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11 Year Old Son and Sexual Curiousity With 7 Year Old Sister
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11 Year Old Son and Sexual Curiousity With 7 Year Old Sister

I have a question.  My 11 year old son admitted to me yesterday that he has approached his 7 year old sister a few times to touch his penis and a few other undesireable sexual requests.  He was very guilt ridden and said he was very sorry he did it.  I asked him how many times EXACTLY had it happened.  He said they never had sex, he asked her to stroke his penis a few times and I guess to lick it (Im sorry to be so graphic).  I was very upset when I heard this and didn't know how to react other than to start crying and give him a serious talking to (as well as his sister).  I am divorced from their father.  A few months back my son and daughter were sleeping in the same room because my daughter was afraid of her room.  This went on for several months of her in his room and I never knew what might be going on (I never thought it could happen).  According to my son he said it only happened a few times and had never happened again.  He and his sister are in their own rooms and have been so for the past 6 months or more.  At his father's however, they all sleep together in the same bed and sometimes their father makes them shower together to save time.  My son told me this makes him uncomfortable now and that he doesn't want to do that anymore.  I believe my son when he says it only happened a few days and has never happened again.  He is very guilt ridden right now and has asked my forgiveness, his sister's as well as prayed to God for forgiveness and to make the guilt go away.  I was glad he admitted to me what he had done but am still angry.  How should I have handled this?  I know sexual curiosity between siblings is somewhat normal.  Is there anyone out there with the same situation?  How was it handled?  I gave my son a speech I hope he never forgets.  I didn't want to be that way because I didn't want him to harbor anymore guilt or grow up thinking sex is bad.  What should I do????
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You've handled it pretty well. The one thing you might work on a bit is the feeling of anger. You don't need to permit this to be something you are angry about. It merits concern, not anger. Having said that, it is not appropriate for the children to be sleeping or bathing together; their father should cease that practice right away. It is only inviting trouble. Regarding your son, it is not normal behavior for a child of eleven to be asking his younger sister to engage in the behavior you describe. That goes beyond curiosity. Talk with your son, if you have not already done so, about whatever led up to the incidents. How did this all occur to him? Something generated his overtures to his sister; this would not have occurred 'out of the blue'. Depending on what you learn, consider having at least one session for him with a child psychologist as an evaluation. At the very least, such intervention can augment the sort of education you have been providing for him.
18 Comments
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I'm sure what prompted the occurance was probably the fact that when he is at his father's he is friends with boys who are a few years older than he is.  These boys have told him about certain porn sites.  He has admitted to me that he has gone on these sites and that is where he learned of a woman going down on a man and was curious as to how it felt.  I told him I understood his curiousity because it is normal for a boy his age to have these feelings, but that is it not normal nor right for him to pull his sister into it and make her do something that isn't right.  He knows what he did was wrong...he has admitted it and has asked several times when the guilt will go away.  He has promised never to do it again and has apologized to his sister.  I am trying to put the anger aside but whenever I think of it I get sick in my stomach.  When the kids are here with me they have their own rooms and do not sleep together anymore.  They did for a while because my daughter had a fear of her room and no matter how many times she started off in her own bed, I'd go up in the morning and find her in her brother's.  She was told numerous times to stop it.  My husband (I am remarried) and I had spoken about his and he said if she couldn't stay in her own room then she needed to be weened back in but did not belong in her brother's bed.  We had her sleeping on the floor in his room on an air mattress for some months until we both decided enough was enough and made her stay in her own bed in her room, which was successful and she has been in there now for 6 months consistantly.  I am now afraid to leave them in a room alone because I fear it will happen again, even though my son has promised he will not do that anymore.  He has confided in me that he doesn't like the arrangements at his father's and it makes him uncomfortable.  I have written his father and told him that all showering and sleeping together must cease immediately as well as him walking around with nothing on must stop.  My son is afraid of what his father will do when he reads this letter.  I told him that it has to stop or something worse will happen.  I am hoping and praying this has not effected my daughter in a way that she will think she has to act this way toward all men.  She is very young and quite "flighty" so I don't know how much she understood was wrong.  I think the older boys my son plays with at his father's are steering him in the direction of sexual curiosity both online and off.
