16 answers

My 5 Year Old Is Driving Me Nuts

My 5 year old daughter is obsessed with my body. She is always trying to touch my boobs and likes to pat me on the butt. she has now started putting things in her shirt and saying "Look Mom I look like you, I have boobies too." I know she is curious but I have no idea how to handle this. She is always trying to lay on me, but has to be on my boobs, she likes to pet them like she is a baby. Last night in the shower I was washing her back and she started going "Oh yeah baby oh, baby yeah, like that right there, oh baby yeah." over and over again. her father and I are divorced, and I have no idea if she does this with him, but I doubt it. It is exhausting, she is always in my face and trying to touch me, and in public it is really embarrassing. We have been having some other discipline problems too. I don't know if they all go together or not. But she doesn't listen very well, and has always been kind of hyper. sometimes she is openly disrespectful. For the most part she is really sweet. She likes to hug and kiss and cuddle, which I don't mind. Being a single mom is really hard, you don't have anyone to bounce these issues off. She also eats really poorly, I think that is part of her hyper activity problem, she will only eat chicken nuggets, pizza and spaghetti. She has been getting better in the last two weeks with the eating thing. I am just sick of yelling all the time. This is the only thing that works.I try and talk to her normally , If I try normal discipline things like sending her to her room, or turning of the TV or taking away toys she totally ignores me until I bellow at her. There has to be something different I can do. I keep trying to tell her that touching my boobies is not OK, they are in my private space and her reply is "but I like them"or "I love you so much mom". Sometimes she will even go pout when I tell her not to touch me. I am at my wits end here, if anyone has any advice here I would so love to hear it, Thanks in advance ;)

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

I just wanted to say thanks to everyone for all their advice.
Everything is going much better. We have had some conversations about everything, and 2 nights ago we had a very long discussion at bedtime about behavior and how when she is naughty that it makes me sad, and that touching me is not OK, she has been much better since then. I really think she just didn't know how she was making me feel, and how the whole situation was effecting us. We have had 2 incidences of her trying to touch me, one was in the locker room at the pool the other day, and in the morning of the same day she came in to my room to sleep with me and then too. But for the most part everything is going good.
I also wanted to let everyone know that we have had many conversations recently and in the past about inappropriate touching and that she needs to tell me. I do not think she is being abused, but I thank everyone for pointing out the red flags in my post.

I hope everybody has a very merry Christmas, or whatever holiday you celebrate this time of year, Cheers A.

Featured Answers

I would recommend when she touches you in an inapproriate place just calmly send her to time out so she understands you will not tolerate that kind of behavior. You can tell her that you love her and are glad that she loves you but even people who love each other need to act appropriately.

I know all of that is much easier said than done. Just know the rest of us are all struggling with one thing or another every min. We really are all in this together.

D.

1 mom found this helpful

More Answers

My 4 1/2 yr old sort of went threw the same thing. I just sat her down and talked to her, telling her the things she was saying and doing were very inappropriate, she understood, but what killed me the most was having to ask where she has seen or heard this kind of behavior, thank goodness she said most of it was from seeing a grown up show on tv. I just started spending more quality time with her, by going to the movies or children's museum, eventually she just grew out of that stage. Thank goodness But, it scares me to hear you say what your daughter is saying, you definitely need to sit down and talk to her, make sure she knows that she can tell you anything and everything!
I do understand what you are going through, we also had a problem with her kissing little boys, we solved that by telling her that if she kissed another boy that I was going rub vinegar in mouth. -Which the doctor recommended, to be productive and very safe.
I hope some of this helped & goodluck!

1 mom found this helpful

I would have to agree that is a little odd. Without knowing her, it's hard to say, but it sure sounds a lot like TV influence, maybe at dad's house. Is your relationship such that you could bring it up to him and have him keep an eye on things on his end? As far as the behavior issues, they are probably not related...just sounds like she is running the show. Remember YOU are the parent...time to take back your position. Children of discipline truly are happier and more pleasant. Chaos breeds chaos and it won't end until you put your foot down and make a change. Good luck!

~L.

1 mom found this helpful

There are some red flags in there...

1 mom found this helpful

I would get a child psychologist involved. This will do a few things. . .you will be able to ferret out if she has been inappropriately touched, seen either mom or dad with a boyfriend or girlfriend, watched something inappropriate on tv, or is just curious. The counselor will also work with you to set some boundaries, not only for physical touch, but also in the home. As a single parent, it is easy to want to be friends with your child and let her be part of your support system. It is hard for all moms to disappoint, sadden, and discipline our children. . .but it is especially hard for moms whose whole world is that child. But your relationship will flourish and improve with these boundaries.

Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful

Okay well I have never had a little girl but I have seen with my neices that some curiosity is normal. wanting boobies and looking like mom sounds normal. The constant touching and the bathtub conversation not so normal. Are you on any terms with her father that you could ask him if this has happened at his house? instead of yelling redirect her. When she wants to touch her hold her hands and massage her palms or lightly tickle her arms with your fingers. Maybe if you can redirect it she wont be looking for constant contact. I dont know that is the best I have.

1 mom found this helpful

You have lots of other thoughts -- but I just had to add that I also think there are some red flags to get checked out.

I worked at a Women's Shelter and with other kids who have been sexually abused and the behaviors you are describing are not normal. If you live near Milwaukee, I'd be happy to give you information where there are free services available.

