My son told me that the neighbor kid likes to play the "private game" - Mothering Forums

Forum Jump: 
 
Thread Tools
#1 of 14 Old 09-22-2011, 01:05 PM - Thread Starter
 
Lazurii's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Near Portland, Oregon
Posts: 810
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

BuggaBoo was lying in his bed with Doozer today while I was painting his room.  They were smacking each other and being a general nuisance.  After a bit I asked BuggaBoo to stop what he was doing because Doozer didn't like it.  He told me, "Mommy, I was just playing the private game with her."

 

I kept my cool and asked him what the "private game" was.  He told me that C (neighbor kid, 4.5 years old) plays it with him.  He said that C asks him to pretend to pee and poop.  He said he always tells C, "No!"  That seems to basically be it.

 

C is a big bully to BuggaBoo and I've been intervening and protecting BuggaBoo's boundaries.  He hits, has sat on BuggaBoo's face, has tried pushing him off the top of our play structure, and threatens not to play with him if BuggaBoo doesn't go along with what C wants to do.  Every time something dangerous happens he goes home.  A few times C has started a game of "I'll show you mine..." and both me and C's parents put a stop to that.  But he still tries to do it, even hiding the "game" in order to keep doing it.  BuggaBoo doesn't see much wrong with this because he's still very much in his naked phase.  About 6 months ago I've introduced the "underwear around non-family members" rule since it was time and he was ready for it.  But since nudity isn't a big deal for BuggaBoo it's hard to convey why he shouldn't play those types of "games" with C.

 

C's parents seem to know there's an issue, and I've brought it up with them, but they don't make their punishments stick.  I really don't like how they deal with it.  I've been debating long and hard about keeping this relationship going.  BuggaBoo just adores playing with C and he does a good job for standing up for himself.

 

Anyways, back to the "private game".  I know little kids get into potty humor, so the peeing and pooping aspect doesn't bother me so much.  What really bugs me is the hiding of the game and the fact that it includes genitals.  Also, even though BuggaBoo is learning to stand up for himself he's still easily manipulated and C is very manipulative.  It makes me very uncomfortable to have them playing together after this.

 

So I'm looking for advice.  I need to talk to my neighbors about their son's participation in the "private game" but I don't know how to go about it.  Is this something you would cut all contact about, or would you let them play on a limited closely supervised basis?


SAHM to DS BuggaBoo blahblah.gif  12/07, and DD Doozer energy.gif03/10.  Sharing life with The Hubby since 01/05.

Lazurii is offline  
#2 of 14 Old 09-22-2011, 02:05 PM
 
Viola's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: Nevada
Posts: 23,393
Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4 Post(s)

This kind of reminds me of games we played as children, back when they called it playing doctor.  And sometimes we really were just playing doctor, but often it involved some sort of nudity.  We knew we were supposed to avoid nudity in general, so I think that made it all the more exciting.  Maybe avoiding some play for awhile would be a good idea, but I think you can continue with playdates if your son is doing OK with C and doesn't mind having to stick up for himself.  I feel like most kids don't want to be in those uncomfortable situations and may tell you they want a break from certain kids.

Viola is offline  
#3 of 14 Old 09-22-2011, 06:43 PM - Thread Starter
 
Lazurii's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Near Portland, Oregon
Posts: 810
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

Thanks for the feedback, Viola.  I talked to C's mom this afternoon and told her about my concerns with the "private game", his manipulating, and his general bully-ness.  His mom agrees with me that he tends to be a bully and they're working on it.  She's totally okay with me calling him on it and disciplining him for it.  As for the "private game" she thinks it's from when he was in daycare and the other kids started it.  She also thinks that he's fascinated with BuggaBoo's penis because BuggaBoo is intact and C is not.

 

So, overall, it was a positive visit and I'm feeling a lot better about it.  BuggaBoo did a great job standing up for his morals and I'm really proud of him.


SAHM to DS BuggaBoo blahblah.gif  12/07, and DD Doozer energy.gif03/10.  Sharing life with The Hubby since 01/05.

Lazurii is offline  
#4 of 14 Old 09-24-2011, 11:16 PM - Thread Starter
 
Lazurii's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Near Portland, Oregon
Posts: 810
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

Welp, we had another incident concerning the "private game".  This time BuggaBoo didn't have his pants on and C asked him to sit on his face and body and then lay on him.

