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worried about 5.5 year old DD spending time alone with her older cousine

(24 Posts)
stayinbed Tue 04-Jan-11 12:10:38

What do I say to her about it? He is 9, they are such great friends, but it is getting too close for comfort...

rainbowinthesky Tue 04-Jan-11 12:11:39

You might need to give some more information as on the face of it your post seems barmy.

seeker Tue 04-Jan-11 12:12:18

0ore information needed.

stayinbed Tue 04-Jan-11 12:15:05

My dd is 5.5, she has two older boy cousins, they are 7 and 9. they love to play together and are extremely close

lately i see that when they play together they boys are often hugging her, picking her up, cuddling with her etc.

who knows if they are going to try something like put their hands on her or not, but shouldn't I be saying something to her, or to them, about it not being appropriate?

nickschick Tue 04-Jan-11 12:15:10

Too close for comfort -how?

Children of all ages can play happily together indeed many of the longer lasting friendships are between friends with an age difference.

I do wonder if you are suspecting that perhaps the play is a little inappropriate? if thats so then generally all children play with a degree of sexual element and it is our job to guide them and direct them towards more 'play'.

If you were to say anything you might say along the lines of 'I know you and xxxxx are good pals but hes a bit older than you and sometimes he might want to play with other children or play stuff you dont want to play,if that happens you dont have to play with him you can tell me or auntie xxx and we will find you something different to play'.

LIZS Tue 04-Jan-11 12:17:59

I think you are projecting your preconceptions onto innocent horseplay. They will lose interest in her over the next year or two anyway.

nickschick Tue 04-Jan-11 12:18:47

I have 3 ds and lots of friends with girls it used to be that all the kids just piled upstairs and played ps2 x box twister or whatever whilst we sat downstairs (*not* drinking wine smile) then I became a bit politically correct and began to say is xxx allowed to go upstairs ds1 is there and he is 14 now etc etc of my friends pointed out to me that my ds's had grown up with their dc and as such they were virtually 'family' unless the children boys or girls were uncomfortable with it.

As it happens ds2 is quite afraid of the younger girls now grin it appears they chase him to kiss him and ds1 is always called upon to be mediator if someone cheats at guess who etc etc .

MrMananger Tue 04-Jan-11 12:23:09

so three children play together happily, and your main concern is "what if they molest each other" ?!!!
What a very strange mentality you must have.

MmeLindt Tue 04-Jan-11 12:25:52

I agree with Lizs.

It seems they are affectionate with your DD, which is lovely.

Is there anything in particular that has upset you? Is there a reason that you are slightly paranoid about this?

stayinbed Tue 04-Jan-11 12:26:53

there is more than one or two stories where kids play dr. and touch eachother, or try kissing, etc etc.

not saying theres anything wrong with how they play but why not be cautious and say something in advance?

or does noone have any advice on a clever way to talk to a 5.5 year old about it?

FlyingSquirrel Tue 04-Jan-11 12:27:18

You sound utterly mad.

However, I'm going to assume that your attitude is the result of some sad and frightening experience of your own.

It's normal for children to be huddled up together and be physical in their play. Maybe they think she's cute and are protective. Maybe they pick her up to show how strong they are or it makes her laugh.

Children cuddling their younger cousins is normal, really. Unless you have some evidence for concern, there's no need to worry.

FlyingSquirrel Tue 04-Jan-11 12:28:14

x post

where have these stories come from? stories in general, or rumours specifically about these cousins?

coldtits Tue 04-Jan-11 12:28:24

So - these little boys have done NOTHING, EVER to your daughter, and you want to warn them all not to sexually abuse her.

Go for it. The problem may be solved quicker than you think - if I were these boys' mother I'd cut contact.

MmeLindt Tue 04-Jan-11 12:33:05

What do you mean by stories? From the press? From other mums?

The phrase "playing doctor" is generally used with preschool children who discover the differences in each other's bodies and compare them. Totally non-sexual and normal behaviour at that age.

elah10 Tue 04-Jan-11 12:34:57

You are worried that a 9yr old will molest your daughter simply because he is hugging her? I have to say as mum to a 9yr old boy I find that offensive, My ds is affectionate and I would be very upset if anyone implied he was a potential abuser because of that!! Unless there is more to this than you are telling then I think you are being horrible and should be glad she has a cousin who obviously loves her.

perfectstorm Tue 04-Jan-11 12:38:11

They're little boys. They're only 9 years old. They are (or should be) very innocent themselves, and if you bring up the subject of inappropriate sexual contact with a younger child to them, then the person who is behaving in a sexually inappropriate way is IMO you. If my son was playing sweetly and nicely with another child and their mother spoke to him as you seem to intend I would be absolutely furious. They are far too young to have such horrible thoughts put into their minds for no reason at all, or to be made to feel weird and ashamed about expressing affection with touch.

Sexual abuse sadly does happen. But it isn't everywhere you look, and what you describe is innocent horseplay between affectionate small kids. That's normal and very healthy indeed.

perfectstorm Tue 04-Jan-11 12:42:57

"or does noone have any advice on a clever way to talk to a 5.5 year old about it?"

I think a very good thing to say to ANY child is that nobody, ever, has the right to touch them in a way that makes them uncomfortable or unhappy. But I certainly wouldn't say it about any other child or any specific situation - just as a good general principle in life.

Othersideofthechannel Tue 04-Jan-11 12:48:04

Even if they are touching each others bodies and getting a little 'frisson' out of it, as long as they all parties are happy with it, it's all normal development.

You just need to make sure your DD knows that if she doesn't like the way she is being touched, she must say so and keep saying it until she is listened to regardless of who is touching her. It could be her cousin, her friend or even you.

I am not suggesting that you will touch your DD in an abusive way, just that if she doesn't want a cuddle or her toenails cut at a particular moment, she should be a able to say so and you back off and do it later when she is ready.

Othersideofthechannel Tue 04-Jan-11 12:49:02

x posts perfect storm

SixtyFootDoll Tue 04-Jan-11 13:07:56

So all males want to molest females is that what you are saying?

Your nephews sound like lovley kids who are normally affectionate to your DD.

mamsnet Tue 04-Jan-11 13:52:44

My daughter is 4 and my DNs who are 6, 9 and 12 do all of the above. It has never once crossed my mind that there was anything wrong with this.

They are her cousins. Your daughter will know, as mine does, that they are like special big brothers. She won't go up to random men in the street and ask to be hugged.

This train of thought is so sad. sad

DirtyMartini Tue 04-Jan-11 14:00:11

"not saying theres anything wrong with how they play but why not be cautious and say something in advance?"

Say something general along the lines of perfectstorm's post, by all means. Very valuable thing to teach.

But to "warn" your young child off playing with other young children she likes, because they could theoretically abuse her, is seriously fucked up. It's not harmless to clumsily suggest these ideas to little kids without cause. It risks confusing and upsetting them and demolishing their happy innocent relationship.

DirtyMartini Tue 04-Jan-11 14:06:13

And also (the more I think about this the more angry it makes me), it risks completely skewing your child's own "radar" about these things.

If you suggest to her that this normal innocent friendship with other kids is "wrong" in some dark, unclear way, how is she then supposed to know what is normal and okay?

Really baffled by your attitude.

nameymacnamechanger Tue 04-Jan-11 14:10:39


Sounds simply like cousins playing together to me and quite sweet and innocent!

By all means mention in conversation about how her body is her own etc etc but not in reference to her cousins or anything like that. I feel quite sad for you that you can't see how nice it is that her older cousins enjoy her so much.

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