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#1 of 34 Old 08-13-2011, 08:28 PM - Thread Starter
 
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My daughter has recently made friends with a neighbor of ours, a 5yo little girl. Her family's lifestyle choices don't exactly vibe with our own (they play with barbies, have the tv on pretty much constantly playing Disney movies, etc) but they've been getting together anyways. I haven't been discouraging her friendship with this girl, but I'm starting to have second thoughts about this based on two recent happenings.

 

One day, a couple of weeks ago, I went to give my daughter a little peck on the lips, which we do all the time. My little girl then responds by trying to give me a weird sort of open mouthed kiss. Needless to say this was pretty unsettling, and after letting her know that we do NOT kiss with open mouths, I asked her where she got the idea to do this. She told me that the little neighbor girl had told her that's how princesses kiss, and that it's 'beautiful' to kiss with your mouth open. (We had a little discussion about who it is and is not appropriate to kiss, following this.)

 

The second incident was today, when this little girl was over our house for a playdate. She was telling me how much she likes her dad, and how he's very 'cute' and 'handsome'. Then she says he's 'a good lover'. Now I realize that this could be kid-speak for 'he's very loving', or something like that, but to be honest I'm still finding myself pretty disturbed.

 

Am I being paranoid, or is something weird going on with this little girl? Is something inappropriate going on between her and her dad (God forbid), or is she just picking up this age-inappropriate stuff from popular culture? In either case, I kind of don't want my daughter hanging out with her anymore. Any thoughts?

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#2 of 34 Old 08-13-2011, 09:04 PM
 
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That does sound odd to me, but I'm not sure how you should proceed.  It could be that she's just seen too many adult things, but there might be more going on.  It's just so hard to know.  Can you just watch things more closely, not cut things off completely, or is that too problematic?

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#3 of 34 Old 08-13-2011, 09:07 PM
 
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Have you watched them play at all? Is it mostly appropriate behavior outside of the two things you mentioned? Maybe observe a little closer. 

Have you met the family yet? I'd say if your daughter likes her friend, it's probably worth getting to know the girl and her family a little better before making any weird conclusions. I could see how the things that the girl said could be taken by adults as inappropriate, but you could also be hearing the 'lover' thing wrong (as you said) and she may have just been acting silly when talking about open mouth kissing. At the same time I wouldn't ignore that...actually I would be looking more into it. 

 

And so what they have a TV? I wouldn't discourage my son from seeing a friend who had a different lifestyle than us.

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#4 of 34 Old 08-13-2011, 09:39 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I think even cutting things off completely would be problematic, since they live next door, and the girls see each other in the front yard all the time and ask to get together right there and then. I'd love to just have her over to our place, or if my daughter goes over to their place I'd like to go over and hang out with whichever parent is around while the girls are playing. But I'm not sure how I'd bring this up, or even to refuse a playdate, without offending the girl's parents.

 

Yes, it's only been these two incidents. The girls get along well, and seem to play normal games when I've hosted playdates. As much as I try not to be that paranoid, overprotective mom, I've got to say this whole situation has got me a little freaked out. I also get a bit of an off vibe from the family, but it's hard to tell if these are just my prejudices because we live such different lifestyles.

 

I know this is a totally different discussion, I don't have issue with the tv itself (we watch movies sometimes), rather the fact that it's constantly on and always playing disney princess movies (which we try to avoid for various reasons). But the tv isn't the issue that's bothering me... it's these two odd incidents.

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#5 of 34 Old 08-13-2011, 11:06 PM
 
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I would bring it up with the mother when the dad isn't there.  I don't think you need to stop the playdates but it sounds like either her dd needs to have a discussion about what is and isn't appropriate to say about family or something is going on.  Either way I think it should be her mom who deals with it.

