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should I be concerned or am I reading too much into this?

(36 Posts)
ayebooo Tue 18-Oct-11 19:40:26

namechanger with genuine not sure if IABU or not

I was staying over at my cousin's house with my DD (3). When I was getting her dressed I had left the bedroom door open as no one was upstairs at the time. As I was putting her pants on I saw her DS (9) standing at the bedroom door staring at DD. I asked him to not watch DD getting changed but he refused to move from the doorway and continued staring. I had to actually stop and walk across the room and close the door in his face. He didn't say sorry or anything.

A while ago, something else happened which made me a little uneasy. The DCs were playing in the bedroom. I was checking on them every so often but one time when I went in they were hiding under the cover. They moved as I pulled the cover off but it appeared that DD was lying down, legs splayed and the boy was kneeling looking at her. (She had a nightdress on but no pants because she was going through a phase of constantly taking them off) He looked very guilty but I never questioned him on it, I just seperated them.

So what does the MN jury think? Normal behaviour? They hardly ever see each other so DD isn't at risk and I wont be letting them play alone together anymore regardless. I haven't mentioned it to his Mum. Should I? I'm not used to boys this age so not sure if this is just natural curiosity.

NickNacks Tue 18-Oct-11 19:43:01

I would say natural curiousity at that age but I would mention to his mum that perhaps he needs a chat on respecting other peoples privacy etc.

Tortington Tue 18-Oct-11 19:43:06

i think its natural curiosity, i think you need to tell his mum - maybe in a jokey way and get her to talk to him about girls bodies and stuff or buy him a book

worraliberty Tue 18-Oct-11 19:44:25

Does he have any younger sisters?

Could be natural curiosity

ScarlettIsWalking Tue 18-Oct-11 19:50:08

At the risk of getting a toasting here I would say from the scenarios you describe his behavior runs a little out of the realms of natural curiosity actually.

Is he incredibly immature for his age? Because from my experience of boys this age these actions would be totally out of bounds, they would be more likely to be physically curious with their own age group.

PotterWatch Tue 18-Oct-11 19:57:25

Really not sure. My DS is only 3 so haven't come across this behaviour yet. Not sure why you were trying to hide your 3 year old when getting dressed though. That seems a bit OTT. I would be more hmm at the bit under the covers. It could be natural curiosity but I would mention it to his mum so she can have a chat about what is appropriate and what isn't. If no one tells him, then how can he know.

thisisyesterday Tue 18-Oct-11 19:57:32

I would say natural curiosity, especially if he has no younger siblings etc and has never seen a girl naked before.
BUT I also think at 9 that he really ought to know that certain things are private and that he shouldn't be looking at her under the covers hmm

manicbmc Tue 18-Oct-11 19:58:02

What Scarlett said. With his peer group is one thing but with a toddler is another. I'd mention it to his mum.

thisisyesterday Tue 18-Oct-11 20:05:02

i disagree. if he is naturally curious and the person he happens to see is younger then he's going to stare regardless isn't he.
why would it be better that it was someone his own age? it isn't sexual confused

manicbmc Tue 18-Oct-11 20:06:42

Not saying better. But there is a hell of a lot of difference between a girl of 8/9 and one of 3. I bet the 3 year old wouldn't think to say 'no' for a start.

Birdsgottafly Tue 18-Oct-11 20:09:21

This is natural behaviour. Most schools start the talks about; privacy and keeping yourself safe, what is appropriate, etc from around 8.

He won't see her as a baby, to him she is a peer. Someone needs to speak to him, perhaps get some age appropriate reading material.

manicbmc Tue 18-Oct-11 20:14:46

I'm sorry, but at 8 myself and my peers would have seen a 3 year old as a baby.

Birdsgottafly Tue 18-Oct-11 20:17:16

Not when becoming curious about gender differences, it will have suddenly occured to him that there is a difference.

He isn't doing anything wrong and especially as no-one including the OP is dealing with this and educating him.

ImperialBlether Tue 18-Oct-11 20:17:42

Thisisyesterday, how do you know it's not sexual?

Many boys have erections and wet dreams from the age of 10.

Birdsgottafly Tue 18-Oct-11 20:20:19

Imperial- it is sexual, a normal part of sexual development, but not wrong.

