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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
<p>Once again, I turn to this wonderful community in a time of crisis when I have no where else to turn.</p>
<p>Moderators, I'm not sure where I should post this, please feel free to move it.</p>
<p>  </p>
<p>This may be long!</p>
<p>Last month, I had open heart surgery and my kids were with my in-laws for a week.  My mil, who is a therapist who has specialized in childhood sexual abuse noticed a behavior in my daughter that put up a red flag for her.</p>
<p>     Apparently, my two kids (dd 4.5 and ds almost 2) were in the bath together, and dd took ds's hand and forced him to touch her between the legs while he struggled against it.  I guess this happened twice in the same bath.  My MIL, and the two child psychologists she has since talked to, all say that there is NO way that dd would ever think to do this unless she herself has been innapropriately touched or seen behaviour like this.  According to them, there's no way she hasn't been molested basically.</p>
<p>     My whole world is spinning and I now feel like I can't trust anyone and can't talk to anyone about it.  I am still recovering from surgery and am basically a wreck over this.  Can anyone give me any insight?  Sorry for typos, my kkids are climbing all over me! </p>
 

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<p>I have no experience here and I just thought you could use a big hug.  <span><img alt="hug2.gif" src="http://files.mothering.com/images/smilies/hug2.gif"></span></p>
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<p><span>Could it be that she just saw it somewhere, like on TV?</span>  Or witnessed something in person (like, walking in on a babysitter and boyfriend)?</p>
<p> </p>
<p>What do your MIL and those two psychologists suggest in this case then? I mean, they are the experts. Perhaps they can offer insight into how you can find out more info.   I know that getting 4 year olds to tell you what happened is not exactly a fruitful endeavor.  Gosh, I can't even find out what mine did in school today!</p>
 

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<p>in my limited experience yes that does usually point to sexual abuse. </p>
<p> </p>
<p>does your child go to a dc? it could be another child. when my toddler was in dc another toddler child would keep pulling down her underwear and patting her bottom. that's how we discovered the other child was being abused. </p>
<p> </p>
<p>systematically make a list of all the people your dd has been in the care of - and then figure out who would have the opportunity to do it and try by elimination if you can get a list of the suspicious ones. </p>
<p> </p>
<p>this is so hard mama. HUGS!!!</p>
 

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<p>Is that the only sign your MIL noticed? Because honestly, while it would cause me to be more attentive to who I leave my children with, without more I wouldn't jump the the conclusion that she has to have been abused. It is possible she picked it up from another child who is being sexually abused.</p>
 

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<p>Yeah, sorry, that's a flag.  Cascadian has a good list of other issues.  </p>
<p> </p>
<p>OTOH, your daughter is still her wonderful, precious, self.  She doesn't know that what she is doing is wrong, so don't make her feel bad/dirty/wrong.</p>
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
<p>thanks everyone.  I talked with dd today while we were both very calmly coloring together and she told me that she has never had another big kid or little kid or grown up ask to see or touch her private parts or ask her to touch theirs.  She is basically with me all the time.  My husband and I both really think that nothing has happened.  My mil is blowing this totally out of proportion because of her own past abuse issues.  That's really what we think.  That said, we are re-arranging our lives so the one possibility is ruled out, and we are basically paranoid about some of our closest friends (and their ten year old boy) now.  </p>
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<p>I would consult a child psychologist yourself.  I don't think that your MIL has nearly enough information to make this evaluation. The child psychologists she "consulted with" have even less.</p>
 

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<p><span>OP, I see that you and your DH have talked about it and feel like you have a pretty good grasp on the situation.  So this post is more a response to cascadian that it is to you... but it's still good information for anyone to have. </span></p>
<p> </p>
<p><span>Quote:</span></p>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>Cascadian</strong> <a href="/community/forum/thread/1291593/possible-sexual-abuse-warning-sign#post_16187043"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border-bottom:0px solid;border-left:0px solid;border-top:0px solid;border-right:0px solid;"></a><br><br><p> If you want to know for sure, get her a physical from a child-friendly doctor (hospitals usually have specialists, or find a good pediatrician),</p>
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<p>A simple physical may or may not shows signs of abuse, but let me tell you from personal experience....if a physical by her ped/an ER doc or nurse show signs of abuse, it will NOT constitute as evidence of abuse and will not be upheld in a court of law.  You need a SANE exam done by a nurse who is qualified to do SANE exams for that.  And if you really really think that abuse has occurred, then also take my advice from personal experience... get a SANE exam.  ASAP</p>
<p> </p>
<p>I sat as a juror on a child sex abuse trial last summer and we couldn't convict the guy b/c there was no evidence.  They had gotten a physical on the day of the last alleged abuse (the physical only showed red labia, but the alleged event involved oral not vaginal or anal penetration) and then had waited more than 72 hours to get a SANE exam (which is outside of recommended time limits). Of course, being outside the recommended time limits of the exam, it came back showing no signs of abuse. The whole trial was really screwed up because the stupid officers who initially handled the case didn't follow protocol and take her for a SANE exam.  I also learned during that trial that in little girls, 90% of girls who have ben sexually abused have no conclusive results from a SANE exam... which kind of makes you wonder what the point of a SANE exam is... except that if you don't have one, you have a 100% chance of having no physical evidence </p>
 
