20 answers

Girls at Sleepover

My daughter told me at a recent sleepover that 3 of the girls were naked giving each other massages. She said naked...she means naked without underwear too. I felt it appropriate to tell the other moms about it. Now, each girl seems to have a slightly different story. Concensus is there was at least no "inappropriate" sexual touching (unless you call the massage) and that they had shorts on some of the time. My daughter is the one that brought it up, told me, and hasn't waivered in her story much if at all. She didn't take any of her clothes off. I've told my daughter you should never be naked with anyone even other girls unless you are briefly changing your clothes. So, do I just tell the other moms and not worry about the details? I don't my daughter looking like a liar. I just think the other moms should know. I have a gut feeling it was fairly innocent. Am I wrong to share? One of the moms told me she had a talk with her daughter who denies being completely naked and she believes her daughter. It's fine but I'm worried my daughter is looking like a liar. Should I just tell them vaguely what my daughter said and just leave it at that? I was thinking the details, since every girl has a different story, are irrelevant as long as there is a discussion about not being naked at a sleepover. Naked massages (even if they have bottoms on) are inappropriate. Thoughts?

2 moms found this helpful

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

I made a huge mistake and confronted the girls about it before talking to the parents (two of them at least).
I jumped to defend my daughter because she has been called a "trouble maker" before by one of the girls and her parent and I wanted to see if the girls would lie about it. You know how you can tell if someone was lying? I know that was a huge mistake! Because, the whole thing was sort of swept under the rug anyway. I didn't handle it appropriately. I should have talked to the parents about it and just left out any details. The details were changed with all the different stories told. I do know they were massaging each other and I do believe my daughter when she said they were naked during the massage. I get naked when I get a massage at the salon...the girls were just reenacting that. But, still inappropriate. Wish I handled it better. Thanks for all the advice.

Featured Answers

How old are the girls? Age has a lot to do with this situation. Younger kids often do things without even considering anything to be sexual..

More Answers

I would suggest that you let the issue rest. You have talked to your daughter, you have talked to the other parents, let it be.

I would also like to give you some perspective on the general issue: while I respect that it is against your values to be naked in a setting like this, at a young age (you don't write how old the girls are, but I assume pre-teen) kids often have not yet developed as much of a sense of shame.
Many cultures, including my own embrace the naked body and do not necessarily connect it with sex. Where I am from people are naked at beaches, in parks and swimming in lakes when the weather allows. Public pools have "clothing free" areas with saunas and spas and I have seen most of my friends and family members naked at one point or another.
Now if that is not part of your culture, you can teach your child what your expectation and your values are, but do not expect that everyone sees this the same.
Dwelling on this incident and bringing it up again and again is just going to result in her either being ostracized by her friend and she may not tell you these things any more in the future.

4 moms found this helpful

Dear L.

If this were the 60's or the 80's and we had not had all that repressive fake Christianity thrown on us once again no one would have cared.
Massage is a normal thing not some illicit sex. Maybe you need to back off. Your daughter is caught in the middle. She may be excluded at other sleep overs and perhaps she does not really belong in that circle.

She's the one who will need to come to grips with nudity. There are nude beaches, skinny dips among teenagers and lots more. A woman should never be ashamed of her own body.

4 moms found this helpful

First, it's great that your daughter can tell you these things. Don't betray her trust, or she won't tell you in the future if these things happen!

Second, totally normal. Not appropriate behavior, but normal. Don't freak out on her, or she may feel icky.

Third, I wouldn't let her go back to that house.

3 moms found this helpful

I've done children all my life; Foster mom, daycare, coaching, Mental Health, etc. I don't see the age of the girls, that would make a difference. I would complement my daughter for telling me what had happened and follow that with another complement for making the decisions she made. Parents telling other parents what happened and then following up with more tales will make your daughter ostracized with the group (although that might not me a bad thing), causing her to be treated in a 'Mean Girls' attitude by people she considers to be her friends. Just talking over the problem with your daughter, mentioning their poor decisions and her good one will help her go forward to other gatherings and making good decisions later. Remember, in all of this, she is the important one to you. Parents hate to hear that their children have made poor decisions and will blame you in their mind rather than do much about their children's behaviors.

