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?

picnicbasketcase Fri 29-Nov-13 12:05:56

I would say that there's a difference between two children of the same age indulging in 'natural curiosity' where both parties are equally curious and have decided to do so. When one is older than the other and the younger one is not comfortable and doesn't understand what is happening, it's a different matter. I'm not exactly agreeing with hysteria and shouting 'abuse' but this particular situation would worry me too.

wannaBe Fri 29-Nov-13 12:17:26

ok this is all getting a bit hysterical. saying the dd was sexually abused and saying that if an adult did xxx it would be called rape etc with calls for the op to go to the police and ss.

This might be something serious but equally it might not. But there is middle ground between brushing it under the carpet and rushing to report to the police, and that middle ground is seeking advice and guidance from professionals such as the NSPCC who are trained and equipped to deal with these kinds of situations in ways that the likes of us are not.

At the end of the day, this is a six year old child whose inappropriate behaviour needs to be addressed, either because it is highly inappropriate or because he has been exposed to inappropriateness himself and needs some help. He is not an abuser he is a six year old child.

Seek some advice from nspcc. Don't just ignore it because if he is being abused then he needs some help. But equally don't just rush to the authorities because if it is just innocent curiosity (and it still could be, just because we say it's not normal doesn't mean that some curiosity isn't more developed than others) then by going to the authorities a family could have its world turned upside down and the damage could be irrevocable (sp?) and yes, I think that an unfounded allegation of sexual abuse against a child is something that a family isn't likely to get over soon, even if there was no fault.

And going to the police/ss is no way to force the dp into realising how serious this is. Perhaps though the op could say to her dp that in different circumstances, someone else could decide this was serious and go to the police, so he does need to take it seriously.

I think actually the priority is the six year old rather than the op's dd. They were playing, she didn't seem traumatised, the op knows it's a concern and can keep ihersafe from now on. The priority here IMO is the six year old child who may
or may not be either a victim or exposed to something he shouldn't, or at the very least need to be made aware his behaviour is inappropriate.

lunar1 Fri 29-Nov-13 12:27:52

I think for a start you need to manage the two children separately. You should take your dd to the drs, if you really think he has put something inside her, this needs checking out right away.

You cannot ban dss from your home. There is the possibility he has been abused, I would be very worried about where he has got these ideas from.

You could sleep with you dd and dh can sleep with his ds. Why is it not an option to have dd with you for one night and put ds in her room? Or you could send dd to her dads when dss is staying.

It's fine to be angry and I completely understand but for all you know your dss may be getting abused, if I were your dh I would be terrified and want my sone living with me till I knew why this had happened. How would you feel if dh wanted to ban your dd from the house until it was sorted?

JoinYourPlayfellows Fri 29-Nov-13 12:46:32

"The priority here IMO is the six year old child who may or may not be either a victim or exposed to something he shouldn't"

Yy to this.

The thing to make your DP realise is that his son's behaviour MIGHT be a sign of abuse.

And the way to do that is not to accuse a little boy of sexual abuse and bring the police into his home.

theoriginalandbestrookie Fri 29-Nov-13 12:46:34

When DS was 5 I found that he and his friend had taken pictures of each others bits on DS's kiddy camera. I was a bit shocked, but spoke to some friends and it is natural for them to be interested in their bodies and those of others.

It's very hard to say if this is part of natural exploration or something more sinister.I agree with wannabe - talking to the nspcc is a great start. They definitely shouldn't share a room any more - do whatever you have to, don't worry about it being a short term solution, just do whatever works for now.

It is natural that you want to protect your DD, but DSS is only 6 so it's not appropriate to be angry at him.

Hope you get it sorted out.

FrauMoose Fri 29-Nov-13 14:57:24

This link might be useful. http://www.parentsprotect.co.uk/warning_signs.htm

ZombieMojaveWonderer Fri 29-Nov-13 16:38:58

That is sexual abuse and they should certainly not be sharing a room and certainly not left alone. Showing ones bits is completing different to crossing the line and actually inserting things in their privates. If that's the way your partner thinks then it would be a deal breaker for me I'm afraid.

ZombieMojaveWonderer Fri 29-Nov-13 16:42:31

I would just also like to say that the boy would no longer be welcome in my house! You have every right op to refuse to have him anywhere near you and your dd. Your partner will have to make other arrangements. His mother is obviously as deluded as your partner.

Only1scoop Fri 29-Nov-13 16:44:36

Op my dd is same age and I wouldn't want dss anywhere near her to be honest. I think it is being taken to light by Dh and his ex. I would be horrified.