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<p>This is a very real possibility (the bolded)</p>
<p> </p>
<p>What is the larger context of this? How's your relationship with your MIL? Has she been critical of your parental choices in general? Does she know your children well?</p>
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<p>In any case, the fact that she is jumping to conclusions, and is assuming the worst, is a sign that she is not being very professional, and possibly not objective at all. I'm sure that no reputable child psychologist will suggest a child was molested based on ONE single incident. It is also entirely possibly that because of her issues she misread the situation.</p>
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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>Enudely</strong> <a href="/community/forum/thread/1291593/possible-sexual-abuse-warning-sign#post_16189895"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border-bottom:0px solid;border-left:0px solid;border-top:0px solid;border-right:0px solid;"></a><br><br><p>thanks everyone.  I talked with dd today while we were both very calmly coloring together and she told me that she has never had another big kid or little kid or grown up ask to see or touch her private parts or ask her to touch theirs.  She is basically with me all the time.  My husband and I both really think that nothing has happened.  <strong>My mil is blowing this totally out of proportion because of her own past abuse issues.</strong>  That's really what we think.  That said, we are re-arranging our lives so the one possibility is ruled out, and we are basically paranoid about some of our closest friends (and their ten year old boy) now.  </p>
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<p>how much does she know about sex?  If this is the only warning sign, it is possible that she simply knows sex involves the genitals and two people and that it is meant to feel good, perhaps taking PP's idea that she has discovered it feels good when SHE touches herself and just kind of extrapolated what little she knows with her younger brother.  If she knows just enough to think making her brother touch her is okay and not much more, I can see a situation like this happening.  Curiosity about what little a kid knows and seeing what happens I suppose.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>I'd also be concerned about your MIL trying to diagnose her in anyway.  I feel like it would be much easier for her to jump to conclusions simply by being family.  harder to stay objective on the matter.  I also think it is inappropriate for her to be sharing this information with people who aren't treating your daughter and since she isn't treating your daughter either, have no business being used as a consult to help your MIL treat your daughter.  I feel there is a conflict of interest that shades everything.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>I think it is great though that although you came to the same conclusion of your MIL probably blowing this out of proportion, you are still taking it seriously and keeping an eye out.  I don't want to minimize this one flag myself because your MIL could be right despite the cloud that could be blocking her judgment and i'm glad you aren't either.  you are a good mom for caring :)</p>
 

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<br><br><div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>Enudely</strong> <a href="/community/forum/thread/1291593/possible-sexual-abuse-warning-sign#post_16189895"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a><br><br><p>thanks everyone.  I talked with dd today while we were both very calmly coloring together and she told me that she has never had another big kid or little kid or grown up ask to see or touch her private parts or ask her to touch theirs.  She is basically with me all the time.  My husband and I both really think that nothing has happened.  My mil is blowing this totally out of proportion because of her own past abuse issues.  That's really what we think.  That said, we are re-arranging our lives so the one possibility is ruled out, and we are basically paranoid about some of our closest friends (and their ten year old boy) now.  </p>
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<p>I think you've handled it really well. I'd keep an eye on her and her interactions, and I'd most likely bathe the children separately, but not every red flag means that there is something there. She may have just figured out that she likes to be touched there.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>I think it was very unprofessional of your MIL to jump to conclusions and to talk about your DD with others.</p>
<p> </p>
 

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<p>I agree with most everyone else, that this one behavior is not enough to jump to conclusions.  My kids, (and most kids probably) are the type to test boundaries.  At the age when they are learning about privacy, they want to figure out what that really means.  What is private?  What happens if I don't act 'private'?  Is it funny? </p>
 

