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To ask for your experience of stopping inappropriate behaviour in 5 year olds..

(23 Posts)

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Flamingo1980 Wed 23-Oct-19 06:55:32

Hello everyone, looking for advice from you wise women again, as you never let me down!

My partner and I have recently introduced our children to each other. I have a six year old girl and she has a five year old boy. They get on brilliantly and we feel very lucky that they get on so well.
Although now we are a little worried that they are getting a little too close.
When do you start worrying about step kids being inappropriate and what do you do about it? They are constantly all over each other. (It’s very mutual neither one is more ‘in charge’ or anything) They are always Cuddling, wrestling, kissing on the cheek. They constantly want to get naked and be all over each other and it just seems to be getting a bit much. I don’t want to sound like a prude but I worry it’s getting inappropriate or at least it will do. Every time they see each other now things seem to escalate and we are having to separate them quite a lot. I find myself unable to fully explain to them why as it is mostly innocent of course but still.. we can’t just ignore it! Or can we? Argh I just don’t know this is new territory!!

For context my girlfriend and I (both women) are not overly affectionate in front of them and they’ve not seen anything they shouldn’t have.

Any advice? We’ve both read them the “my body is my own” book all about keeping you safe and keeping your body to yourself (which is excellent by the way) but that seems to go right out of their heads when they are together.

Thank you in advance.

00100001 Wed 23-Oct-19 06:57:20


weeblefeet Wed 23-Oct-19 06:57:50


00100001 Wed 23-Oct-19 06:58:20

How long have the children known each other?

Flamingo1980 Wed 23-Oct-19 07:02:07

About a month.

MichaelMumsnet (MNHQ) Wed 23-Oct-19 07:10:26

Hi all. We've had a look behind the scenes and the OP has been on MN for a few years. We don't have concerns about this one - but as always, thanks for reporting.

Quitedrab Wed 23-Oct-19 07:17:32

Cuddling and wrestling is normal. The getting naked part is what strikes me as unusual. Do you have the heating cranked up in your house or something? Maybe turn it down. Otherwise, tell them to keep their clothes on.

Flamingo1980 Wed 23-Oct-19 07:22:25

The heating isn’t on high, no. And we do tell them to keep their clothes on but it’s not always that simple with kids!

dancemom Wed 23-Oct-19 07:26:50

It is that simple. You instruct them to keep their clothes on. If they don't listen to you you give them a consequence.
The same as if you instruct them not to draw on the wall and they did it regardless.

BloodyCats Wed 23-Oct-19 07:30:23

My eldest can be very inappropriate if he’s not closely supervised. He has adhd and struggles to understand boundaries.

We have to keep a close eye on him constantly and temporarily remove him from situations if we can see where it will lead.
5 is still very young to be going in to detail about why you don’t want them rolling about together, I would keep on stopping these situations with distractions to a different activity. Explain they are being silly, getting to excited etc, move on and change the subject.

pikapikachu Wed 23-Oct-19 07:32:21

They wouldn't get naked at school so not getting naked at home is the same social "norm"

Cuddling/wrestling isn't weird- it might be for you as you've not seen your child to it with another child.

Merryoldgoat Wed 23-Oct-19 07:32:41

It is that simple at 5.

An explanation that about private parts, and stern words if they disobey to begin with.

Sanctions if not.

My 6 year old had a game of showing genitals with his (girl)friend.

When I found out I gave an explanation and he’s not done it since.

He’s got ASD - if he can understand I’d expect a NT child would be able to.

somanyresusablebags Wed 23-Oct-19 07:33:14

Be consistent about staying dressed. It is simple. Stay in the room and enforce the rule until it is habit. There is no need to punish or shame, just tell them to respect modesty. It is a worrying behaviour, I would worry they might generalise to play dates, other kids, etc. If they don't have those boundaries they will be vulnerable.

Mrscog Wed 23-Oct-19 07:43:57

Neither of my kids keep clothes on - I now have a ‘no willies downstairs’ rule- so pants on is the boundary for us.

allthesharks Wed 23-Oct-19 07:46:39

I don't think the cuddling and kissing on cheeks is a problem, so long as they're both comfortable with it. But being naked together needs to be addressed.

I wonder if this is a case of natural intrigue and fascination, just a bit later than normal. If they've both grown up on their own up to now, is it possible that neither of them have seen another girl/boy without their clothes on before? A brother and sister would grow up knowing that their bodies are different from sharing baths etc, but perhaps your two children just haven't had this kind of exposure up to now.

With that said, at their ages, they should be able to follow the instruction to keep their clothes on and understand that certain things are private. My DD (5) will quite happily walk around without clothes on when she gets out of the bath, but she knows that that's only acceptable when it's just me and her sister there. If anyone else is in her house then she knows to put her clothes on in the bedroom with the door closed.

Frouby Wed 23-Oct-19 07:49:37

Ds is 5 and gets sent for pants if he appears naked. I simply tell him 'no bare bums please, no one wants to see it'. You don't have to make it an issue.

The wrestling and stuff I would ignore. Unless it would lead to injury or is too loud. District them from inappropriate behaviour. Have known some dcs be very tactile and affectionate with each other. It's not an issue as long as it's not displaying sexual behaviour. If it is, then you have problems.

MaxNormal Wed 23-Oct-19 07:50:57

I'm a bit disturbed at your take on their behaviour. They are very young children and you seek to be ascribing adolescent motivation to them. I'm not surprised people reported the post.

Kraggle Wed 23-Oct-19 07:51:36

My 6yo strips as soon as they come home from school, as long as pants are on we don’t mind. I would go with distraction if they are rolling around getting silly, separate them for getting too giddy, not for doing it with no clothes on.

Fishcakey Wed 23-Oct-19 07:56:07

My DS was permanently naked at that age. He turned out ok!

HeyNotInMyName Wed 23-Oct-19 08:00:32

I agree. I would leave the wrestling and cuddling alone but would insist on them staying dressed.
I agree it’s all innocent at that age BUT they are going to cringe and be very uncomfortable about ut as they grow and ‘realise’.

You can easily say that people don’t run around naked all the time and that’s it (eg mummy is moving around in the house naked or no one is naked at a school etc...). The trick will probably to be very strict about it so that they get the message that playing together and being naked just dint go together.

YeahNahWhal Wed 23-Oct-19 08:05:57

Try reading the Underpants Rule book to them.

Stompythedinosaur Wed 23-Oct-19 08:05:59

I firmly say "bottoms/vaginas are private, put on your pants" and then make them put on some clothes.

My dc are siblings but can be prone to naked wrestling and trying to put their bottoms in each other's faces etc.

HebeMumsnet (MNHQ) Wed 23-Oct-19 09:40:27

Hello again.

Just popping in to say we're going to move this to our Parenting board, OP. We think you might pick up a few more responses there. Thank you to everyone who has replied so far.

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