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242606_tn?1243786248
You have legitimate concerns about the situation at your son's father's home, both in regard to father's behavior (naked in front of the children, arranging for bathing together and sleeping together) and in relation to the influence of the older children. While complaints from former spouses are sometimes regarded with skepticism, you might be left with no alternative than to file a complaint of neglect/abuse with your local child welfare organization. In this instance your son and daughter require protection from their father's poor judgement and behavior. The situation is proving very troubling to your children, and some support for them by way of professional help would be a good idea. But at the root of some of it, from what you describe, is their father's irresponsible behavior. I know you can't directly take charge of that, but you can do whatever is reasonable to alter the situation. If there is a custody arrangement in place, you can always approach the court with your concerns and have a hearing scheduled to review the matter.
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Avatar_n_tn
i am so sorry to hear this has happened. but how is your daughter handling this? i am not a dr or professional, but the fact they sleep together with dad and shower is scary. id do whatever in my power to not let this happen at any cost. good luck with this. maybe some councling will help pull out any info if this happened between them and another adult.
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To Sailors Wife:
Thank you for your concerns.  I have spoken to ex several times regarding arrangement.  His feelings are what goes on at his house are none of my concerns.  Well they are NOW!  I have written him a long note telling him that things need to change immediately.  My son is scared to death of this because he is afraid of how his dad will react.  He is dealing with so much guilt right now.  I am trying to talk with him but he keeps telling me he has this guilt in his heart and when will it go away.  My daughter seems to be fine.  I don't know if she understood what was happening (she's very trustful and can be very flighty at times).  I've told her she is to NEVER let it happen and I am to be told if it does...NO MATTER WHAT!!!  I have been very stern with my son and have had several talks with him already.  You know, their dad is a good dad.  The living arrangements are his fault.  He was out of work for 5 years (yes I know...what the heck was he doing all that time...beats me).  He lives with his parents in the basement so there is very little room and I'm sure that's why the living arrangements.  I am also aware in that house there are 2 bedrooms upstairs that are not being used.  My son asked his Dad for a room of his own and his father told him he doesn't have the strength right now to work on the room plus there's no AC so he will have to wait till next year.  Ex only starting working last week.  I don't want to take him to court because I don't think he realizes what's happening or that there's anything wrong.  I think he thinks the way I did "my child would never do that".  I hope he reads the letter and starts making changes.  I know if they don't, then I have to step in and do something more before something bad happens worse than it already has.
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Avatar_n_tn
No matter what, please get some counselling for your son.  He may be continuing to have impulses and obsessive sexual thoughts and this may be why he feels guilty.  He may feel he can't tell you.  

I'd get him in asap.  You'll also have some proof this way, if it comes down to calling CPS on his father.
