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#1 of 12 Old 08-15-2010, 02:17 AM - Thread Starter
 
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My twins are best friends with the little girl across the street, they are all 4 years old (she is two months older). We've been having an ongoing issue and I'm feeling very unsure of myself and don't know what to do.

My family is very comfortable with nudity and our bodies, we use proper names for our parts and try to promote positive body image with our kids. IMO nudity isn't shameful or bad. The little girl's dad is on the extreme opposite end of that line of thought, he freaks out if our kids go upstairs together (their bedrooms are upstairs)without an adult chaperone. The kids once played doctor and my son lifted up the little girl's shirt to use his stethoscope on her tummy. The dad hit the roof and dragged her home kicking and screaming, saying things like "what were you thinking, we don't do stuff like that".

Today there was another incident and I'm pretty upset and frustrated and don't know what to do. The kids swam in our pool then went upstairs to play dress up, the little girl wanted to change out of her wet suit, so my daughter gave her a pair of panties to put on. They then put on princess dresses and were having a great time playing together. The dad went upstairs and started yelling at all of the kids and told her not to be undressing in front of anyone, especially my son. He went on and on at her for quite some time, then they left and I heard her crying the whole walk home.

The parents are divorcing and I only interact w/the father since he has remained in the home. I don't feel comfortable talking to him about this, he is pretty volatile and I honestly can't stand him. Our kids love each other so much, and I hate to take away that relationship but I can't have him in my house raising his voice and insinuating that my son is some kind of pervert because he doesn't excuse himself from the room when the girls are getting dressed. In my house we ask for privacy if we want it, and it is granted. His daughter seems perfectly comfortable changing in front of my kids and I dislike that he is giving her a negative body image by chastising her in such a rude way.

So, what would you do? Not let them come over anymore? Only play at their house or outside? Say something to him?

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#2 of 12 Old 08-15-2010, 02:28 AM
 
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Poor kid.

But, honestly. I know men like this. They are a law suit waiting to happen. It won't be a nudity lawsuit. But, it will be something else, like a dog bite, or she will fall off of something in your house. These overreacting adults never get better, and you could possibly lose more than you can afford to lose.

I'd seriously re-think having her over. It's unfortunate for the children, but it's not worth losing what you work so hard for if you can't trust this dad.
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#3 of 12 Old 08-15-2010, 04:11 AM
 
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has he just made a fuss over this, or has it been other things too.

since he is making your kids concious about this too, i would watch them while play or direct their play to a certain type.

now if he is complaining about other stuff too - then you have to think of another strategy. maybe have them play outdoors only.

i know i would hate to lose a friendship without trying.

even though the father is stepping the boundaries - divorces really bring out our greatest fears. i think the father is in a whole different mindset and is extremely protective over his dd - where he doesnt see reason.

i would not talk to the father. but neither would i give up on him. i would listen to my gut.

the thing is its not just older people who are 'perverts'. little kids are too knowingly or not knowingly. not saying that's what your son is. but just acknowleding that perhaps its something the dad is going thru.

either he has an anger problem or else he is really going thru a hard, frustrating time.

ultimately you are right. you need to draw boundaries.

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#4 of 12 Old 08-15-2010, 07:57 AM
 
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A very close friend is in the middle of an incident with a man JUST.LIKE.THIS... He would freak out over the same types of things. Well, his daughter was over at my friend's house and were playing outside when her son (11) tripped. As he put his hand out to catch himself and his hand caught into his DD's (9) waistband and pulled her pants down. My friend witnessed it... However, about an hour later she noticed there were police at his house. They then came knocking on her door and asked to talked to her son. She didn't allow him to and just talked to him about the "incident" ... A few days later CPS showed up at her door. She now has to keep her son at his Grandmother's house because he is not allowed around children younger then him until it goes to court... At 11 years old, he may be labeled a sexual predator because he tripped and her Dad freaked out over it... We don't know how this will turn out but yeah, I would definitely draw some serious boundaries or just not even have her over anymore. It's not worth the risk. Sorry you have to deal with this.

