I (male, 35) was asleep and my 11yo niece snuck into my bed without me noticing. Her breathing and soft moaning sounds woke me up and I caught her masturbating next to me! I calmly told her to do that in private and not with other people. I worry that maybe she has been abused or something? What should I do?
I had my sister and her kids (5yo boy, 11yo girl) stay over for a weekend to go do fun activities together. I had my own bed, my sister slept with her boy and my niece had her own bed.
One early morning I woke up to heavy breathing and soft moaning sounds and to my suprise when I opened my eyes my niece was next to me in bed masturbating! When she realized I saw her she quickly took her hands out from between her legs and pretended to be asleep. I told her I saw you, why are you doing that next to me instead of using the bathroom? She said "I dont know". I told her ok I know it feels nice and its ok to do that but only in private ok? You should not do it with other people around. She said ok. I tried to ask her if someone had taught her to do that or if someone had touched her and she said no. She asked me to not tell her mom so I haven't, I know her mom would probably yell at her and make her feel bad about it and ground her for being "naughty".
I got up and my sis was in the kitchen with my nephew, I asked her if my niece and I were the only ones still asleep. She said only you, your niece here got up had breakfast then went back to the room. I realized that my niece had decided to get into my bed when no one would notice and masturbate next to me? Is this normal at all? Maybe she has an uncle crush?
My niece is really reserved and quiet, doesn't talk much and is a very picky eater sometimes doesn't want to eat at all. Her parents are divorced and her step dad have 3 older kids (15-16-17). I worry that maybe my niece has been neglected or even abused. What should I do (if anything)?
I think you handled the acute situation well...I think you responded appropriately.
As for everything else..gosh, I wish I knew what to tell you. It definitely raises a few "red flags" when I read it...I was molested for years as a child by my adult cousin..and I can't say that I ever engaged in that sort of behavior, but that doesn't mean much. However, it could be - as you said - a result of raging hormones and lacking judgment.
How difficult...hopefully someone will come along with better insight on it. I would definitely be concerned if I were you, but I don't know what to tell you..sorry!
But I do think that you handled the situation well.
I wanted to add that the older step-siblings are two boys and one girl. They've been in the psychologists before due to innapropriate sexual games between the three and also at school. This was like 5yrs ago and supposedly they stopped the behavior but who knows if they just got smarter and can keep their games from being found out? I worry that they may have included my niece into their games.
Honestly, I wouldn't have said anything. In situations like this it's better not to call attention to what she is doing. It makes it into a big deal and makes her embarrassed. I don't think she meant anything by it and I wouldn't worry about it.
I just wrote a note about this on my page. Go ahead and read it.
Not say anything? I don't think its safe for her to climb in the bed of a sleeping adult male and proceed to masturbate next to him. What if I'm not the only only she's done this with? What if another uncle/father/step father who knows wakes up and want to "help" if you know what I mean.
I'm protecting her by telling her to keep this private. Yes, she was embarrased, but I assured her that it was ok and normal but to only do it in privacy.
And I worry due to her step-siblings prior history of sex games and also her super shy and quiet and extremely picky eater behavior. I feel that something is not right.
By the way, I'm new here, this is my first question. How do I look at your page and note? I clicked on your username but could not find the note.
My opinion is that you shouldn't have said anything is because it seems like she knew she was caught. She probably won't do it again. In my experience with kids when you make a big deal out of something like this it can be really hard for them to cope with.
On that note, I'm really glad you told her it's normal. That will be very reassuring, as it seems like she's been told that it isn't. Maybe you make her feel safe and that's why she hid next to you. I don't think she meant anything else by it. She's only 11. It's unfortunate you can't talk to her mom about it, because I think it might have been better to let her approach her daughter. It sounds like a sticky situation.
Also, most kids are picky eaters. I have one and I don't think it means anything about her. I was also really picky when I was a kid.
I'm with Ashelen, you handled it well and I'm not sure how you should really go about it.
The one thing I would say though is it might be in your best judgement to actually tell her mom. And definitely tell her mom not to yell or anything because it is a sensitive topic and if she is acting out because she has been mistreated or abused, then yelling at her isn't going to help her want to talk to anyone.
Telling will also cover yourself as your niece could come back and say that you yourself did something to her. You never know what she is thinking right? I'm not saying she will, but it's a possibility.
No Margy I don't think this is normal. masturbating is, but this behavior is a little abnormal. Whether it's a result of sexual abuse, or just some aberrant thing that she did which was a result of hormones it's hard to say...but definitely not something to ignore and brush off.
I'm sorry, but if my 11-year-old nephew climbed into bed and masturbated next to me, there's no way in hell I could just lie there and let him continue. It's not appropriate. When a child masturbates inappropriately, you don't make them feel dirty or wrong, you don't punish them, but you also let them gently know that what they are doing should be done in private and that it's OK to do when they are alone.
