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My mom is suggesting my DH is sexually inappropriate with my 33mo dd

(159 Posts)

MNHQ have commented on this thread.

daddledaddle Wed 02-Apr-14 04:51:46

Today my mom and I were talking about the fact that my husband and I speak about preventing sexual abuse of our daughter. I'm a child psychiatrist and have seen enough clients to know the damage. So we are teaching her proper anatomical terms, and have decided to limit any real "alone time" with any men when we are not there. Including friends/family--of course.

Then my mom says the last time we were visiting (she lives in the states, we're in UK) she saw my DH playing w my dd in a way that was inappropriate. She told me he was bouncing her up and down in a way that was either "stimulating" to her or simulating sex. I've certainly seen it before--he'll lay on his back on the couch w her straddled facing away and bounce her, or just sitting up on his lap. I've certainly thought it could look provocative to an outsider who wanted to impugn negative intent , but I figured she's having an amazing time being bounced around like mad. But apparently my mom was appalled, but not enough to question him, or tell me, until today (this would have happened in September).

Now a caveat it that my mother doesn't like my DH, and when I told her I wanted to marry him she proceeded to tell me he was emotionally abusive, and asked if I was sure he wasn't in love w his (gay) best friend, that he didn't have HIV, and all sorts of other not so helpful things.

So of course I need to take this seriously, even though my mother has a lot of anger about my moving out of the country and marrying a man she doesn't like. I will certainly say something the next time he bounces her like that. He is otherwise completely appropriate (if what he's doing is inappropriate). I certainly am not going to confront him or tell him my mom said it.

Of course I was dumbfounded as to how my mom would have waited till now to say anything and she said there was already such a rift how would it sound if she said that, and also said that since I'm the psychiatrist I should have known or something--huh? Anyway she seemed to think is never seen the bouncing and was surprised I had.

Spam me with ideas on how to deal with the both of them. By the way, he is perhaps socially awkward/unclear about how to be polite (due to rude parents) but I don't think he's molesting our child.

Jellymum1 Wed 02-Apr-14 04:55:14

sorry but sounds ridiculous. my dd bounces on my hub all the time even now at 4 and laughs her little head off. it has never crossed my mind that it looks provocative. as a foot note we also talk a lot to her in terms of keeping her safe...its a great idea.

AnythingNotEverything Wed 02-Apr-14 05:02:41

Is this what we've come to as a society? That we're so scared of paedophilia, a dad can't bounce his daughter on his lap? Ridiculous.

You do need to put a stop to this. Imagine this we're a MIL thread - we'd be telling you your husband needed to step in and show his support.

Your mother needs to come to terms with the fact that you have married this man and that he isn't going away. This will only get worse otherwise.

Trapper Wed 02-Apr-14 05:12:59

Sounds like the one in need I physicist tic help here is your mother. Doesn't sound like strange behaviour to me. I agree with the previous posters.

PinkLemons Wed 02-Apr-14 05:13:16

How can anyone look at a child being bounced on their daddy's knee and think "sexual"? I think it says far more about your mother than it does your DH.

Kids love being bounced around, tickled, swung up in the air, carried, rolled around etc. it's quite normal for a father to do these things with their child. Would she think the same if she had seen you playing with your DD in the same way?

fanjoforthemammaries7850 Wed 02-Apr-14 05:26:12

That is a really warped thing for her to say.

MrRected Wed 02-Apr-14 05:26:22

This is so sad. On every level.

No helpful or sage advice - sorry OP. Your mother is talking crap - dangerous hypothesising for the sake of it.

No grandmother, who really believed their child was being sexually abused would stand by and do nothing. She sounds quite mad.

daddledaddle Wed 02-Apr-14 05:39:52

Thanks so much for your responses. As much as I agree that my mom sounds mad, this has of course made me worry. That she would say it was stimulating her to be bounced on her or her dad's pubic bone was disturbing. Funnily enough, today she was laying on my brothers legs and basically resting her face on his crotch, and asked her what about that? She said it was totally different. Can't remember why ATM.

daddledaddle Wed 02-Apr-14 05:40:46

I mean my daughter was laying on my brothers lap, no. My mom LOL!

Misfitless Wed 02-Apr-14 05:58:52

I would agree with what everyone else has said if it were not for the fact that the OP herself has also thought the same even before her mother mentioned this.

A few of you have said that you would never think there is anything inappropriate about your own DHs doing that with your DCs, and I wouldn't either, but the OP has already had these thoughts.

Now, OP might have had these thoughts due to her profession. I can see how, due to your work, you might be much more hypersensitive to abuse than the rest of us, OP. However, the crux for me is that the OP has already thought or felt that it doesn't look completely appropriate.

