is something up with our 5yo neighbor? - Page 2 - Mothering Forums

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#31 of 34 Old 08-28-2011, 05:34 PM
 
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i think that it sounds like nothing.... but it's something that you need to trust your gut instinct about.

 

but in my experience, it would be very easy for a child to say and do those things without anything bad going on at all, and it happened exactly like that with my youngest sister. my mom thought she was being very proactive and cautious by telling my sister that kissing is ONLY between family members. well, she lived in a house with two teenaged sisters who wanted to watch various types of movies and media, plus really liking disney princess movies, and sure enough, this led to a ton of open mouth kissing and other "lovey" type behavior that she saw on the screen, between adults who WEREN'T related, but then was transferred to the only people that my mom told her it was okay to kiss. anyway, it was just a combination of an oversimplified explanation on my mom's part and being exposed to media that us older sisters hadn't been exposed to as kids for a variety of reasons. the lover thing sounds just like something she would say too, and i've heard other kids saying similar things. 

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#32 of 34 Old 09-14-2011, 04:13 PM
 
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I read all the replies you've gotten OP and I gotta say... this is a situation where I don't feel like you can just take the words she said, read them on the screen, and be sure there's nothing there.

 

When young kids (and older ones too) say something that kinda raises a flag for me, I simply ask them what they mean, or if they're younger, I ask what that looks like.  "My daddy is a good lover" to me IS an odd thing to say, but just a few more questions like "What does that mean?  What does a good lover do?" to understand more where she's coming from.  If her answers are clearly in a "he loves our dog, and he loves my little brother, and he loves to eat french fries", then it's probably nothing to get more worried about.  But there ARE answers that a child that age can give that are concerning.

 

Does that mean, automatically, if she says something else that's scary, that she's being abused?  Not at all.  As many have said, it could be she's seen her parents do things or parroting them, or she's seen it on t.v..

 

But as a parent trying to assess your comfort with your child hanging out with this child, I absolutely say "Go with your gut".  Since that specific moment and comment has already passed, I'd continue to only let her come over to your house, and listen and supervise.  If nothing else weird comes up, fine.  If she says something else that raises your concern, ask her about it in a non-leading way (i.e. open questions like "What does that mean?  What does that look like?" and not "Does your dad touch you??" or anything that direct, unless she says something really really crazy and scary).

 

Also keep doing what you're doing, watch your own dd's words and actions and make sure you address anything that seems not-aligned to how you want to raise her.  Some things we don't have much control over, but you can absolutely bet that if my child started saying things about her looks or her body that troubled me, or I heard her friend say something that creeped me out because they were words or a phrase I don't expect a child that age to say, I'm gonna follow up on it.  Not in an alarmist way (even if I'm internally a little alarmed), but in a matter of fact way.  I've already had to do that a couple of times with my dd and she didn't seem phased by my questions, and I felt reassured that it was nothing.

 

By the way, I DO understand that kids say things all the time that are misrepresentations of the words.  My dd the other day was at a friends house then came home saying she was wearing "flip flops" and she kept showing me her face.  I asked many questions to try to understand what "flip flops" meant to her, since it clearly wasn't footwear, and finally figured out she meant "lip gloss" (which I had a different issue with, but at least I understood her!)  So I do get that the neighbor girl most likely didn't mean what that word means to adults.  But I'd want to check.  So if there's a next "Whoa, that is weird" comment from her, ask her what she means or how she knows, you know, kid-level questions to try to sort out what she's expressing.  I really think that will further direct you to what you think you should or shouldn't address and how to do it.

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#33 of 34 Old 09-14-2011, 04:41 PM
 
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I am kind of disturbed that the only two things you said about this family that are weird are that they watch disney movies all day and they play with barbies....

I would ask more questions and not hesitate to get to know this family more. You may be able to help them find better ways to keep their kids occupied without shunning them from play with your daughter.  I don't think it is a good or crunchy lesson to teach our children that people in the mainstream are bad or unworthy of friendship. You never know when the right opportunity will come to educate, befriend, help, will come along.

 

that said I don't really like my kids being at other s house in general unless they are close family friends. and even at that it's a rare occasion but I don't think disney movies and barbies are the worst offense in the parenting world.


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#34 of 34 Old 09-16-2011, 05:22 AM
 
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I guess I am way in the minority here, but if it were me I'd cut off the play dates completely -- unless they were at my house and I was actively supervising, and even then frankly I'd be a little concerned.

 

I'm also concerned about the neighbor girl. To me, the open-mouth kissing and the comment about her dad are straight out of National Lampoon's Vacation, but not in a funny way. I'd mention them both to the girl's mom, regardless of how well you know her. At worst, she decides you're uptight. GL.

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