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..
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?
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..
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
What a great job you are doing with this situation. I see that you have an open, trusting relationship with your daughter and she trusts you and listens to your advice. It may be that something innappropriate has happened to one of the other girls (you never know). So, people might start getting uncomfortable with talking about it. Your converstations with the other moms about the situation only matter to the extent of how it effects your daughter. You seem to have very good intuition and I'm sure at the time you will be able to determine what the appropriate thing to say would be. I do think that where they got this idea of massages in underwear needs to be examined. But if it does, it might blow up in a families face. So, you may just want to be wary of leaving her at any of the girls homes over night.
I had a friend in high school (name confidential), whose father has severely sexually abused her for years. Once, when I spent the night at her house he knocked on the bathroom door when he knew I was in the shower. I thought it was my friend. I was shocked to see him there. Luckily, I shut the door and locked it, but I was afraid to come out. Nothing happend other than that. Thank God.
I have a daughter, too. To be honest after what I've been through I will very rarely let her spend the night at any friends house. You never know if a creepy uncle, gross grandpa or bully big brother will show up. Even little girl friends can do kind of wierd things sometimes.
I'd take a step back and let it work itself out. Somebody knows where this idea of back massages in underwear came from and it might get kind of crazy.
In the meantime, know that you did the right thing. Your daughter is strong, smart and knows how to set healthy boudaries.
You said that you've already told the other mothers what happened, so I think you've done what you need to do in that corner. If they bring it up again, then reiterate what your daughter said and your primary concern -- that the girls understand what is appropriate behavior, even in all female company.
I would focus more on assuring your daughter that you believe her and that she did the right thing in telling you. Talk to her about what made her feel uncomfortable, and make sure she understands that her feelings were appropriate. She may catch some guff from the other girls for "spoiling their fun" or being a "baby" or a "goody two-shoes," so boost her confidence and give her reasons to go with her feelings so she'll be able to stand up for herself.
Maybe tell the moms as if you are just mentioning it versus making a big deal out of it. They should be told though. You would want them to tell you if it was something was relative to your own daughter.
Personally, I think having a discussion with the parents about the boundaries you expect to be upheld while your daughter is staying with them is acceptable and good for your daughter. I also feel like having an open discussion with the mothers and daughters all present might be a good idea. These things have a way of hanging over someone's head (child) and sometimes parents if they are not dealt with in a tender fashion. It's normal for girls to explore this way and sounds innocent enough. I think trying to open dialogue when things like this happen are very important and set the stage for how the kids will continue to discuss problems and issues it the coming years. I wouldn't sweat it, but at the same time, I'd make sure that they all know that the BIG ISSUE is making sure NO ONE in the room is uncomfortable, and when people are in situations like that they may not feel okay about saying they aren't comfortable. Definitely ALL the other Moms need to know. However, it might be best discussed openly with them in case there are any parents that might pressure the kids,about such information leading to uncomfortable situations for your daughter. You never know what's out there. You didn't mention the ages of the girls, and this could be a factor in how much you want to talk about it, and keep the discussion opened up with them. Remember to encourage the other parents not to turn it into a scary discussion that makes them feel bad for what they did. Remember the quote of many good therapists "It's not what happened, it's how it affected you" Good Luck.
You are so right to share at least the general happening with the other Moms. Some kids will deny the truth on the details, but at least it opens discussion on the subject between them and their Moms. Maybe it was never talked about with them before, so they'll begin to understand what is inappropriate. And the Moms will all be aware to watch out for it happening again.
The approach should be as non-threatening and with no specific "accusations" as possible to get a better hearing for the subject. If another Mom really wants to know if her daughter was one of the naked ones it would be better if she asked her own daughter about it so it doesn't put your daughter in the spot of being accused of not telling the truth.
I'm 39 and I remember me and 2 of my closest friends loved to give one another massages. In fact, we still talk about it to this day. It is a great childhood memory for me and it was completely innocent.
