Concerned about my daughter - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 11 Old 12-08-2004, 10:07 PM - Thread Starter
 
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My daughter is four years old. I'm concerned because she seems to try to act "sexy". This isn't her saying "sexy". It's me. The way she walks, and lays on her side, the coquettish looks she gives. I'm concerned because I was molested as a child and I'm afraid that she will unwittingly invite someone to do the same thing to her.

Is this normal behavior for a four year old girl? She lives in a house of men (besides me!). She has four brothers. I'm also concerned where she is learning this... I have no idea. She does go to preschool four hours a day to correct a speech difficulty. Please tell me this is normal behavior. I don't like to see it. I'm worried.
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#2 of 11 Old 12-08-2004, 11:29 PM
 
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I think that this is an age where many children will exaggerate sexual roles, meaning boys will act however they perceive to be "masculine", and girls will act however they perceive to be "feminine" (maybe insisting on dresses, wanting long hair, etc). Could what your dd be doing fall into this category? Does she watch any movies? Princesses and such? Maybe she is mimicking something she saw there?

My dd is almost 4, and will often bat her eyes and do these tantilizing little head movements when she feels "pretty" (when she is showing off a dress or something). I can assure you that she does not get this from me .
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#3 of 11 Old 12-09-2004, 02:30 AM
 
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Are you reading into her actions? My dd 3.5 is very dramatic and will walk with more than a little sway etc but I think she is just playing trying something out and it is not related to sex per se. Do you have someone else close to your daughter who sees her a lot and could give you an opinion. Does she see any movies or even print ads with women on their sides etc.?
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#4 of 11 Old 12-09-2004, 02:52 AM
 
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If it gets a rise out of you, no wonder she's doing it more.
Far as I've seen, it's normal behavior for 4s. I've seen it in boys, too, them giving the flirty looks and acting girly.

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#5 of 11 Old 12-09-2004, 03:32 AM
 
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It's totally normal for girls about that age to go through a phase of flirtiness and placing a lot of emphasis on being pretty and "feminine". She'll grow out of it in a year or two. Girls that age are also very much copycats - odds are most of the little girls at her preschool are doing the same thing. It's an age where children really start to try to figure out gender roles, and even those raised in a very gender-neutral family tend to act in these exaggeratedly stereotypical ways.
Please don't take this the wrong way, but I think your perception is somewhat skewed by your own experience and your fears for your daughter. Which is totally understandable, just something you need to be aware of.
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#6 of 11 Old 12-09-2004, 11:52 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you all for your advice. I do think that it's my perception and I do know that sh'e not being overtly sexual. She's just mimicking what she sees in Ads and whatnot, but I guess another question I would have is to ask how I can suppress my reactions better. Usually, I just try to smile and keep going, but sometimes, it's just scary to me.
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#7 of 11 Old 12-09-2004, 11:59 AM
 
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Maybe keeping the Tv off would help? This would bother me quite a bit. Good luck.
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#8 of 11 Old 12-09-2004, 12:25 PM - Thread Starter
 
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We do monitor TV watching. It is very limited. What I mean by ads is what she may see on billboards/magazines, etc. I do honestly think what the other posters have pointed out is true. She may be doing it just to see my reaction. In that case, I need to calm the reaction. I know I do things just to get reactions out of my own mother and I'm a not so mature 32.
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#9 of 11 Old 12-09-2004, 03:38 PM
 
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Quote:
The way she walks, and lays on her side, the coquettish looks she gives. I'm concerned because I was molested as a child and I'm afraid that she will unwittingly invite someone to do the same thing to her.
Another one here who thinks you may just be reading things into it. When I saw the thread title I thought maybe you were talking about sexy dancing or flashing or stripteases, but you are just talking about the way she walks. It doesn't sound like a big deal to me (another survivor).

My dd does this butt-shaking thing when she dances, and we don't have MTV or anything like that, and I really think she got it from Tinky Winky! He is always doing that! So it's not like it was presented in a sexual way at all.

If there are pedophiles around, they aren't going to care about how she walks or dresses or looks at people. They will only focus on the fact that she is a child. It's not like they say "Oh, that child just walks like a regular kid; let's not molest her." Is there anyone in particular you are concerned about? I read that being a parent who is obviously involved is the biggest turnoff to a pedophile. They are more attracted to the kids who are ignored by their parents.
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#10 of 11 Old 12-10-2004, 04:47 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Greaseball
If there are pedophiles around, they aren't going to care about how she walks or dresses or looks at people. They will only focus on the fact that she is a child
I agree. Pedophiles don't look for an invitation or for a child who acts "sexy". They may later say "she came onto me" or something like that, but that's just what they say to shift the blame away from themselves.

My dd has shocked my mom sometimes with the way she dances. She has, at times, danced in a manner reminiscent of Brittany Spears or someone. But she's not trying to be sexy, has never seen anyone dance like that. she's just experimenting with how her body moves. I think this is very common with kids. My dd also tends to bat her eyelashes while she talks, and my ds looks at you from beneath his eyelashes, in a way that would be considered flirtatious if an adult did it. But they aren't adults. They're just kids working on their facial expressions and figuring out how their bodies move.

I can totally understand how you can be concerned. I'm a survivor too, and I worry about my kids a lot. It may help set your mind at ease to learn more about how to protect your child and how to teach her to protect herself. A fabulous book on that subject is "Protecting the Gift" by Gavin DeBecker. Take care.
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#11 of 11 Old 12-12-2004, 01:42 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I know... I know. The pedophiles in my case were kids not much older than me. Maybe about 3 years or so?

No, she's just being a girl, I guess. I'm so used to the boys, that she's somewhat of a mystery to me. :LOL I try to talk to her and hang out with her. She's really sweet and loving... and sneaky, damn it. I'm just over protective, I suppose.
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