How do I deal with this?

(45 Posts)
Bumpinthenight1 Sun 10-Nov-13 09:32:05

Can I have some advice please?
My son is in Reception and is very friendly with another little boy already. They get on brilliantly.
My problem is the little boys Dad. He is a stay at home Dad, he seems a great guy, friendly with all the mums and messes around with all the kids. All the kids think he is great. He is however very tactile with some of the children, and because my boy is best friend's with his son, my boy gets touched a lot. Everyday, morning and afternoon.
Now mostly this is a rub of the head or sometimes just a high 5, but he has picked him up, he has grabbed the back of his neck in a kind of massage thing, lots of under arm tickles. I have been trying to get used to it but the frequency of touching and the fact that NO-ONE else (non-family) touches my children like this in this kind of frequency it is now starting to upset me.
I have talked to my husband and friends about it and they think I should ask him to stop touching, but how do I do this without creating a situation??! I have now started trying to avoid him by getting to school late so he has already dropped off and trying to keep my children away from him but my Son just wants to be with his boy.
My gut feeling is that if it makes me feel uncomfortable I need to stop it or am I just being over sensitive??

Joysmum Sun 10-Nov-13 09:35:59

Oh dear.

I don't know what to say, you have every right to parent how you see fit but I feel so sorry for this guy and that society is moving this way. We're a very touchy feely family.

I don't think there is a way to say anything without coming across as if you think he's a pedo. I'll be following this thread with interest and hope somebody cleverer than me can come up with a solution.

Tee2072 Sun 10-Nov-13 09:38:50

So you're objecting to someone being more affectionate with your son than your own family is?

I'd be more worried about the lack of affection from your family then some other adult tickling and playing with my young son. Especially as he is obviously doing it in front of you, so nothing nefarious about it.

What a world.

DoJo Sun 10-Nov-13 09:39:10

What is it about him tickling/high fiving/ruffling your son's hair that actually bothers you? Does your son not like it? I think that his feelings should be a factor in your decision as to how to handle it as it doesn't sound as though he has a problem with any of it from your OP, but if he doesn't like it then you need to put a stop to it immediately.

There is nothing in what you describe that is inappropriate touching. My dh would do this with my sons friends. He also wouldn't be offended if you asked him to stop but it would make him a bit more hands of generally I think for fear that his playing with the kids was misinterpreted by anyone else.

However obviously everyone had different tolerances regarding touching and it is never ok to be touched in a way that makes you uncomfortable.

Think about why you are uncomfortable. If it is all about you and what you are used to then perhaps the best way of dealing with it is to talk to your son about inappropriate touching and how to deal with it. And ask if it has ever happened. Then decide whether you need to say anything or not depending on his reactions. Because if your son is uncomfortable it would be important to speak up but if he's happy then maybe not.

If however you feel instinctively that there is something not right about this (and although I have said there isn't I haven't seen it so I could be wrong) then I think the awkwardness is secondary and you need to speak to him.

Bloody hell, really? This is why I worry about DH being a SAHD. I've given my friend's children hugs and kisses before and so has DH. What you describe doesn't sound sinister at all.

Bumpinthenight1 Sun 10-Nov-13 09:43:59

"NO-ONE else (non-family) touches my children like this in this kind of frequency"

We are a very affectionate family but I don't do it to other peoples children.....

Cross posted with everyone and yes I think its sad that (probably) completely innocent rough and tumble, which my boys love, can be misinterpreted a something sinister

ChippingInLovesAutumn Sun 10-Nov-13 09:46:54

Try doing an advanced search - there was a thread exactly like this not very long ago.

CoffeeTea103 Sun 10-Nov-13 09:49:15

Your poor DS, at least he's getting affection!
Really you are being ridiculous. If it was the boys mother would you feel different?

Screamqueen Sun 10-Nov-13 09:49:17

Just ask yourself one simple question - would you feel the same if it was the little boys Mum? Another one here desperately sad at your post.

Bumpinthenight1 Sun 10-Nov-13 09:49:58

I never mentioned it as being sinister, more over-stepping the mark of my children's personal space.
If he did those things to me in that frequency it would be seen as unacceptable so why allow that frequency of touching on my children?

