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Need some advice please(18 Posts)
I have posted this on the parenting board but it seems a bit quiet and I really could do with some help!! Just wondered if there was anyone on this board who might have some words of wisdom for me...
First time posting but I really would like some opinions and don't know what to think.
Basic background. OH and I separated last year reasonably amicably. 2 dd's of 6 and 8. They live with me and visit their dad a couple of times a week, sleep over at his once a week. They are happy and settled in this arrangement and teachers at their school are happy and report no problems after the change in their lives.
My problem is this. Last night I went to put them to bed and tuck them in, it was quite late for them as they had watched a film (9pm) As I gave my eldest a cuddle, I noticed a postcard on her bedside table. I didn't recognise it so picked it up and looked at the back.
On the reverse side she had written some really inappropriate sexual stuff about her dad and now I have no idea what to do. As soon as I saw it I said that's really rude ,you shouldn't have done this to her and left it at that after giving her a big hug. I didn't know what to say and now I don't know what to do.
Part of me thinks this could be something she has seen or heard in the playground, or on a computer or could be something more sinister.
I would be so grateful if anyone has any ideas or advice.
I am sure you are upset but maybe try not to let her see how much?
Are you able to write here what was written down? without knowing it's hard to pass any comment.
Lots of pre-pubescent girls go through an "in love with daddy phase" ( there was a thread here not that long ago about a girl who was an outrageous flirt with her dad and the mum was worried.) But it's up to the dads to put a stop to it and treat them affectionately without stepping over any boundaries.
Your DD will be developing at her age and may be suddenly seeing her dad as a man not simply a dad.
what did she write?
Hi, thanks for your reply. I have been just the same with her this morning. They are both out with him today but back at tea time.
She had written " you suck my bum. p.s. I also suck your willie!" complete with illustration of a naked man.
I think it's harmless- most likely playground talk (I'm am ex teacher - you may be shocked at how knowledgeable kids are from what they pick up from older siblings, Tv, computers etc)
her dad is the only "man in her life" so I 'd say what she has read/picked up, she's directing at him.
If it' s any consolation, when iwas about 10-11 I used to spend hours in my friend's garden shed and we would draw pics of all kinds of sexual things and write captions. not about my dad- but you take the point. needless to say I've grown up totally warped
I'd keep an eye on it and maybe talk to her dad so he knows the score?
I think it's quite worrying . I'm not sure you should have told her off for writing it. I think you might want to think about getting some proper advice, like talking to Kidscape or the NSPCC. Oral sex is not something most children of 8 would know much about, I'd have thought.
Thank you both. Buzzsore, I am shocked about the oral sex thing too. I will try and have a chat with her but I was wondering who I would contact for some professional help.
I would suggest talking to your dd again, just the two of you in a calm relaxed atmosphere, maybe doing something together like colouring or drawing. Ask her again about the postcard in a friendly, just curious, voice and try to just let her chat. Try not to use leading questions but keep the conversation general and remind her that no one is allowed to touch her, whatever you call her vagina, and if they do she should tell you or a teacher straight away. Hopefully, it is harmless nothing but my alarm bells would ring and yes, definately get some advice from NSPCC etc.
Thanks too, strawberryjelly, I want to establish where its from, I am just going to try and make sure she knows I am not cross with her, and she can talk to me if she wants to. I am so hoping it is something she has picked up in the playground.
One of the children's charities is who I'd go to in the first instance, I think, like the NSPCC, on 0800 800 500. They'd be able to advise you further. Then if you need to take it further it'd be social services and the police.
Sorry to say this, but I think you need to ask her does the stuff she wrote about actually happen. She could be trying to tell you something.
I hope I'm wrong but you need to ask her, and let her ok that it's ok for her to tell you if it has happened. Do that before you talk to her father.
I think it's possible to under-estimate how many half truths kids know about sex- from all sources.
There is so much around these days on TV etc and the internet- porn is freely available at the click of a mouse.
I am not really surprised at all that an 8-9 yr old has heard references to oral sex- as i said, when I first worked in schools, I was shocked at how much kids knew- and that was ages back- things have changed so much with the internet.
I think it's a good idea to maybe start a conversation along the lines of "What made you draw that picture..." in a non confrontational manner.
I know your worst fears but I'd say jumping to any conclusion about your ex etc is OTT at the moment.
Thank you everyone for the calm advice. I really needed someone to talk to today. I will be talking to her tonight and will update later. Thank you for the numbers too.
oooh no Selks! way out of line that!
sorry but being so direct could have awful outcomes if it was true- which it probably isn't.
it's also acknowledging in a way that she might be "sexualized"- and this could simply exacerbate her mixed/confused emotions.
Strawberryjelly..."being so direct could have awful outcomes if it was true"......so it's better to brush it under the carpet?
It hopefully won't be the case, but what if the child HAS been abused?
If the OP feels uncomfortable raising the subject with her then I suggest the OP phones the NSPCC for advice, as has been suggested above. In fact, probably best to do that before doing anything.
As I said before, I hope I am wrong and I probably will be, but we can't take chances with the safeguarding of children. Children find all sorts of ways to try to tell us things.
I think what i was saying is that it's not a good diea to brush it under the carept (I have worked with children professionally for 35 years) BUT i think that any direct conversation asking "Has this happened to you" is possibly going to give the message that it's normal and acceptable behaviour for children and she might say yes to "please" her mum .
I'd say having a conversation with some professionals first is a good idea, yes.
thought I'd update quickly. I have had a 2.5 hour 'chat' with my eldest who giggled when I brought up the postcard issue and then proceeded to tell me in great detail all about personal safety and internet safety and cyber-bullying and what they had all learnt in class and how and why she was able to understand what she was talking about. I feel relieved that she was so animated and passionate about her personal safety (although this wasn't sexual) and we discussed at length how some grown ups can tell children to keep secrets that were not always good. She said 'if I didn't want to tell you something mum, I would tell my teacher or write it down and give it to you."
I feel that nothing untoward has happened as she was so forthcoming but I will be watching and we are going to have weekly Big Girl Chats.! She was definately uncomfortable when I asked her about the postcard but I reassured her that I wasn't cross about it and realised she might have questions about sex she wanted to ask. For the time being, I am going to keep these chat sessions going. Good bonding if nothing else.
Thank you everyone for your input earlier.x
Oh that's good. Well handled, and an excellent plan re the chat sessions. Glad it's all turned out well.
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