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to consider telling my DD(8) about peadophiles?

(50 Posts)
thedolly Wed 07-Oct-09 14:07:15

How are we supposed to protect our children from the possibility of sexual abuse?

Would it help if they knew the facts?

I'm not talking about stranger danger because as we know abusers are often not strangers.

Is it enough to talk about modesty/privacy wrt 'private parts'?

I can't be the only one thinking about this atm, what are your ideas?

<apologies in advance for any upset this thread may cause, I hope it is not inappropriate to ask this question>

MorrisZapp Wed 07-Oct-09 14:13:10

Just keep it age-appropriate.

ie the private parts thing is fine but not words like paedophile.

Most parents worry about it I should think, but in reality the risk is very small so there's no point in creating an anxiety or fear in children other then just the usual sensible stuff about strangers etc.

DailyMailNameChanger Wed 07-Oct-09 14:16:01

I would say that is leaping in at the deep end a little bit TBH - does she really understand about sex yet never mind sex with a minor?

I would say that it is enough to make it very clear that no-one has access to private parts and so on including people she knows.

Statistically she is far more likely to be attacked by a dog than abused by a relative so are you also planning on telling her that she should never go near a dog because they will attack her and leave her scarred for life? How about traffic accidents? Is she to be told never to get in a car?

THis life is full of awful risks, listing them all to an 8yo would most likely blow her mind totally.


Firawla Wed 07-Oct-09 14:16:28

yes i think its fine to let them know about modesty/private parts, that its not appropriate for anyone to see or touch certain parts of body and that if they feel uncomfy with anyone they should come and tell parents?

DailyMailNameChanger Wed 07-Oct-09 14:18:17

I think you are missing what thedolly is suggesting she tell her dd TBH.

tethersend Wed 07-Oct-09 14:22:52

I think a good place to start is to talk about 'secrets'.

Impart the message that nobody should ask/tell you to keep secrets from mummy and daddy, even friends and relatives, and that she can tell you both anything.

I don't see a problem with telling her that some people hurt/touch children; I think it is the 'our little secret' bit that you should address first though.

I think this is more effective than warning against 'strangers' tbh.

elmofan Wed 07-Oct-09 14:25:15

thedolly - what i did with ds (10) was encouraged him to shower or bath himself when he was 9yrs & told him that he should wash himself now as he is getting older & nobody should touch his "private parts " it was said in a casual way so as not to go into a long detailed conversation about paedophiles , i think knowing about " stranger danger" is enough at this age ,

thedolly Wed 07-Oct-09 14:29:06

DailyMailNameChanger - about the statistical possibility, I get the impression that it is not that rare. I know it is very rare indeed to be abducted but sexual abuse seems (just from reading MN even) to be worth worrying about and possibly mentioning.

She does know about the danger wrt to cars and I do all that I can when driving to ensure that she is safe. My DC also know never to approach a dog unless invited to do so by the owner.

We have recently told her about sex but I wouldn't say she understands it. I did tell her that it was illegal for a man to have sex with a young teenager (after the Roman Polanski business came to light again).

peanutbutterkid Wed 07-Oct-09 14:31:24

It really depends on the maturity of the child.

From the age of 4-5 I have emphasised to DC that private parts are private, no one else is supposed to touch except maybe if there is something medically wrong.

I wouldn't bring up pedaphilia with DD8 because she just wouldn't 'get it' (she does know how babies are made).
But I have told DS.10 that some adults are sick in the head and want to have sexual contact with children. This is obviously wrong, and it's sad that people like that exist. When it does happen, it's always the adult's fault, never the child's.

I don't think he can take more than that in, yet.

DailyMailNameChanger Wed 07-Oct-09 14:37:24

You may get that impression dolly but I would suggest you do some proper research before scaring your child off her grandparents/uncles/aunts.

Just so as we are clear, you are saying in your op that telling a child about stranger danger and that private parts ar private is not enough and that you want to tell them about peadophiles, yes? And that they are not always strangers they are more often members of the family, yes?

You want to sit your 8yo down and tell her that a member of her family (people she knows, loves and trusts - real people in her life not hypothetical strangers) may wish to hurt her in a sexual manner and she needs to be ready for that?

You are a loon.

thedolly Wed 07-Oct-09 14:39:11

tethersend I have done the talk about 'secrets' with her and with DS(6) although I could do to refresh it as it was a while ago.

CantThinkofFunnyName Wed 07-Oct-09 14:46:59

Agree with everyone here that talking about secrets and private parts is a really good idea. Unfortunately, both my DCs (10&6) are familiar with the term paedophile and whilst they have absolutely no knowledge about sex (I think blush) we live next door to a convicted paedophile who attempted to groom my son within a few months of his release from prison. Needless to say, we had a few heated exchanges in our house, had police around etc and children overheard some conversations - which meant we had to be a little more open than we would have liked at their tender years (at the time 7 and 3)!

Anyway, enough of all of that - I would absolutely encourage talking about this in the way decribed throughout thread. Presumably you have neighbours - and quite frankly, you never really know do you?!

thedolly Wed 07-Oct-09 14:49:08

I was thinking more along the lines of piano teacher/swimming teacher/singing teacher etc. Males that she may have occasion to be alone with.

How does one do some proper research DailyMNC? It is impossible to know just how widespread such abuse is.