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I thank everyone for your comments and advice.  I will look into couseling for my son.  I have spoken to both he and his sister separately.  His sister told me that he only did it a couple of times and she said it was a long time ago, she didn't even think it was this year at all.  I know I had asked her several times and was very serious with her and told her it was important that she told me.  She said she swore that all she remembers was that is was not very much and was months ago.  I spoke with my son who also said it was back in January that he remembers and it was 2 nights that he asked her to do something.  Once he said he did and she didn't like it and stopped.  The next I came up before and it stopped.  After that he said there was no more.  My son has always been a ball of nerves.  He always tries to please everyone and is always afraid to hurt someones feelings because he's afraid of being hated.  I know he knows what he did was wrong and I do believe that's where the guilt is coming from.  I'm not sure why it took him so long to admit this to me, but he has been coming forward with me about alot of things lately (thankfully because I'd rather he confide in me than to keep things bottled up).  He had confided in me that he checked out porn sites that his friends told him about.  He apologized and said he was curious.  I don't know how much is normal in an 11 year old boy regarding sexuality.  I know the thing with his sister is out and out wrong.  He keeps crying and asking me when the guilt will go away.  I keep telling him it will go away when he comes clean with everything but that it may never go away because he will always remember what he did.  I am so nervous for my son.  He has always been very sensitive and isn't strong willed like most boys.  I've always feared that one day something bad would happen because he is so afraid of things.  He doensn't defend himself.  He lets his friends treat him poorly and won't tell them to leave or hit back because he's afraid of being hurt or being hated (mind you, my son is 11 years old, over 5 feet tall and 135 lbs...so he is not someone who could be knocked over easily).  He has been in and out of therapy for years due to things he saw in my prior marriage (there was abuse).  CPS had been involved because of things that were happening.  The case had been closed after investigation. I know my son doesn't want to go back to therapy.  When he was in therapy he never spoke.  All therapists told me the same thing "he won't open up and say what's bothering him".  He's been on meds and I hated that because he became a zombie.  I am afraid my son's childhood is passing before his eyes and he will miss it if he doesn't open his eyes and just be a child.  Sometimes I worry more about him than my daughter because she defends herself (even tho in this instance she did NOT tell me).  I don't know.  I wish I knew what was going on in his mind.  He has opened up alot to me latey tho.  Moreso than he has ever done.  I'm sorry I'm rambling.  I can't talk to my mother or my husband about this.  I don't want them to think differently of my son because he really is a very good boy and has a heart of gold which is why I don't know where this came from.
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my son is 8. his father and i divorced when he was about 3. he has anger and emotions that go back to that age. he is in therapy finally. its helping . of course at this age its more play therapy. i know he doesnt want to talk i was like that as a young teen but if you push and find the right person he just might open up. different therapists have different techniques. i hope the best for you it sounds like the poor guy has much on his shoulders. dont ever give up on him. i know you wont. there seems to be much on his mind and needs someone to help him, how much he opens up is unknown. meds are scary at this age and even though i have no professional advice just personal i think it will make things worse. i applaud you for all you have been through and still trotting along trying your hardest. i understand it is hard to talk about your child with a step-parent. my new husband is great and they love each other but they sometimes dont really truely understand. i pray for the answer to come to you soon. good luck dana
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Dear Dana:

I'm glad you understand regarding step-parents.  My husband loves my kids as if they were his own (he has two of his own also but they live with his ex and they are older).  I don't think my husband would understand and I think he would look differently at my son.  The divorce was hard on my son because of what he saw and his father was a basket case throughout the divorce and made the kids a wreck.  My son saw so much at a young age that it's no wonder he has such nervous problems.  I have always worried about him because even tho he is a big boy on the outside, he is so frail inside.  He has been to so many therapists over the past 6 years.  Most were like you said, play therapy.  He just never opened up.  He has trouble trusting adults and I'm sure that is part of why he never opens up.  Meds were the worst!  He became withdrawn and zombie like.  I had gotten a call from his 3rd grade teacher and she asked me if something had changed about him because he was no longer his happy self.  I told her he was on anti-depressants and she said it was too noticable and he was not himself.  I saw it at home too (for 3 years during my divorce we lived with my mother which was hell in itself because my mother always favored my daughter over my son and it was very obvious).  My son also had alot of anger issues during the divorce and was observed by the school psycologist due to outbursts of wanting to graphically kill his father.  I know he is ok with it now...he just hates the back and forth (my ex sees them quite often and I guess with my son getting older, he feels he can never be settled in one place).  A few weeks ago my ex had them for a week and I heard from my son EVERY DAY how much he wanted to come home and how much he hated it there.  I will look into therapy again for him.  I don't know how much he will open up.  He is afraid people will hate him for what he says and I'm sure with this incident he will feel it even more.  Should I take him to a priest to confess?  Do you think that would help him feel his guilt is gone?  My husband and I are taking the kids to Hersey tomorrow for a few days.  I'm hoping he will be ok and things will go back to normal.  I know no incidents have happened of recent (both he and his sister separately attested to that).  I don't know if it affected my daugther.  She's very flighty (I don't mean to sound like a bad mom but she's very air-headed in that she doesn't remember things and is always like lalala nothing's wrong).  I was like that as a kid too so I can't say anything.  I don't think she knew what she was doing was wrong (and if she didn't I think her age made her too young to understand exactly what was being asked of her).  Kids today in general grow up way too fast!  I see it in my own and wish they'd slow down and stay kids for a while.  I will continue to find a therapist for my son.  My ex was out of work for so long (5 years) and has the kids on state aid so therapists under medicaid are hard to come by that are reputable (and in a decent part of town).  I will keep searching tho and keep talking to my son to help him open up some more.  Thank you so much for all your advice.  I wish yo all the luck with your son too that he can find peace in his heart one day.  You seem like a very good Mom.  
