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innocent mistake sexual?

(29 Posts)
againsttheoddsididit Thu 30-Jan-14 21:39:38

My child who is four regularly goes to a crèche at the gym. It is large and busy and there are a variety of qualified childcare workers who supervise the children. They are generally good.
My son is very tactile and loves cuddles.
One day I went back to the crèche unexpectedly as I had forgotten something. The crèche was noisy and busy. My son had his hand on a childcare workers penis. And he commented on it. He said I can feel your penis. The childcare worker did not seem too bothered by it. He moved away from my son and made no comment. I felt very uncomfortable. I didn't know what to do so I did nothing. The man concerned is young and pleasant. I don't know what to think? I would hate to say something when it was just an innocent event. What do others think?

ilovepowerhoop Thu 30-Jan-14 21:47:13

your son touched him, not the other way round and the worker never made a big issue and moved away so I dont know what the issue is

tiredandsadmum Thu 30-Jan-14 21:50:04

You need to do something. Your son may indeed have touched that part of the care workers body by mistake, children of a young age touch where they want to. Awkward for him even if it happens a lot, but he should then (I believe) say to your son, something like "let's not touch there, that's private" (trying to remember the language from the NSPCC pants campaign). I don't think it is Ok for the care worker to just ignore it.

So I think you should mention to his manager, with him there, emphasizing the communication aspect. It sends a clear message that you saw and are aware but feel that it is a training issue. It gives the young man and the manager a good chance to tell you about how they deal with that type of situation.

If it is anything more I don't know how to advise you. Sorry sad

MamaPingu Thu 30-Jan-14 21:52:04

I suppose it would have been better if he told your son "no we don't touch each other there" for example!

But is there something you are missing maybe? It doesn't sound bad, but then again it'd probably make me a little uncomfortable! Even though it shouldn't. Do you think if he had done it to a woman it wouldn't have made you as uncomfortable?

PetiteRaleuse Thu 30-Jan-14 21:53:42

Innocent curiosity and commenting. Boundaries are possibly your next parenting step though. Nursery workers will be used to it. When discussing it avoid anything which will induce feelings of shame.

PetiteRaleuse Thu 30-Jan-14 21:56:03

The nursery worker may have chosen not to comment in your presence. Mine never discipline my kids when I am there. They expect me to do it.

When you say he had his hand on his penis, you mean he had his hand in the crotch area of his trousers I presume? I mean, the man didn't have his penis out in the middle of the play area!

My gut feeling is that small children don't really pay attention to what part is what, especially through clothes. For example my DS is always "hugging" my leg and often touches my bottom while doing this. I remove his hand and tell him that bottoms are private and we don't touch them even through clothes but he forgets or doesn't realise. It doesn't really register.

Then it may have been that he innocently noticed it and just said "I can feel your penis!" - it's surprising to a four year old because it's not something you usually see.

I think it would be worth talking to your DS and trying to be neutral and explaining that penises and bottoms and everything that's usually covered by our underwear is really private and we shouldn't look at them or touch them with clothes on or off. And that if he touches or sees somebody's private area by accident that's OK but that it's best to move away as soon as you notice and not to say something about them because it's rude. But if somebody is touching or looking at his by accident, then he can say "Go away" or "Stop doing that, it's rude" and to tell a different grown up if that ever happened. Also obviously say if he is ever worried or his penis is hurting or he wants to know about anything then he can always talk to mummy or daddy, because it's OK for you see his penis (when we talked to DS about it we talked about it in terms of "our family" - ie who lives in our house - and other peoples' families which did include relatives)

IF anything comes out after the talk then of course you have to say something but it's quite likely that it's innocent.

Smartiepants79 Thu 30-Jan-14 22:01:41

God, please don't say anything that lad could lose his job. If you are happy nothing inappropriate happened then speak to your son about personal space and boundaries and keep your eye on him.

againsttheoddsididit Thu 30-Jan-14 22:10:44

Thank you. I will talk to my son about cuddling and touching. I don't exactly know how I am going to do this. Perhaps someone has read something which was helpful or has been through a similar stage with their child? Tiredandsadmum I appreciate your comment it happened awhile ago and I feel if I was going to bring it up with the manager I should have done it sooner. The reason I am rethinking it is because my regular child minder is away for a week. The staff at the crèche sometimes do temporary child minding and this particularly child minder, in addition to a couple of others have said they are available. Obviously I am not opting for the young man but it has made be rethink the incident. There are some good books here. Good advice on this website in general about how to talk to children about safe boundaries too.

If something did come out later it would not be too late to say something, but if it was innocent then probably best to leave it now. But talk to DS smile

PetiteRaleuse Thu 30-Jan-14 22:21:25

Are you in the UK?

