Paedophile hysteria on MN-should DH quit?

(99 Posts)
socharlotte Tue 13-Nov-12 12:04:17

DH is a qualified gymnastics coach.Something he got into when our teenagers were small.He always works in the company of other coaches and there is a parents viewing area.
However most of the gymnasts are little girls (there are a few boys).the jog obviously involves physical contact with the children supporting their flips and vaults etc.But I am thinking he should quit after reading some of the posts on MN recently .A dad hanging round a nursery and a headteacher hanging round a classroom are viewed with suspicion.Are people saying this about DH too.How sad it is that men can't work with children without being viewed as weirdos sad

InSPsFanjoNoOneHearsYouScream Tue 13-Nov-12 12:20:53

He shouldn't quit. People are loons tbh.

I had male teachers for PE at school. If anything he should have been scared of us. Hormonal teenage girls around a very fit and good looking man grin

I don't automatically assume men are paedophiles because they are at a park or carrying a camera. That's mental.

Fakebook Tue 13-Nov-12 12:21:27

I must have by-passed all this "hysteria" on MN.

Yes it is sad that men can't work with children without being labelled as weird, but I honestly can say, that even if my dh did work with children I wouldn't think about asking him to stop just because a bunch of women with their knickers in a twist were saying its wrong on the Internet.

FellatioNelson Tue 13-Nov-12 12:21:39

I think the (relatively) recent public awareness of paedophilia and the refusal to brush it under the carpet these days is a good thing obviously, but one of the very sad results of this is that many people have stopped working with children, or being around children, especially voluntarily, because of the paranoia that surrounds men working with children.

We need people like your DH in our communities and it would be awful if he felt hounded out or lacked the confidence to continue, based on er....nothing at all. Perhaps he should write to the parents or have an informal meeting to ask what they think, and tell them that he is concerned that the physical contact (which is entirely necessary in order to fulfill his role properly) may be perceived as inappropriate, and that he needs to hear that the parents are supportive, and comfortable with what he needs to do? Perhaps he should insist that parents stay and watch ALWAYS to protect himself from any misunderstandings or false accusations that might arise?

Raspberrysorbet Tue 13-Nov-12 12:25:58

Most abuse happens within close or extended families.

Random paedophile attack (for want of a better word) is uncommon, but newsworthy.

I think it is a sad state of affairs that someone's gender means a huge assumption is made about their motives.

You're a women, you must be shite at driving
You're a women you should be chained to the kitchen sink
You're a man, you must be a paedophile.

<shakes head sadly at society>

EmpressOfTheSevenOceans Tue 13-Nov-12 12:26:34

I read the headmaster thread and to put it in context, he insisted on being in the female changing room when the staff were changing the DCs for swimming, took the OP's 3 year old DS off to the jacuzzi by himself and twice - once in the water, once in the classroom - held the DS in full body restraint on his lap for some time. I'd be bothered about that.

I don't think it bears any relation to your DH though, OP. He's clearly a professional doing the job he's good at and following the rules.

AnAirOfHopeForSnow Tue 13-Nov-12 12:28:03

Quit his job, no but be careful not to be put in any inappriote position,yes.

Everyone is a potental threat because i can not control their actions. I would perfer to be over protective than under protective and regret it.

It not just child sex abuse that concern me its how adults treat my children in genral like second class citizens.

I dont want negative opioins around my children that includes sexist racish or ageist pov from people my children are ment to look up to.

I think there are great role modles out there but they are few and far between sad

Startail Tue 13-Nov-12 12:29:01

DD has a male gym coach we are all very grateful for the hard work he puts in. The lads who teach swimming at are local pool are lovely.

Present attitudes stink and are narrowing opportunities for children.

Men daren't help with youth groups and adult groups daren't take younger members. My DH has helped with Guide event's, but he always feels happiest doing gate duty or carparks not anything with the girlssad

Dh and I have both chaperoned our teen DD to adult electronic and outdoor sports groups that she could perfectly well do alone because they are nervous that they'd need to CRB checks.

DD is 14 she knows the facts of life, she would know if someone was behaving in an inappropriate manner.

It's ridiculous, being 18 doesn't suddenly protect you from unwanted attention it just makes them feel the right to persist.

Yes sex abuse exists, but most of sadly is perpetrated by people far closer to home than the gym coach or the climbing instructor.

quoteunquote Tue 13-Nov-12 12:29:02

Dad, Uncle, Brother in that order, are the people most likely to abuse,

It's very sad when people feel the need to be very careful with their children safety,but this is the out come of abuse, those individuals that have abused children cause this, they are responsible for the damage.

I totally understand the caution, I myself do not automatically trust, because I was abused, and know how easily it can happen, and would be devastated if any of my children, ours or other were exposed to abuse.

My husband and I do a lot of activities with children, we are always cautious so as not to put anyone in a situation where a child could be vulnerable or an adult could be vulnerable to accusation,

Form a personal code of conduct and stick to it, and write one out for any organisation you take part in. cover any eventuality and everyone will be safe.

It's extremely important that positive male role models do not disappear from the childhood experience.

Our society needs to have a balanced input.

Raspberrysorbet Tue 13-Nov-12 12:29:54

everyone is a potential threat? Really?

redexpat Tue 13-Nov-12 12:30:14

There's definitely a balance to be reached isn't there.

A gym coach in the company of other adults and in full view of the parents is absolutely fine.

Going out of sight with ONE child is not.

As long as he never allows himself to be put in a position where someone could make an accusation then he'll be absolutely fine.

He shouldn't quit.

If anyone judges him for it, or questions his motives, they're the one with the problem.