3 moms found this helpful

I wouldn't talk to the other children about it. They committed no crime, just some exploring. You, your daughter, or the other children said it wasn't sexual (I wasn't clear on that) just massage with no clothes on. Young children do innocent exploring and you want to be careful the way you interfere with that. Middle and high school may be less inhibited about themselves and not think anything about being naked. I would mention it to the other moms if the children were young, stating the innocence of it but just wanting them to know. and if they were older I wouldn't want to make a big deal and make assumptions that most likely would be taken the wrong way and have an impact on your daughters relationship too.

You should praise your child for coming to you with something that made her uncomfortable. Talk to her about her feelings and tell her it's right for her to follow her own thoughts & believes and not be bullied into just doing what everyone is doing if she's uncomfortable. Her feelings are valid and it's good that you have a open relationship.

It seems to be an issue of what you and your daughter are comfortable with rather than something wrong or dangerous. Some people don't think it's wrong to be naked in front of each others. I'm more concerned with how well the parents where I've sent my child are watching them.

3 moms found this helpful

What happened to the mother or father who was supposed to be supervising? I wouldn't let my daughter go there again. No explanation required except to your daughter. Those friends are welcome at your house because you can supervise them at your house.

Simple, direct, and honest.

2 moms found this helpful

Hi L.,

This is tough one for a parent. How to keep your child safe, help her to know that YOU believe her, and not end up sticking both your necks out further than necessary.

I read the comments posted and agree with the question "so where were the parents?". Young kids are often toeing the line of what's appropriate, and what happened IMHO was *not* appropriate in the least. Kids at this age have knowledge of what is okay and what isn't. This isn't a question of being naked together (for what it's worth, I'm fine with nudity in general) but the touching going on suggests some gray areas. Especially if some of the girls were/are changing their stories. That tells me that there was likely some knowledge that this probably wasn't okay, or everyone would have the same story.(A group of girls wouldn't all have different stories about beading bracelets or something else as benign and mundane, right?)

My suggestion: take care of your own. You can't do for anyone else's family what they won't let you do. Some information has gotten out to parents somehow, and they have done what you have done: chosen to believe their children. Maybe they are being naive, or they just don't want to talk about it with you, but you can't control what sorts of choices their children make.

When I was younger, my mother said a very smart thing to me: "If you need me to pick you up, wherever, whatever's going on, call me. I will come and get you." She told me this as a teen. She knew that she couldn't always foresee the actions of the kids I spent time with, but I think she knew that I was a relatively kid and having a backup plan would get me through. Only once did I have to call her, when I was 18, and I was glad she was available to come get me. (I was stranded by a friend for not participating in something stupid.)

Leave the door open for your daughter, and just let her know what's appropriate and what isn't. Let her know that you appreciate her honesty, and if she's at another friend's house/sleepover, and things are going on that she's not comfortable with, that you will come get her, anytime. This may not be necessary, but like me, she might remember it at 18 and take you up on it! It's a good learning opportunity for both of you.

2 moms found this helpful

Hey L.,

I'm a little confused about your post - your first question is should the mom's be informed. But then you post that each girl has a different story. Did you talk to the girls without talking to the parents? That is all a bit confusing. If the girls have already been talked to, then you need to tell the parents you've talked to their girls about it.

In my household, I would bring up to the parents. I think things are better off out in the open and talked about then behind closed doors. It obviously made your daughter nervous and I think you should be proud of her for coming to you. If your daughter is anxious about it there is a problem, no one should be made to feel they need to strip down to be a part of the "crowd", especially if you are too young to just up and leave the party - there is no escape route at most sleepovers.

You also didn't mention what age we are talking about. Young 7 years old aren't probably an issue, but teenagers, especially older teens it may.

I'd definitely talk with my own daughter about our household expectations, rules and humility.

Being comfortable about ones own body has NOTHING do with getting naked with other girls and being massaged. Just because you are okay with your own body does not mean we go and get naked when we want or can. I did so many massages with my girlfriends when we were younger and still do today. NONE of us are/were ever completely naked, especially since we only do shoulder massages - no need to even take the pants off. And if I took off my bra they'd all flip on me.

I think you daughter was right in coming to you. I think full naked massages at a sleepover is inappropriate and I think you should have gone to the mom of the house and put it on the table.

Positively,
M.

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