 

The sitting on the face thing is raising a huge red flag for me.  It makes me feel like C may have been molested.  The plan is for The Hubby and I to go over tomorrow and tell C's mom that BuggaBoo cannot play there.  C is welcome to come to our home, but we just can't place BuggaBoo in that situation.

 

Thoughts?


SAHM to DS BuggaBoo blahblah.gif  12/07, and DD Doozer energy.gif03/10.  Sharing life with The Hubby since 01/05.

Lazurii is offline  
#5 of 14 Old 09-25-2011, 12:10 AM
 
babygirlie's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 876
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

I would cut off all contact. Sorry. A lifetime of mental issues isn't worth a play date in my opinion. Why does a 4 year old KNOW to keep things secret and private? Even if he's learnign this at daycare.. they need to be contacted and whatever kid is getting molested at home needs help and the rest of the kid's parents should be contacted and told this is going on so it's not a domino affect. The kid tries to kill him by throwing him off play structures? yeah no way. Not even supervised. He just sexually molested your kid.. your kid will remember that for a lifetime consiously or sub conciously and will wonder hwy you didn't put a stop to it.

jlsmama likes this.
babygirlie is offline  
#6 of 14 Old 09-25-2011, 12:26 AM
 
philomom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Pacific Northwest
Posts: 9,439
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3 Post(s)
Honestly, this wigged me out. I'd probably not have this little fellow over for a long time.
jlsmama likes this.
philomom is offline  
#7 of 14 Old 09-25-2011, 12:27 AM
 
jlsmama's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 37
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

I say trust your instincts!

 

The sitting thing...major red flag. Other yellow/red flags for me are the bullying behaviors and hiding the game. Those *can* be characteristic of kids who have experienced abuse. I'm not saying C has been abused...I'm just saying that I would have serious concerns about that too. Bullying behavior is a sign of unresolved anger at best, abuse at worst (especially when it involves pressure to do things that violate boundaries). 

Regardless of whether or not sexual abuse is part of the equation, I would severely limit the time my child spent with a child who was exhibiting these behaviors. I would want my son to know that friends do not treat you that way, ever. And those behaviors are unsafe and unacceptable. (Not the curious play...I mean the dangerous, bullying behaviors and those that disrespect the boundaries of others.)

 

Also, have you talked with your son about how he feels when C does these things to him (bullying, pressuring to play the game, etc.)? How do your son and C currently repair their friendship when C does these things, or does it get swept under the carpet, so to speak? Have you invited/would you be open to inviting C's mom to help her son, while you help yours, communicate directly about this issue between them? It will model for the boys how to communicate boundaries and repair breaks in relationships, and seeing C's mom interact with C about it may give you further insight. Even though you say your son seems to manage the pressure from C alright, it still sounds like something that would be too intense for a 4 y/o to have to handle alone.

 

Based on the info you've shared, if I were in your shoes, I would severely limit the time my child spent with C and only allow it, if at all, under my direct and constant supervision. I would also talk with my son about any and all behaviors I found concerning or inappropriate. If my son began behaving in similar ways, I'd pull the plug on the play dates. It might be awkward or disappointing, but it's our job to protect them. Bottom line.

 

 

 

jlsmama is offline  
#8 of 14 Old 09-25-2011, 12:46 AM - Thread Starter
 
Lazurii's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Near Portland, Oregon
Posts: 810
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)


Quote:
Originally Posted by babygirlie View Post

He just sexually molested your kid.. your kid will remember that for a lifetime consiously or sub conciously and will wonder hwy you didn't put a stop to it.


I realized that's what happened.  I'm trying to fix it, I'm obviously not ignoring it.  I don't need you heaping more guilt on me.

 



Quote:
Originally Posted by jlsmama View Post

I say trust your instincts!

 

The sitting thing...major red flag. Other yellow/red flags for me are the bullying behaviors and hiding the game. Those *can* be characteristic of kids who have experienced abuse. I'm not saying C has been abused...I'm just saying that I would have serious concerns about that too. Bullying behavior is a sign of unresolved anger at best, abuse at worst (especially when it involves pressure to do things that violate boundaries). 

Regardless of whether or not sexual abuse is part of the equation, I would severely limit the time my child spent with a child who was exhibiting these behaviors. I would want my son to know that friends do not treat you that way, ever. And those behaviors are unsafe and unacceptable. (Not the curious play...I mean the dangerous, bullying behaviors and those that disrespect the boundaries of others.)