I guess my message is to not freak out - yourself or your daughter. If she's saying naughty stuff was happening then I would talk to just your daughter about it further to ensure she still feels secure and isn't harmed by what she saw. Otherwise, I would let it go. You've already set boundaries with your clothing rule/advice so you have to trust she adheres to them.
Let the other moms know that massaging was going on. That way they can talk to their own daughters if they want. Wouldn't include any specifics, that way there isn't the opening for who is lying about what specifics.
My question is what was the mom who was hosting the party doing while the girls were massaging? Was she aware of it? If she was, don't let your girl stay over there again.
You do not mention how old the girls are? If you feel you need to, mention it to the moms, but do not sound judgmental when doing so. Not all parents have the same issues with nudity. I, for one, would not be worried about my daughter having her shirt off around other female friends, for I feel our bodies are nothing to be ashamed of. It sounds fairly innocent, I would not worry. Now if boys where giving the massages, that would be another issue.
1st all you don't mention how many girls in total were at the sleep over, you said that 3 girls were 'naked', how many others were there.
2nd How old are these girls?
Now it could be as innocent as imitating something that they've seen on tv or in a movie, with spa treatments. Spas and massages are a big deal, and kits are sold at Sephora and even at Libby Lu's (before the went out of business) for little girls to have a beauty treatment slumber party where every one gets facials, takes bubble baths, does manicures and pedicures... as young as 6. Seems you have had a discussion with some of the parents as you've related what one Mom has reported to you what her daughter's experience was at the party. If this occurred at the home of another girl, then I would call that girl's Mom and ask how the evening went, what did the girls do, etc. Don't report any activities, don't make any statements and just listen. Be sure to thank her for hosting the slumber party. Now with the information in hand, sit down with your daughter and have a discussion about spa treatments, big girl vs little girl activities, her comfort level, etc. Then the two of you make a decision, does she want to go to slumber parties where the girls who participated in the massages will also be invited? If she does and this happens again, discuss what she should do at the time the massages are happening, like go tell a Mom or other adult, or give you a call and have you come get her. I believe that massages probably did occur and that these girls were imitating what they have seen on tv or videos, with people wrapped in towels and then massaged with the towel draped. You could host slumber parties at your house and watch the activities. Hope things get better for every one.
L., If it were me I would mention it to the other moms and have your daughters back at ALL times whether it is something you want to hear or not. You don't want to crush the lines of communication with your daughter. My 9 year old son comes to me and tells me almost everything I think :) and sometimes I flat out hate what he's telling me. I always tell him the good and of every situation. Like he told me there is a boy in his class that makes jokes about his mommy (me) and I tell him let it go in one ear and out the other then I ask him well, what are you saying to the boy? I know my son is no Angel but I will always have his back. There are times when my son has been the liar but there are more than most when he is telling me the truth. You just have to let you daughter know no matter what you have her back. And it really may have been somthing so innocent where the girls didn't feel uncomfortable taking there clothes off. Just let your daughter know she did the right thing coming to you. And it does not matter what other think of her. She knows the truth. I hope some of that helps. Take care!!
As many moms have already said, talk to your own daughter and keep her comfortable about talking with you. Sounds as if you have already talked with some of the girls/mothers. As for the few that compared a few girls getting completely naked to give innocent massages to each, to learning to be "proud" of their bodies....the two don't correlate. Ask yourself and those that you choose to speak to, "why". Why did they have to be naked to enjoy each others innocent massage? Why only a few joined in, while others remained uncomfortable? Teach your daughter her gut reaction is the one to listen to. Uncomfortable? Something isn't right. Want a nice, relaxing massage from a friend? You don't need your clothes off. Even professional masseuses know to cover the body parts they aren't working on at the moment. That is what is appropriate. Why, don't people walk around naked all the time? Not because they aren't comfortable or proud, but because it isn't appropriate in our society. There is no point in it.