parenting and protecting his daughter. No amount of advice is going to help until he wants to take responsibility for her well-being.

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Old 12-20-2006, 11:17 PM
 
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I think people are quick to find a reason why she might be acting like this. Not all children who act like this were sexually abused. Alot of the time, it is outside influence and the environment we are raised in. Unfortunately society glamorizes sex, being thin, being beautiful, etc. Nothing is forbidden, not even toys (has anyone seen those horrible Bratz dolls..?)

In this case, I think she does not have a solid structure and is being given too much freedom. Her online and phone time should definitely be curbed.

But most importantly, dad needs to stop feeling sorry for himself and talk to her about what is going on. He needs to be firm and set some rules down, ASAP. She is only 8, their is definitely time to help her. For him to give up so easily is ridiculous. Who knows? Maybe this is a cry for attention. Maybe she wants daddy to step in and tell her something.

But if he continues to act this way she will only get worse.
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Old 12-20-2006, 11:53 PM
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Mostly commenting to subscribe.

Her parents need to step up to the plate with the supervision. What organization hosts dances for eight-year-olds?
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Old 12-21-2006, 02:12 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Sorry, but it sounds like he just doesn't want to parent his child. He is in denial and/or making excuses for not parenting and protecting his daughter. No amount of advice is going to help until he wants to take responsibility for her well-being.
I agree-- he just cannot parent her fully.

I think this is a cry for attention, too. She told him about the kissing and even put it in her msn signature by her name .

I will urge him to get her off the computer... my heart is heavy for this girl.
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Old 12-21-2006, 02:38 AM
 
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Just going out on a limb here based on what I remember of 8 year old girls from when I was around them a lot...is it possible she is lying? Which would support what we all already know, that she wants and needs a lot more attention. But could she be exaggerating or lying?

I agree the computer time has got to go.
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Old 12-21-2006, 02:42 PM
 
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ITA that this looks to me like a case for parental intervention. I'm sure that the little girl will be annoyed, but the message she'll eventually get from it is that her dad cares about her and what she does, and wants to look out for her and make sure she's safe.

Can he bring up the vaginosis with her pediatrician? There's lots of reasons for vaginosis, some quite innocent (bubble baths, poor hygiene, and masturbation come to mind), but it is a red flag, and he could use it to open a discussion with the ped about developmentally appropriate behavior in eight year-olds.

He either has to supervise time on the internet or cut it. Since he doesn't have the ability to cut it completely (some of it is at her mom's house, right?) he should do at least some supervision. In particular, he should discuss issues about private information with her. She should never give out her real name, the name of the school she goes to, or any part of her address on the internet. In addition, putting details about her love life in her sig file is dangerous, and for safety reasons, she should not do it. I think your friend has to talk to his daughter's mom about this also - he can't be the only heavy if he's not the only parent, he needs the girl's mother to help out. It's possible that the mom is just as scorched as he is, and not doing any supervising either, and may be unaware of some of what's going on.
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Old 12-21-2006, 03:02 PM
 
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Most eight year old children are completely oblivious to the opposite sex.
NO WAY. DD is 9yo, was 8yo last year and that is when the kids really began becoming interested in learnign the facts of life, having boyfriends/girlfirends (most with no contact beyond hugging but a few said they did more). DD would tell me all about it and how most kids did not knwo te hreal facts, etc. She said she was too young for that stuff...WHEW! So normal to be curious and talking about it...

BUT...

Sounds like she is rarely supervised. Sounds like there are many "just leave me alone" issues by the Dad. I dunno, he needs to set rules, limits, and SPEND MORE TIME with her-asap.
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Old 12-21-2006, 05:03 PM
 
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NO WAY. DD is 9yo, was 8yo last year and that is when the kids really began becoming interested in learnign the facts of life, having boyfriends/girlfirends (most with no contact beyond hugging but a few said they did more). DD would tell me all about it and how most kids did not knwo te hreal facts, etc. She said she was too young for that stuff...WHEW! So normal to be curious and talking about it...
MOST kids that age are not interested in boys/girls/crushes in that way at that age, that doesn't mean that none are. Most kids that age are just starting to notice that they have these feelings, and while having crushes is normal it is abnormal for them to act on them in this way. I've honestly never heard of kids this young doing these things before this thread outside the context of working with kids who had been sexually abused. It's very rare, and even though this does not mean that she's been sexually abused it is a signal that shouldn't be ignored. It HAS to be ruled out when you see behavior like this. It's often the first sign of sexual abuse and too many parents want to ignore it or chalk it up to a child just being "mature." (And if she is being exposed to this stuff by a child who has been abused, then that child is abusing her. Either way, it's sexual abuse and she needs intervention.) Last year my then 8yo had a "girlfriend," but that was just because this little girl told him that he was her boyfriend. All that meant was that he had to sit with her at lunch. That's the extent of this stuff in my neighborhood, and was when I was in the third/fourth grade. (I fell madly in love with a boy in my 4th grade class, but I don't think actually kissing him crossed my mind until I was in the sixth grade.)