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#6 of 34 Old 08-14-2011, 07:15 AM
 
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The Barbies and Disney movies wouldn't make me bat an eyeball. The kissing even on it's own wouldn't seem off, because kids at some point see grownups kissing, whether on TV or IRL, and try to imitate it. But the phrase "a good lover" seems odd with everything else. My best guess is she's watching grown up TV, not that she's being sexually abused, but I would probably talk to her mom maybe? Say what she's said and ask if she's watched movies with adult romance in them.
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#7 of 34 Old 08-14-2011, 07:47 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for your thoughts everyone!

 

I don't think I'm close enough to the mom (we've only chatted to arrange playdates, and never before this month) to suggest to her that her daughter might be watching age-inappropriate movies. :( It's not really my place... I'd be offended if someone I barely knew suggested to me that implied I was doing something wrong in the way I raised my child.

 

And my guess is that her mom is totally okay with the little girl watching pretty much anything- they often have two televisions on at once in different rooms, and they're literally playing constantly. I guess she's okay with this little girl watching both her dad's and older sister's programming, and I know that's none of my business. As for the kissing thing, it's great for kids to see affection between parents, but open-mouthed kissing is going a bit far... I don't want my kid seeing sexual activity between adults.

 

I just don't want my daughter picking up this language (and, more importantly, these concepts) until she's old enough to understand them, or at least to have a real discussion with me about them.

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#8 of 34 Old 08-14-2011, 07:54 AM
 
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I disagree that open mouthed kissing is "sexual activity". People sometimes do it in public, and it's done frequently on TV and in movies.

I don't mean you should suggest it to her, just say, "My dd and your dd were playing and these two things came up. (Briefly describe them.) I am wondering if your dd might have picked that up from a movie or something? It kind of freaked me out, and I thought you might want to hear about it." Then drop it. Maybe the mom isn't aware of something going on and would want to know. I don't know if I'd assume it's from a movie, or assume she's being molested, or assume her mother knows and just doesn't care that she is talking about good lovers and giving open mouthed kisses. I'd just pass along the info in as non-judgmental a way as possible, so she can persue it if she wants and she feels it's necessary.
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#9 of 34 Old 08-14-2011, 07:56 AM
 
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That does seem like some troubling behavior. I wouldn't let my kid play at the neighbor's house unless I was there too.


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#10 of 34 Old 08-14-2011, 08:18 AM
 
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The kissing thing I wouldn't give a second thought. I remember being 4 and attempting to lay one on my mother after watching her and my father kissing. I also had to recently tell my DD not to french the baby. I think it's normal for a young child to see adults open mouth kissing and then try it out for themselves. After you explain why that sort of kissing isn't appropriate between just anyone, just move on, imo. No biggie.

 

As far as the "good lover" comment, I'd say it's pretty likely that it's just little kid phrasing or something she picked up from TV or listening in on adult conversations. I probably wouldn't be concerned at just what you've mentioned. But then, my DD is spectacularly excellent and taking something perfectly innocent and saying it in a way that sounds absolutely terrible.

 

Things DD has at one point said to people:

 

"My mommy beats me with big sticks." It's a running family joke, and no I've never actually beat her - with a big stick or otherwise.

 

"Mommy likes locking me in the shed." I so do not, and it's not even a running family joke. She once asked if we could turn the shed into her new room, and asked if it locked on the outside. I made the mistake of jokingly asking "Why? If it does do I get to lock you in?"

 

"My mommy said my vagina is beautiful." Out of context that's just creepy. We were having a conversation about anatomy and the need for privacy in regards to our anatomy, and I was explaining that our genitals being something to be ashamed of was not why we needed privacy. During this part of the conversation, I at one point said something along the lines of "Vaginas are beautiful," she asked "Is mine beautiful, too?" and I said "Of course, sweetie," thinking nothing of it again until that little gem was randomly rattled off to a friend of ours.

 

She's also repeated things (can't remember anything off hand, usually having to do with finances, but could have been worse) out of context that I've said during phone conversations in the living room while she was supposed to be sleeping in the nearby bedroom.

 

I'm not saying completely blow it off as you never know, there could be something going on and paying attention couldn't hurt. I'm just saying that all of this could be totally innocent and it's not really enough to stir something up over.