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<p>There is a reason that doctors don't treat family, that includes therapists.  They cannot remain objective.  So, I would take her to a therapist that is not related to her.  Seriously, if your MIL is surrounded by cases of sexual abuse all day in her work, then she might be hypersensitive about it possibly happening to a child she loves dearly.  I am not saying that she doesn't have the best of intentions, but she is not the best one to decide if your child has been abused.  Maybe what she saw was your daughter trying to sit on her brothers hand or some other innocent action that her mind blew out of proportion because she does specialize in this field.  I would get a second opinion.</p>
 

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<p><br>
I agree with this.  If it were my dd, I'd want to follow up on MIL's concerns, but I'd try not to assume anything until an unrelated objective therapist talked to her.  I hope it turns out to be nothing, but it sounds worth more investigation.  :hug</p>
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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>Petie1104</strong> <a href="/community/forum/thread/1291593/possible-sexual-abuse-warning-sign#post_16192074"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border-bottom:0px solid;border-left:0px solid;border-top:0px solid;border-right:0px solid;"></a><br><br><p>There is a reason that doctors don't treat family, that includes therapists.  They cannot remain objective.  So, I would take her to a therapist that is not related to her.  Seriously, if your MIL is surrounded by cases of sexual abuse all day in her work, then she might be hypersensitive about it possibly happening to a child she loves dearly.  I am not saying that she doesn't have the best of intentions, but she is not the best one to decide if your child has been abused.  Maybe what she saw was your daughter trying to sit on her brothers hand or some other innocent action that her mind blew out of proportion because she does specialize in this field.  I would get a second opinion.</p>
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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
<p>Thank you so much everyone, I <em>really</em> appreciate  your input!  So, that all said, here' s my next issue.  I teach lessons at my house one day a week and have the kids of our friends over to babysitt (they trade that for their music lessons.)  They are a 10 year old boy and a 13 year old girl.  The deal is working out great!  There is also always at least one other adult in the house, the mom of the kid I'm teaching.  I am in the music room and my kids know they can come in while I'm teaching as long as they are quiet.  The kids are allowed to roam the house freely and are usually very active (and loud!)</p>
<p> </p>
<p>     MIL is pushing me to stop having these big kids watch my kids while I teach, just in case something happened with them.  DH basically wants to follow her advice so that she stops being freaked out by the possibility.  We aren't totally in denial that there's a possibility that something happened, but I feel that we can't live our lives in fear.  I think that this situation is working out to well to sabotage it over this.  My idea is to keep talking to dd about private body parts and check in with her about it.  I may even ask her outright if this particular kid has ever tried to "play" with her in this way.  </p>
<p>     I have them stay outside if the weather permits (we do live in the PNW though!).  </p>
<p> </p>
<p>Am I being crazy to not want to change this setup?  Should I absolutely not have her alone with those kids under any circumstances?  Is that paranoid?  Should I talk to the big kids about it?  Their parents? Aaauugh!  I'm going nuts over this and am supposed to go back to teaching this Thursday!  Any input greatly appreciated.</p>
 

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<p> </p>
<p> </p>
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<div>Their parents? Aaauugh! </div>
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<p>I would be livid if I was one of these parents!</p>
<p> </p>
<p>You have no proof of anything-regardless it is <em>not you</em> (but the police) if there was real proof.</p>
 

