January 03, 2009,
E. asks from Madison, WI on January 02, 2009
Our 3Yr Old Daughter Walked in on Us!!!!
This is really embarrassing! 45 minutes ago my almost 3 year old daughter walked in on me and my husband in…let’s just say a compromised position…in the laundry room. At the point when we noticed the door was open and she was standing there we both screamed and shut the door in her face to get dressed. She started crying and seemed very upset. Right away I held her and tried to comfort her on the couch. Her speech is delayed so I don’t really know what she saw, how long, or how a 3 year old would process that image. I feel TERRIBLE and that perhaps she’s lost a bit of innocence. I haven’t a clue how to talk to her about this…PLEASE HELP!!!
K.B. answers from Des Moines on January 03, 2009
I too had my daughter walk in and even crawl in bed before we noticed her. I just calmly got up got a robe on and put her back in her bed. I told her that mommmy and daddy were busy doing mommy and daddy stuff and that we loved her and then went back to my room. The next day I bought up the subject again and asked her if she was worried about anything she said no and that was the end of it. Today she is a normal 17yr old and when I asked if she remembered that time she said nope :]
My advice: Dont sweat the small stuff, its normal.
J. answers from Minneapolis on January 02, 2009
Not sure on this either! But here goes:
Honesty is usually the best policy but through a young childs eyes and what they can understand and not. Asking the child to explain what they did see and assure the child neither parent was angry or upset with her but were embarrased and upset with your selves that your intamcy with each other with is actually normal for parents to do was accidentally seen by her at no one's fault but an accident at her and both of you being at the same place at the same time.
Explain maybe that you were showing affection as parents to each other as parents do and as She may have seen people who love each other might express their parental affections to each other. Make sure to hear her words and see her images and help her reinterpret them and make sure she relearns if learned or related to what she saw and a bad thing that She should be Punished for. Admit your and your significant other's concerns and feelling and worry for Her best needs being fulfilled and how somehow it did not happen just then. Show loving and happiness with her and not punish her as She felt that already then.
If is is an issue in the child's mind then, Ignoring it does not help. Dont make such a big deal of it yourself else it will become a big deal for her too!!!
The reason? if it was not a big deal then She probably would have forgotten all about it. But the blow up (door slamming) would more likely keep it in her memory and you want that memory to be its best it can be based upon your and your significatn other's belief system. You may even meet with a Child Psychologist to chat with the child to as a separate party listen to and see how the incident effects the child now and maybe their professional help will help the outcome you want also. Handling this issue can bring you together closer as a family. Also may want to set ground rules when your child should Not disturb or enter your room and when they can to avoid a second such issue from soon again happening! And let the child parents showing eachother affection and being close is normal for adults and parents to do.
Unfortunately by the time the child is 6 will probably see much "worse" unchild like adult behaviors on network mid day TV a hundreds more often. Look at what time Talkshows are on! and kidlike adult cartoons right when kids are eating dinner!
The innocence we grew up with when we were children is bygone ERA I am afraid to say. I tried one time using parental blocking on my TV Set and guess what? About 1/3 of the shows or MORE that I though ok for my 7 year old to watch were ALL blocked out. We could hardly watch ANY TV at ALL. Oh and locking the door? Hah any one with a young child next door... can attest to the moment the lights go out or whatever a child could be knocking on or trying to open the parent's door for a cup of milk or whatever! Our child says to US Mommy and Daddy Why dont your nuzzle more etc. now you know why!
She even said Daddy why dont you make another baby with Mommy! She is an only child.
R.K. answers from Appleton on January 03, 2009
Children do not understand sex. Explain to her that Mommies and Daddies have a special way of showing love to each other and that she may be confused and hurt because you shut the door in her face but it is not something that litle girls should see. You are sorry for hurting her feelings but she needs to knock on closed doors before opening them.
I know this is difficult but my 6 1/2 yr old granddaughter has a habit of not knocking and has walked in on me in the bathroom and while changing clothes. I do lose my temper a bit and have slammed the door in her face. I feel she should know this she is a bit delayed but every child past 3 should know to knock on the door and wait to get permission to enter. Be gentle but firm.
E.S. answers from San Antonio on January 03, 2009
There are worse things that could have happened. Kudos to you and your hubby! Odds are down the road she won't even remember it. Not much you can do about it at this point. Kind of question her and see if she wants to talk about anything though. See where her head is at. Like all the other posts. I think it's the door slamming that mader her upset.
K.R. answers from Madison on January 03, 2009
Reading your post this morning gave me flash backs to my own children at that age... my oldest walked in on my (now husband) boyfriend and I when he was 3. We're not sure how long he was there, but he too, had delayed development. Through the years I have watched him and he's never displayed any behavior that would even show he remembered the issue (He's 12 now).
Then, just last year, my (now 4-yo) son made a comment regarding something he'd *heard* between us, and I was floored to say the least! His statement brought fears to my mind that he would act out in response to the situation he'd witnessed, but he, also, has not displayed any behavior toward remembering it -- and he is advanced intelligence for his age.
I wouldn't worry about trauma in your daughter's mind, she most likely won't remember what happened. She will most likely only remember the door flying at her, rather than what she witnessed. But comforting her for the door issue was the best thing you could do.
If, later in life she brings up the situation -- but not the door -- then you can discuss it with her, but my best advice would be just to leave the original issue alone until she brings it up.
Best of luck
P.P. answers from Minneapolis on January 02, 2009
I agree with previous poster but if you wanted to pursue it you could ask her if she has any questions for you as to what she saw. It opens communication and makes it so sex isn't a bad thing or an embarrassing thing. It's life. Next time just shut the door because you just never know.
N.R. answers from Des Moines on January 03, 2009
It would have been better had you not slammed the door in her face. That probably did more harm than what she saw. At that age she couldn't possibly know, remember, or be shocked by what she saw. How do you think the Indians and other cultures conceive children when they all live & sleep in the same room. While it's better for her to not see this again in the future, it is also the way that married couples show their love for each other which is a good and normal thing. Does she ever see either of you naked when dressing or taking a shower, etc.? If not, she should at this age. Then she wouldn't have seen anything abnormal and you could have just casually said, "Hi honey, Mommy & Daddy were just loving each other". Of course, you would have stopped "compromising" when she walked in.
L.H. answers from Milwaukee on January 03, 2009
She's probably more upset that you screamed and slammed the door in her face then anything.
She probaby figured she had done something terribly wrong and that you are mad at her.
K.M. answers from Madison on January 03, 2009
First of all - AWESOME! That is so great that you and your husband are spontaneous like that.
OOps, the screaming and freaking out part probably wasn't the best response. I would imagine the experts would say not to make a big deal out of this. Let her lead the way in terms of how much she wants to talk about it (harder with the speech delay). You may see some things coming out about it in her play with dolls or in drawings. I would reinforce that you were "suprised" when she came in, it is "natural" for mommies and daddies to be "very close" and that is how babies are made. Use the appropriate terminology.
But, I don't think you have scarred her for life. I think most of us have walked in on our parents and thought, "Hmm, that's weird" but then just move on.
Really, I think you can laugh at this!! And don't let it stop you guys from having fun like this, it is important and healthy for your marriage - which in turn helps to create a happy, healthy family.