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#11 of 34 Old 08-14-2011, 10:39 AM
 
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Dd got into princesses this year. She had probably only watched Snow White before and hadn't enjoyed it. This year she watched some other princess stuff and one time tried to kiss me the way the princes kiss the princesses but her mouth wasn't open. She was just trying to push my head back.


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#12 of 34 Old 08-15-2011, 10:48 AM
 
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I think you're over-reacting, unless there's a lot more to this story.  

My kids have told me I'm a "good cooker" before.  I think it's reasonable to assume that just like "cooker" = "person who cooks, "lover" = "person who loves.  It's also possible that she's heard that word and assumed that's what it meant.  If there were something inappropriate going on between this girl and her father, use of the word "lover" in this context is not, in my opinion, evidence of it.

 

I think the kissing thing is pretty innocent, too--she's probably seen something on TV (or even in a Disney movie).  I understand that it sounds like maybe you don't let your daughter watch TV (or Disney movies?) based on your mention of them, but that doesn't mean there's something wrong with this other girl whose parents might make more "mainstream" choices.

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#13 of 34 Old 08-16-2011, 07:13 PM
 
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yup paranoid. 

 

totally normal behaviour. 

 

dd at 3 1/2 gave me an open mouth kiss "but mommy, mj kisses spiderman like that'. 'ewwww those are wet kisses. ewww i dont like wet kisses. its like a dog licked me.' end of story. no more open mouth kisses.

 

great lover - kidspeak reflecting what's around them. no sexually abused child will ever say their dad was a great lover. i am not even sure at 5 they understand what that term meant. 

 

here's something to consider (if your child is going to go to school) - at least in this case ur dd is telling you and you can control the situation. 

 

but in school children say such bizarre things - from having heard it from elder siblings or popular culture or from adults. even at K.

 

all those kind of moments i treated as teachable moments. 

 

its 'AP' meet 'mainstream' world. that has nothing to do with friendship and children. my strange odd child has fit in v. well with her mainstream friends. 


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#14 of 34 Old 08-16-2011, 10:20 PM
 
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Tooraloora

This is hilarious and oh so true.  They say all kinds of things we wish they did not in public- out of context and embarrassing, but I would agree, totally normal.  I have also been disturbed that all the princess movies end with a wedding and a big kissing scene.  I didn't like hearing my little year old telling me who she is going to marry and what she will wear, but decided to let my daughter go through the princess stage since it will probably last longer if I make a really big deal out of it, or try to forbid it.  It hit really hard right after she turned 4 and I think she is already almost over at 5.  They will get it somewhere, even if we try to keep it away.  I have tried to focus on telling all the qualities that are more important than physical beauty (what the princess movies all overemphasize), such as being generous and kind and smart.  I second the suggestions to try to nonchalantly talk to the other girls mom about it.  Maybe she will laugh with you.


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#15 of 34 Old 08-17-2011, 02:06 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Viola View Post

That does sound odd to me, but I'm not sure how you should proceed.  It could be that she's just seen too many adult things, but there might be more going on.  It's just so hard to know.  Can you just watch things more closely, not cut things off completely, or is that too problematic?



I agree.

 

It's hard to say if it's odd behavior because my own son used to say he wanted to marry me when he was around 5 years old. :-)  My daughter around the same age told her daddy she wanted to marry him. So that can be quite normal in some instances. But talking about him being a good lover, I don't know, sounds odd to me but without knowing where she may have picked up that choices of words (you said she watches a lot of t.v.) then I don't know. Stuff like that is said on prime time t.v., movies, soap operas, etc. So don't be too quick to blame her parents. The open-mouthed kissing (also seen on t.v. and in movies) my kids all did around 1-2 years old because they didn't understand the concept of kissing, lol. But at 5 years old I would think they would know how to kiss with mouth closed.

