September 15, 2007,
K.C. asks from Nashville, TN on September 13, 2007
I Need Help with Daughter Touching Other Kids Inappropriately
My daughter is four years old and just started pre-k. She's been in the same day care since she was six weeks old prior to starting school. She seems to be doing really well at the school part, but her teacher in after care pulled me aside today regarding her behavior. She said my daughter has been separated from the rest of the pre-k kids in the afternoons because she is touching the other girls' private parts and kissing the boys. I have always been affectionate with her, but I've also always been very clear about kissing people outide of our family. I don't know where this has come from. She never did it at day care and I just don't know what to do. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!
E.A. answers from Chattanooga on September 13, 2007
Something we taught our 5 year old is that whatever lies under our underwear is not to be touched unless it's by mommy, daddy, or the doctor. And if anyone touches him other than those people, he needs to tell us right away. As far as your daughter, just tell her that what lies under her underwear is just for her and what lies under other people's underwear area is just for them because she's not their mommy, daddy, or doctor. As far as kissing boys, just give her another way to show affection towards them. Tell her that instead of kissing them, to ask if she can give them a "high 5" or even a hug. My son has social issues (he's mildly autistic) and these techniques have helped him a lot. Hope it works for you too!!
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D.M. answers from Nashville on September 14, 2007
Perhaps your daughter is experiencing some anxiety. She's been moved from a familiar environment -- daycare and is now in a new world -- pre-k. Maybe she doesn't know how to voice her fear and anxiety so she's acting out in order to get some extra attention. You might try to talk with her about it.
When my older son started kindergarten, he was very disruptive in class, acted out, cried, you name it. I was totally amazed because he's always been such a quiet child. I talked with him about it, and we discovered that he was afraid that someone would forget to pick him up at school. So we sat down and made a list of people, with their phone numbers, of people who would not forget him.
We put Mom on the top of the list and then said, "If Mom can't pick you up then Dad will." After Dad came the grandparents and then the aunts, uncles, friends, you name it. After we got about 20 people on the list he was satisfied. He took it to school and put it in his desk. Whenever he started worrying and feeling anxious, he'd pull the list out, look at it and feel relieved. His inappropriate behavior stopped.
Perhaps your daughter is experiencing something similar.
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H.F. answers from Nashville on September 15, 2007
I just want you to know you are not alone on any of this my son thats now 6yrs old started doing this 2 years ago and I just couldnt come to think why he was doin this.. But his started as in doin things to his toys like teddy bears and then it went to him doin things with other little boys and girls.. I would ask him if he needed to talk to me and he would always say no mommy i am ok..Well his dad and I got a divorce in 04 and his dad been 42 now he married a 19yr old girl and after this kept goin on with RJ i started pushin it more as askin RJ where he was seen these things and is any one touchin you in your bad spots.. He then told me he was seen his daddy and step mom havein sex.. My son new more about sex and sex toys then i did so i new then some thing had to be done.. Well my son come to me in june and told me not to ever make him go back to his daddys and me been mom i ask why he told me that his dad and step mom was makein him have sex with them and others.. So you really need to check in to what she is doin.. Ask is she is seen these things.. i have a myspace page set up for my son if any of the other moms would like to add him or me please feel free you can find it under ____@____.com and feel free to e-mail me at any time if you have any questions
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M.B. answers from Knoxville on September 14, 2007
Please, take your daughter to counseling immediately. That is not normal curious behavior. Child and Family of Tennessee have excellent counsellors in that area... and can find out if something has been done to her. (I know this from experience)
Also, do not question her directly. If something has happened to her by someone close to you, YOU will be accused of coaching. (I also know this from experience)
My thoughts are with you.
T.M. answers from Memphis on September 14, 2007
Hugs are good! The rest is just learning about bounderies. This is just like learning the ABC's. A consistant and calm reminder that no one wants to be touched or tickeled or kissed or pinched or patted. She is a loving affectionate child. That is good. She likes her class mates, how wonderful. The diference between boys and girls does not matter to her yet. That is a good thing. You need to reminder her that there is a line and that crossing it will make people unhappy. Hugs are good, anything else is over the line. Give your charming little lady an extra hug. She is really very wonderful.
Thank you, T. (Beth & Joey's Mom)
S.F. answers from Memphis on September 13, 2007
Hi. I know you don't want to hear this, but her behavior is very common in kids who have been sexually abused. There's probably another explanation, an innocent one, but I urge you to think carefully about who has been alone with your child lately. If you can be absolutely sure no one has been touching her in the way she touches the other kids, then perhaps she has picked up the kissing from tv or is imitating older girls she has been around? Just explain to her that there are appropriate ways to touch a friend (a pat on the back, holding hands) and inappropriate ways. I imagine the boys in the class are close to the "yuck, girl cooties!" stage, and she may quickly learn this isn't the way to make friends. Good luck.
S.E. answers from Memphis on September 14, 2007
Well, I would monitor her closely. sometimes kids won't say how they are feeling, but if she has a favorite doll or stuffed animal, you can ask her how the doll feels- and however she responds is how she is feeling. there is a reason she is doing this- especially if she's been told to stop and hasn't. Has your family been through any big changes recently? Or has anyone new been watching her. I don't say this to scare you but when I was a little girl- about 3 or 4- I was molested by the son of a daycare director. This went on with me and other kids until he was finally caught. This kind of thing can happen to any child anywhere, and though the chances are slim that she's been subjected to something like that- make sure you can rule it out as a possibility!Kids will be courious about their body's and their classmates- but if the behavior has been addressed and she won't stop- make sure to find out how she is feeling and what she is thinking about. The doll idea might really help you understand what's going on inside of her. Hope this helps. I'll keep you in my prayers.
J.N. answers from Nashville on September 14, 2007
Its natural for kids to try these things. My son is 2years old and dose his share of stuff. Just keep telling her its not nice to do that and she will grow out of it and then back into it as a teenager! Good Luck!