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Taking photos of a 3 year old

(21 Posts)
Slashtrophe Thu 22-Sep-11 19:38:41

My ex-p has regular nights residency with our two DS aged 3 & 6. I am happy with this, we have an ok relationship and I have no worries generally about him with DC, apart from the fact he is a lot less attentive to them than I would be, and is generally slacker regarding food/homework/sleep/hygiene.

Last term he had two foreign students from his school (he is a secondary school teacher) aged 12 & 13 on an exchange for 3 months staying at his house. All the kids got on like a house on fire and though I had concerns that my ex might not be able to cope with 4 kids they seemed ok, apart from an episode where my three year old told me that one of the students had 'a big dick'. I assumed it was the kids messing about and asked ex to keep an eye on them. I was also concerned that he let the students pretty much run free.

They have gone now and all seemed ok.

As he teaches media he often has media equipment at home.

Today he was called in to be told that pupils had found pictures of my three year old naked on the school's camera, of his bum, and holding his penis out. The school head has asked my ex to see him tmw to explain. When ex told me we asked the kids what had happened and DC (3) immediately said that one of the foreign students had told him to do it so he had.

I am going to be asked to vouch for my ex, and I am happy to do this (if I had concerns it was ex-p I wouldn't be letting them go to his house).

However, now I am worrying. DS (3) does not seem at all perturbed by events but DS (6) is very upset and thinks it is his fault and therefore is lying non stop. Should I be asking the school if it is safe for them to just ask teachers to put up foreign students when they have no idea who they are or am I overreacting? Should I be reporting this to to the foreign student's school?

We asked DS (3) if he had been touched by anyone, he said no, and I don't want to put ideas in his head. Equally, its clearly not good that this 12 year old got him to take his clothes off and then photographed him. Or is that just typical boy behaviour?
Any advice welcome.
Thanks in advance.

Tewkespeggy Thu 22-Sep-11 19:51:37

i'd be freaked too. x

kelly2000 Thu 22-Sep-11 19:58:41

report it to the foreign student's school, and their local police -this sort of behaviour needs to be addressed. Why would they do that it is just weird? It certainly is not normal 12 year old behaviour.
Can you tell if they uploaded the photo'?

BoastingByStealth Thu 22-Sep-11 20:00:51


It did sound very unusual to have students over at a teachers house, I've never heard of that before?

If this is reported then I assume your boys will be interviewed/counselled by experts, so I would try not to talk to them about it in case you do put words in their mouths.

MangoMonster Thu 22-Sep-11 20:01:01

No idea if it's typical but I would have thought instinctively that it's not. Actually the more I think about it, the more I think it's weird. In fact it is weird, sorry OP. Glad your ds is ok. I'd definitely report it.

MangoMonster Thu 22-Sep-11 20:02:31

You're not overreacting, that age group should know it's unacceptable.

annh Thu 22-Sep-11 20:04:24

Why would 12 and 13 year old foreign exchange students be spending 3 MONTHS abroad?

slartybartfast Thu 22-Sep-11 20:05:03

child protection?
i don't think you should ask your own dc too much.

pigletmania Thu 22-Sep-11 20:09:24

All sounds very unusual to me. I agree there are a few things that concern me that others have pointed out e.g two children staying with their teacher for 3 months. This is an awfully long time to be away from home. I would be reluctant to send my ds to your ex alone until this is sorted out.

Slashtrophe Thu 22-Sep-11 20:10:11

The students are chinese, apparently both their mothers are dead and they are at boarding school. I am concerned but obviously they have gone, both kids seem unscathed, but still I don't feel right to leave it...its already been reported so what should I ask for? I like the idea of reporting it to their school, to get them checked out. It sounds like they have issues

MangoMonster Thu 22-Sep-11 20:13:07

I think you should ask professional advice if you're at all concerned that it went further than photographs. I hate saying this... Only you know your ex dp, but I hope you're totally sure about him. I know it's out of order to think he has anything to do with it and he probably hasn't, but from an outside perspective who knows neither of you...

BoastingByStealth Thu 22-Sep-11 20:16:40

I'm quite sure if the OPs ex had had anything to do with this, he wouldn't have (1) taken pics on a work camera and (2) left them on it when returning it.

