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How would you react to this comment? And what (if anything) would you do?(52 Posts)
Ok I apologise in advance if this long, as I need to set the scene and also give some background so as not to drip feed.
The background is this, I have 2 dds aged 9 and 6 and a grown up DSD aged 20. My mum and dad are divorced and my mum has been with her current partner for 16 years. In the past I have felt some what uncomfortable about my mum's partner around my dds. The way he sometimes conducts himself around them, sometimes the things he says, my instincts are on red alert the whole time he is around them and I only calm down when he's gone. At first when I started to feel this way a few years ago I honestly thought I was overreacting and being over sensitive. I was possibly sexually abused as a child by my uncle, but can't be completely sure. This has made me very careful who I leave my kids alone with, I've only ever trusted a few people with them (DH obviously, my mum, dad and sister). But DH also has felt the same way, and I've recently found DSD has always felt uncomfortable around him, especially when she was younger.
He's very touchy feely with them, picking them up, massaging their shoulders, playing with their hair etc. They don't seem to mind this though, so I feel like I can't say anything when he does it, yet it makes my skin crawl. They both love him, think he's amazing, he's a fountain of knowledge and talks to them both in depth about things they're doing in school. There have been a couple of incidents over the years that have made me very uncomfortable were he has got too touchy feely with them IMO. He also has a tendency to completely ignore when I say they can't do something, and encourage them to do it.
Last year his son moved back home and now lives with them, he's the same age as me. I also get the same kind of feelings of being uncomfortable from him when he's around the kids. Again for the same things, he's very touchy feely, he ignores when I say no, he also gives them both little presents quite a lot and gets into very in depth conversations with them. And again they both love him, so I feel that I can't say or do anything.
As a result I never let my dds sleep over at my mum's (should would love them too, they would love too and I would love them too) apart from the odd occasion when he partner and his son have both been away for the weekend. I also try to always be there to "supervise" whenever my kids are in my mum's. I have never told my mum any of this, because well I have no evidence, and it's not really something you can really say unless you have evidence, I could be being nuts and it would ruin his life. I just tell my mum I find it hard to trust any man that isn't my dad or DH after what happened when I was a kid. She accepts this.
So yesterday we were all in my mum's for Bonfire night. We were having tea and then going to go to the firework display later on. There was a bit of banter going on between DH and my mum (they love winding each other up). Something about my mum saying that women were more mature than men, and DH saying no they weren't and then I said that girls tend to mature faster than boys. Which my mum's partner chipped in with, "Girls don't mature faster than boys intellectually, they do sexually though. I know, I've seen girls of 11, 12 and 13 who are VERY mature sexually." Both DH and I were , I was honestly to stunned say anything. It just went straight over my mum's head, as usual.
Can I ask what you would make of that comment?
It confirms what you're thinking. Keep your children away from him and be very firm about it.
Also don't let him/them get way with over-riding your 'no'. Someone who disregards 'no' is not a good person to be around. You must take charge, and insist on being in charge of your own children.
The children loving him is quite irrelevant; they're too young to know the good guys from the bad. I knew a man who was hugely popular with the kids when I was young. He turned out to be a career paedophile. So trust your instincts.
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Oh that would really set alarm bells ringing for me.
Listen to your instincts
I would feel exactly as you do. I wouldn't be comfortable letting my children have unsupervised access with him either I'm sorry.
Follow your instincts as they sound right. Do not let your dds around him alone, ever.
Don't let your DDs be alone with him, ever.
That comment was totally out of order.
What you have described is very, very, alarming.
I would rather keep my kids away from this man on the off chance that he is a pervert than ignore my instints and put my kids in harms way.
well.....in his petite defence have you seen some of the school girls in London at all? Fair gives me shivers in this cold to see how they manage to make a uniform look....
I did the same at that age, but no defo wasnt experienced. I think hes taking "looks" as "is". Whole different ball game!
Hes weird, maybe not a complete nonce but a wannabe/curious one. NEVER LEAVE THEM ALONE WITH EITHER OF THEM.
You're dead right not to leave them with him and you need to make sure that he does not override your wishes.
This comment is not incontrovertible proof that he is a pervert, however you don't need proof. Just keep trusting your instincts and stay alert and continue with the precautions you have been taking
In one comment, he managed to confirm what your gut instinct had been correctly warning you about.
