Problem with DSS staying

(54 Posts)
reallyunsure1 Fri 29-Nov-13 10:40:31

NCd for this....

Will try not to drip feed. DP has a DS (6) and I have a DD (3). Due to space DSS has to sleep in my DDs room when he is here.

Last weekend, DD and DSS were upstairs playing. They were quiet so I asked DP to check on them as I was cooking. He went up and says they both had trousers and underwear off and DSS was "looking" at DD with a torch. He told them to stop, shouldn't be doing it and brought them both downstairs. He told me and I asked him what they had said, what he had said etc. He said it was just normal inquisitiveness and not to worry. I got upset and said its not normal, and if he thinks it is for his DS, it certainly isn't for my DD.

I think its relevant that DSS has 5 older half siblings ranging from 24 to 9, and has maybe been exposed to things my DD hasn't has an only child with no cousins etc.

I asked DP to talk to DSS about it and explain he shouldn't do it etc, and I gently spoke to DD about it. She has said more to me about it than DSS said to DP, probably because she doesn't know anything "wrong" has happened whereas he knows he has done wrong. She said he hurt her bottom and put things in it sad

DP seems to think we should pretend it didn't happen, not make a big deal and watch them more, but I tried to explain how upset I was about it, the implications it could have for me and her if she tells her dad, pre-school etc. He thinks they should still be able to sleep in the same room but I don't. I know DSS is only young but he should know what he did was wrong. I just want to keep my DD safe as she had no idea they shouldn't be doing what they were, and I am reluctant to tell her all the things she shouldn't be doing due to her age. DSS is due here tomorrow, and I really don't know what to do. There genuinely isn't anywhere else for him to sleep, otherwise I would feel ok about that, and watching them and not allowing him in her room, but it just isn't possible. Does anyone please have any advice or ideas?

Kyrptonite Fri 29-Nov-13 10:42:55

I would take DD away until DP grasps the gravity of what has happened. Sorry but your DSS is more than old enough to know that's not right.

It's sexual abuse. Sorry but it's not right and he wouldn't be in my house if I didn't feel my daughter was safe.

Morgause Fri 29-Nov-13 10:43:45

IMO they certainly should not be sharing a room. Maybe put a camp bed up in your room for DSS.

Your DH is being a complete wanker about this.

Kyrptonite Fri 29-Nov-13 10:44:15

Just saw he was 6. I thought he was 9 for some reason. I would be making sure DP spoke to him and made him aware that it's not on. Can he sleep on the sofa or your DD comes in with you?

Sorry really unhelpful

FrauMoose Fri 29-Nov-13 10:50:24

I'd say that while looking is not unusual and could be seen as ordinary curiosity - hurting and 'putting in' things is a cause for concern.

I think my inclination would be to continue talking, not just to DP but to your stepson's mother about what sorts of behaviour he may have been exposed to. For example might he have seen 'adult' films - e.g. porn - which have stimulated this kind of sexualised behaviour?

And I do not think it would be at all sensible for them to carry on sleeping in the same room. (Can your stepson sleep in the corner of your room on a fold-out bed. Is there space?)

AddictedtoGreys Fri 29-Nov-13 10:58:08

I have a 5 year old DSD and she would definitely know that doing something like that was wrong, so no doubt your DSS does too.

I have a 6 month old DS and she is naturally curious about how "boys bits" are different, especially when I change his nappy! but she would never take his nappy off when alone with him and have a good look! I think at that age they know their bits are just for them and no-one else, and so also know that they shouldn't be looking at anyone else's.

your DH definitely needs to have a serious chat with him and not sweep it under the carpet and hope it goes away, as if your DSS is being exposed to things by his older siblings you never know what he might try and do next time if he isn't told its wrong, doesn't bare thinking about confused

reallyunsure1 Fri 29-Nov-13 10:59:57

Thank you for your replies.

I think DP is making it out to be not as bad in his head as he doesn't want to see DSS as the one in the wrong. (slight Disney issues, but that's another thread!) I also said to him that I think he is saying is normal etc because he knows that DSS won't be able to stay if he agrees with me that it isn't.