Jeri, Natural lovin' Mama to Elijah (9.29.03), Eden (10.2.06), and a little one lost along the way (1/12)., Step-monster to Shelby (18) and Stephen (16). Celebrating 12 years together with my soul-mate, Eric. Hoping for a rainbow1284.gif someday! 
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#5 of 12 Old 08-15-2010, 09:15 AM
 
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I think that if you are unwilling to give this girl the kind of supervision her father feels is necessary, you shouldn't have her over at your house. I understand that you think his request is silly, but he is her parent, and if he doesn't want her to undress in front of your son, that's not such an unreasonable request that you can just roll your eyes and ignore it (I'm not sure that's what you did, but its the impression I have). He may be worried about what his daughter says about playdates at your house to his wife, and that could be the source of his overreaction. Divorce is very stressful, and you may be seeing him at his worst.

We have neighbors who have a lot more rules than we do, and I try to help their kids stay out of trouble with their parents while they are at our house. It feels kinder to me than to set them up by allowing them to do things they may be punished for later.
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#6 of 12 Old 08-15-2010, 02:20 PM
 
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I'd just keep the kids downstairs where you can keep an eye on them. Swim season is almost over anyway, so I would avoid anymore of that, or at least send her into the bathroom to change in the future.

I'm with the PP who said this may have something to do with the divorce. If the mom and dad are fighting over custody and visitation, the dad may be worried that innocent things might get twisted into accusations against him.

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#7 of 12 Old 08-15-2010, 03:12 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by zeldamomma View Post
I think that if you are unwilling to give this girl the kind of supervision her father feels is necessary, you shouldn't have her over at your house. I understand that you think his request is silly, but he is her parent, and if he doesn't want her to undress in front of your son, that's not such an unreasonable request that you can just roll your eyes and ignore it (I'm not sure that's what you did, but its the impression I have). He may be worried about what his daughter says about playdates at your house to his wife, and that could be the source of his overreaction. Divorce is very stressful, and you may be seeing him at his worst.

We have neighbors who have a lot more rules than we do, and I try to help their kids stay out of trouble with their parents while they are at our house. It feels kinder to me than to set them up by allowing them to do things they may be punished for later.
I guess this wasn't clear in my original post, but he is at my house while the kids play. I am not supervising his children while he is here too, I don't feel that is my job. I am fine with letting our children play upstairs, but I do echo his requests that they stay downstairs. I'm not going to run from room to room following three four year olds around as they play.

When he asks the children to stay downstairs I support his request in a nice and respectful tone, he prefers to yell. This isn't new behavior as a result of the divorce, it is part of the reason why his wife chose to leave him.

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#8 of 12 Old 08-15-2010, 03:14 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by Attached2Elijah View Post
A very close friend is in the middle of an incident with a man JUST.LIKE.THIS... He would freak out over the same types of things. Well, his daughter was over at my friend's house and were playing outside when her son (11) tripped. As he put his hand out to catch himself and his hand caught into his DD's (9) waistband and pulled her pants down. My friend witnessed it... However, about an hour later she noticed there were police at his house. They then came knocking on her door and asked to talked to her son. She didn't allow him to and just talked to him about the "incident" ... A few days later CPS showed up at her door. She now has to keep her son at his Grandmother's house because he is not allowed around children younger then him until it goes to court... At 11 years old, he may be labeled a sexual predator because he tripped and her Dad freaked out over it... We don't know how this will turn out but yeah, I would definitely draw some serious boundaries or just not even have her over anymore. It's not worth the risk. Sorry you have to deal with this.
Oh my gosh that is so scary, I hope the case is closed soon.

