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to think it's inappropriate for a 6 yo girl to hang around with 12 yo boys?

(40 Posts)
TractorTam Tue 29-Jul-14 09:46:27

When DD has contact with her father, she spends a lot of her time with her fathers girlfriends brother who is 12, and sometimes his friends too. I voiced concern months ago because DD was becoming very attached to him, coming home in tears if he wasn't there and saying she wouldn't go unless she was. He was also showing her inappropriate films and games which were causing nightmares.

Since then her father has told her to keep what goes on at contact a secret confused However, last night she was building a pile of sticks in the garden and let slip that at the weekend the boys built a fire like this and lit it with a lighter while she was with them. No sign of any adult supervision. Am I being unreasonable to think she shouldn't be hanging around with boys twice her age while unsupervised?

MrsWinnibago Tue 29-Jul-14 09:49:23

The secrets thing is bad..the films and comp games are bad but hanging with older boys is not always bad. I was babysat by my brother and a motley collection of his mates at a similar age.....for the most part they were lovely to me. I even remember one of them re-doing my pigtails when taking me to school one morning!

However...the DDs Dad is WRONG to lie and you have every right to be concerned.

Bowlersarm Tue 29-Jul-14 09:53:11

I think your ex is wrong about the lying.

But i think as he has his dd in what is now his family unit he has to manage that in the best way he can. If he got married to his partner the 12 year old would be your DD's stepbrother, and it would be perfectly acceptable that she spends time with him in the garden.

Maybe you should speak to him about your worry that she is unsupervised around fire?

TractorTam Tue 29-Jul-14 09:58:18

No, he would be her step-uncle. But she says he's her boyfriend.

Gileswithachainsaw Tue 29-Jul-14 09:58:40

I think the fact they are boys is irrelevant.

However it would be nice if he arranged to see some kids her own age as I can't see there being much that both sets of kids would be able to do together.

The fire thing being a good example of this. She should to have been unsupervised with fire.

MrsWinnibago Tue 29-Jul-14 09:59:15

Well is there any reason for you to suspect anything inappropriate has happened. Physically? Have you met the boy?

Bowlersarm Tue 29-Jul-14 09:59:47

Oh yes sorry, missread. So presumably he isn't there a lot?

Gileswithachainsaw Tue 29-Jul-14 09:59:55


Idontseeanyicegiants Tue 29-Jul-14 10:00:55

I agree with you about the secrecy and the films/computer games definitely, and to an extent the rest of it. My older 2 are slightly older but the same age gap and I would want DD (8) to be supervised around DS (13) and his friends (if they would ever actually let her hang around with them) purely because lads that age can get a bit Lord of the flies at times! Many of them simply don't think things through, like the fire business, it could to them have been a bit of an adventure - a simple campfire but if they don't build it safely it can easily get out of control.
However they can also be highly responsible. At a recent paddling pool party (long story) DS and one of his mates took my toddler into the water with them and they hovered like practiced helicopter parents. It's an odd age IMO, utter fools one minute and almost mature young people the next - and that is what would worry me.

TractorTam Tue 29-Jul-14 10:04:03

He's there every contact. I mention they're boys because she's repeated the words wanking and tits after being with them.

BabyMarmoset Tue 29-Jul-14 10:12:36

Your DD's father telling her to keep secrets from you... that is so far from being acceptable that I would go completely ape shit if I had heard that.

On the hanging around with 12yos... I think it can be good for children to get a bit of exposure to other age children, even if that means pushing boundaries a little bit... but there is a limit.

Videos and games for example clearly have potential to be a big issue (especially as the DS hits early teens)... the fire doesn't bother me too much... but you should be able to trust your ex to be monitoring those boundaries. It sounds like you can't and therefore need to remedy that asap.

What is your relationship with your ex's GF. Might speaking to her about your concerns get you further than speaking to your ex?

BertieBotts Tue 29-Jul-14 10:13:34

I don't think it's wrong for her to be around him, especially as there's a family link but they should be supervising them more carefully, she certainly shouldn't be allowed to go off with a big group of them.