I guess I don't see why this father is asking for help if he isn't willing to do anything about it. No 8yo should be chatting online. Period. She should not get email that isn't read by one of her parents. It's just too dangerous to set kids free on the Internet. My 9yo is only allowed to use the Internet in the dining room, uses AOL on the highest safety setting, and is only allowed to chat and receive mail from the people in his address book (set by us and no chatting with friends, only family). We read all of his email that isn't from a family member. He knows we do this, it isn't spying. She shouldn't be anywhere without enough supervision to keep this from happening. She's still a child, a very YOUNG child. This whole thing just breaks my heart.
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Old 12-21-2006, 05:18 PM
 
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Let me clarify:

The little girl in question is NOT the norm. There are many red flags and reason for concern.

What I was saying it is normal for 8yo to talk about and be interested in the facts of life and relationships. MOST will never do mroe than talk. A few will be adventurous. Some may have been abused, some may not.

An 8yo online and the phone all the time? That is odd IMHO. My 9yo DD does not go beyond kids games online and from what she says, her friends sure are not chatting online. Having a phone is cooler than talking on the phone at this point. She definately sounds to be running with older kids and at 8yo, your parent(s) has say in what you are doing.
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Old 12-21-2006, 06:10 PM
 
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IMHO, in the very least Dad should be putting parental controls on the net, checking her IM history (most kids don't know how to erase IM, teens do, but 8?? I dunno, I'd check it out), take dd for a low key evaluation by a child psychologist just to make sure there was no abuse (even from another child who didn't really *know better*), and set up more appropriate boundries for his YOUNG DD....part of being a parent is sacrifice, that means you don't often get to say, Just do what you want, or Leave me alone....maybe OP can remind dad of that. Even parents forget, right?
I'm sure someone can recommend a good book or two for this dad....I am keeping this family in my thoughts and prayers that they have a positive outcome....8 is just too young to be 'sexual' physically, again, IMHO...


ps...unsupervised net access is how children can become suseptable to child predetors....I just thought of that too...scary

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Old 12-22-2006, 12:37 AM
 
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Well, I think some of this sounds normal, and some doesn't...

When my dd1 was nine and in 4th grade, she had a "boyfriend". They didn't see each other outside of school, but they did talk on the phone. He is actually a very nice boy and I was fine with it. I don't think they kissed, but I was not in the info loop.

There were a number of boys and girls in her 4th grade class that "dated" and called each other on the phone. My dd and her female friends would email each other about the boys; it all seemed pretty innocent to me. I remember my classmates doing this in 5th grade back in the day, so a year earlier doesn't seem too far off. I actually was the first of my friends to have a "boyfriend" - from kindergarten. I just saw his mom, dad and brother the other day! It can be innocent.

I think the slow dancing and french kissing sounds a little (ok, a LOT for the french kissing part) much for 8 year olds. Also, unsupervised access to the internet is crazy IMO. I'd stop that immediately.

And yes, as her father he absolutely DOES have the right to tell her to stop! Who in the world is supposed to help keep her safe if not him and her mother???

I don't know if this is as bad as it seems it could be, but if I were the parent I'd be getting all up in the middle of it! Eight seems a little old for having UTI issues, but my dd had them at four or five when she'd be too busy to stop, holding it for too long. It could be an issue or it could be nothing. But the father absolutely has the right - and I agree with another poster, the responsibility - to figure out what is happening. More supervision, and less acess to the internet would be the first step I think.
Just turned 8-- I was thinking more like second grade. OP?

I have met a child like this before. She wasn't abused to my knowledge, but she had done beauty pagents, etc and I think she was used to acting sexually and being cute and getting attention for that behavior. I would advise eliminating the situations in which the behavior could occur (computer, phone, parties, etc.). If there is still an issue, the root of the problem may need professional help. I just don't think we know enough here. I'm just wondering about her relationship with men/dad/mom's boyfriends and her need to act "womanly."
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Old 12-22-2006, 01:06 AM
 
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Arent they spossed to thinking of koodies, on a more serious point shes only eight and he and his X need to tell her bye bye computer, supervised phone calls and supervised were ever she go's with either of them and tell her bout' the facts of life that enough might get her a little less with the kissing.

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Old 12-22-2006, 04:11 PM
 
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He wants to tell her to stop, but he doesn't feel like it is his right, plus, he feels like it'sprobably too late, anyway, to get her to change her behavior.
WTF?!! Ofcourse it's his RIGHT to be involved in his 8 year old CHILD'S life. She shouldn't even have a love life at her age. Why is she being given so much free access to the internet anyway at that age? You better believe I'd have a problem with that if it were any of my kids. I have two DS ages 8 and 11 and a 4 yr old DD. They are my responsibility until they are adults, period.