 

And I also wanted to ask you if you have met this other child's parents yet? I for one would NEVER allow my children to go to another child's house without first seeing the house and meeting with the parents myself. It simply will never happen, especially while they are very young. My teenager I'm a bit more relaxed with but under 13 I am more careful.


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#16 of 34 Old 08-20-2011, 06:46 PM
 
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Originally Posted by redpajama View Post

I think you're over-reacting, unless there's a lot more to this story.  

My kids have told me I'm a "good cooker" before.  I think it's reasonable to assume that just like "cooker" = "person who cooks, "lover" = "person who loves.  It's also possible that she's heard that word and assumed that's what it meant.  If there were something inappropriate going on between this girl and her father, use of the word "lover" in this context is not, in my opinion, evidence of it.

 

I think the kissing thing is pretty innocent, too--she's probably seen something on TV (or even in a Disney movie).  I understand that it sounds like maybe you don't let your daughter watch TV (or Disney movies?) based on your mention of them, but that doesn't mean there's something wrong with this other girl whose parents might make more "mainstream" choices.

 

I agree with everything, especially the bolded part.  I think it's totally innocent.  I would just keep an eye on things, and maybe suggest that their playdates be at your house.  DD has a friend that's only allowed to come here for playdates.
 

 


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#17 of 34 Old 08-25-2011, 07:23 AM
 
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It kinda surprises me that no one has mentioned that the mom of the other girl might not be the most discreet person in the whole world. Even though I wouldn't even consider having a make-out session in front of my kids or a "girlfriend conversation" on the phone while they were listening, doesn't mean it doesn't happen.

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#18 of 34 Old 08-25-2011, 07:36 AM
 
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I think even cutting things off completely would be problematic, since they live next door, and the girls see each other in the front yard all the time and ask to get together right there and then. I'd love to just have her over to our place, or if my daughter goes over to their place I'd like to go over and hang out with whichever parent is around while the girls are playing. But I'm not sure how I'd bring this up, or even to refuse a playdate, without offending the girl's parents.

 

Yes, it's only been these two incidents. The girls get along well, and seem to play normal games when I've hosted playdates. As much as I try not to be that paranoid, overprotective mom, I've got to say this whole situation has got me a little freaked out. I also get a bit of an off vibe from the family, but it's hard to tell if these are just my prejudices because we live such different lifestyles.


Please listen to your gut, mama.  Those two things would definitely raise red flags for me.  They could be fine....or not.  I'm totally jaded from my line of work, but I have seen a bazillion kids who have been sexually abused, and the whole lover comment with french kissing would wig me out.  When I was a kid, we had some odd neighbors.  We were not allowed to play at their house, but they were always welcome to play at ours--supervised.  It turned out, another neighbor kid (our moms were good friends) was over at that house one day, and dad was watching porn on the TV in front of the kids.  I wouldn't want to totally cut things off, because as long as you are supervising, you should be able to make sure your daughter remains safe, but I definitely would *not* allow my kid to go over there just because I was worried about offending the parents.  Your daughter is too precious to let your worries of offending them supercede your gut feeling that something is not right. 

 

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#19 of 34 Old 08-25-2011, 07:43 AM
 
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Originally Posted by tinahiggins View Post

It kinda surprises me that no one has mentioned that the mom of the other girl might not be the most discreet person in the whole world. Even though I wouldn't even consider having a make-out session in front of my kids or a "girlfriend conversation" on the phone while they were listening, doesn't mean it doesn't happen.



That was my first thought; that she's seen Mom and Dad kissing like that, and that Mom has mentioned to someone (perhaps to Dad or to a girlfriend, as tina mentions above) that Dad is a good lover.  I also agree with everyone that it is most likely innocent.  I would keep an eye on things, but I wouldn't stop the children from playing together.

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#20 of 34 Old 08-25-2011, 12:23 PM
 
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does the girl have older(teenaged) siblings?  If so she could be picking stuff up from them.

