We just got back from a Christmas activity with my friend, her husband and their toddler daughter. Almost the entire time my five year old "played" with him, basically hanging on him, pulling on him, them teasing each other. I was driving and on the way home they were in the back seat and they were behaving like two five year olds, finally when the tickeling started I had to tell them to stop.
I had a problem two visits back when they were at my house with him "rough housing" with her for literally hours.
I don't think he is a pervert or something. I don't think he thinks there is anything inappropriate. My daughter is very charming to men. She says basically it is because she doesn't have a daddy and then makes me feel guilty. However, she was very excited by this activity. The whole thing make me very uncomfortable. She went to counseling for two years and things are a lot better about her being too friendly with strangers. However, I am going to have to not go out with them anymore? I explained to the wife my daughter had issues and that I was not comfortable about her husband being too physical a couple of months back.
I don't know, am I paranoid? It is like men today want to do all this rough housing and showing affection. However, sometimes there is a fine line between tickeling and something else. I know most people think men know better but sometimes I think they can be really dumb on the topic. Or maybe I'm just being dumb for giving them the benefit of the doubt?
If she's seeking time and attention with men, find her appropriate male models. Grandpa? Uncle? Seriously committed friend?
Came back to add that if you feel oddly about the interactions between your DD and your friend's Dh, stick with your gut. I'm not saying that the friend's Dh is a perv, either, but I know when some of my kids are interacting in a way that isn't, ultimately, healthy for them. I know if one of my kids starts giggling in a certain way it isn't ok. I can't tell you why, or why, exactly, but I can tell.
I have a similar problem with my 4 yr old. One of my teens ahass a boyfriend and she says the guy is her boyfriend and she tries to hang on him and be next to him and hog his attention. It's crazy, but I know it has a lot to do with her losing her BioDad when she was under a year old( to foster care). She has been with us for 3 years and loves DH. I can see what she does is wrong and weird,but I can't really explain it to anyone who doesn't understand.
In my case, I just have to make her leave the room or stop being next to him. She has no boundaries even though it's something we are really working on with her. I have to constantly stop her from being the center of attention and interfering.
I know one thing, she isn't doing any sleep overs. I don't trust her around men or other children. She could be too friendly to the wrong man. Also I'm worried she will say or do something inappropriate and it would get all around school.
One of the other mothers told me her daughter is going into her room to be "alone" for 20 minutes and telling her to go away while she finishes "XXXXXX". She asked the doctor who said it was normal. I don't think that much dedicated time for it and telling your mother to go away while you do it is normal, especially for a four year old. (not a foster child)
I never gave any of this much thought before but until she really understands things, she is not going anywhere alone except for day parties. The social workers said they didn't know anything but I'm pretty sure somebody did something inappropriate and she doesn't understand it. Her counselor is just leaving it alone for now.
I'm trying really hard to not make a big deal about it or mess up her normal development. However, you would think grown people would have more sense, especially when I said something to the wife last time.
My mother always said somebody who doesn't lie doesn't think other people do. So I guess if nothing ever happened to you etc. it doesn't enter your brain.
I'm sorry you're having problems with this:(. Know that it isn't your fault, regardless of whether your DD tries to make you feel guilty (or does it unintentionally).
I would recommend talking to the husband privately, just tell him that your child tends to take things the wrong way, etc, and could he please not touch her, thank you. Share anything you feel comfortable with sharing, so he understands, but it's possible to get the message across without telling him anything too sensitive.
I've never encountered this problem, but that's what I would do.
I can't tell you why, or why, exactly, but I can tell.
I meant to say "...why, or HOW, exactly...". :cool:
I have had to deal with similar things with my girls, I am not sure why but they both have boundary issues with men. They are only 7 and 8 now but this has been an ongoing problem, especially with a good friends of ours who is not a pervert but is very much more "touchy feely" then we are. Anyway, now the the girls are a bit older we have been able to explain to them what is appropriate and what is not. I have told them "you are now too old to be picked up by ___ or to sit on his lap. You can sit next to him and talk to him but don't climb on him or cling to him." I think you could also talk to this friend and tell him you are working on some issues with your DD and would appreciate it if he help out with her personal boundaries by not tickling for being to physical with her. You might have to be very specific with him, he may not get your hints.
I had a big talk with my daughter last night. I had to face the reality that it doesn't do much good to tell the men because there is always going to be new strange men and I won't always be there.
I went into the conversation about what was okay touching and who was close enough to touch and how. It is just really difficult. I'm pretty sure her family kissed her on the mouth. I know some families do that but I'm not comfortable with it.
It is difficult to explain to a five year old the difference between parental, or friendly affection versus affection between boyfriend and girlfriend. Right now basically she thinks I'm just plain wrong and that her behavior is right. Her counselor and I've been working on it. I know all this hugging is popular but between the head lice, bed bugs, colds and taking 15 minutes to hug everybody at the daycare, I wish this hadn't come in style. The good news is her daycare has made them stopped the hugging, now only high fives and hug from the teacher.
I want her to be comfortable with affection but explaining and convincing her about boundaries isn't easy.
I totally understand, this is a very difficult thing. I am curious how your daughter's counselor deals with it just because we did not have a counselor and we have been dealing with the same thing....
My daughter has the same issue. It was very difficult when she was younger because people with "normal" children don't understand. And to try and tell a young child boundary rules just didn't work. I had to limit time with adult men and if she decided to sit on their lap I would have to remove her and make her sit with me for the rest of the visit.
I find it very strange that men are okay with other people's female child sitting, hugging or playing with their face. I would think there should be some boundary rules for them too but over and over again I found adults were really okay with all of this.
We had to make a family rule about sitting with other people. Unfortunately I can't control what she does outside of my sight so I just hope for the best. I will be surprised if she makes it to adulthood without being taking advantage of, but I cannot control everything.
Our therapist had us talk about personal space and boundaries but my child just doesn't understand. I have talk to them about good and bad touches as well and my daughter's response was "what if I want them to touch me there". I can only do so much. Our daughter now gets time out with me if she can't remember the family rule about boundaries.
The therapist did the good touch bad touch. Also that you have to ask somebody before you hug them. Mostly we tell her that it isn't okay for non family members. It is difficult because there is this culture now that encourages more physical touching.
I think a lot of men go along with it trying to be "sensitive huggy men". For so long men were picked on for not being affectionate enough. Maybe there was a reason men years ago were more standoffish. I know my dad was always worried about it, he would never drive a little girl home alone etc.
With M, we have a list of who it is OK to hold hands, kiss, sit with, etc. If someone is not on the list, it's hands off, period. I would stop M if I saw something that didn't feel right and we would talk about it at the time. I would apologize for interrupting, but tell them I need to talk to M. We would then review the rule about touching and he would stay by me for a while. Depending on the adult, I would tell them I would love to talk later about the reasons why this needed to stop. Sometimes I didn't. I just smiled and let them think I was an "overprotective parent". At 12, he can usually tell what is appropriate now. We can talk about what the teenagers are doing (holding hands, kissing, etc) and how we feel about that as a family. I hope it lasts, lol! Puberty is starting here :(
You're right to feel that this is inappropriate. Your job is to teach your daughter and keep her safe. It doesn't matter what other people think or say. She's your number one priority. And while you may not think this guy is a "pervert," his behavior is NOT appropriate. Go with your gut and put boundaries in place with him, and with your daughter. You're being a good, safe, caring mom!
Susan Ward
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