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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've never posted in TAO before, so Mods, please move this if it is in the wrong place...<br><br>
I keep thinking about something that happened to us at the post office this morning, and I'd love to know what you all think.<br><br>
We had handled our business at the post office and were leaving. To exit the post office you have to walk through 2 sets of doors, both of which open automatically once you press the little "wheelchair accessible" button. My 2.5 yo ds is going through a phase where he has to make all automatic doors open for himself by himself. So once I got 4.5 yo dd though the doors, we were waiting on the other side for ds to come through. We were, I'd say, less than 10 feet away from him. So as people are coming through the doors in and out wondering whether this little guy needs help, I just explain through the constantly-opening doors that he wants to do it himself, and that he'll wait, thank you. One older man approaches him and is very friendly, asking him about the trucks he is holding. DS doesn't really talk, so the man moved on quickly through the doors, telling me that my ds is cute and they could have a lot of fun and get into a lot of trouble at his (my son's) house. Not one to be overlooked, my daughter spoke up, "I have dolls in the car!" Then the man very excitedly started engaging dd about her dolls. Meanwhile, I am trying to get my son to go ahead and pass through the door. Then I hear the man ask dd, "Do you have a boyfriend?" I turn my attention to them and say, "No, no, she doesn't know anything about that...she's only 4." and I smile politely as I start moving dd towards the door. The man responds, "So? Why not?" Then dd said she <i>does</i> know what that is--it's when you have a friend and it's a boy. A woman passed behind me and said almost under her breath "That's all you need to know at your age."<br><br>
Was this weird, or is it just me? I felt kind of gross after it happened. Is this generational, the whole "do you have a boyfriend thing"? What do you think?
 

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That was really weird. Frankly, that's totally grooming behavior - engaging kids on their level, and then shifting the conversation to inappropriate topics.
 

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That seems creepy to me.<br><br>
I am older...and can't think of anyone I know who is a guy who would talk to a child like that.
 

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My daughter is in kindergarten and one of her classmates says she has a boyfriend, and her family seems to think it's cute (she has a teenaged sister so I think that's where she got the idea)... maybe he's got a grandchild who says she has a boyfriend & he thinks it's normal for kids to talk like that now? Still, it would creep me out, too!
 

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According to Gavin de Becker in <i>Protecting the Gift</i>, that is persuasion-type predatory behavior. Good for you listening to your intuition! If it felt creepy, then it <i>was</i> creepy for you. It doesn't really matter what anyone else thinks about it. (I mean no disrespect to anyone else, but it really doesn't matter how any of us think we would feel about it. We were not there with the OP.)
 

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I don't know... my bells didn't go off reading the OP's description, maybe because I've encountered stuff like this before?<br><br>
I have 2 girls (5 and 2yo) and people aways love talking to them, partly because my girls are very verbal and aren't shy about voicing their thoughts. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/bag.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Bag">: I've had total strangers engage them in conversation with me looking on and it doesn't bother me as I figure thats how they will learn how to converse with people.<br><br>
On a separate note, I've also had people ask my girls if they have a "boyfriend", and although that term at this age makes me frown, my girls do have friends who are boys and thats the description they understand for that term. If the conversation gets any further than that, I put a stop to it.<br><br>
I guess thats just my long winded reply to say that it does bother me when people ask that question to my girls, but I wouldn't immediately think "Predator". I think its just that society seems to think girls should have boyfriends (in the romantic sense) at any age, which is just plain wrong.
 

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We have had something similar happen to me, but the gentleman was very elderly.. like really elderly. I don't think he meant any harm, just trying to talk to a kid.<br><br>
But I was creeped out none the less.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>mama2toomany</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/15371847"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">We have had something similar happen to me, but the gentleman was very elderly.. like really elderly. I don't think he meant any harm, just trying to talk to a kid.<br><br>
But I was creeped out none the less.</div>
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Ok, right? I am not a "stranger danger" kind of mom. Like a pp mentioned about her kids, my daughter is very vocal and converses well with adults. So I have no problem with my kids talking to folks...that's why I was so surprised when I felt gross.
 

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That is the kind of question older folks ask little ones around here all the time. It is done in a joking manner and really is just a way to get the kid to say something funny.
 

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My FIL used to always ask ds if he had a girlfriend. But that was because a) he was talking to his own grandson and b) he's kind of clueless around kids and thought it was an amusing question. Nothing creepy about it, though it got on my nerves.<br><br>
But from an unknown, older guy, toward your daughter? That's creepy.
 