Chrissy
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I have a question that has been plaguing me for some time now.  Before I ask it however, I would like to say that I mean no disrepsect or offense to the medical community or the psychiatric community.  That said, here is my question.  Why is it nowadays, when a child displays lewd, abnormal or different behavior he or she is automatically sent for an evaluation by a psychologist/psychiatrist?  This is some new thing that has developed over the past 10-15 years starting with the whole "politically correct" way of raising children.  Rather than the traditional method, parents are told to ask the child if they know why they are being punished.  With that, you now have a bunch of teens and young adults running amok thinking they own the world and don't have to answer for their wrongdoings.  Parents are told to come down to their child's level. Now you've got defiant young adults who dare you to hit them while they meander across the street staring right in your face because you have no right to be angry with them.  Has mankind evolved so much over the past 25-30 years that we need to send every child with "strange" behaviors to a therapist?  You never heard of that in the 50's, 60's, 70's or even part of the 80's.  We are now a generation of children on medication to keep them in line...they are stigmatized as "problem children" who need a therapist, and parents no longer have to do their part in keeping the behavior under control because now they have meds and doctors doing it for them.  Are you telling me kids from 25 years ago didn't have these behaviors?  Anger? Lewd acts? Defiance? Sexual Curiosity?  How was it handled then?  Nobody went to therapists back then.  It was tabu and if you did, it was because you were a mental patient.  Now every child who has a "off" behavior is deemed mentally or behaviorally unfit.  Everything now is an illness that is mentally considered unstable and must be worked through with a medical professional.  Why is that?  What can a doctor do that a parent can't?  Why aren't doctors teaching parents how to work with their children, rather than children working with the doctor.  Half of these children don't understand what is going on inside of them and a doctor can't explain that to a mentally immature child.  Back 25 years ago, when a child couldn't sit still he was considered unruly.  Now he has ADHD.  Back then when a child demonstrated sexual curiosity it was considered normal growing up.  Now it is considered Obessessive Compulsive Disorder.  What is going on?  Children haven't changed all that much over the years that every single child who has strange or unmanageable behavior is automatically "referred to a psychiatrist for evaluation".  How many children now are in therapy vs. adults?  How many children are on meds vs. adults?  What is going on here?  This wasn't the norm many years ago.  I am just curious.  I am not trying to make what my son did seem minor.  I am angry and frustrated and don't know what to do.  But why is EVERY child sent for evaluation.  I don't believe millions of children are mentally disturbed.  Can anyone please answer this for me because I don't understand the drastic change in practice over time.  Thank you.
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i understand what you are saying. i feel for you and your son. i dont agree with meds they can be dangerous. antidepressants can cause a child to become suicidal. isnt 11 or 12 the age where a child can decide where they want to live? i mean with mom or dad? it is here in california. i want to help you and your children but of course who am i? some stranger. i am not a weirdo i just love children. my son has suffered a divorce and many other things that went with it. it does take a special person in therapy to get them out of their shell. do you use yahoo messenger? i am zjonzie there. id love to talk to you if you need a shoulder. sometimes another mom or woman that knows what your going through (at least a bit) help. feel free to contact me anytime and if i am here i would love to talk. do check into the laws on your son saying who he wants to live with. i bet its hard to live with his dad all 3 sharing a room. bed. i dont understand why he cant get the other rooms ready for the children. im not a real religious person but ill pray that all works out for you all. he is about to enter a troublesome time as a teenager and with this anger it isnt going to be easy. you are a great mom. you are concerned and loving and i beleive it will eventually work for you. i hope i dont come across as a strange person i just feel we are really all in this world to help one another. take care and contact me if you want! dana
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You asked: "Why is it nowadays, when a child displays lewd, abnormal or different behavior he or she is automatically sent for an evaluation by a psychologist/psychiatrist?"