I don't think you should dismiss your gut instinct so readily, OP. Just keep an eye on things.

Finola1step Wed 02-Apr-14 06:23:58

Wow! A father playing with his daughter. Bouncing her up and down. And you both see something untoward in this?

I think it is very possible that your hypersensitivity to child abuse (as a result of your work) is clouding your judgement here. I don't know where to start with your mother.

Do you have a colleague that you could discuss this with? Wrt the impact that your job may ba having in your family life? If you were to raise this with your dh, how would he react? If my husband suggested something like this about me and my dc, we would be looking at a deal breaker.

You need to talk this through and get support in rl.

DrankSangriaInThePark Wed 02-Apr-14 06:34:57

I think you are all wrong.

Your mother's belief about your husband, absolutely.

Your own about limiting your child's time- absolutely. How exactly are you going to bring your child up not to be terrified of all men?

You only thought the game "might" look inappropriate to outsiders because it's your job to pick up and talk about things which to insiders is "normal" but which might not be.

I think, tbh, your job and I guess the horror stories that you hear in it is clouding your judgement wrt to your own child. In more than one way.

MyGastIsFlabbered Wed 02-Apr-14 06:38:51

I do this all the time with my boys confused

daddledaddle Wed 02-Apr-14 06:41:12

I think my husband would be heartbroken if I were to bring it up. I can't imagine how I would feel if he were to think this about me. Astounded, dumbfounded. Insane. I'm not even sure how I will say anything, if there is something to be said.

Re: colleagues, will have to have a think. Posted here first because I certainly couldn't go canvassing our friends "BTW do you think my OH is an evolving sexual abuser?"

I forgot to mention that I also just told my mom we're going to try and get pregnant again.

AuditAngel Wed 02-Apr-14 06:46:29

So, according to your mum I need to get social services in because my 9 yo DS and just 7yo DD are sexually abusing my 3yo DD by lying on the floor with DD2 sat on their tummy for "bouncy time"

The world has lost the plot.

BorsetshireBlue Wed 02-Apr-14 06:46:32

"have decided to limit any real "alone time" with any men when we are not there. "

To be honest you all sound a bit hysterical.

SuburbanRhonda Wed 02-Apr-14 06:50:50

I think before you do anything else you need to put some distance between you and your mum in terms of what you share with her about your family life. She sounds toxic.

Too late now, but the last thing you should have done is tell her you're TTC again.

Is your Dad still around? Could he inject a little sanity into the proceedings?i

mummytime Wed 02-Apr-14 06:54:05

I think there must be more t this than you have said. Sorry even you "limiting alone time with men" sounds like an over reaction.
Do you and/or your mother have close experience of abuse? (You don't have to answer here, but do think about it.)

What are you going to do if your DD has a male teacher when she gets to school or even a male nursery worker. You do know women have sexually abused children too, including female infants?

DrankSangriaInThePark Wed 02-Apr-14 06:54:45

Audit, fear not, if SS have to be involved because dads play with their kids, who sometimes happen to be female, there'll be a long waiting list while they get round to us all.

Pagwatch Wed 02-Apr-14 06:54:59

As someone who was abused the idea of limiting alone time with men is a bit bonkers.
Abuse happens when an adult has access to a child who is not able to recognise inappropriate contact or who is powerless to prevent it.
The best protection is plenty of healthy relationships - broad experience of what is usual and what isn't.

That said , your whole situation sounds odd. Can you really not tell if the integration happening in front of you seems sexually motivated or not?

DrankSangriaInThePark Wed 02-Apr-14 06:56:23

mummytime, the OP is a child psychiatrist, I think she experiences abuse second hand from her clients sometimes IYSWIM? And that's why she is so sensitive to potential situations.

But I think it's a bit like doctors being hypochondriacs. Or teachers being pushy parents with their own kids.

PollyCazaletWannabe Wed 02-Apr-14 06:58:59

This is really sad and worrying- you all sound unhinged tbh. Sorry OP but I think you are t risk of damaging your DD psychologically if you bring her up in this hysterical atmosphere. You all need to relax, especially your mother, who sounds angry and ignorant.

Quinteszilla Wed 02-Apr-14 07:02:14


BeeInYourBonnet Wed 02-Apr-14 07:06:37

Totally agree that you all sound a bit hysterical about child abuse. I would imagine your job has made you overly sensitive to the matter, and your DM is playing on your fears.

skinnyamericano Wed 02-Apr-14 07:07:15

I was about to use the same word Polly - OP, you and your DM sound unhinged.

I think your job has made you unnecessarily paranoid about the dangers, and you are projecting this onto your DD.

Your poor DH - in answer to your question, he is not doing anything wrong sad

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