UsedToBeAContender Tue 13-Nov-12 12:31:30

I quite agree. I'm interviewing for a new nanny and have a male candidate coming today. I've had some quite shocking comments, including from my own DM!!

shesariver Tue 13-Nov-12 12:35:52

This attitude was what prevented my DH setting up as a childminder when he initally thought of it. He was a SAHD and took our DS to toddler groups (he hated them to be honest but did it for DS) eventually made some friends there and someone suggested he become a CM. 2 years it took for him to apply because of fear of what people would think and would he get any children. Eventually after a lot of thought, money and hard work he was registered. Whether it was the economy just now or other opinions he had no children for 6 months - very soul destroying. But gradually through word of mouth and people knowing him (it helps that we live in a small town at times) he has built up a business and is really rather busy. And he loves it - hes a wonderful Dad and is very hands on when it comes to imaginative play - the kids all love him!!

And yes he still has came up against the view that there must be something wrong with him because of what he does, its very sad and also makes me angry at times because its like saying he will abuse children....just because hes a man. Interestingly for ages it was all boys he minded, only recently has he had a girl toddler and now will be getting a girl baby soon. One of his first Mums even admitted if she had a girl she woudlnt have used him!

Good luck statistically if your DH decides to go for it, if he wants any tips etc give me a message!

EmpressOfTheSevenOceans Tue 13-Nov-12 12:38:17

DD used to adore the bloke at her nursery. She invited him to Sunday lunch and said 'Then Mummy can mend your holey trousers.'

GossipWitch Tue 13-Nov-12 12:39:47

There are on average 250,000 convicted peodophiles in the uk, there are on average 59 million people living in the uk, that is a very small percentage of peodophiles imo, Its a sad world we live in if we judge people by a very small minority.

shesariver Tue 13-Nov-12 12:41:50

Everyone is a potental threat

I actually dont know whether to be angry or cry at that remark.

A balance has to be found about viewing the world as "bad" or "good" and risk at the end of the day, seeing the world as a dangerous place all the time is no good either.

Idocrazythings Tue 13-Nov-12 12:42:57

My dd has a male coach and has had male swimming teachers. I think it's good they get the male contact as teaching is so female dominated.

3bunnies Tue 13-Nov-12 12:46:04

Gym isn't compulsory unless in school. If parents aren't happy they will vote with their feet, doesn't sound as if they is doing that. It sounds as if there are always other people around. Imagine if he did quit and was replaced by someone who actually was an abuser. Let him keep enjoying the job he loves.

From my observations at secondary I think we as girls had more to fear from a couple of female PE teachers than any of the men in the school. They did have an unhealthy interest in checking we had certain knickers on and that we had through showers. Your dh is (I assume) one of the good guys he needs to be there to be a positive male role model.

fluffyraggies Tue 13-Nov-12 12:47:37

Will anyone come to this thread and admit it though? That they would feel uncomfortable enough about having a male child minder, or male swimming coach, or whatever, to withdraw the child from the class or not employ that childminder.

I will make a confession - i've said i'd be fine, but, thinking about it ...

Last year i sorted out some after school tutoring for my DD. The tutoring was for an hour in the tutors home, DD to be left there while i went off elsewhere. The tutor was male. I admit i wobbled a bitthe first couple of times i had to leave her. My DH insisted on coming with me to meet him at that first drop off to 'check him out'. The guy was CBR checked and of course and had shown me the cert. I actually said to DH it feels wrong leaving her!

I'm asking myself now if i would have been at all worried if the tutor had been female. I think i probably wouldn't. Perhaps i'm a bit hysterical then?

I got over the wobbles, and DD went to him weekly for 6 months. (Her maths improved enormously btw smile)

Was i being daft or was it just natural parental protectivness?

Its ridiculous. My dd (8) goes to cubs simply because it was closer to our house than brownies and our ds goes as well. I have had looks of horror because the leaders are men (although there is now 1 woman) and I leave my dd with them and send her on camps. FFS.

goralka Tue 13-Nov-12 12:48:36

all this talk of hysteria - well let's see if you were brought up in the seventies it is understandable - just off the cuff there was the playleader who was obsessed with asking girls if they had the cane at their schools, the middle school games teacher who enjoyed the girl's gymnastic lessons rather too much, especially when he 'had' to help them get over the horse, (to the full knowledge of his colleagues) - there was the neighbour who hugged just a bit too hard and long, the teaching colleague of a close relative who brought his gf for tea, never mind that she was in his sixth form, the female teacher 'getting off' with a 15 year old boy on a school weekend trip (to the full knowledge of her colleagues) - not to mention Top of the Pops seemingly being for the gratification of some vile old perverts and as for JIm'll fix it let's no go there - state sponsored child abuse.
so anyone who was brought up in that atmosphere - let alone the ones who were actually abused - who now has children is bound to be a little .....over cautious. Let's not call it hysteria, that belittles it.

FanjoForTheMammaries Tue 13-Nov-12 12:49:39

I was born in 1972 and dont agree

goralka Tue 13-Nov-12 12:50:14

and btw it is not ridiculous - your average peadophile will work hard to put himself in a position of responsibility around children - they are not weirdo's in macs.

goralka Tue 13-Nov-12 12:52:23

well perhaps you were too small to notice fanjo, I was born in the sixties and trust me they were all out there.

Viviennemary Tue 13-Nov-12 12:54:39

I don't think I'd be pleased if a random photographer started taking photos of me in the street or in a cafe. Whether they had a licence or not. Can't understand the poster who wouldn't let her child be alone in the same room as her brother. If I felt like that I wouldn't want to be in the same room as him either or in the same house.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now