Only1scoop Fri 29-Nov-13 16:45:52

Dss mum your Dp ex thinks this is natural.... Blimey hmm

wannaBe Fri 29-Nov-13 17:04:47

"That is sexual abuse" no, it isn't. It is deeply inappropriate but this is a six year old child who has no notion of the idea of "sexual abuse." People are applying adult terminology to something which has happened between two children. It's very easy for people to sit here and say that at six he should know right from wrong but fact is that if he has (worst case scenario) been abused then he has no notion that it's wrong, and (best case scenario) seen this kind of thing in a film/book/walked in on a parent then why would he consider it to be wrong? If his parents are not of a mind to talk to him about it then why would he know it was wrong? Children learn right from wrong by the way they are brought up, and at six he is still learning.
"I would just also like to say that the boy would no longer be welcome in my house!" I wonder, if any of your children were sexually abused (and it could happen to any of our children,) and that manifested in them acting out that abuse somewhere, how would you feel if they were ostrosised for it? This is a six year old child we are talking about, a child who could potentially have been abused himself, and people think that it's ok to talk like this? He deserves compassion and understanding not ridicule. Have a word with yourself.

reallyunsure1 Fri 29-Nov-13 17:08:33

Well I spoke to DP while he was at work and said I wanted to talk about it all tonight to discuss what was happening before DSS arrives tomorrow, and he said he thought it was all dealt with....hmm I said it wasn't to me and we would talk about it tonight when DD has gone to bed and he started having a go at me on the phone telling me to talk about it now and what the problem still was and that I am over reacting.

It seems from the replies on here that some people do think I am over reacting but some don't, and I said to him that it doesn't matter to anyone else if they think I am, but my job is to protect DD. He flipped out and said he has spoken to DSS and he is 100% sure it won't happen again and knows it was wrong and there is nothing to worry about. I said that surely he didn't see this happening in the first place and even if this exact thing doesn't happen again then something as bad or worse could happen. I'm already cross with myself for putting DD in this situation and will not do it again.

DD hasn't mentioned that she is uncomfortable or in pain since the incident, but has mentioned it whenever DSS's name is mentioned and said something about it to my Mum during the week when I wasn't there. Based on this I don't think she needs to see the GP, but I have and will continue to keep an eye on her.

I realize I am probably not being fair on DSS, but I think my natural instinct to protect DD took over. DP hasn't really mentioned the effects on DD and seems to be doing the same and thinking of his DS, and I suppose that is right, but I can't help but think that he knows it was wrong and still did it anyway.

I am pretty sure DSS is not being abused in some way, and think it is most likely that he heard something, or saw a film/magazine he shouldn't have done. DP said he was never keen on his ex's "lax" style of parenting, but it seems that he is not that different since we have been together.

Us all living together is quite recent, and due to an unfortunate judgment made by DP, he has moved in with me and DD, so I feel even more that they have come in and disrupted our little bubble. I knew there would be bumps along the road but really never expected anything like this sad

I think I will try and talk to him again tonight and explain about the NSPCC and other helpful things people have kindly said and see what he says, but sadly I don't think it will end well. I don't want to force him to do something he doesn't want to do, but to me it seems he is trying to force me to brush it aside and carry on when I am not happy about it.

Many many thanks for your help.

gamerchick Fri 29-Nov-13 17:16:00

Ring the boys school up and tell the head what's happened.. let them take things at that end. He's 6 I couldn't ignore that.

Your priority is your little girl.. If he's not ready to discuss things properly and take you seriously then maybe he should stay somewhere else for the weekend. I really wouldn't have the bairn stay over.. you'll really stress and will struggle with it. sad

Only1scoop Fri 29-Nov-13 17:17:45

Op really feel for you....It clearly doesn't sit right with you (wouldnt with me either) and your Dp shouldn't be making out 'its all fine' when clearly it isn't to you.
Sounds like your family dynamic has recently changed with him moving in. All takes adjustment in itself without added worry. Good luck x

wannaBe Fri 29-Nov-13 17:49:02

tbh op I don't think you're overreacting but I do think some on the thread are with their talk of rape and abuse and such. i'ts very emotive language to ascribe to such a young child.

It's possible that your dss has just watched/seen something inappropriate but you're not qualified to know that for certain, which is why this needs to be dealt with sensitively.

And your dp needs to be made to realise that addressing the issue now is the best way forward, because if there is an issue, and it becomes apparent say, at school, then ss will be informed whether he likes that or not and then he will have no control over the situation.

This isn't something you can walk away from any more. Because if something else were to happen and the authorities were to be informed by the school or ss then you would all be investigated, you included, and that will also have implications for your dd. You owe it to this child to try and address the issue.

