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Does this adult/dc relationship seem odd???

(134 Posts)
Movingforward123 Tue 20-Nov-12 09:15:04

I am a single parent and have at times lived at my mums with my dd and my mums partner! My mum is 55 partner is 32!

My dd is 5 and I am uncomfortable with the relationship between her and my mums partner! He is generally very quiet but has always seemed close to dd, which I was fine with because she practically grew up in my mums house and still spends a lot of time there!

In the summer I became uncomfortable when dd went away with my mum and her partner! When they came back he seemed very close to dd and I just didn't like how they played together and it all seemed to close for comfort.

I had spoke to my mum about this and told her I don't want dd sleeping in my mums bed with my mum and partner as its not right for a grown man to sleep with a 5year old that he is not related to.

A couple of weeks ago dd told me that they had all slept in the same bed again! So I feel like my mum is not respecting my wishes!

Also in the summer after the holiday I noticed the partner was asking my dd for kisses and when she kissed him they kissed on the lips. I spoke to my mum and told her this is not acceptable and have since noticed that he now kisses her on the cheek!

I just feel a grown man should be making the boundeaies with a child but instead find myself telling dd, don't kiss him etc!

I think I will have another chat with my mum about it and possibly the partner too.

strumpetpumpkin Tue 20-Nov-12 11:47:52

is it a new relationship between your mother and her partner? Does he see himself as her grandparent?

From what you have said, I wouldnt be particularly worried. Sounds innocent. Is there anything else than what youve said?

olgaga Tue 20-Nov-12 11:51:22

I don't think anyone is shocked, or thinks it's unacceptable to kiss your own children! No-one is saying that at all.

imnotmymum Tue 20-Nov-12 11:51:57

Your child, you know best and of course if you feel uncomfortable then do what you have to. However there are a lot of great fun-loving men out there who just live to play with kids and if he has had the up bringing to kiss on lips or whatever I guess that is what he feels comfortable doing, Do not see what is not there.

MrsMelons Tue 20-Nov-12 12:02:11

I had no idea that kissing children you are related to/close to on the lips was inappropriate - SAYS WHO?

I understand that this does sound a bit uncomfortable but unfortunately you won't really know if it is something inappropriate or not unless your DD said.

My DCs will get in bed with their grandparents in the morning or their Auntie/Uncle and I would never think anything of it.

If it was a close relative with a random boyfriend/girlfriend I would not be comfortable as its a bit weird IMO until they are long term involved in the DCs lives.

I think some of the others are right - the appropriateness will depend on how your mum and he view their relationship and their relationship with your DD.

MrsMelons Tue 20-Nov-12 12:03:18

Olgaga - it has been said on MN many times!

Furoshika Tue 20-Nov-12 12:04:33

What is clear in your post is that you're uncomfortable.
I think it is worrying that he kisses your dd on the lips. Yes we as parents do that (until it doesn't happen any more) and yes grandparents do that sometimes, but it isn't something I would be happy with my sons' stepgrandfather doing (and he doesn't do it).

You are uncomfortable and that is enough to justify taking control and making sure - with no fuss - that certain things don't happen. If you're unhappy with them taking your dd away, too, then don't allow that to happen either.

imogengladhart Tue 20-Nov-12 12:13:04

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Houseworkprocrastinator Tue 20-Nov-12 12:26:47

"he knows only to accept cheek kisses from aunties grandparents etc and hand shakes from uncles or family friends"

i find that a bit sad. not critisising you, that is what you feel comfortable with then that's your right as a parent. but i find it sad that as a society people have become suspicious of men to the point where an auntie can kiss a child but an uncle may only shake their hand.

Dahlen Tue 20-Nov-12 12:26:56

It's impossible for us to know whether your mum's DP is behaving innocently or with more sinister intent. The appropriateness of his actions depends entirely on context, such as the personalities involved, the length and state of your mum's relationship with her DP, the relationship he has with your DD, your DD, your feelings about him, etc. None of which we can assess objectively.

All that matters is that if you are uncomfortable about it then you have every right to say so and put a stop to things carrying on as they are.

ProcrastinatingPanda Tue 20-Nov-12 12:27:11

I've always kissed DS on the lips and never knew it was an issue for some people until I came on mumsnet. As for the lover comment; I'm not tonguing him, it's just a peck on the lips fgs.

OP tbh I can't see anything wrong in what you've written about his behaviour towards your dd but if you don't feel right about it then stop the overnight visits and holidays.

olgaga Tue 20-Nov-12 12:35:19

Yes but this thread isn't about kissing your own children on the lips.

OP is seeking reassurance because she feels uncomfortable about her mum's 32 year old boyfriend kissing her 5 year old DD on the lips. And this:

I just feel a grown man should be making the boundeaies with a child but instead find myself telling dd, don't kiss him etc!

I think she's right to feel uncomfortable, and that she should listen to her instincts. It's not about being "politically incorrect". It's about protecting a child and helping them learn to refuse unwanted physical contact.

ProcrastinatingPanda Tue 20-Nov-12 12:38:47

olgaga I was referring to the previous posts about kissing your own dc on the lips, I've replied to the OP in the next paragraph...

olgaga Tue 20-Nov-12 12:39:20

And I would certainly be annoyed if I were you about the sharing a bed business. Especially having told your mum you were unhappy about it.

But the answer to that is simple - no more sleepovers.

olgaga Tue 20-Nov-12 12:40:09

Sorry, should have said, I was responding to MrsMelons.

Furoshika Tue 20-Nov-12 12:43:57

What stands out for me about the OP is that you can imagine her saying the same things in retrospect, very easily:
he used to kiss dd on the lips, I thought it was odd at the time.
I didn't like the way they played together after going on holiday without me.
My mother ignored my request to not have them in the bed together.

