6 yo dd was coerced into playing "doctor"... - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 4 Old 09-27-2010, 07:26 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I feel so terrible. We were at a get together last night at a close friend's house. There were 2-3 other couples with young children there that we ALWAYS are with. We were ready to serve the kids dinner and I couldn't find my dd. Our other friend couldn't find her ds who is 6 as well. We called for them upstairs and down not finding them anywhere. Then I went into the guest room downstairs and there they were coming out of the closet...in the dark. Whe I asked them what they were doing they both said nothing. He ran ahead and I asked my daughter again and she said "I can't tell you." I really didn't want to make a big deal in front of her but I did say that she needed to tell me the truth and eventually got out of her that they were playing "coolie doctor". (That is our word for her privates)and that ther had in her words, done it lots of times in lots of different rooms of the house. I asked her what they did when they did this and she said that they would both take off their clothes and touch, him touching her more that the other way around. Needless to say I was totally floored. She has never done this with anyone else and our closest friends have a son who is 8. NEVER, NEVER has she ever shown any signs of wanting to play doctor with him which is why it surprised me so much.
I then talked to the other child's mom and even though we were both shocked, we wanted to play it cool and not embarrass them. We decided to sit them down at the end of the night and discuss house rules for when we are all together which seemed to go over their heads.
She proceeded to tell me that he had grabbed another boy's privates at school 2 weeks ago and there was an instant about 6 months ago that was somewhat "sexual" with another little girl.
After everyone else had left I was in the bathroom with my dd and she proceeded to tell me that it is always his idea, he asks her to play "butt doctor" (his words) and when she tells him no he sais that he won't be her friend, so she feels pressured to let him touch her... I am so upset with my self... My husband and I both feel that we have let her down by not keeping a better eye on her... It makes me so mad that I really feel that he pressured her by threatening to not be her friend and It also scares me to think that it seems like he is seeking her out to play this game.
I am actually worried about sexual abuse with him and that maybe someone has taught him this game elsewhere...I did voice my concerns to his mom today and she said she was concerned as well...
I am sorry this is long, but I need ideas and thoughts on this. Did I do the right thing by not making a big deal with my dd? Should I bring it up again and do you think she is scarred for life???? Please help me know what to do.
I will say the other child's mother is thinking about having him talk to a therapist, and when I talked to her today, she had already had some concern about a step grandfather that he spends a lot of time with.

Stay at home mom to: Finley Linnea 7-9-04 and Maxton Cramer 3-28-08 and lovin' my artist hubby!

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#2 of 4 Old 09-27-2010, 08:48 PM
 
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I'm so sorry you're dealing with this. I totally understand feeing afraid your child has somehow been scarred for life.

I think you did the right thing by not making a huge deal out of it. I think you also did ghe right thing about setting house rules.

My focus at this point would be helping your daughter to find her voice. To role play with her on how to get out of situations that make her uncomfortable, to help her learn how to say no and walk away, how to seek help when she feels uncomfortable, how to guard her body and not give into pressure to do things she doesn't want to do, that real friends never put each other in those situations etc...

I personally would not leave my child alone with another child who was able to coerce my child into doing something they found uncomfortable by threatening them with their friendship. I would also be very concerned about that little boys pattern of behavior so he would never be alone with my child again.

Exploration is totally normal. The coercion concerns me greatly.
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#3 of 4 Old 09-27-2010, 08:52 PM
 
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It really sounds like you all are handling this really well given it just got sprung on you.

Obviously she should not be alone with this other child.

Speaking as an abuse survivor (and not an expert)...I don't think she will be 'scarred for life.' It may be that she will continue to process it and as some time goes by you'll hear that it really upset her, and at that time you might want to consider therapy (if it happens).

More likely, she'll remember that she was involved in something that was disturbing, and she was able to talk to her mom about it and you guys totally supported her in her feelings that it was not a nice game, without making her feel guilty, and she'll just get on with things. One of the worst things about abuse, particularly as a child, is not being able to express what is going on or have people listen. In this case your daughter has that. I think it will be okay, as long as you are willing to listen and watch for signs that she might need more support.

I would maybe bring it up once or twice more but really gently. Just maybe when an opportunity arises, like a bath, to talk a bit about how it feels when someone touches us somewhere we don't like, like Friend did. I wouldn't probe or push, just let her know it's an okay topic.

If she has nightmares, shuts down, stops enjoying normal activities, or can't seem to stop talking about it, those would be signs to look for more support I think. Probably someone has even better info on that.

I would personally not tie it to this event, but in a few weeks I would roleplay with her around saying no and how to handle friends who say things like that. Friends who say you have to do something to be their friend are not good friends. What words you can use, and so on.

~ Mum to Emily, March 12-16 2004, Noah, born Aug 2005, Liam, born January 2011, and wife to Carl since 1994. ~
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#4 of 4 Old 09-27-2010, 08:56 PM
 
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I think you did the right thing to be careful to not make your DD feel that she did anything wrong. I'm glad the other mother is upset and taking the situation seriously and will look into possible reasons for the coercive and aggressive sexual behavior. I think it's important your DD knows she can *always* tell you, and that she *should* tell you about any touching she is not comfortable with, and that she never has to go along with something someone wants to do involving her body, or secrets they want her to keep.

DS1 March 2003DS2 Sept 2005,
and 3 , in our happy secular
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