I asked him to talk to DSS's mum and she said it was natural and wouldn't talk to him as it would keep the thought in his mind hmm

There just isn't space for him in our room. That was my first thought but I've looked into it, and we just couldn't fit a campbed/airbed anywhere. I guess the sofa is the only solution but that means us going to bed early, and to me isn't a long term solution.

I'm also so cross about it. With DSS as I am sure he knew it was wrong, and also probably irrationally with DP for bringing DSS here and putting my DD through it. I know that sounds ridiculous but it really has upset me and made me more angry than I thought it would. I'm really worried about DSS coming because I'm already thinking about how cross I am with him and don't really want to see him.

AddictedtoGreys Fri 29-Nov-13 11:00:13

forgot to add, I would definitely not let them sleep in the same room together and would supervise their playing until you know you can trust him not to do anything again.

birdybear Fri 29-Nov-13 11:00:54

I wouldn't let the boy back in the house until lots of conversations had taken place between me , mother and dh. This is not normal behaviour. It is very worrying behavior and not to be swept under the carpet because he is family. If any other child had done it police would be called, and i am not sure they shouldn't now.

Putting things in your dd could severely damage her and i would never put my dd in a situation where it could happen again.

NigellasLeftNostril Fri 29-Nov-13 11:03:49

agree with birdybear, I would not have him in the house until there had been a meeting between all involved adults and a separate sleeping space organised.

birdybear Fri 29-Nov-13 11:04:22

You don't sound as cross as i would be!

A small child can sleep on a duvet bed at the side of your bed. If there is room for you to get out of your bed there is room to make a duvet bed. (laying a duvet down instead of a mattress then another over the top to keep warm.) my dss prefers to sleep on one of there than the big double bed when he stays over!

birdybear Fri 29-Nov-13 11:06:14

Also, of Brent you and your dh sitting down with him and talking to him? Telling him it is absolutely unacceptable and if he ever does it again he Will not stay over again.

birdybear Fri 29-Nov-13 11:07:08

Brent? I meant why aren't you

FrauMoose Fri 29-Nov-13 11:07:09

I don't think it is ridiculous to be upset. For me the question might be about the extent to which, in one way or another, your stepson may have been abused. He may have seen inappropriate images/films. He may have heard explicitly sexual talk. He might have witnessed sexual acts. It would not be unusual for children who have been prematurely sexualised in some way, to want to do some of the things that have been done to them.

Faced with this level of denial by your partner and his ex, in your shoes I would feel that I needed to do something. Perhaps notify your stepson's class teacher as to what has happened - as they will then have a duty to inform social services.

WhyDoTheyDoThat Fri 29-Nov-13 11:12:25

His mother thinks it's normal for him to sexually abuse a 3 yr old? Because that's what it is. I think your dp needs to face up to the fact that his son may have been sexually abused. It sounds like he's in denial. If he and his ex refuse to take this seriously I would be contacting ss and I would under no circumstances leave them alone together again. I would also suggest a visit to your gp. If he was putting 'things in her' she may have internal damage.
Sorry you're going through this, very upsetting.

wannaBe Fri 29-Nov-13 11:18:26

I wouldn't be sitting dss down for a talk, I would call the NSPCC for some advice. iirc if any kind of abuse is or could be suspected the advice from professionals generally is not to speak to the child because as a parent it's easy to ask too many leading questions.

Behavior like this isn't normal, yes a level of curiosity is, even "I'll show you mine if you show me yours," but it steps over a line at the point when physical interaction becomes a part of it.

It is possible that he has just been prematurely exposed to sexualised images. A teenage brother with a lad's mag which hasn't been kept hidden or something, but it's also possible that there is more to it, and right now your priority is to your dd.

I would speak to nspcc and I would also speak to your dp and make it clear that your concern is for your dd but that his ds' behaviour is also concerning. If he refused to take that seriously I would have some reservations about a relationship with him tbh, because he should be able to put his child's welfare over and above his denial.

lymiemum Fri 29-Nov-13 11:23:12

i totally understand your concern and you are right.
but i dont think you are being fair on the ss. he is a child. who sounds like he has been exposed to some level of sexual in appropriateness.
your husband also needs to thinks where he may have seen this.

reallyunsure1 Fri 29-Nov-13 11:25:58

Thanks again for the replies.