It doesn't mean that anything is wrong, of course it doesn't.

But all of those things are avoidable if they make the OP uncomfortable. I would have my beady eye on this bloke, big time, I have to say. (But I am a suspicious cow who had known too many people whose parents ignored abuse.)

quietlysuggests Tue 20-Nov-12 12:46:32

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

AitchTwoOhOneTwo Tue 20-Nov-12 12:53:22

perhaps the really tough question it, if you weren't a single parent would you be letting him have this level of access to your child?

HipHopOpotomus Tue 20-Nov-12 12:53:53

Trust your instincts!

It is not unheard of for men to develop relationships with women purely in order to have access to young children.

I think his behaviour is entirely inappropriate and for your Mum to prioritise her partners wishes (bet they are his wishes as opposed to hers) over your needs and feelings is a huge red flag that she is being well and truly manipulated here and therefore cannot be trusted (at best her judgement is warped).

please put your foot down and don't let this man have contact with DD

HipHopOpotomus Tue 20-Nov-12 12:56:50

Though your DD could possibly be safer in the bed with the 2 of them, than in a bed on her own in another room which this man can access. I would cease all sleepovers immediately.

MrsMelons Tue 20-Nov-12 12:57:17

I do agree that kissing on the lips is not ok in all situations - I was just commenting on someone up thread saying about the kissing on the lips not being ok.

I really think you have to put a stop to this - I can't imagine putting my DCs in a situation where I felt uncomfortable in this way - rightly or wrongly.

We can't leave our DCs with FIL as he was/is an alcoholic (apparently doesn't drink) but turned up to look after our niece and appeared to have been drinking. We couldn't be sure and of course he denied it but we will never chance leaving them alone with him in ANY circumstances. We may be wrong in this as there may not have been a problem but you can't be too careful IMO.

Someone very close to me ignored abuse within the family as they did not believe it was true but it was and the person has now been convicted. It was her husband (the DDs stepfather) - it seemed so unlikely but the signs were there and ignored - devastating all round!

imogengladhart Tue 20-Nov-12 13:00:07

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

THERhubarb Tue 20-Nov-12 13:05:19

This thread will get hysterical.

However OP, if you are still reading......
I would always say "trust your instinct." My stepfather is one such creep. My best friend told me about a year ago that she never felt comfortable with him at my house but could never put her finger on why.
He was an emotionally abusive man and would openly leer at women. I saw him rubbing the back of my 17yo niece underneath her clothing, patting her bum and tickling the inside of her thighs. She had never said anything because she didn't know what to say, she knew it wasn't right but he wasn't actually doing anything illegal iykwim? Because I witnessed this I spoke out and was immediately cut off and shunned by members of my own family as they accused me of calling him a pervert.

Their reaction was so over the top I still wonder whether he has actually done something wrong at some point?

What I am trying to say is that sometimes you cannot explain why you feel uncomfortable with someone. When you write it down it appears trivial and there are many people who would tell you to get a grip etc. But you alone are in that situation and there is no denying your feelings.

Some people on here have unkindly said that this is your problem rather than his and that you are discriminating because of the age difference between your mum and him. Trouble is, if they carry on making you feel that this is all in your head and to push your doubts to the back of your mind, they could actually be encouraging a situation that may well be very wrong.

It's dangerous to give such advice in such a situation I feel. We are not there, we do not know these people or you and we cannot possibly understand your feelings.

So, to be ultra cautious I would say to go with your feelings.

This is what I would do:

Sit your dd down and have the discussion with her about keeping herself safe. There is a book called, I think, Sydney the Snail Plays Safe and it covers pretty much everything in there. I told my kids that if anyone touches them in an area that is covered by their underwear, they must tell me at once. It also emphasises in the book about children listening to their feelings and telling someone if they feel uncomfortable for any reason.

I would then speak to BOTH your mother and her partner and explain that you don't feel it is appropriate for your dd to share a bed with them anymore as she is growing up etc, and you would like your wishes to be respected by them.

I think you can also check someone now by contacting your local police authority? Just to put your mind at rest? After all, he does have a lot of contact with your dd and if he was a nursery worker he'd have to have a CRC. I don't really see any difference between some in a professional capacity and someone who you may not know that well, who also has full access to your children. You have every right to ask questions.

Remember that people on this thread are giving advice based only on general knowledge. No-one can step into your shoes and tell you what you are thinking and why you are thinking it. Your child is paramount to you and so as her mother, you obviously want to make sure that she is as safe as possible. That is not hysteria, that is common sense and I'm sure most posters under the same circumstances would do the same.

Anniegetyourgun Tue 20-Nov-12 13:08:15

That's the point, indeed, MrsMelons. Why chance it? The consequences of wrongly suspecting the guy of having evil designs are not a fraction as dire as the potential consequences of failing to suspect him if he does. We're not talking about calling the police on his ass here. His life won't be ruined by the OP being a bit careful. He's not going to suffer in any meaningful sense by not being able to kiss his step-grandchild in this way instead of in that way. It might be nice for them all to share a bed, or go on holiday together, but it won't be the end of the world if they don't. I'm sure lots of grandparents do have their little DGCs come in to snuggle them in the morning, but I'm equally sure that lots don't, and still manage to have a proper relationship.

Anniegetyourgun Tue 20-Nov-12 13:10:18

And THERhubarb, cross-posted but totally agree with you there.

HipHopOpotomus Tue 20-Nov-12 13:16:24

I hear/see this phrase "step-grand children" here on MN alot.

how in any way is this man the childs "step-grand father"?? FFS he's her grandmothers boyfriend!

He has no "GP" relationship with the child at all beyond that he lives with her GM and is spending alot of time developing what looks very much NOT like a GP relationship with her. Neither is he an appropriate age to be a "step GF".

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