1 mom found this helpful

I have no real advice, on some level her curiosity is normal, but on the other hand she should be able to respect your personal boundries, anyones personal boundries. Some of her reactions are definatly odd, and I think you might want to consider some professional help, I don't want to scare you, I am not saying you have the next Rosemarys baby by any stretch of the imagination, just that her behaviour goes a little beyond what would be accepted as the norm.
I realy hope I didn't offend you, that isn't my intentions I am just concerned, and wish you all the luck!

1 mom found this helpful

ok, I am going to take my chances and post my reply here. My now 7 year old son, and 9 year old nephew were both curious as well. We in the US are so prudish when it comes to these things that it really amazes me. I had a talk with my son a couple of years ago and told him it was in appropriate for him to touch mommie's breasts- so guess what- he made a bigger scene about it in public. When I finally sat him down and asked him if he just wanted to see what they felt like, he said yes- so I let him appropriately touch me - over my clothes, and we have never had another instance with this since then. friends daughters who I have baby sat have had the same curiosity- of course I didn't let them touch me, I just talked with their mothers about it.

1 mom found this helpful

I think if I were you A., I would talk to a professional. I dont think it is a big thing for a little girl to notice her mom and her body are different. I would be concerned with the expressions coming from a five year old when her back is being washed. This is not normal dialogue from a five year old child. This is an adult woman or man dialogue when having sex. I woul find out what goes on with her father when she is with him. Maybe she is overhearing adult things at night when he thinks she is sleeping. Does he have women sleep over when she visits him? Does she overhear you with dates? I would not let this matter go. It is not normal for a child to act like this in private or public. As far as discipline you need to stick to your word. Take her by the hand and take her to her room if necessary. Explain to her that she is being disciplined for her bad behavior. Do not back down when she screams or whatever. I hope you find the courage and energy this is going to take to fix.

1 mom found this helpful

I don't really have any tips or anything, but I was wondering if you have asked her if anyone has touched her like she touches you. Also did you ask where she heard the phrases she was saying in the tub? I don't know how things are with you and your ex, but maybe you should ask him if she does the same things there to. And if he dates or is remarried, maybe talk to him about what she could be hearing around the house. Hope this helps a little. Sorry I didn't have more.

1 mom found this helpful

I would recommend when she touches you in an inapproriate place just calmly send her to time out so she understands you will not tolerate that kind of behavior. You can tell her that you love her and are glad that she loves you but even people who love each other need to act appropriately.

I know all of that is much easier said than done. Just know the rest of us are all struggling with one thing or another every min. We really are all in this together.

D.

1 mom found this helpful

hmm i too have a 5 year old little girl and their behavior is a HUGE challenge- I feel for you being a single mom. Grace ( my 5 year old) is stubborn, bull headed, does not listen, and is openly disrespectful as well. What has worked on that front with her is to take toys that she loves away and we make her donate them. She has lost some of her favorites and it seems to make a dent- though she still has her days. I have talked to many of my firends who have muchkins this age and it is part of hte growing up and asserting independence. I let her make some of her own decisions, but she also realizes she must live with them. It is a process.

We have also had to start talking about her body ( and others) being hers and that it is private. no one should touch, talk about, or point to those parts that are hers. This too is part of this age.

I would suggest talking with your ex about this though. If she is seeing it on TV or if she is starting to date and she sees it -it could be her way of getting attention and it just needs to be talked about.

Good luck!
S.

1 mom found this helpful

I agree with Rebecca RED FLAG!

1 mom found this helpful

A., Curiosity is one thing, but the sexual undertones of her comments in the shower are not curiosity. And love does not equal touching your "boobies." So, her comments that "I just love you so much," does not seem to fit to me. This seems from something she's seen, heard, or experienced. They could be from TV, or how daddy treats his girlfriend if he has one, the radio, or any number of other places. You are doing the right thing in telling her that we each have private spaces. I would encourage you to ask a few questions here and there to see where this may stem from. Her acting out in other things also may be related if there is something she is uncomfortable about, and doesn't know how to tell you. Especially if this acting out isn't the normal for her before. Is she in school this year? Could you maybe talk with her teacher, and see if she seems just very into healthy physical touch, or any other thing that stands out to them? If you find there is nothing amiss, then stand your ground on keeping your private areas private, and if it's at all possible to communicate with your EX so that you both are on the same page for addressing it. But, if you find something that you feel is not right, then disciplining her for trying to communicate (when she may not even know how), will not help. You are her advocate at this point if you need to be. I sure hope that she just needs continued encouragement from you. You sound like you are really on the ball and in tune with her, so know your sensitivity will pay off for the better.
J.

1 mom found this helpful

Is she seeing things on tv or in movies? If not at your house, maybe at her dad's? I think the images that are thrown at kids these days could make them more interested in that. I would try to be very careful of what she sees through entertainment and media.

1 mom found this helpful

I feel like I have a very similar situation with my 5 year old son. I have found all those disciplinary tactics to be useless. My other son is on the autism spectrum and I have been using some of the therapies and strategies we have seen be effective with the autistic child, also really help the undesirable behaviors of the younger one.
For example, when he gets to wild, I try to "close the zone of connection" and get myself physically very close to him with no verbal communication. I try to move slowly and when I do speak, speak in a low, calm voice.
If he touches my body innapropriately, I would say calmly, " You may stop touching my body now." He will keep trying and I will repeat, without showing anger or frustration until he stops.
I believe that kids who act on these impulses have a very hard time self regulating and we have to lead them in that direction with our own self regulatory actions.
I hope this makes sense!

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