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To think that a 10 year old should not be exposing herself to other children...

(35 Posts)
Inaminutenow Sat 15-Mar-14 22:29:52

My two boys were playing out the back this afternoon, which leads to a lane and connects with a cul-de-sac. As they are only 7 and 4, they are only allowed to play where I can see them. So after a little while, a number of other children from the cul-de-sac and other houses nearby congregated at the back of our house and played. Their ages ranged from about 5 or 6 to 10/11.
I must say I'm not completely comfortable with some of the children, as they show little respect for other children's belongings and some of the older children's behaviour is rude at times. However, I saw a new one today - the oldest girl (10 or 11) repeatedly pulled her top right over her head, completely exposing herself (she only had knickers on)... My boys told me later that she had also showed them her down below bits. WTF?
What should I do? Surely this is not normal for a child of that age? Or is it?

Aeroflotgirl Mon 17-Mar-14 10:05:26

At 10/11 that really isent appropriate, especially showing young children your privates. Op should keep,an eye on things and tell her if she sees if hears it happening again. At that age you should know better.

MrsMook Mon 17-Mar-14 06:54:23

I was late in reaching puberty, didn't have "the talk" until the last term of junior school and was very innocent in that department. At about 9 or 10, I can remember lifting my skirt up in a silly exhibitionist way. With hindsight my friends were beginning to get self conscious about thing like changing for swimming. I was about 12 before I took to covering up with changing, purely because it was conspicuous that I didn't, rather than my own embarrassment. As an adult I just get on with it ib communal changing areas, I can't be doing with the faffing of changing discretly as half the time it draws more attention. At 10, I was very much a little girl with main interests in dolls and my little ponies.

It's worth monitoring because it can be a sign of something more serious, but at that age it can easily be very innocent too.

MeanwhileHighAboveTheField Sun 16-Mar-14 22:24:26

At 10 I was still running around playing outside with just a ppair of shorts on!

WelshMoth Sun 16-Mar-14 22:12:46

OP I have not read the whole thread, but my DD is nearly 9 and whilst a bit of a tomboy, has twice this weekend, scored in a friendly cul-de-sac footie match and instantly legged it around the place with her top pulled up above her head. She's like a pole and is all ribs snd elbows but got completelh carried away wi her goal.

After all the hilarity and childish jubilance thank God our neighbours have known her and her geeky ways since birth I gave her a thorough telling off and a bit of a woman to woman talk. She was a bit blush and understands why she can't behave totally like oneof the lads.

Is it possible that this was what happened? Is she a 'developed ' 10 year old who knows the score, or is she like my DD and a bit of a lad?

22honey Sun 16-Mar-14 22:03:56

Some people are very naive! When I was 7-8, I used to 'experiment' with my best friend (another girl). The rubbing of genitals etc went on. We were both the same age and I remember the experience coming very naturally. I am straight btw. Neither of us were being sexually abused, it was natural childhood curiosity and I remember I would have been mortified had my parents known. I will add I started puberty early (started sprouting breasts at 7, wasnt very nice).

There isnt anything unusual or unnatural about this. Although I wouldn't have stripped off in the street, it doesnt strike me as that unusual especially for someone 10 or 11 years old, puberty and hormones have hit many by then.

crashbangboom Sun 16-Mar-14 21:57:01


It wont let me bring it up but have a look at Brook Traffic light tool. It looks at normal sexual behaviour as well as identifying it as when it is a concern.

I think you should definitely ring NSPCC or Social care for advice. Too many things centre around lack of information and there may be other things going on.

Inaminutenow Sun 16-Mar-14 21:46:56

Thanks everyone, I hadn't even thought about potential abuse and I feel it was an attention-seeking thing rather than something sexualised. The main issues I have are her age (thinking that at that age she ought to be aware that it's not the done thing) and also that my children are much younger than her. I wouldn't want them to start copying her.
It's probably impossible to stop the children mixing with each other, so will make sure they are all aware I'm keeping an eye on things. I'll also address the issue when I next see the girl - just mentioning that she shouldn't show her private parts.

jendot Sun 16-Mar-14 20:46:54

We played 'doctors and nurses' and 'rudies' at that kind of age with the other kids in the street continually.... I wasn't abused, subjected to sexual images and I think I turned out to be a fairly well adjusted adult!! I wouldn't worry too much. Just maybe make sure they are supervised if it bothers you.

Aeroflotgirl Sun 16-Mar-14 17:52:34

I just suggested NSPCC as I said I don't know how you would approach it. NSPCC would advice, I did not say ss!

Aeroflotgirl Sun 16-Mar-14 17:51:23

No thebody not at 10/11 it's not ok. She should no better, she is not 4/5. Nor is it Sign of abuse either. Next time op sees it, she should tell the girl not to do it, or keep,her young children away from her.

Marylou62 Sun 16-Mar-14 16:59:56

I agree that she should keep an eye out and let the other child know she is keeping an eye out!

dreampalace Sun 16-Mar-14 16:57:00

I think the thing is that at 10, children are aware that some parts are private and underwear is part of that (we used to giggle at the word 'knickers' and 'bra' - well, that was just hilarious! grin) so the girl could, on the one hand, be "being rude" in an innocent sort of way.

I don't think this, alone, would give any undue cause for concern - BUT, if she's going out of sight with your DS's, to show them her private parts, is that safe? I mean from the point of view that you can't always see the children.