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#9 of 12 Old 08-20-2010, 10:54 AM
 
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Originally Posted by pitter_patter View Post
I guess this wasn't clear in my original post, but he is at my house while the kids play. I am not supervising his children while he is here too, I don't feel that is my job. I am fine with letting our children play upstairs, but I do echo his requests that they stay downstairs. I'm not going to run from room to room following three four year olds around as they play.

When he asks the children to stay downstairs I support his request in a nice and respectful tone, he prefers to yell. This isn't new behavior as a result of the divorce, it is part of the reason why his wife chose to leave him.
I think the first step would be to firmly ask him not to yell at your children To me, that's just not acceptable. I don't even let my parents or siblings yell at my kids, it's not their place.

If you're not comfortable w/ that, then I would second (or third??) the PP who said maybe it's time to end the playdates or only allow them outside. If he's yelling at YOUR children in YOUR home, do you truly know how they're being treated in his home when you're not present?

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#10 of 12 Old 08-20-2010, 10:55 PM
 
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I personally would not want my children around a man that acts that way. Even though he may not be chastising your child, they are seeing him chastise his daughter and they ARE learning from that.

If you really want to continue the childrens' friendship I would say outdoor play only for short periods of time. But honestly, at 4, I think they can make new friends (hopefully ones with less volatile parents).

My Grandmother says things to my kids (3 yo and 16 mo) about "nobody wants to see your boobies" and "you need to cover your nasty teetee because I don't want to see that". I get so angry about it because no matter how much I try to explain to DD that Grammy is wrong, DD still repeats these things and gets very embaraced and sad sometimes when she is naked (even just at home around me and her little sister).

Like you, I want my kids to realize our bodies are something good, not shameful. Plus, they're babies for goodness sake, if they don't wear clothes at home WHO CARES!?!?!?! That's how I potty train too, keep them NAKED!

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#11 of 12 Old 08-20-2010, 11:33 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Attached2Elijah View Post
A very close friend is in the middle of an incident with a man JUST.LIKE.THIS... He would freak out over the same types of things. Well, his daughter was over at my friend's house and were playing outside when her son (11) tripped. As he put his hand out to catch himself and his hand caught into his DD's (9) waistband and pulled her pants down. My friend witnessed it... However, about an hour later she noticed there were police at his house. They then came knocking on her door and asked to talked to her son. She didn't allow him to and just talked to him about the "incident" ... A few days later CPS showed up at her door. She now has to keep her son at his Grandmother's house because he is not allowed around children younger then him until it goes to court... At 11 years old, he may be labeled a sexual predator because he tripped and her Dad freaked out over it... We don't know how this will turn out but yeah, I would definitely draw some serious boundaries or just not even have her over anymore. It's not worth the risk. Sorry you have to deal with this.
How do you pull someone's pants down when you trip? I've never had anything like this happen. I've never seen this happen or anything like it.
I think calling the police is making too big of a deal out of it but something is fishy with that story.

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#12 of 12 Old 08-21-2010, 09:21 AM
 
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How is that fishy? He tripped and tried to catch himself. He didn't pull them down to the ground or anything, it was an elastic waist skirt and it came down below her hips... Her underwear didn't come down, Just the skirt... I don't ever recall doing it myself but I could see how it could happen having a daughter who wears elastic waist skirts daily. The child was trying to catch himself from falling. Simply grabbing out while falling is enough force to make an elastic waist skirt fall down (I'm not sure of the dynamics of the skirt falling down worked out since I wasn't there) But even the man admitted that it happened in the front yard, in front of the boy's mother in the middle of the day... not likely a molesting situation.

Regardless, it has been dismissed as of yesterday so apparently the authorities believed my friend.

Jeri, Natural lovin' Mama to Elijah (9.29.03), Eden (10.2.06), and a little one lost along the way (1/12)., Step-monster to Shelby (18) and Stephen (16). Celebrating 12 years together with my soul-mate, Eric. Hoping for a rainbow1284.gif someday! 
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