I am really very upset and cross about it, and that is why I left it to DP to talk to DSS about it. But I see now that that is not sufficient.

The thing is that I know they shouldn't be in the same room and should be watched all the time, but DP doesn't agree. Also, he is his DS so if he and his ex don't want to do anything about it, it's not really down to me is it? I have a say with regards to my DD but can't push them to do anything else about it.

I guess he could sleep on a duvet on the floor but that doesn't seem fair on my DD as how do I then explain to her that he gets to and she doesn't as I'm sure she would love to sleep with us, without going into the details. I don't want her pushed out of her own room either....it's all so hard.

I said to DP that maybe he shouldn't stay until we can move somewhere so he has his own room (although I would still worry about him wandering I think) but that's not possible for a while yet.

I'm beginning to think we may end up splitting up over this which I really don't want as I don't think he thinks it is as big a problem as it is, but I can't put my DD at risk and he won't back down over his DS staying sad

JoinYourPlayfellows Fri 29-Nov-13 11:29:40

I think wannaBe is right.

It's very hard to know if what happened is something or nothing.

I remember my friend (who was a bit older than me) showing me his willy behind my Dad's shed when we were of similar ages and it was totally innocent.

The putting of things in the bum seems more weird, but possibly isn't anything to worry about.

I don't think it's really accurate to say that he "sexually abused" your DD. He's a 6 year old boy. Either it was entirely innocent, or there is something untoward going on.

Either way, he's not to blame for this and it's not fair to be cross with him because of it.

lymiemum Fri 29-Nov-13 11:34:08

it is not just up to his parents. it involves your daughter.
and as an adult who has concers over sexual abuse you should contact ss, the school, dr or police.
it may be overkill.
it could be totally innocent.
but if its not then you could be stopping something terrible.

NigellasLeftNostril Fri 29-Nov-13 11:37:20

tbh if a six year old is inserting items into another child, he may have been exposed to the worst kind of porn or worse.

TensionWheelsCoolHeels Fri 29-Nov-13 11:38:39

I agree with wannabe too. You need advice on how to handle this. I also think it would be best to take your DD to your GP to get her checked over too. Your GP might well pass details onto another agency to look into this, so it would be best all round if DSS's parent actually addressed this instead of pretending its normal and doesn't require them to get advice themselves on how to speak to their son about this.

With regards to your DD, I'd recommend this book as I think it's something that will help your DD understand that her body is hers and only certain people can look at her private areas for certain reasons i.e. GP, nurse, you when helping her get washed in the bath etc. It's a very gentle introduction into the idea of keeping your body private. I bought this for my DD when she was 5 and it is very gentle.

FrauMoose Fri 29-Nov-13 11:47:35

I think there's a question about how best to ensure that your daughter isn't hurt again this way.

So if she said she still felt hurt or was having pain when going to the loo, a GP visit would be necessary. But if she wasn't still hurting and there was no evidence of infection, then taking her to the doctors when she didn't feel ill might seem very strange - and a bit scary. On the one hand your saying 'Your body is yours and some parts are private'. On the other your saying, 'Now let the doctor see between your legs.'

JoinYourPlayfellows Fri 29-Nov-13 11:47:42

"tbh if a six year old is inserting items into another child, he may have been exposed to the worst kind of porn or worse."

Yeah, possibly.

But there is a big difference between putting a bit of lego between your bum cheeks and sticking something into your anus.

If I walked into a room and my 5yo and 3yo were shining a torch at each others bits I would not be remotely surprised. They love getting naked and showing each other their bums. It's apparently the most hilarious game ever invented.

3 year olds are very small children. It can be easy to get the wrong end of the stick when they are telling you about their day.

This could be really, really serious or it could be nothing. Or anything in between.

But there is a concern, so the thing to do is ask experts. Most people are totally out of their depth when it comes to this kind of stuff. Thankfully.

WhyDoTheyDoThat Fri 29-Nov-13 11:58:14

Maybe police and ss involvement will help your dp understand the seriousness of this situation OP. Is he not in the slightest bit concerned as to why his son would do this? If an adult inserted things into a child it would be called rape. It sounds like his ds needs protecting too from whatever he's being exposed to. Systematic abuse of children only happens because adults ignore it. His attitude would be a deal breaker for me.

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