If it was now and then it would be fine but it is everyday. I just think it is a bit much....

Bumpinthenight1 Sun 10-Nov-13 09:50:35

Yes i would feel exactly the same if it was a woman

Screamqueen Sun 10-Nov-13 09:50:51

As the wife of a male childminder thankfully the parents of his mindees don't think like this, as hes very hands on with them.

Tee2072 Sun 10-Nov-13 09:51:49

Because children need more physical affection than adults and because you have been through puberty and have sexual feelings and desires.

Feel free to ask the man to stop. You'll also look like an over reactive loon.

MrsSteptoe Sun 10-Nov-13 09:51:54

Oh, poor you, OP - it's awful when you end up trying to avoid someone because their behaviour makes you uncomfortable. It's even worse when you know that a lot of people wouldn't mind the way the SAHD behaves.
If this is making you so uncomfortable that you're running your timetable around it, then you really don't want to live with this for any longer than you have to. I'm also sure you want your boy to be able to play with his friend freely, not be kept away from him by your reaction to the SAHD's approach to kids.
My first reaction is that you can't "learn" not to be sensitive to this fellow's actions. A decision to say nothing is likely to be a decision to continue to feel uncomfortable.
Which leaves you talking with him quietly, but I'm not sure it needs to create a situation - do you think you can manage to write a script in your head for explaining that you are used to only family being so physically engaged with your child and asking him if he could accommodate you by modifying his behaviour?
I'm afraid I do tend to deploy the "I know I sound a little irrational, but...." tactic in these circumstances; I don't like saying it, because I know I'm effectively apologising for my personality and I shouldn't, really - but it does often disarm people, so it's slightly the lesser of two evils if it means that I do manage to say what I want to say.

YDdraigGoch Sun 10-Nov-13 09:57:00

I too think you're being ridiculous for all of the reasons outlined above. The chap obviously likes your DS and unless DS has complained, he obviously likes the attention too.
Maybe you and his father should do more of that kind of thing yourselves

shushpenfold Sun 10-Nov-13 09:58:47

I think that there are some very good opinions on here....justified, sensible and rational.

This still doesn't get past the fact that as the mother of a reception aged child, YOU'RE not uncomfortable with this man's physical interaction with your son and hence that is your answer in itself - you need to say something. Do be aware that if it were me on the receiving end, I would then run a mile from your son and would be VERY 'stand-back' and curt from now on.

shushpenfold Sun 10-Nov-13 09:59:56

...but doesn't mean that you shouldn't say something. Your ds, not his or ours!

Agree completely with those above, poor man.

MrsSteptoe Sun 10-Nov-13 10:03:08

shushpenfold, that's a really good point - OP does need to consider that her DS will not understand why the SAHD's behaviour will change towards him, and only towards him, and that could be confusing. I think it's a shame that she's being told to ignore her own feelings so much, though, while being very clear that children's feelings take reasonable precedence.

MrsSteptoe Sun 10-Nov-13 10:04:42

*sorry, not very clear... what I mean is, our desire to make sure our children's feelings come first is quite right, but I'd like to think we can aim to not ignore our own feelings in the process. *messy English crisis

Raddy Sun 10-Nov-13 10:08:02

How depressing.

In answer to your OP, I think you are being over sensitive, yes.

I am reminded of the parent who complained about the lollipop man high fiving the kids.

Bowlersarm Sun 10-Nov-13 10:08:22

Yes, you are being over sensitive about it.

RevoltingPeasant Sun 10-Nov-13 10:11:48

Mrs Steptoe, quite, and you also need to acknowledge it might be the end of DS friendship with this boy. The dad might not feel comfy minding them on his own and if the mum is not around to supervise play dates they may not be able to see one another.

I think you should do what makes you feel right, but a) realise you may be perceived as a loon or even making nasty accusations, and that this may spread beyond this family as they may tell other mums what you've said and b) it may harm your DS if he loses a friendship over it.

If you think your discomfort is more important than those factors then say something.

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