Someone needs to be talking to him to explain inappropriate behaviour and respecting others privacy, there isn't anything sinister going on.

thisisyesterday Tue 18-Oct-11 20:20:45

sorry, i don't know it's not sexual.. what I meant was that "if we are assuming it's natural curiosity...... then it's not sexual"

if that makes sense.

I would think though, just going on what OP has said, that he is just interested in what girls have down there and this is maybe the first chance he has had to look.
as I say, he ought to know at his age that it is inappropriate, but that doesn't mean there is anything more to it. and I am not sure that her age is a factor

would def mention it to his mum though, if nothing else she needs to talk to him about inappropriate behaviour

slavetofilofax Tue 18-Oct-11 20:26:27

I think you are worrying about nothing.

It doesn't matter that your dd is three, she may be the only girl that this boy has ever had teh opportunity to see. Children are curious at that age. Not because of anything sinister, but because they are interested in differences.

Why is it that we celabrate when a child is very keen to learn at school, but when they want to learn about their own species we freak out about it.

He is 9 FFS.

I have a 9yo boy. He might want to know what girls look like down below, (although I doubt it, because my boy thinks girls are bossy and smelly) but that's as far as it goes. He is a child. He would know that he should respect privacy, but he's 9. He makes mistakes. As all 9 year olds do. He knows to respect privacy, but I could see his curiosity getting the better of him. BECAUSE HE IS A CHILD!

whatsallthehullaballoo Tue 18-Oct-11 20:31:44

YANBU - but I do not think you need to go off the deep end. I would broach it with your friend and ask that she have a chat about privacy. Curiosity is fine, but he should not be interfering/ examining your dd in this way. It is inappropriate, although probably innocent curiosity.

MurderBloodstabsandgore Tue 18-Oct-11 20:32:04

imperial I'm quite sure that development of normal sexual interest does not include looking at 3YOs shock I remember boys of about 9/10 when I was a child wanting to look at pictures of women, not children.

I'd say he was just interested, and would mention to the mum about boundaries.

OP I'd think you were prejudiced a bit as you tried to hide your 3YO while she changed?

boohoobabywho Tue 18-Oct-11 21:00:15

op - i dont think that you are being overprotective and i disagree with anyone that says this is normal, because i dont think it is that bit at the door is just creepy (IN MY OPINION). AND dont think its being overprotective to teach a three year old to be modest.

However i wouldnt make a huge fuss about it
1 i'd talk to your friend..look its probably innocent but it makes me feel uncomforatble when he does this, will you ask him not to look.
2 dont give him the opportunity to be alone with her.

PS he has rights/she has rights blah blah blah.
if your mum radar is pinging... act on it... youd never forgive yourslelf otherwise. by using the two points above you arent accusuing anyone of anything but you are protecting your dd from a perceived threat.

But this is just my opinion in a sea of conflicting opinions.

good luck

vanimal Tue 18-Oct-11 21:08:07

Same opinion as boohoobabywho, this is not normal, and I would NOT allow my DD to be anywhere near this boy by herself. Mention it to the mum if you can.

I have seen this behaviour with someone I know, a boy aged 10-12ish and a 6/7 year old girl. And it did turn out to be far more sinister than 'curiosity' sad

If your radar is telling you something is not quite right, I would go with that.

lechatnoir Tue 18-Oct-11 21:10:49

Natural curiosity IMO. Jst as you are teaching your daughter to cover up/close doors etc, if your cousin has done the same with her son he's probably never seen a girl's bits before and your LO is the first opportunity. I odn't think you need to go overboard but you can say you've noticed him looking at your LO's body & maybe it's time to have a chat to him about the differences between boys & girls, about privacy & what is & isn't appropriate. He might be 6 years older than your LO, but he's still a child sad

fomr the way I read it the OP only tried to cover up her daughetr once she realised someone was staring at her. I probably would too. Until then - door wide open.

GalloweesG Tue 18-Oct-11 21:21:14

Not normal I don't think. Id feel massively uncomfortable about this and I would bring it up in front of the 9 year old and his Mother. Most importantly I would keep my daughter away from this boy.

betterwhenthesunshines Tue 18-Oct-11 21:21:49

Two 6 year olds and I would say natural curiosity. Does he have sister? Maybe his mum is very secretive and he's never had the chance to be curious?

But the age gap is worrying as it shifts things. I wouldn't have made a big thing about the closing the door as it just makes it all more secret. If he were a bit younger I'd suggest getting together and putting them both in the bath while you surreptitiously supervise, but 9 is a bit old for that now.

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