14 answers

Siblings Caught Kissing

My almost 11 year old was caught kissing her 8 year old brother in an unbrotherly manner while they were watching TV in another room. They were both told that this is unacceptable behavior and will be even more closely monitored. Is there more that I should be doing? I am really concerned about this. She does not live with this brother - he was adopted by his paternal grandmother and she sees him only occasionally so I think she is confused about the role he plays in her life? Any suggestions would surely be appreciated.

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So What Happened?™

I just want to thank everyone for the advice!! From the responses I received I feel alot better about the way the situation is & was handled. We have explained why it was not appropriate & have also been attempting to address any other questions she may have about her feelings - normal growing up things and along those lines - questions, etc. We will be keeping an eye on things in the future and if further we think further help is needed will surely seek it out. She is not a stranger to counseling although it has been awhile. I agree that I may have panicked at the outset but I feel like I have to be even more careful than most since I am a guardian and not even the actual parent. I feel more "under a microscope" than a parent I think. People are so quick to over-react & "call the authorities" these days. I don't know how I managed to survive to this age with all the things that are not appropriate these days!! Ha ha. Again - thanks to you all!

Featured Answers

Hi there, I don't know if I am any authority on this subject, but my first thought it : don't make TOO much of a deal over it.. It could have an adverse reaction. I would correct them like you did, tell them it isn't acceptable behavior. One question I have for you is did you explain why it is unacceptable? Also, did You ask them WHY they were doing it.. what was their motive?? Knowing that may be the key to preventing it from happening again. Good luck with this. A.

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I think I would be careful not to scold. She is old enough for you to have an honest conversation about when it is appropriate to kiss and how. We are sexual beings and when it is presented in a factual way, it makes perfect sense. Try to keep your emotion in check (hard, I know) and just present her with information as her friend instead of as an authority (she already knows you are her mom, show her you are her friend, as well). Most important, validate her feelings and show her that she is not abnormal or perverted!

L.

1 mom found this helpful

No need to go overboard with counseling and whatever. This is normal behavior for many kids. It's called experimenting. They see this behavior all over the place. They are young and do not necessarily know any better or are curious. We've all heard of "playing dr." Just talk to them and explain what needs to be explained. Parenting is all that is needed here...not couseling or panicking. Everything will be fine.

1 mom found this helpful

Whatever you do don't shame them... When I was young my brother, and sister and I (we were all close in age) all did experimental things that were not appropriate. It was all out of curiosity. My parents never talked to us about the other sex really and so we were naturally curious.
However one time my parents caught us and told me that they should report me to the police etc... (I was probably only 9-10ish years old) so I felt like a sexual predator and that I was somehow this bad person and that sex and anything sexual was bad... now progress that into being married, I have some underlying issues to deal with that have affected my husbands and my sexual relationship.

I would not send her to counseling unless you notice a trend and this behavior continues... she will feel like a freak for having to go.

Just a thought

1 mom found this helpful

Hi D.. Sorry you are in this spot, it must be really confusing. I have a son that will be 11 this week and I think that at this age, there really is not room for confusion about who he is and isn't to your daughter. I think she should be fully understanding that and if she isn't, I would most definately look into some professional intervention. I think you are way better safe than sorry. She may be experiencing confusion about her own feelings and changes in her body and such, but that still is something she would benefit from talking to someone about. I know people are quick to say this, but it could also be a sign that she has experienced inappropriate (or worse) advances from someone older than her, family or friend that could be creating the confusion. There is of course always the possibility that nothing "big" is going on and they just made a bad choice, but you are always better safe than sorry.....GOOD LUCK!!!

Relax. These are children, not adults. With the strange situation they are in, it is possible even they don't know how to respond.

Congratulations on your progress. Keep up with the puzzles, sounds like fun.

What lessons are the kids in? Sounds like they are not in enough lessons if they have time for all that.

Wow that's a toughy! I think regardless of how often she see's him you should probably explain that kissing an 8 yo is inappropriate and kissing is something you do with a husband/wife boyfriend/girlfriend. I see no harm in her kissing him if she wants to on his cheek. Perhaps she is just confused on how a brother/sister relationship works and whats appropriate. I'd watch them more closely and maybe she can see him more often so you can help her develop a proper brother/sister relationship. Good luck!