However it is one of those rubbish things about being separated - you kind of have to smile along with it and grit your teeth because ultimately it's your ex's decision and not yours.

I would do damage control by talking to her about what she can do if she sees or is asked to do things she doesn't want to do or see. And talk about privacy and the underwear rule - I am not for one second implying that he is or will abuse her, but we had an incident with DS and an older male relative - similar ages - who had seen something inappropriate and copied it without really realising what he was doing had any kind of inappropriate connotation and it caused a lot of upset. DS is fine but it meant that we suddenly realised we'd never spoken to him about how certain things aren't okay because we never expected him to be in that kind of position. Naive sad

I would also probably discourage the "boyfriend" talk. She's too young for a boyfriend, she's six. I would just gently correct to say "Yes he's a boy who is a friend, isn't he. Not a boyfriend."

Sapat Tue 29-Jul-14 10:19:24

And my 4 year old says bloody hell when he can't find a toy because i say it when I can't find my keys. There are 6 years between DC1 and DC3. I am sure DC3 will grow up a little faster as a reason. Obviously your exP needs to keep an eye on what is happening to make sure that games such as campfires stay safe, but ultimately there isn't much you can do unless she is at risk. A bit of hero worship can be quite sweet....

Shockers Tue 29-Jul-14 10:21:23

If your daughter uses the words "wanking" and "tits" at school, plus talks about inappropriate films and games, it will be flagged up as a concern. Perhaps this could be mentioned to your ex.

Asking her to keep secrets from you is unforgivable. It is also very worrying in this context because the boys could be doing similar and the idea of secrets has already been approved by dad.

MrsWinnibago Tue 29-Jul-14 10:24:43

OP it's best you don't drip feed on threads that are this sensitive. You should have indicated the use of inappropriate words right off. I would put a stop to contact while this is happening.

TractorTam Tue 29-Jul-14 10:30:25

That's what worries me about secrets, shockers, particularly as DD has mild SN which makes speaking out difficult. My friend recently went on a parenting information course that said RP shouldn't even ask DC what they've done during contact hmm

Softlysoftlycatchymonkey Tue 29-Jul-14 10:33:29

I'd be concerned too op

Not sure what your going to do though if you've had no joy in exdh

BackforGood Tue 29-Jul-14 10:47:09

Yes, YABVU to say that a 6 yr old girl can't play / spend time with 12 yr old boys.

I would be concerned about her watching inappropriate films and games - but that's a parenting / supervision issue, not an issue with mixing with other dc.

TractorTam Tue 29-Jul-14 10:58:41

I didn't say she shouldn't play with them, I said it should be supervised.

TractorTam Tue 29-Jul-14 18:53:17

She's now said they're going away together next contact time and sharing a bedroom. All the adults are drinkers and it just doesn't feel right to me that those two are pretty much going to be left to it. But am I being over cautious?

Bowlersarm Tue 29-Jul-14 18:56:59

You need someone experienced in this, OP, to post advice.

I think yes it's fine to go away. I'm unsure on the bedroom situation.

My DSes were not talking about wanking and tits at 12, and it would hav been fine to mix boys/girls and different ages together.

Littleturkish Tue 29-Jul-14 19:18:05

You must be so worried. How frequent is contact and is it court ordered?

MrsWinnibago Tue 29-Jul-14 21:03:17

Bowlers is right OP I think you should post in Relationships rather than AIBU as there are some very sensitive people there.

CheerfulYank Tue 29-Jul-14 21:08:11

Are you the poster who didn't want them sharing a bed together?

I would be concerned about lack of supervision and I am quite strict about what movies my son watches so I'd be upset.

SlicedAndDiced Tue 29-Jul-14 21:12:51

I'd be very upset and concerned about your ex asking her to keep secrets!

That is wrong on so many levels.

In light of that I can see why you would be concerned about an older boy she calls a boyfriend and children being left unsupervised.

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