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<br><br><div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>Enudely</strong> <a href="/community/forum/thread/1291593/possible-sexual-abuse-warning-sign#post_16193562"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border-bottom:0px solid;border-left:0px solid;border-top:0px solid;border-right:0px solid;"></a><br><br><p>Thank you so much everyone, I <em>really</em> appreciate  your input!  So, that all said, here' s my next issue.  I teach lessons at my house one day a week and have the kids of our friends over to babysitt (they trade that for their music lessons.)  They are a 10 year old boy and a 13 year old girl.  The deal is working out great!  There is also always at least one other adult in the house, the mom of the kid I'm teaching.  I am in the music room and my kids know they can come in while I'm teaching as long as they are quiet.  The kids are allowed to roam the house freely and are usually very active (and loud!)</p>
<p> </p>
<p>     MIL is pushing me to stop having these big kids watch my kids while I teach, just in case something happened with them.  DH basically wants to follow her advice so that she stops being freaked out by the possibility.  We aren't totally in denial that there's a possibility that something happened, but I feel that we can't live our lives in fear.  I think that this situation is working out to well to sabotage it over this.  My idea is to keep talking to dd about private body parts and check in with her about it.  I may even ask her outright if this particular kid has ever tried to "play" with her in this way.  </p>
<p>     I have them stay outside if the weather permits (we do live in the PNW though!).  </p>
<p> </p>
<p>Am I being crazy to not want to change this setup?  Should I absolutely not have her alone with those kids under any circumstances?  Is that paranoid?  Should I talk to the big kids about it?  Their parents? Aaauugh!  I'm going nuts over this and am supposed to go back to teaching this Thursday!  Any input greatly appreciated.</p>
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Ok, I'm trying to see this from both sides.  So, from your side, anything to get MIL to stop worrying and to allay any fears you may have. I can't blame you, because even if you believe that MIL was exaggerating or mistaken, that little voice is not going to subside until dd talks to someone else and they can tell you, "Nope didn't happen".</p>
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<p>From dd's side, mommy keeps asking me about people touching me, does Mommy want someone to have touched me.  Maybe if I just say yes then mommy will stop asking me.  (Not saying you keep asking, but the more you ask it, especially adding names, the more likely she is going to start wondering if it DID in fact happen and you want her to say yes).  I would avoid talking to her about it at all until you talk to a therapist who knows how to ask these questions without implanting thoughts in the child's mind.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>From the teens side, "umm so I did nothing wrong and this woman now wants to keep me away from her kids, what is wrong with me, does she not like me anymore?"  Not that I think YOU think that, but as a teen, to be "let go" from a job is a huge blow to the self esteem and could make them start to wonder what they did to make you angry and not like them anymore.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>From the parent's side, "ummmm, yeah, honey you need to stay away from that woman because she honestly thinks you did xxxxx and I don't want you arrested for something you didn't do so stay far, far, away." Think about this, would you ever be able to have those kids even come near your home again after addressing this with their parents.</p>
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<p> </p>
<p>OK so now, for what I would do.....</p>
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<p>I would probably call and say, "hey, dh wants to take the kids out this week so we won't be needing you to come over.  I'll see you next time"  Or if it's going to be a couple weeks before you can get her to a therapist, "You know, dh wants to spend a couple of these class nights with the kids so I'll call you in a couple weeks when I need you to come back over."  This leaves you in a position to say, "hey MIL we went ahead and are keeping those kids from coming over until after we get an official opinion on whether they did anything to dd"  PLUS, it gives you the means to call them back up in a couple weeks and say, "Hey, well, we are having class next week and I could really use your help".</p>
 
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<p><br>
OP--I'd rather be safe than sorry.  I certainly wouldn't overreact by approaching the kids or parents about something potentially having happened, because I don't think that is fair.  That said, I would also eliminate babysitting by anyone I didn't feel 110% safe with.  If you stop having them babysit, you're inconveniencing yourself.  If you keep having them babysit and nothing is going on, great!  But what if you keep having them babysit and something is going on and your daughter is scared/whatever to tell you?  It would be worth it to me to inconvenience myself. </p>
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<p>Having worked with kids who have been sexually abused, I would be somewhat concerned about your DDs behavior, but not having seen it yourself, it is hard to know if your MIL is overreacting.  I would keep a very close eye out for any additional behavior though, and would see a therapist if I saw anything else remotely alarming.  Best of luck. <br>
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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>Enudely</strong> <a href="/community/forum/thread/1291593/possible-sexual-abuse-warning-sign#post_16193562"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border-bottom:0px solid;border-left:0px solid;border-top:0px solid;border-right:0px solid;"></a><br><br><p>Thank you so much everyone, I <em>really</em> appreciate  your input!  So, that all said, here' s my next issue.  I teach lessons at my house one day a week and have the kids of our friends over to babysitt (they trade that for their music lessons.)  They are a 10 year old boy and a 13 year old girl.  The deal is working out great!  There is also always at least one other adult in the house, the mom of the kid I'm teaching.  I am in the music room and my kids know they can come in while I'm teaching as long as they are quiet.  The kids are allowed to roam the house freely and are usually very active (and loud!)</p>
<p> </p>
<p>     MIL is pushing me to stop having these big kids watch my kids while I teach, just in case something happened with them.  DH basically wants to follow her advice so that she stops being freaked out by the possibility.  We aren't totally in denial that there's a possibility that something happened, but I feel that we can't live our lives in fear.  I think that this situation is working out to well to sabotage it over this.  My idea is to keep talking to dd about private body parts and check in with her about it.  I may even ask her outright if this particular kid has ever tried to "play" with her in this way.  </p>
<p>     I have them stay outside if the weather permits (we do live in the PNW though!).  </p>
<p> </p>
<p>Am I being crazy to not want to change this setup?  Should I absolutely not have her alone with those kids under any circumstances?  Is that paranoid?  Should I talk to the big kids about it?  Their parents? Aaauugh!  I'm going nuts over this and am supposed to go back to teaching this Thursday!  Any input greatly appreciated.</p>
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