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#21 of 34 Old 08-25-2011, 10:52 PM
 
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Well, I have a 5 yo dd who recently began kissing me with an open mouth.  It's pretty slobbery, and my hand or my arm or my check gets pecked and wet, but I do think it's very innocent.  I haven't given it a second thought. She just loves to kiss and hug.  (She hates Barbies and would never watch a movie if it didn't have a horse in it, so I'm sure she didn't pick it up from inappropriate media.) 

 

Saying her dad's a good lover?   Unless there's a lot more you're not saying, this is just plain hilarious.  It's a kids' speak classic.

 

I believe you're overthinking this. 

 

 

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#22 of 34 Old 08-25-2011, 11:12 PM
 
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I'm not sure...I'd go with your gut. On the surface I think its innocent, but the bit about "this is how princesses kiss and 'beautiful' to kiss with your mouth open"...

 

I worry that is grooming the idea of open mouth kissing to a child. BUT it could just be kids drawing own conclusions.

 

AND DS sees us kissing...I remember having to teach my younger brother to close his mouth for kisses (he's 10 years younger)

 

I'm not sure but if you gut says something is off, watch and be vigilant and I'd stop visits that I couldn't be present for.


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#23 of 34 Old 08-26-2011, 12:21 PM
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OK, I'll state this right out: I am a TV junkie. I am. And my (soon to be 6 year old) dd has been exposed to many a TV program that is not at all child appropriate. Coming from that perspective, those two incidents wouldn't raise red flags to me at all. The first one my dd also saw on TV and tried it out on me (completely innocently, she had no sense of when/with whom such kissing is appropriate and inappropriate: TV just shows it, it doesn't explain it: that's the parent's job).

 

As for the second, my bet is that she heard someone say it on TV and, as a child, assumed that "lover" meant simply "someone who loves," but in the non-sexual sense. Likely she thought she was saying that her father loves her. My daughter has picked up some not-so-appropriate language and has tried it out on occasion in very socially awkward/embarrassing ways: but she had no idea that it was inappropriate until I explained it to her. 

 

Here's a story: when she was about 4 1/2 she heard someone say "son of a b****" and starting saying (once in public, much to my embarrassment). I quickly and firmly explained to her that that isn't a nice thing to say. She asked why and what it meant. I told her that it is something that some grown-ups say when they are very angry, but not something that kids should say because it is not nice language. She got it. She stopped saying it. Until one night she woke up with a terrible ear infection. I held her and rocked her while she cried when she began screaming, "Mommy it HURTS, it HURTS! Ear infection, you SON OF A B****!" 

 

OK, bad mommy, bad mommy. 

 

I'm not saying it's good, I'm just saying that different people have different attitudes toward media and what they expose their children to. And when people expose their children to adult media, you're bound to get a few inappropriate words and phrases out of the kids who ultimately have no idea what they're actually saying and why it's considered highly inappropriate by many people. As someone totally guilty of this, that's how I would read the situation. 


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#24 of 34 Old 08-26-2011, 12:26 PM
 
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My daughter at some age would call people who loved someone (including a mom who loved her kids) a lover, the same way she would call a chef a cooker. I don't think use of the word "lover" necessarily means anything.
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#25 of 34 Old 08-26-2011, 01:08 PM
 
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I am a foster parent. If I had my druthers I'd like to see you keep inviting the girl over so you can keep an eye out of any signs of abuse or neglect. But I understand if you can't. I know you'll report anything over the line you see regardless.

If you do, here are some tips an experienced foster mom friend shared with me to prevent inappropriate activity:
- No playing hide and seek
- Bedrooms are for sleeping, not for playing
- Kids of different genders or for whom sexual inappropriateness is likely play within sight of mom only
- Kissing is for family members only

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#26 of 34 Old 08-27-2011, 09:43 AM
 
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I am Queen of the Worst-Case Scenario.  I overthink everything.  I know this about myself and take this into consideration when I overthink the current situation.  If I were in your place, I *would* see it in a paranoid light.  I understand that their behavior can be normal.  But it's creepy, too.  I would bend over backwards to keep the girls playing at our house.  And watch.  My first responsibility is to keep my daughter safe from creeps.  After that, it's my responsibility to keep other kids safe. (Even if it's just the TV, it's still unsettling.)   To make that judgment, I need more information.  I might strike up a friendship with the mom, and drop in when your daughter wants to play.  "Would you mind if I came over, too?"  And be genuine about it, not suspicious, though that is there too.  You *should* get to know your neighbors even though they are so different.  