I am not sure that it is enough just to talk about stranger danger and private parts as I am sure that this is something that we all tell our children and yet such abuse goes on. I don't think I want to tell her that a member of her family may wish to hurt her in a sexual manner but I do want her to know what would be inappropriate behaviour by whomever.

onebatmother Wed 07-Oct-09 14:49:39

I don't think it's madness to tell an 8 year old that they shouldn't keep secrets from their parents, even if they 'happened' to know the person that asks them very well, DMNC

I get teh impression that the impact on the child is related as much to your tone of voice, the particular words you use, your facial expression etc as much as the 'meaning' of what is said. iyswim.

Peanutbutterkid - I REALLY like your 'it's always the adults fault, and never the kid's' thing. Hadn't thought of that.

loubloutwinmum Wed 07-Oct-09 14:50:50

I have told my girls similar things to what others have posted about private parts and that no-one has the right to touch them, hurt them etc... I found my two were a bit confused about "private parts" so I explained the areas we cover with a bathing suit are private and they seemed to understand that more.

I would never want to scare them or tell them things they do not need to know. I remember they picked up on the news when Madeleine McCann went missing - they are just a little bit older than she is. They asked me a lot of questions then, although I never exposed them to the news they just overheard people talking etc... I just said to them that not all people are good and bad things do happen so we have to be very careful. One of my girls said they were said Madaleine was lost and couldn't find her way home to her Mummy. I did not tell her it was suspected someone took her as I thought it would scare her. We just had a chat about if she ever got lost how she would tell people who she was, where she lived and that we would be looking for her etc...

I just think as a parent you have to judge what is appropriate to tell your own children as you know better then anyone the level of info they need and are ready for!

I think as another poster said - it is very important to emphasise to your children that secrets are not right, especially if someone tell them not to tell their parents.

It is so sad we live in a society where we have to worry about all this.

thedolly Wed 07-Oct-09 14:52:56

The thing about secrets is that by the time you are told to keep one it is already too late presumably sad.

DailyMailNameChanger Wed 07-Oct-09 14:54:16

Why only males dolly?

Perhaps it would be best if you just kept her inside? Maybe paint the window black so no-one could ever look in?

If you are saying that telling her no-one should go near her private parts is not making it clear enough and that you need to go into more detail about inappropriate behaviour then what exactly are you going to say? Exactly how much detail are you going to go into about what a peadophile does?

She is 8 fgs, talking about secrets and private parts, yep all great. More than that? hmm

DailyMailNameChanger Wed 07-Oct-09 14:56:16

Onebat, I think talking about secrets and private parts is spot on. Thedolly is saying that she does not think this is enough and wants to give the "facts" about peadophiles....hmm

tethersend Wed 07-Oct-09 14:57:48

I agree that it's sad loublou... but to tell our children about this is to empower them.

After all, paedophilia is not a new invention, and previous generations never discussed such things with their children. As a consequence, a huge number of children suffered in silence, believing that they were the only ones being abused.

I am happy that we live in a society where open discussion is encouraged and normal and if a child is abused they will speak out and be listened to... Surely that's a positive thing?

CantThinkofFunnyName Wed 07-Oct-09 14:58:13

DMNC - yes, sometimes more than that is needed. Read my post above - I agree that it is a little extreme - however, grooming starts by trying to gain trust of a child and not necessarily by the person doing anything really perceived to be wrong, being invited to play when other adults not around, being invited into a house without telling your parents, little hugs, offers of sweets etc - these are all signs of grooming and have nothing to do with private parts. It's a fine line and a horrid decision to have to make by parents - but it is wrong of you to suggest that dolly keeps her child locked indoors and black our her windows.

It is a sad fact of society that these things happen and forewarned is fore-armed... we all just need to judge for ourselves, what information our children can take in.

MillyR Wed 07-Oct-09 14:59:30

I have never had conversation about private parts. My children are 8 and 11, so probably a bit old for that type of conversation now. I don't know if I should have had that conversation with them or not. It never occurred to me.

I have told them that some people want to hurt children; I have also told them who, locally, has been in prison for hurting children, and told them to avoid him. This is useful in that he looks uncreepy, and so they understand that you cannot tell who is dangerous just based on appearances.

tethersend Wed 07-Oct-09 15:00:00

Forgive the pedant in me, but one of the facts is that it's spelled 'paedophile.

Sorry blush

tethersend Wed 07-Oct-09 15:01:24

The pedant in me is now angry because I forgot to close the inverted commas. Bah.

blush blush

DailyMailNameChanger Wed 07-Oct-09 15:03:21

Funnyname, I did read your post and I know as much as, if not more than most about teaching children about grooming and abuse however even you have said that you kept the knowledge to a bare minimum and your son was targeted by an offender, dolly has not even got any suspiscions just wants to react based on reading some stuff in the papers (although apparently only stuff about male offenders).

It is this kind of idiotic over-reaction that leads to witch-hunting and scared children - very DailyMail.... in fact is that column still running? hmm

luckyblackcat Wed 07-Oct-09 15:03:32

I was abused as a child (by a family member) and even I think you are (to quote DMNC) a loon to consider telling her in detail about this.

I was lucky enough to work with people from child protection, in a professional capacity, I learnt much and have always talked to my DD about not having secrets - surprises are good, secrets are not.

We also use the bathing costume reference.

In addition, wrt only medical staff being able to examine you/see the private parts of your body - only when Mummy or Daddy are in the room.

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