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I think that is a common thing for older people to ask to kids (just in a teasing/joke kind of way, expecting the kid to laugh and say 'eww no!') - I'm not saying it's okay, but I have definitely seen it many many times and remember it from when I was a kid.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Ellp</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/15371740"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I don't know... my bells didn't go off reading the OP's description, maybe because I've encountered stuff like this before?<br><br>
I have 2 girls (5 and 2yo) and people aways love talking to them, partly because my girls are very verbal and aren't shy about voicing their thoughts. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/bag.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Bag">: I've had total strangers engage them in conversation with me looking on and it doesn't bother me as I figure thats how they will learn how to converse with people.<br><br>
On a separate note, I've also had people ask my girls if they have a "boyfriend", and although that term at this age makes me frown, my girls do have friends who are boys and thats the description they understand for that term. If the conversation gets any further than that, I put a stop to it.<br><br>
I guess thats just my long winded reply to say that it does bother me when people ask that question to my girls, but I wouldn't immediately think "Predator". I think its just that society seems to think girls should have boyfriends (in the romantic sense) at any age, which is just plain wrong.</div>
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Yeah, the OP didn't get my radar up either, but depending on the vibe coming from the guy, I could how it would be creepy. At the very least, the guy didn't have good social etiquette. Most men these days know they have to be careful how they talk to small children—which is unfortunate as pedophiles and kidnappers come in both sexes.<br><br>
People talk all the time to DD(male or female), and she can't even talk back yet. I don't discourage it in most cases. It's good for her social skills. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 

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If you ask my dd if she has a boyfriend she will say "Yeah My daddy, and I got 3 babies in my belly too, a boy, a girl, and Hello Kitty".<br><br><br>
A lot of people find that creepy.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Gillian28</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/15372049"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I think that is a common thing for older people to ask to kids (just in a teasing/joke kind of way, expecting the kid to laugh and say 'eww no!') - I'm not saying it's okay, but I have definitely seen it many many times and remember it from when I was a kid.</div>
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<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/yeahthat.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="yeah that"><br><br>
I will add that even though this doesn't set off my mama alarm, it is just wrong that adults think very young children should have a boyfriend/girlfriend. My mom still says things like this, and she is in her 70s.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>MCatLvrMom2A&X</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/15372044"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">That is the kind of question older folks ask little ones around here all the time. It is done in a joking manner and really is just a way to get the kid to say something funny.</div>
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I have lived in 3 states with small children. I think they have all at one time or another been asked do you have a boy/girl friend by an older person (either gender).<br><br>
I would be creeped out if it was a younger person, but not older.<br><br>
I don't see anything in the post that would set off my alarms.
 

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<div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">
<div>Originally Posted by <strong>MCatLvrMom2A&X</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/15372044"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">That is the kind of question older folks ask little ones around here all the time. It is done in a joking manner and really is just a way to get the kid to say something funny.</div>
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<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/yeahthat.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="yeah that"> It annoys me and I wish people wouldn't do it because we push growing up on our girls too fast and I think it's just another example of that. But generally it's intended as a harmless joke. That said I can see how it could be creepy depending on the vibe a person gives off.
 

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I find this question, when posed to my 5-year-old DD, incredibly annoying. Especially since her best friend is a little boy and both his mother and I have agreed that we don't want any weird girl-boy vibe to get in the way of their natural relationship. I'm afraid if too much attention is called to the fact that a giiiirl is friiiends with a booooy, then DD will get a message that it's not "normal" or okay if there isn't some romantic overtone. Ick.<br><br>
In general, I don't find the question creepy, but it's all in the delivery. If it felt creepy, it was creepy.
 

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It sounds like a very common question. I have heard it a lot of both girls and "do you have a girlfriend?" of little boys. I think because so often little ones at school like to say that they have a boyfriend/girlfriend....they play house.<br>
If it is a kindly older gentleman and he was just being friendly while asking it I wouldn't even bat an eye at it.<br>
That's just me though
 

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That happened to me on a bus when DD was 3, and as with you it wan't so much the question as the "eeeeewwww" feeling i got from the guy asking her. She was hiding her face at that point too, giving him a clear signal that she wasn't feeling like talking. He asked her 3 times and the 3rd time i replied angrily on her behalf "why, do you think you're in with a chance!?" and flashed my lioness claws. He gave up after that.
 
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