You say this little girl (child rather) is very smart. Well being smart (academics) has nothing to do with kissing boys and having sex. These are two totally different things. i don't care how smart she is but if she gets in bed with a boy at 12 she could get pregnant and that's her life right there. If she is already in relationships with boys and french kissing at age 8 just think what she will be doing at age 10. All the brains in the world don't matter when you make decisions on who to be intimate with. Plus, if she ends up pregnant at 13 then her smarts won't help her any with that either.

Is she having problems at home with not enough attention from her parents? I had sex at age 14 and before that I was spending the nights at friends houses and sneaking out all hours of the night beginning at age 12. I realize that's a bit older than your daughter, but in the 80's that was pretty bad for a 12 yr old. I'm lucky I didn't end up pregnant or worse off. Why did I do the things I did? I did it because I had no parents around most of the time. They were divorced, worked most of the time and my friends basically raised me. I did what the kids around me did, especially the older kids in the neighborhood that influenced me.

This little girl sounds like she needs some more attention. She needs to be involved in activities that will stimulate her like sports or academic-related hobbies. She's only 8 years old!!! She needs to be taught to put herself first and not rely on boys already at such an early age. She needs more self-respect and self-confidence.

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Old 12-22-2006, 04:21 PM
 
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If he doesn't feel comfortable having this conversation with his daughter, can he ask another adult his daughter likes and respects to possibly have a talk with her? Some kids find it more easy to talk with someone else than a direct parent.
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Old 12-22-2006, 04:28 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I wish I had a happy update for you... he is actually driving her to another dance tonight. He says her mother is allowing her to go, so he won't protest.

He says he can't think of a really good reason to tell her to stop. He says he needs concrete reasons, not just "because" reasons. I gave him this list:

*she will open herself to emotional heartache
*she will hurt the boys' feelings
*it is physically dangerous to have sex at a very young age (increased risk of vaginosis, UTIs, and cervical dysplasia)
*diseases like mononucleosis and viral infections can be gotten from kissing
*if she ends up with the wrong boy, he could push her too far and she could feel or actually be violated
*if she makes a boy angry, he could resort to violence
*unless she is one of those rare alpha females who can get away with it, she will be labeled a slut
*just by acting sexual with kids her age, she is "inviting" older boys... you think the 10-14 year olds aren't noticing?
*she might regret the decision when she is older; she doesn't have the capacity to make good decisions about emotional and physical intimacy right now
*she also might regret it, when she is older and falls deeply in love, that she did not "reserve" herself for that man
*if she starts having sex soon, she is risking STDs and pregnancy (I got my periods when I was 12)

++++++

Can you ladies think of any others?

She is in 3rd grade, she skipped a grade.
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Old 12-22-2006, 04:30 PM
 
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Originally Posted by meowee View Post
I wish I had a happy update for you... he is actually driving her to another dance tonight. He says her mother is allowing her to go, so he won't protest.

He says he can't think of a really good reason to tell her to stop. He says he needs concrete reasons, not just "because" reasons. I gave him this list:

*she will open herself to emotional heartache
*she will hurt the boys' feelings
*it is physically dangerous to have sex at a very young age (increased risk of vaginosis, UTIs, and cervical dysplasia)
*diseases like mononucleosis and viral infections can be gotten from kissing
*if she ends up with the wrong boy, he could push her too far and she could feel or actually be violated
*if she makes a boy angry, he could resort to violence
*unless she is one of those rare alpha females who can get away with it, she will be labeled a slut
*just by acting sexual with kids her age, she is "inviting" older boys... you think the 10-14 year olds aren't noticing?
*she might regret the decision when she is older; she doesn't have the capacity to make good decisions about emotional and physical intimacy right now
*she also might regret it, when she is older and falls deeply in love, that she did not "reserve" herself for that man
*if she starts having sex soon, she is risking STDs and pregnancy (I got my periods when I was 12)

++++++

Can you ladies think of any others?

She is in 3rd grade, she skipped a grade.
Sorry..nothing postive.....the guy needs to grow a backbone and be a parent.

Where the *censored* is he at that allows eight year olds in dances?? There are no places here that allow that, even the schools.

Rebecca wife of Megan...moms to six crazy kiddos! Seth (15), Madison (13), Zachary (12), Trevor (12), Alex (10), and Nicholas (9)
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Old 12-22-2006, 04:38 PM
 
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Originally Posted by meowee View Post
I wish I had a happy update for you... he is actually driving her to another dance tonight. He says her mother is allowing her to go, so he won't protest.
.
What organization gives dances for 8 year olds???? She is supposed to be in second grade and she's going to dances?? I can't imagine. My middle school gives HIGHLY supervised dances to 7-8th grades. The elementary schools do not. He is allowing this to happen. What ever happens to her is his fault at this point. My sister got pregnant at 14. This is truly bizarre to me.
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