 

Also, have you talked with your son about how he feels when C does these things to him (bullying, pressuring to play the game, etc.)? How do your son and C currently repair their friendship when C does these things, or does it get swept under the carpet, so to speak? Have you invited/would you be open to inviting C's mom to help her son, while you help yours, communicate directly about this issue between them? It will model for the boys how to communicate boundaries and repair breaks in relationships, and seeing C's mom interact with C about it may give you further insight. Even though you say your son seems to manage the pressure from C alright, it still sounds like something that would be too intense for a 4 y/o to have to handle alone.

 

Based on the info you've shared, if I were in your shoes, I would severely limit the time my child spent with C and only allow it, if at all, under my direct and constant supervision. I would also talk with my son about any and all behaviors I found concerning or inappropriate. If my son began behaving in similar ways, I'd pull the plug on the play dates. It might be awkward or disappointing, but it's our job to protect them. Bottom line.

 

 

 


I've asked BuggaBoo how he feels, and he says he feels sad when he's bullied.  When the bullying happens at my home it's dealt with swiftly and I tell C that it's not allowed at all.  Because it happens so often he usually only gets one warning before I send him home.  At C's home, however, there's a lot of lecturing and not a lot of action.  I hate it.

 

BuggaBoo seems neutral about the "private game", but like I previously stated nudity isn't a big deal in our house so I don't think BuggaBoo really gets the depth of this.  I'm sure his logic is, geez, I love my friends as much as my family, so why is nudity bad around my friends?

 

Sadly enough when C's mom talked to the boys tonight (I was present) she told C that he can't play the "private game" anymore, and if he does BuggaBoo will tell us and he'll get in trouble!  I about died.  As soon as I got home I took BuggaBoo in my lap and I told him I wasn't angry at him about the "private game" and he can always tell me because I won't be angry or get him in trouble.  He gets it.

 

When I said C was welcome at my home I meant under VERY close supervision.  And, heck, that might not even happen.  I was able to call The Hubby at work tonight and let him know what was going on, but it was a 10 minute discussion and then he needed to get back to work.  We haven't even really talked about it.  The Hubby sees the flags as well and is very disturbed by the whole thing.  We are not treating this lightly, but I'm also concerned about C thinking he is bad because if we cut off all contact he might get that idea.  YES, my son is more important than that, but I think it would be heartless to not take it into consideration.  I AM NOT GOING TO COMPROMISE BUGGABOO FOR C'S SAKE.

 

We're talking to C's parents tomorrow, I don't care how they feel about it.  We're letting them know that we fear that C has been molested.  Ugh, I'm feeling so hurt and stressed and freaked out about this whole thing I don't know how I'm going to sleep tonight.  BuggaBoo is in our bed because I just want him near.

 


SAHM to DS BuggaBoo blahblah.gif  12/07, and DD Doozer energy.gif03/10.  Sharing life with The Hubby since 01/05.

Lazurii is offline  
#9 of 14 Old 09-25-2011, 08:41 AM
 
jlsmama's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 37
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

hug2.gif hugs to you!

 

it sounds to me like you are doing a good job of protecting and helping your son regarding this situation. you're tuned in and you're mindfully taking action.

 

also, from my perspective, asking your son to sit on his face/lay on him is, relatively speaking (if you can do so with such things), a less severe form of abuse. unless it actually happened, physically. different children will experience this with different levels of disturbance/trauma. so your son may or may not be "scarred" by this experience in and of itself, or the degree of psychological damage it has done may or may not be minimal. those who treat trauma will tell you that kids can sometimes become more traumatized by the way the adults in the situation react than the events themselves. but it all depends on those involved and the actual events that transpired. my point is that making a blanket statement like "he just sexually molested your kid" may not be helpful because it minimizes these nuances.  if you sense your son has unresolved feelings about this situation and you're not sure how else to help him, take him to a therapist for a few sessions. or it may be that right now he is ok with it but down the road it may pop up a time or 2 or  3, requiring another level of "working through," either with you or with the help of a professional. or it may be that what you've done and will now do will take care of it.

 

don't hesitate. trust your gut, make sure you and DH are on the same page, and follow your instincts.

 

i also understand your desire to help C, but the reality of the situation is that you may not be able to without compromising your need to protect your son.

 

hang in there. you will get through this.

jlsmama is offline  
#10 of 14 Old 09-25-2011, 10:53 AM - Thread Starter
 
Lazurii's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Near Portland, Oregon
Posts: 810
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)


Quote:
Originally Posted by jlsmama View Post

hug2.gif hugs to you!