By definition, a child displaying "lewd and abnormal" behavior is a child in need of therapy of some sort.  We know so much more now than in years past when such problems were covered up and swept under the rug, to surface years later perhaps more dangerously.   Our parents did what they thought was best back then, and keeping quiet was of paramount importance.  Now we know differently.  

"Different" behavior, I'll grant you doesn't always need therapy, depending on what the behavior actually is.  

I still think your son may be continuing to have inappropriate thoughts plaguing him, and therefore may still feel guilty.  He may not feel he can tell you, no matter how close you are.  But I'm a complete stranger just looking in on the snippet you described of his life.  You know him best.  Good luck.

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i hear you my daughter was 2 1/2 and had an imaginary friend and the dr said that it wasnt normal and said she needed psyciatric evaluation.. needless to say i havent been back since
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How to get it off your son's mind....the keys are education and acceptance.  Sexual thoughts are normal, wanting to do it with sister was normal because she was "safe". He knew her. He handled quite well because he told you and continues to talk about it when you ask. KUDOS to you and him for being able to communicate. Tell him that!!! What he did happens all the time in families. Most of the time parents never find out. Don't be sick and angry. He did it for the reasons he said....he saw the porn sites and was with older guys. Had he been educated before this on his sexuality? Maybe....maybe not enough! If you told him some, that was great....but now he's ready for good, positive sex education. This is what will save him and your girl. They both need to know about sex, relationships and the right way to love and have sex. Accept that humans are sexual beings, if you don't want them to learn it from those AWFUL porn sites and horny friends, you must do it, and not just once...it needs to be an on-going class like study in order for him to accept that his sexual needs are normal. Can you do this? Sara
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To be frank with you,though married I trust my brother well. He does not exceed limits.My brother was sick and he was unable to move and I helped him to have wash. Incidentally his lungi fell off and I need to help him though it was embarassing. On another occasion I had a terrible hip pain and brother was in the house. I called him to apply balm. I untied my petticoat with stomach on the floor and pulled down the petticoat exposing the buttocks and he applied pain balm. Pain was controlled.

We should be broad minded and certainly I learnt a lot from this
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Cheeps basically right just tell him to take it as a learning experience its perfectly natural to have these urges and thoughts. Just tell him to take it as a learning experience and never do it again.
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I can totally understand what you are going through , because I was the little sister once.
I will never understand why , but I never told my parents a single word of it.
I kept everything inside , and only remember thinking ,now as a adult .........?
You have done a good job as a parent , your kids have guilt and remorse > this is a good thing for proper recovery of their childhood.
Never blame yourself , you are a good mom !!!!
I believe your son will be ok , keep an eye on your daughter, if she acts out or you notice any disturbances in her behavior ,  take controll and listen.
Good luck to you , I'm now a mom of 3 and grandma of 3 my life seems to be ok !
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Have you ever considered the possibility that your son himself maybe getting sexually abused??? It would be such a tragedy if this were the case and the signs were missed.
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A related discussion, Big whoop was started.
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A related discussion, Required age for sexual abuse was started.
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I need help.  My kids are 16 months a part and my son who is 7 always picks a fight with his 6 year old sister.  It could be something as simple as her singing or just her being around bothers him.  He calls her names, hits her and is just mean to her.  I feel bad for my daughter becuz she is so sweet to him.  He can be nasty to me his mother, he whines and cries. Everytime I ask him to do something its a constant battle.  I just feel like its getting worse.  I have punished him, smacked him, yelled at him and I don't know what else to do.  Need some help
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