Hi there, I don't know if I am any authority on this subject, but my first thought it : don't make TOO much of a deal over it.. It could have an adverse reaction. I would correct them like you did, tell them it isn't acceptable behavior. One question I have for you is did you explain why it is unacceptable? Also, did You ask them WHY they were doing it.. what was their motive?? Knowing that may be the key to preventing it from happening again. Good luck with this. A.

Vigilant supervision and communication with them, especially her, is what I'd recommend. You may want to consider counselling for her. Don't just assume this will go nowhere. These things are very tricky, not to mention up-setting. You want it to stop right here!

By the way, I'm attending Weight Watchers and finding it much easier than I thought. I still have a lot to lose but am optimistic. The program works well for diabetics.

They were probably just playing. Right? Don't panic. But, be firm about inappropriate behavior. In today's world people make such a fuss about things that were normal when I was a kid. I know a 12 year old being prosecuted in court for something similar...

S.

Hi D..
I wouldn't jump to the conclusion that she needs therapy. She is preteen, and this is an age where kids often explore. You need to determine if it was just innocent exploration or something that does need to be addressed.

She of course is exposed to it everywhere... even something as simple as seeing consenting adults in her life sharing a kiss. You need to talk to her and explain that what she was doing is something adults do to show affection and love for one another. That it is not appropriate for children to demonstrate this behavior. Teach her other appropriate ways to show her brother she loves him.

If it seems this is more of an impulse control thing, then yes, that needs to be addressed. But you can just jump to that conclusion as some have suggested. Kids mimick what they see. If we do not tell them what is appropriate and what is not appropriate, then they do not know. Kids learn from the adults, TV, friends at school, and many other influences in their lives. If they have been shown that you kiss those you love...that is what they will do.

Take it slow. Talk to her and her brother. Try to determine the root cause. Then, go from there.

Some kids at this age are just exploring, others have trouble with impulse control. If it is impulse control, it needs to be treated by a counselor. Keep a close eye, to see where this came from, was she exposed to it on tv, other kids in middle school? Has she tried to iniaite this typeof contact with others? Are you positive that she initiated it and not the boy? You are right to be concerned. Because of the family dynamics, she has a brother (technically, isn't he her uncle?) and maybe an information session would help. I assume you told the boy's mother, but just checking.

I would definitely monitor the 11 year old. It's unacceptable at her age with whoever, but she shouldn't be confusing an 8 year old either.
I would say take her aside and explain firmly but as a caring parent why this won't be tolerated, find out where she learned that behavior, why she thinks it's okay. Then set the record straight for her. Getting her input will make it seem less like she's committed a capital offense.
Take the brother aside and explain in an age appropriate way why he should not allow sis to do that and to let you know if/when it happens again.
If someone's learning something like this from tv, then they aren't watching it anymore.

I would get your daughter to a counselor to find out where she was exposed to this behavior. I am sure if the situation were reversed and an 11 year old boy was kissing your 8 year old daughter in that manner, you would be just as concerned. There is something going on that needs to be addressed in therapy, you should probably never allow the 2 to be in the same room alone again. I may sound like Im going off the deep end, but my 15 year old adopted son is in a sexually reactive youth program and that sort of acting out begins slowly and the next thing you know, whammo. Good luck and get to a therapist.

I caught my kids "experimenting" younger than your daughter and was totally freaked out. I chose to be calm & sent them to their rooms while I thought about it. Once I was together again, I gave them the facts. We have a DK encyclopedia that has an excellent, concise, explanation of the reproductive system including line drawings. I told them what they were doing was for adults and this was why. They were sobered up quickly and I haven't had any other concerns. The idea that there is some pathological problem with her is a leap I'd take carefully. If you wonder where she's exposed to it, its everywhere. They aren't the 1st or last pre-pubescent kids to explore adult sexual behavior. Make sure you don't shame either of them, because that can last a lifetime and cause more problems than it can fix.

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