is friend being overly cautious???

(14 Posts)
Member555405 Sun 24-Aug-14 15:27:16

I recently had a discussion with a friend who has a 5 year old son as well as a 19 year old son from a previous marriage. My friend says that she would never leave the 2 boys alone unattended, ie watching a movie in the older boys room, playing video games together in a closed room etc because she has heard of so many stories about sexual abuse and wants to be careful. She says that her caution is not just with her older son (who has never given any indication in any way that he would consider doing anything wrong to the younger brother) but rather with any person. Is this reasonable behaviour or is my friend going to far in her protection? Should children not be able to develop natural happy relationships with the people around them?

tohotnot Sun 24-Aug-14 15:35:52

Your friend is strange. I have a ds 16 and ds3 and never for one minute would I think it wouldnt be safe to leave them alone together.

There is more to this story I think op

paddleduck Sun 24-Aug-14 15:36:30

Poor her sad I have similar slightly irrational fears and constantly on hyper alert but to not trust her own son must be very difficult (and sad) she probably knows full well its unreasonable but can't help it.

I trust my fil, bil and my own DH 100% but even in my darkest moments a flutter of panic has flitted through my mind. Does your friend have a history of abuse or bring close to someone who suffered? I think most people who suffer this level of anxiety and hyper vigilance/tryst issues have a defining factor directly linked to themselves. Though with media coverage it's easy to see how easily a parent could get this way.

She is not unreasonable. She cannot help it. Yanbu either, just try to be understanding even if you don't get it.

Nomama Sun 24-Aug-14 15:37:21

Crikey.

That sounds, well, wrong.

She seems to have taken a strong and unfounded stance on this, as if she is overcompensating for something.

My DF did much the same, wouldn't bath us alone, even as babies. In our 30s we found out why - high profile case in Wales!

I think all you can do is support her, no questions, just agree that she is being overly cautious... but that is her right as a parent.

Summerisle1 Sun 24-Aug-14 15:37:35

It sounds rather sad and over-protective to me. I'm not denying that sexual abuse happens but to assume that all older boys pose a risk to younger children in the family is a very unhealthy attitude.

Is there a backstory here that might explain her irrational fears?

BeckyBusto Sun 24-Aug-14 15:40:21

I agree there is more to this. My first guess is that she has some sort of anxiety disorder maybe, perhaps she was abused in the past.

That or she has some horrible suspicions about her older son. sad

Poor her, whatever the issue.

magicalmrmistofelees Sun 24-Aug-14 15:42:05

I think this is really sad. However I have a friend who I think would be similar in that situation. She is a SW working with abused and vulnerable children, and has seen so many horrific things that her view on these sort of things is completely warped. She finds it hard to change her DN's nappies in case her DS/DBIL think anything untoward is going on.

tilliebob Sun 24-Aug-14 15:44:43

I have children of 15, 13 and 6 and it's never crossed my mind to worry about any combination of them being together. I agree there must be more of a story here.

She's batty, I have left my son who is 16 years older than his sister in charge of her may times. He even gave her bottles and carried her about as a baby. He watched her while I went out for a walk just last evening.

Good gods. Her poor son.

ArsenicyOldFace Sun 24-Aug-14 18:11:21

How disturbing. Poor poor elder son. Is she otherwise well?

Fairylea Sun 24-Aug-14 18:15:23

That's very odd. It wouldn't cross my mind to be worried about my children sexually abusing each other.

I'd be cautious about any new person entering the family dynamic especially if they seemed particularly interested in being alone with the children rather than anything else but at the end of the day thankfully weirdos are in the minority so you just have to be vigilant and hope for the best !

Happy36 Sun 24-Aug-14 18:17:32

Your opinion is reasonable.

Perhaps you could discuss further with your friend to find out the reasons behind her overprotective behaviour and then help her, or help her to get help, with those.

From what you´ve said it sounds as though she has experienced this first or second hand, which would be very sad. However if there is no reason to think ill of her older son then I believe it would benefit everyone if the sibling relationship were allowed to flourish. After all, her younger son is old enough to speak* and has presumably been warned about sexual abuse by his mother and at school, in age appropriate language.

*I would understand her concerns, to some degree, if her younger son weren´t able to articulate himself yet. More with strangers, though, rather than his brother.

Iwasinamandbunit Sun 24-Aug-14 18:19:06

No one has fears like this unless something happened to them as a child or they have anxiety.

I can be like this, not liking sleep overs etc as I was abused as a child. I fight against it but it causes anxiety.

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