PetiteRaleuse Thu 30-Jan-14 22:23:21

I assume you are not suspecting abuse? So this is a basic boundaries question.

My above question was your correct accent usage on crèche. That's all.

lilyaldrin Thu 30-Jan-14 22:26:53

The creche worker probably felt a bit uncomfortable and was on the spot. I have sometimes just removed small children's hands from down my top without comment.

You should definitely talk to your son about private parts though. I don't think he was acting in a sexual way, he's only 4 - he was just commenting on what he was doing/feeling!

CandyJournal Thu 30-Jan-14 22:35:46

I would say just speak to your son about privacy and areas on other people that he shouldn't touch. How long ago did this happen? If it was a while ago I wouldn't worry about it as he obviously hasn't discussed it with anyone else in the work place, which could raise suspicions to you.

againsttheoddsididit Thu 30-Jan-14 22:39:05

Yes I am in the UK. I think, the crèche worker is young and probably not experienced or confident enough to have said anything. And I felt awkward and so I didn't either. I will look into the web address above and talk to my son.

ChocolateWombat Thu 30-Jan-14 22:40:26

from the way you describe it, I think the worker did the right thing. He moved away and did not draw attention to it. Small children don't have much sense of personal space and adults who work with them often find themselves being touched like this. I knew a friend who taught reception who said she often had children stroking her leg or cuddling up to her boobs.
If you hadn't been there, the worker may have done exactly what he did with you there. Or he may have said something light about not touching people there. As you, his mother was there, he was leaving that to you to say. You didn't 't, which was also fine. There wasn't an absolute correct way to respond.
If your son likes to touch people generally and you feel this could be definitely ongoing with other adults, do talk to him in a light hearted way that doesn't make a big deal of it. I really think it is down to you though and the worker has no case at all to answer to. Speaking to the nursery about that specific incident would cause him difficulty, whether you were questioning his response or not.
If you really want to speak to nursery, I wouldn't refer to the incident but tell them you have noticed your son likes to touch adults and just ask them to gently discourage him if they see it. That should be enough.

PetiteRaleuse Thu 30-Jan-14 22:51:23

I agreewith the wombat. This doesn't have to be a big deal. Kids do inappropriate things. They don't know it though. Gentle explanation of boundaries is the way to go.

nessus Thu 30-Jan-14 22:52:43

Um, when you say 'one day' was this weeks or months ago? And why are you now contemplating best course of action, and not when it first happened? Has something triggered you? Genuine Qs as opposed to goading QS.

And yes, I would be having chats with DC about appropriate and inappropriate touching. By 4 I would like to think this (Convoy) would have cropped up at home as it is part of helping the children stay safe in our absence. Yes, doesn't always work sadly in terms of safeguarding but the conversation should be had afaiac

againsttheoddsididit Fri 31-Jan-14 06:51:34

It happened about three weeks ago. I am contemplating the best course of action now,as explained above: I need a temporary child minder as my regular one is on holiday for a week and the crèche worker along with a couple of others from the crèche said they were available. I suppose more importantly I thought I may not have handled the situation very well by doing nothing and I want to do what is best for my son, and for everyone concerned.

ChocolateWombat Fri 31-Jan-14 07:24:50

Against, I wouldn't worry too much about how you responded. I think a reasonable action was to do nothing. As someone else said, the whole thing really wasn't a big deal. It just has given you food for thought about how to respond if your son does something similar again,or a conversation you want to have with him at some point, when it feels right. I think you can go ahead with finding a baby sitter/childminder or whatever you need without this affecting it at all. If you're worried about a new babysitter being touched by him, really don't worry. They will know this happens all the time and no doubt won't make a big deal of it. You could warn them that he does this and you are trying to show him its not the thing to do and ask them to do the same if it happens if you want to.

GemmaPomPom Fri 31-Jan-14 07:29:26

I imagine the nursery worker was probably mortified. I think talk to your DA and leave it at that. Poor bloke probably didn't know what to do.

GemmaPomPom Fri 31-Jan-14 07:29:43

DS, obv.

meditrina Fri 31-Jan-14 07:33:12

I think looking at DS's boundaries, as suggested above, is an important task in the coming months. It will be important they they are securely in place before he starts school in September.

CaractacusPotts Fri 31-Jan-14 07:35:15

Why are you 'obviously' not going to use this particular crèche worker for your interim childcare?

fanjoforthemammaries7850 Fri 31-Jan-14 07:38:03

Of was innocent.

The guy just knew that and was embarrassed and didn't want to make a fuss.

Are you seriously suggesting he said nothing because he got some kind of cheap thrill?

I suspect so if you are saying obviously you wouldn't use him for childcare.

Sorry but you are being ridiculous.

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