Marylou62 Sun 16-Mar-14 16:56:17

As this is anonymous I will tell you this too. My friend is in CP (high up) and our daughters, about 9 yrs old, close friends and often had sleepovers, got caught strutting quite provocatively nude, in front of friends. (they were all getting ready for bed). They were told it wasn't done now they were that age. He didn't bat an eyelid and neither did I. They are both normal young women.

shouldnthavesaid Sun 16-Mar-14 16:42:21

Dream to be honest me too! I was waiting on someone else saying, yes I did that too as I was starting to wonder if my childhood was a bit weird haha. I very clearly remember being shocked as I thought we all looked the same under our clothes!

I do think there are degrees. I know of one incident that involved vaginal penetration by object - I witnessed unfortunately - and that was quite rightly followed up. Turned out the child leading it had actually been abused at a very young age.

There's also issues around consent - if it's mutual (like the situation I describe and as the other posters have mentioned) it's perhaps not so worrying, but if on the other hand it was forced in some way or part of bullying, then it's a bit more iffy, although still doesn't necessarily indicate that the child carrying it out was in some way abused.

It depends as well on what happens doesn't it, so if they're obviously imitating sexual acts and using language indicating a knowledge of sexuality beyond the norm for their age, then it's obviously worrying.

If on the other hand, it's as I experienced (very mutual, same age, and just fumbling - if that's the right word/showing/looking) then it's probably not so worrying.

However - I'm not CP trained, I don't know if anyone on this thread is, for that reason you might be best discussing it with someone who is. In any case, she does need a bit of encouragement about boundaries. Being pubescent (11, at least) she doesn't need to be stripping in front of wee ones in the street for her own sake if anything else!

TheBody Sun 16-Mar-14 16:37:08

ffs call the NSPCC? really. kids have played the I will show you mine if you show me yours for decades.

remember kids doing this in my childhood and kids chase etc.

the NSPCC would probably laugh.

if the child was saying very sexualised stuff or asking others to indulge in sex acts that's different. flashing bits is completely normal. she will grow out if it.

HellomynameisIcklePickle Sun 16-Mar-14 16:27:11

I would call the nspcc, it makes me feel very uncomfortable.

dreampalace Sun 16-Mar-14 16:23:50

Phew, thank god for last few posts, I was starting to think I was secretly deranged as a child! I don't remember anything like this in its exact form but do remember there being a "naughty step" blush where people would go to flash their bits!

Of course, Jo Frost's TV show put a different slant on it!

Marylou62 Sun 16-Mar-14 16:05:04

Oh Yes, Postmans Knock! In the woods behind our house, smoking stolen Menthal fags thinking our parents wouldn't smell it...Kiss chase...and so wanting to be caught! I was 10-11 or younger as we moved then and so clearly remember it. I had such a care free, happy childhood and do feel for parents these days, (rightly so) there is so much publicity about abuse.

blanchedeveraux Sun 16-Mar-14 15:45:04

I've got clear memories of playing "strip poker" with another couple of girls and boys at roughly this age. I wasn't sexually abused and to my knowledge none of my childhood friends were either. It's just something some children do, the old "doctors and nurses" stuff. If your DCs are uncomfortable with it then it's clearly a personal issue but I don't think it's very much to worry about.

Marylou62 Sun 16-Mar-14 15:40:43

Oh Dear. This is tricky. When I was this age we played on a green by a main road. We used to put tennis balls down our tops and pretend they were boobs. I do remember strutting around and cars beebing. Embarrassing now but can assure you...all quite innocent. But a neighbours 10-11 year old came to play with my kids and DS told me she took of her top and 'bounced on top of me'. I know, I know, I normally have a rule about not playing upstairs but I had a newborn and is was chucking it down...all day. Anyway I did have a chat with the HV. Small village so knew her well. I never heard outcome but child is now a mother herself and seems perfectly normal. I'd keep an eye out and see what happens. I like kids very much, worked with them all my life and I often used to go, watch mine for a while (always told them that they would never know when I was watching!!!) and always chat with the other kids. Got to know them well and as adults now, they always say 'Hello Xs Mum!'. Maybe you could do this and get to know her and be able to make a better assessment of this awkward situation.

shouldnthavesaid Sat 15-Mar-14 23:44:28

That said my friend and I were close in age and stage. There's a big difference between a pubescent eleven year old and a four year old, which just makes me feel that yes, you should contact the nspcc.

shouldnthavesaid Sat 15-Mar-14 23:41:01

A friend and I did this when we were around that age. Though more exploration than flashing. Wasn't a case of sexualisation - neither of us were abused. I'm not sure if it was more immaturity than anything else. Puberty played a huge role too as we were, ahem, fascinated at how different girls could be.

I wouldn't say it's necessarily a sign of problems however equally it's not something to be done in public at all. She probably needs guidance on puberty, and needs to be taught about boundaries and playing with friends her own age as well probably. For her safety, we you can't approach her parents, I would contact the nspcc for advice.

Inaminutenow Sat 15-Mar-14 23:08:02

I don't really know where she lives. I think I know who the parents are, but they would not take kindly to me speaking to them about this. I don't think it would make any difference, other than causing grief.
Next time she's around I will speak to her, just ask her not to do it again, won't make a fuss or nothing...
She had a long, tunic-type top on, over jersey shorts to start with, but when I saw her with her top over her head, the shorts had gone, just knickers...
All the children were laughing, including her, it seemed to be done for attention, but was just so inappropriate.
Thanks all.

meditrina Sat 15-Mar-14 23:06:36

A certain amount of knicker flashing is normal, and not necessarily a sigh of undue sexualisation. Do you know the children? What led to this particular incident? Context of game is a relevant factor. Re they egging each other on in silliness, or was it just out of the blue?

poorbuthappy Sat 15-Mar-14 22:59:56

My 9.5 year old would never even contemplate this.

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