It's not for anyone to think that he isn't being abused - you can't possibly know.

MatryoshkaDoll Sat 30-Nov-13 14:41:22

I wouldn't class this as 'abuse' per se. But it sounds like a line has definitely been crossed and I don't think you can dismiss this as harmless curiosity either.

I wouldn't be happy for the boy to stay over any more - especially not in DD's room. He's older than her and it sounds like he's the instigator of these 'games', not a case of both children being silly and showing each other their bits.

It's understandable that your DP wants to be an ostrich about it. But I would keep pressing the point OP.

RunnerHasbeen Sat 30-Nov-13 14:49:53

Can you sleep in a camp bed in your DD's room and put DSS in with his dad?

tracypenisbeaker Sat 30-Nov-13 14:54:38

wannaBe absolutely spot on- this child needs to be supported- not be called a child abuser when he is a vulnerable child himself. It is likely he picked these behaviours up from somewhere.

Obviously you want to protect your DD, OP, but remember you don't need to treat the other child like a monster to do so.

AmberLeaf Sat 30-Nov-13 15:06:18

Is your DD your husbands DD too?

Looking out of curiosity happens, but the 'putting things in her bum' is worrying, I think your husband is in denial which is understandable to an extent.

I would be worried that this little boy has either been abused himself or exposed to porn/seen sex happening. Either way, it is not something that should be ignored.

I wouldn't be putting them to sleep in the same room.

This really can't be ignored.

Jacobscracker1234 Sat 30-Nov-13 15:38:02

I've read the whole thread and name changed as I'm in an almost identical situation.

I live with my partner, and have DD(6) and DS(4) from previous relationship.

This week I caught them messing around with kiddizoom camera. There were pictures of both of them - naked and generally close up anatomy!

I was really shocked. They share a room, and a bath. However - we took a breath and talked to them about it. We explained that their bodies are private, and in the wrong hands those photos could get mummy (and especially step dad) into trouble. We discussed stranger danger etc etc

If nothing else it showed my that my 6yo is actually really naive. She's academically bright but we credit her with too much common sense. There was nothing sexual about the photos; they genuinely thought they were hilarious. I heard them also giggling about carrot sticks in bums at bath time.

I am keeping a close eye on the situation but there was a wide eyed innocence about the hole thing which made me try and be rational.

Kaluki Mon 02-Dec-13 12:36:20

You are right. Your DH is burying his head in the sand, which of course is up to him, but your priority is your DD and she shouldn’t be left alone with DSS again until this has been dealt with.
You have seen the reactions on this thread – imagine if your DD tells another adult about this in all innocence and they react that way and call SS or the police?
In your position I know I would not let DSS stay over or even visit. As a mother of sons if either of my boys had behaved this way at 6 I would want to know what they had seen or worse experienced which made them think of doing such a thing.
Your DP should have him somewhere else until this is sorted. Could he take him to his parents ? His blatant disregard of your DDs wellbeing in favour of his own son would probably make me rethink the whole relationship tbh.

SeptemberFlowers Wed 04-Dec-13 13:22:15

I totally think you are doing the 110% right thing, I too in that situation wouldn't be having the boy back to stay.

Your job is to protect your DD and that is what you are doing, I too wouldn't call it abuse per se, even if it is normal curiosity, your DP's brush it under the carpet mentality, I couldn't deal with. You're left with an uncomfortable feeling regarding this whole scenario and I would be following it up the best way I could to protect my own child and would have a bit implication on the relationship as well I'm afraid.

Yes the DSS probably needs support/a chat/whatever, but that's your DP's job. I wouldn't have him back in the house either.

tinkertaylor1 Sun 08-Dec-13 21:35:08

What a terrible situation,. If that was one of my dds I would be sick with upset/worry.

Is your dd your DP daughter? This needs looking in to. Just because DP has said he has dealt with it, you havnt! Your main concern is your dd. I'm sorry, I know he is a child but if he had stuck something up my dds bottom and hurt her, he wouldn't be coming back in the house.

ThingsThatGoBumpInTheNight Fri 28-Mar-14 01:35:52

Bump for Elle

Gettingmeback Fri 28-Mar-14 05:51:40

You're not overreacting. You are being a protective parent. You don't take any risks where your DCs safety is concerned. And i would see this as a situation of high risk, not low. I think I would leave over this. Not the behaviour per se because it is manageable, it would be DHs approach that I would find a deal breaker. The DC currently need a very high level of supervision and shouldn't be sleeping in the same room, however, if you DH doesn't agree then he will not provide the level of supervision required. I would find that untenable. And in my experience with this issue, you won't convince him of the seriousness if he doesn't already get it.

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