I would carry on as you are, but actually up the supervision and don't feel as inhibited about saying "when I say no to my girls, I do not expect someone else to undermine me, please keep your beak out of my parenting"
you also need to get your DH more on board (I get the feeling it is always you that has done the monitoring so far) and for him to have zero tolerance for anything too
next time either of these blokes oversteps a boundary, whether that is physical (hair playing, shoulder massaging) chip in and say "I would prefer it if my children could keep their personal space just that" or verbal (jump on anything dodgy that say they say immediately and don't back down)
I would feel exactly the same way as you, OP - and I would say trust your intuition.
His overt comments at bonfire night aside, I consider massaging shoulders to be very sexual. I know that is my opinion only, but the image of a grown man massaging a young girl's shoulders infringes so many boundaries. Ack!
I tink it's a real shame that neither you nor dh felt able to challenge this comment when it was made (i KNOW that it's easy for me to say that sitting here...) as that might have let you know more about his thinking and attitudes. Don't you think this quite disturbing remark, made in front of your mum, is something you could take up with her? Is she really blind to the things that put you, dh, dsd on edge? If so she's not very likely to act protectively where your dds are concerned in any situation is she?
Trust your instincts on this one.
Also agree you need to stand firm when you say no about things your dds are allowed to do.
AND importantly, your dds need to hear you say no and need to hear you being very assertive when you say no and see that when you say no you get listened to. This is important because you are teaching them by example how to say no and there may well be one day when you are not there to watch over them, with this man or another man, and they won't have learnt that it is possible to say no and have that respected/obeyed unless they have seen this from you.
.. and talk to your dds about their bodies, their choice as to whether they want anyone touching them in any way. Breaching these boundaries in the way you described in your op is classic grooming.
I would also in the future challenge him on any similar comments, and indeed on any inappropriate touch-feelyness.
This will let him know that you are on to him. If you sit back and let this kind of thing go, then he (if he is as you think he may be) is getting the message that he can continue. If he knows that you are on to him, this in itself will warn him off somewhat.
Bwahahaha... that gave me the creeps. Who knows if he's dangerous, but you're doing the right thing. Arm's length, simply. If he does or says anything else freaky, then get a large man to have a word.
Trust your instincts! your antennae are twitching for a reason...... His comments made me cringe and I think the shoulder massage is inappropriate too. Do not leave them alone with him.
I would have to challenge him, don't let him get away with it..... I would also have to take the comments up with your mother..... Stay strong x.x.x.
Worth having a talk to the girls in general about "tricky" people (rather thastraner danger given that danger is most of the time within the Witt family/friend unit).
There are great sites/books for kids on the subject.
Having them educated in recognising tricky behaviour, affirming their right for privacy/space and to always talk to you (no secrets for mum) about anything that surprises them, is prudent, whether there are suspicions or not.
Trust your instincts. I don't blame you for being wary of your mum's partner especially after that remark. If you get the same vibe from his son then you have every right to be vigilant.
Btw have you had a "Surprises are fun, secrets are not and we don't have secrets in our family" kind of chat with your children?
Lots and lots of boundary crossing. Touching them when they don't want it, not stopping when you ask them to. Red flags galore. Your instincts are there for a reason. Trust them. Stand up for your daughters now otherwise you may find they have blurred personal boundaries as they grow up.
I would feel ncomfortable about the level of to. Itching, but I guess he could mean that girls mature physically earlier than boys, which is true. I'm trying to be positive...
Trust your instincts, protect your daughters AND talk to them about personal boundaries, talking to you if ANYONE makes them feel uncomfortable, knowing how to say "no" and "stop".
You can keep them out of his way as much as possible but you also need to give them the skills and opportunity to protect themselves.
DH is a primary teacher and they recently had a visit from people from ChildLine, who talked to the kids about what's appropriate and what they should do. Maybe see if they have some guidelines for talking to your kids about this kind of thing.
I think you're spot on with your instincts. I would never ever let my dc's be alone with either him or his son.
I think even if we can't put our fingers on it at the time, there is usually a creepy feeling around these kind of people.
I'm sorry he's so closely linked to you though. Your poor mum.
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