     If all is well, you will relax and these fears will recede.  If not, you will see it.  Yes, you could be overthinking things.  But sometimes, that's how so many kids slip through the cracks into the hands of abusers.  (Says the Queen of the Worst-Case Scenario!)


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#27 of 34 Old 08-27-2011, 07:55 PM
 
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I may seem like the only one, but it doesn't sound at all troubling to me. I don't agree with the tv-on-all-day stuff,  but the areas of concern wouldn't concern me. I think the little girl probably just sees the kissing in her Disney shows (I recall they do kiss open-mouthed in the Disney movies, yes?) and she probably learned it was okay from that, though I would stress to both of the kids that it's only for grownups, etc.

 

As for the remarks about her dad, she's probably parroting what her mother says and doesn't understand it. My DD hears me talking to my husband whom I am extremely affectionate with. I'll walk by him in the kitchen when he's bent over looking for something in the cabinet and slap him on the butt and say "oh, dang, what a sexy man!" I have no problem kissing him in front of DD and she actually demands that "Daddy, kiss Mommy!" when he leaves for work, etc. I call him "my big, handsome man," and DD will often  parrot this and call him her "big, handsome man." Like "kiss me goodbye, Daddy! You're my big, handsome man!" and then she'll pat his huge gut like I do. To me, it's cute, but I can see how some things a little girl parrots might sound kind of odd.

 

I haven't met the girl or the family, so I can't say for sure, but it sounds like she dotes on her father. Kids that are sexually molested usually do not want to talk about the person that molests them and they certainly do not have happy, lovey-dovey feelings about being abused and talk about it with glee. I would talk to both girls about the appropriateness of kissing and I would also request that they play only at our house most or all of the time.


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#28 of 34 Old 08-28-2011, 02:38 PM
 
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*Many* children who are sexually abused love their abusers very very much and yes, do want to talk about that person.  Many children are also very confused about being abused and may not show "happy love-dovey feelings about being abused and talk about it with glee" but they do frequently role play and act out the abuse that has happened to them.  The statement below is completely false and it really is a dangerous way to think about sexual abuse.  Very few children are sexually abused by scary strangers.  The majority of them are abused by people the family trusts and the child likes and trusts as well. 

 

Also, not related to your comment at all amberskyfire, just in general for OP.... There is virtually no downside to having the little girl play at your house and not allowing your daughter to play there.  If you don't listen to your gut though, and you make the wrong call on this, the risks are huge.  This is not a "benefit of the doubt" type of situation.  If you do make the wrong call, your child could end up being victimized.  Please listen to your gut, mama.  You have nothing to lose if you do. 
 

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Originally Posted by amberskyfire View Post

 

Kids that are sexually molested usually do not want to talk about the person that molests them and they certainly do not have happy, lovey-dovey feelings about being abused and talk about it with glee.

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#29 of 34 Old 08-28-2011, 03:00 PM
 
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Everything that APToddlerMama said!  thumb.gif

I was that five-year-old girl.  Now as a mama, I honour my gut instincts, no matter if they are right or wrong or if I'll ever know either way. 

I would not allow my child over at that house.  Call me a wicked mean mommy or what have you, but I'll take that over the risks. 

I would happily have the neighbour child over to our house to play and keep my ears and eyes open for any other signals that might warrant action.

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#30 of 34 Old 08-28-2011, 03:29 PM
 
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Yeah, I give it a 75% chance that it's nothing, but 25% would be too high for me to let my kids over at that house. I'd have her at your house and keep your eyes open.
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