 

it sounds to me like you are doing a good job of protecting and helping your son regarding this situation. you're tuned in and you're mindfully taking action.

 

also, from my perspective, asking your son to sit on his face/lay on him is, relatively speaking (if you can do so with such things), a less severe form of abuse. unless it actually happened, physically. 


No, the sitting actually happened to the best of my knowledge.  I also think that BuggaBoo laid on C.

 

Gar, I'm still freaking out.  WHY!?!?!?!?!?!?!

 


SAHM to DS BuggaBoo blahblah.gif  12/07, and DD Doozer energy.gif03/10.  Sharing life with The Hubby since 01/05.

Lazurii is offline  
#11 of 14 Old 09-25-2011, 01:25 PM
 
jeteaa's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Out there
Posts: 908
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

I have a VERY similar issue going on w/ dd2 and neighbor girl (posted in parenting section). After talking w/ her parents, they seem very concerned as to WHY she is acting like this. Thinking optimistically, assuming she is not being molested and not exposed to non age appropriate media etc. Then she is coming up with this stuff all by her 6yr old self. So either she is just in some range of normal behavior or she needs to see a therapist.... BUT what I do think about is; what if this is normal behavior and MY kids what acting it out. How would I feel if a friends parents were thinking the worst of me and dh or thinking my kid is some future sexual abuser. I would advise not to jump to conclusions. Let the Friend play over at your home with direct supervision. And let him know what kind of behavior is NOT OK in your home. Maybe coming from someone other than his parents the rule will stick.

jeteaa is offline  
#12 of 14 Old 09-25-2011, 09:21 PM
 
jlsmama's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 37
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

you might be best off just getting the opinion of a professional. www.psychologytoday.com has an excellent database of professionals in your area and you can search by specialty. it's worth whatever investment it might require, in my opinion, and many professionals offer sliding scales and/or payment plans if you need it.

 

if C learned it from another boy at daycare, the daycare and the boy's parents should be brought into this (though that might be the responsibility of C's mother, idk).

 

remember that if you do conclude that your son has experienced some form or degree of abuse, it does not mean that he will inevitably be scarred by it. it is a complex and personal situation...get the support you need to understand exactly what these experiences mean for you, your son, and your family.

 

and again, trust your mothering instincts. we have them for a reason, and they are seldom, if ever, wrong (in my opinion).

 

 

jlsmama is offline  
#13 of 14 Old 09-28-2011, 11:57 PM - Thread Starter
 
Lazurii's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Near Portland, Oregon
Posts: 810
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

I tried having C over to play today and within the first 5 minutes he was trying to play the "game" again.  I'm sure it didn't help that his mom reminded him to "Not play the private game!" right before he left his house.  duh.gif  I walked him directly home, do not pass Go, and talked to his mom.  I told her I wasn't implying or insinuating anything, and proceeded to tell her about C's request for BuggaBoo to sit on his face.  She said that was worrisome, but then went on to tell me that she looked it up on the internet and came to the understanding that games like this are developmentally normal.  I told her that they were, the privacy and nakedness and curiosity about genitals, but that the genital/facial thing was a red flag that something wasn't right.  I told her that the latter isn't something that a 4 year old would usually make up.  I gently shared with her about maybe getting some counseling for C to figure this all out. The entire conversation was hedged with "I'm not telling you what to do," and, "I'm not blaming or pointing fingers" and, "I'm not saying anything has happened directly to C" and other such things.

 

I'm proud of myself for saying something.  It's really hard for me to confront, and this situation is very hard because she's an older mom that has teenagers and is old enough to be MY mom.  I feel like a young whippersnapper for even saying something, but I'm glad I did.

 

I just hope they can figure something out.

babygirlie likes this.

SAHM to DS BuggaBoo blahblah.gif  12/07, and DD Doozer energy.gif03/10.  Sharing life with The Hubby since 01/05.

Lazurii is offline  
#14 of 14 Old 09-30-2011, 10:19 PM
 
jlsmama's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 37
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

You are doing the right thing by protecting your LO. Good for you for speaking up!!!

 

I could not agree with you more that the sitting on the face thing is a red flag. That is NOT normal.

 

Keep following your instinct. Trust yourself.

jlsmama is offline  
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Drag and Drop File Upload
Drag files here to attach!
Upload Progress: 0
Options

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the Mothering Forums forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.
User Name:
If you do not want to register, fill this field only and the name will be used as user name for your post.
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.
Password:
Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.
Email Address:

Log-in

Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.



User Tag List

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page


Forum Jump: 

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off