The 3yo said it was the student. I'd believe him

aldiwhore Thu 22-Sep-11 20:18:06

I think, play it down with your 6 year old, reassure, be kind, don't cross examine... their minds work overtime especially when its something they don't fully understand.

This smacks of a bad sense of humour rather than abuse, and of completely inappropriate behaviour, the exchange students should have known better. I'm not one for criminalising people, but I do think its important to get in touch with the exchange student's school and discuss matters of appropriate behaviour.

I would not sound the peedomergency alarm, but there is a middle ground. One of non hysteria but grown up concern, not one of punishment and labelling but of discussion about appropriate behaviour and boundaries.

My 3 year old gets his willy out all the time, it would probably be HIGHLY amusing to a young teen with a camera, my 7 year old would probably join in, just being SILLY... however, kids of all ages need to know boundaries so I'd approach it just like that.

It could be something sinister, of COURSE it could, but I'd play it like it was a prank first and foremost and take it from there. If you handle it any other way, the distress of the handling could do more damage in my humble opinion. Is your 6 year old upset because of the gravity on your voice and obvious shock, or because some big kid took a photo of his willy? 6 year old pick up on disapproval and fear, so maybe he's acutely aware that this is serious but hasn't been 'hurt' or forced into anything.

I would tread carefully. Its a fine line to walk between finding out if something abusive has happened and pushing so much that a child becomes distressed beyond the event that happend? If that makes sense?

YANBU, but this is a very delicate matter. Had those taking the photos been older, then a different spin would have to be put on it.

Sam100 Thu 22-Sep-11 20:20:52

I would call your local police force and ask to be put through to the child protection team - they should be able to help by talking to your children in an appropriately trained way to find out what happened and can then also deal with the exchange student's local police force if necessary.

This is not appropriate behaviour by the older child and needs to be addressed - that child may well be being abused themselves and this is "normal" for them because that is what happens to them at home.

MangoMonster Thu 22-Sep-11 20:24:57

Not saying you shouldn't believe your ex, I don't know him. Just wonder how 3 yr old was alone with the older kids and they had time to do that. As you said he is more lax than you. Please don't offense, I'm sure my dp would be trusting of other kids too and it wouldn't even enter his head to be worried. But I don't agree that it's funny enough to take pictures. Obviously the stidents overstepped the mark.

MangoMonster Thu 22-Sep-11 20:30:52

boasting you're right.

Slashtrophe Thu 22-Sep-11 20:31:26

Well, it looks like police and SS will be involved. I do believe ex-p and DS but I still want it chased up. I want the boy's school and police to be informed. Thank you for all advice, obviously my kids are younger and I wanted reassurance this wasn't normal behaviour. Thank you again

MangoMonster Thu 22-Sep-11 20:36:24

Sorry for doubting your ex, on reflection, it was wrong.

Slashtrophe Thu 22-Sep-11 20:41:55

No worries MangoMonster, I would think the same if I didn't know him. I did have slight concerns about the students but I let them go, regret that now.

I will reassure older DS - you are right Aldiwhore - he picked up on tension and tried to take all responsibility, which ex is picking up on and now trying to spread responsibility.

I will call the head and say I want the student's school informed, and obv don't want boys going if Ex has students again.

yestheyareallmine Thu 22-Sep-11 20:56:24

i would imagine that the head of your ex-p's school will inform the police.
i dont think he is in a position not to realy

ballstoit Thu 22-Sep-11 21:02:53

This is a tricky one...DNephews are 9, 7 and 4. If DS (6) and his cousins were playing around with a camera, I'd be in no way surprised if they took pictures of each others willys and bums. (In fact I'd be more surprised if they didn't!). However, I think oldest nephew would be aware this would not be acceptable if there were other children if they had friends to play.

Having said that, cultures vary, having watched chinese and japanese 'game' shows it is clear that some things are viewed differently. An email to the students school can't do any harm.

For the future, I'd hope ex-P is not planning any more exchange students... the level of supervision needed wasn't there, and has caused unnecessary upset to his own DC. When fostering with ex-H, we were told not to leave DSS's unsupervised with older foster don't know their experiences and norms and it's an unnecessary risk to both your own and the foster child. I see this as a similar situation, albeit on which ex-p was less prepared or trained for.

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