Difficult conversation with 8yr old dd

(21 Posts)
Tiny753 Thu 02-Jun-16 01:49:35

DD is 8. Last week, her gym teacher was arrested for distributing child pornography. He was caught with over 30,000 images. I chose not to give DD any detail and just said he wasn't going to be teaching her anymore and if she ever saw him again, she was not to go anywhere near him. When she asked why, I said it was because he was a very bad man and that hopefully we would never see him again.
Unfortunately some of the kids in the gym class know a bit more and today she's informed me that he's in jail and keeps asking what he did. I have so far avoided answering because I wanted to think carefully about what to tell her. She has been taught about inappropriate touching in school, but if I go down this route I feel it will only lead to more questions. 8 is too young for any of this, isn't it?
What would you do?

Motherfuckers Thu 02-Jun-16 02:50:25

I would tell her the truth. Always. How can she be open with you if you can't be open with her?

Atenco Thu 02-Jun-16 03:15:04

Uuf, sorry, no suggestions but my dd was about eight when all the allegations against Michael Jackson came out, and he was her absolute hero. I think I just didn't deal with it. Personally I wanted her to find out about loving kind sex before filling her head with stories about perversions and nastiness.

Unacceptable Thu 02-Jun-16 03:24:21

I'd base what I told her around the information she has been given already. I'm assuming you know what she has been told...is it simply that he has been imprisoned or is there more that makes her feel embarrassed or uncomfortable.
I tend to answer my DCs questions as basically and factually as I can.

In a situation like this I wouldn't volunteer information but would absolutely respond to any questions, like Motherfuckers I value the truth and would prefer to truth to my children, when they ask for it, than for them to get confusion or lies elsewhere.

Tiny753 Thu 02-Jun-16 03:34:03

She's only been told he is in jail. Her questions to me today have been, why? What did he do?

jellyjiggles Thu 02-Jun-16 04:43:40

Why not just say the police think he might have had some nasty pictures on his computer. These pictures could harm the people they are of. He might have taken the pictures or he might have been given them. He shouldn't have them! He will go to court and a group of people will decide if this has happened and how bad it is. If it's really bad he goes to prison for a long time.

jellyjiggles Thu 02-Jun-16 04:43:47

Why not just say the police think he might have had some nasty pictures on his computer. These pictures could harm the people they are of. He might have taken the pictures or he might have been given them. He shouldn't have them! He will go to court and a group of people will decide if this has happened and how bad it is. If it's really bad he goes to prison for a long time.

Atenco Thu 02-Jun-16 05:11:20

"Why not just say the police think he might have had some nasty pictures on his computer"

That sounds very confusing for a nine-year-old, actually.

You could claim ignorance or just say that all you know is that he hurt some children.

HennaFlare Thu 02-Jun-16 05:16:22

"He hurt some kids". Don't make it sexual at all. He had images of child abuse, she does not need to know what that entails.

Janecc Thu 02-Jun-16 05:31:37

I'd find out what she knows first. But as you wouldn't want her to approach him - although unlikely she'd see him - I'd probably make it out as being mean to children, (if you get pestered, you could perhaps say you don't know but he might for example have hit a child or something but you're not sure). And he's gone to prison to get some lessons about how he must be with children so he's not allowed to be a teacher anymore.

Do you do school runs so that you perhaps discuss this with other parents and collectively come up with an idea so that you're all on the same page?

Tbh I wouldn't mention photos of indecent images at that age, it's a can of worms.

I'm surprised no ones shouted at you on here yet for saying child porn. This isn't an accepted term used these days and indecent images of minors or child sex abuse images (depending in what the images are) is the terminology - just to give you a heads up.

LyndaNotLinda Thu 02-Jun-16 05:40:34

I would also tell her that he hurt children and that's why he's been locked up. I think mentioning pictures would be confusing and also kind of irrelevant. The pictures are the evidence he was hurting children

Yakari Thu 02-Jun-16 05:47:04

What does the school say? To be honest with that type of offense I would expect them to be providing advice or to be covering it for the older kids ie 8 plus.
If she has been taught about inappropriate touching, I would just say it was related to that and as she already knows, that is a bad thing hence she needs to stay away from him.
He "hurt" children could sound quite dramatic for a 8 year old. And I'm not saying he didn't hurt them or its not horrific, but if I'd said "hurt" to one of mine they'd probably image physical hitting/injury.

Querty12345 Thu 02-Jun-16 06:19:59

I'm surprised no ones shouted at you on here yet for saying child porn. This isn't an accepted term used these days and indecent images of minors or child sex abuse images (depending in what the images are) is the terminology - just to give you a heads up.

Because shouting Would be a nasty thing to do to op.

Berthatydfil Thu 02-Jun-16 06:37:30

My children are older now but my approach was when asked difficult questions was to be a truthful as possible in in an age related and understandable ( to them) answer.
In this way if you ever revisited the topic you are able to develop the answers as they get older rather than having to explain any previous answers.
Also if you aren't truthful you may find that other children will have more detailed information and if they inevitably discuss the issue and her information doesn't agree with the other children (who might have more/detailed info) it may either lead to arguments /disagreements or further questions from her.
I would say he had pictures on his computer of children being hurt. Sadly there are some not very nice people who pretend to be nice to children like (gym teachers name)who like to look at these pictures. But now the police have caught him.

NashvilleQueen Thu 02-Jun-16 06:48:26

I would assume that at 8 there has been some advice given to her about Internet safety (by you or the school) and I would probably link it into that. So to remind her that some people use the Internet for the wrong reasons (which she should already know) and that he had some pictures which are not allowed. I wouldn't go into the detail of them and I think that, occasionally, it's ok to tell the basic truth but deliberately hide the detail. I would say it's about pictures he wasn't supposed to have but that she doesnt need to know what they were of.
Awful situation.

Janecc Thu 02-Jun-16 06:49:47

Querty - obviously it is. Perhaps you didn't read a recent thread where some mumsnetters were balling others out for calling it child porn. It didn't make a nice read. I was simply giving op a head up in case someone did this to her. smile

Querty12345 Thu 02-Jun-16 08:31:48

No, it's not nice to shout at other people. Op came for advice and made a mistake, she wasn't intentionally offending anyone.

Querty12345 Thu 02-Jun-16 08:32:36

And yes you're right it wasn't a nice read. Nobodys perfect eh smile

Tiny753 Thu 02-Jun-16 11:53:34

Thanks for the heads up Janecc. We are in America and that term is one the police and media have used on this mans case. I thought it was a bit odd but tbh didn't give it much more thought than that. But you are quite right, it's unacceptable.
The gym school isn't given out any info or advice. All we've had is a very impersonal legal sounding email telling us he had undergone criminal checks and nothing ever came up.

Janecc Thu 02-Jun-16 13:32:03

Then that indicates it's seen as OK to call it by this name in the US. Anyway it would appear you haven't had your head bitten off.

Do you know any of the parents over there then to talk to about it and what they have said to their children? I assume the children all go on the yellow bus.

TeenAndTween Sat 04-Jun-16 16:43:41

I would go for the truth too.

They think he has been involved with hurting some children and taking photos of their private areas which of course is very very wrong . So he is in jail until the judges decide whether he did what he has been accused of.

If nothing else this opens the way for your DD to open up to you if god forbid there is anything she needs to share with you.

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