Because of her history with her step-siblings, I'd say this is a HUGE red flag and that you must speak with her mom and tell her not to overreact but that this is a potentially problematic sign.
worrieduncle...trust your instincts, ok? 11 is a child, but also not a child. she's developing into a teenager and sexuality will soon begin to become a larger part of her life...so you can't brush off what a 2-year-old might do (masturbate in bed next to you idly with no thoughts more than "this feels good") when the child is in fact NOT 2, but 11.
Again, not saying this is necessarily a huge problem -it could be an isolated incident. But you feel something is wrong..trust your instinct, and bring it up to her mom.
I also have to say I agree with Ash on this. I really see it as two seperate issues. An 11 year old masturbating is completely normal...agreed. But the way she went about it is not appropriate and I think the fact that you calmly told her it's nothing to be embarrassed about, but only in private was exactly the right thing to say.
I also agree with Ash to go with your gut feeling here. If there is any possiblity that there has been abuse, she needs to be protected. It sounds like you are close to her. Is there any possibility of calmly talking to her about good and bad touches, and to gently probe as to whether or not this has happened? I just wonder if it might be better with you having the conversation if her mom gets angry or upset by this sort of thing. It's important not to scare her, but to find out what is going on.
I agree you absolutely should have said something. #1 to masterbate is normal. However there is a time and a place. You absolutely had to address this and you did it perfectly.
I would suggest telling her mother. I say this because what if later on the girl gets caught by mom and says well Uncle @#@ did not mind since I did it in bed with him. Then the mother is going to be like what? And she'll confront you and ask you why you did not tell her about it. Then that might make you appear as though your hiding something. Does this make sense?
This is abnormal. AT 11 yrs of age a child knows not to touch themselves in front of other people. Also what concerns me here is this. She came into the bed with you. The bed is known as the sacred place where all kinds of good things happen. You sleep there, rest there, have sex there. The question is, why did she crawl into bed with you? There is something that needs to be addressed. This is not normal at all. This is something to be concerned about.
Please tell the mother. The longer you wait the harder it will be.
Hi. It is normal for your niece to masturbate at that age. The fact that she would masturbate next to an adult family member, or an adult male, or next to someone that she knew was sleeping are all possible signs of abuse. I would seek advice from a professional organization that assists people who suspect abuse . You can do so anonymously in these places:
1-888-PREVENT or www.stopitnow.org -Email/Online Chat
1-800-4-A-CHILD or www.childhelpusa.org -Has a section for adults who
ok bringing this back as I have more concerns now! my niece is 12 and 7mo now and I thought about checking her internet history on her android cellphone and her grandma's laptop. I was shocked to find hard core porn! I mean everything, hetero, lesbian, groups, facials, toys, anal, and a couple videos about a sleeping girl that the other porn actor starts rubbing and having sex with while the girl is "asleep". I activated filters on the laptop, don't know how to do it on her cel. I haven't discussed these findings with her or anyone else just composing myself and figuring out what to do and how to react to this now. I was specially worried about the sleeping girl vids, maybe someone is doing this to her? Help?
Worrieduncle, was this situation ever resolved? I am very worried myself. I have caught my daughter doing this same thing several times since she was very young. She is now 13 and I just caught her watching my nephew while he slept. It is very creepy to me. The people she watched were my mom, her step mom and my nephew - that I am aware of. I have talked with her about masterbating (masturbating) being okay but that it should be done alone in her room. I talked to her about good and bad touches and if anyone has ever touched her inappropriately. She said no. The first time she was probably about four years old. I know of maybe five occasions over the years. I am just sick about it. A friend of mine did some searching and found the term somnophilia. I didn't think that was her but I just looked it up again and think it just might be. It looks like the next step here is therapy. I will be contacting her pediatrician to see who she needs to talk to.
I stumbled upon this Q&A blog a few days ago and struggled with the idea of posting a similar experience I recently had a month ago while I was up at our family's hunt camp fishing with my brother and his 4 kids. I don't want the details at this point to be learned by my brother or his family and by far I do not wish it to sound creepy or erotic however the experience has left me completely bothered with unknowing what I can do about it or even if I should do anything? My brother has 4 children, 2 with his wife and 2 from his wife's previous marriage, one of which is a particular angelic 11yo girl having long golden blonde hair and piercing blue eyes. In a few years time she'll be knocking the boys dead if she's anything like her mother! Anyway, I am an extreme sound sleeper and a freight train can't wake me at the best of times but my brother and I finished off a bottle of wine chatting around the fire after the kids had gone to bed so that night I was out cold! My brother was taking the kids fishing in the morning so I wasn't worried about getting up with them. When I did awake, I found my step-niece curled up against me on the couch under the blanket. It seemed that everyone else had gone fishing and she had stayed behind. I've no idea when she had got on the couch with me? What really set things off was that I awoke to feel her snuggled tight up against me with her hand between her legs in the last stages of orgasm as she masturbated! I didn't know what to do? I didn't want to say anything to scare or embarrass her... Call me stupid or naive but what could I have done? I read here others spoke up but I just couldn't. All I found myself to do was lay there as if I wasn't awake and she gently took my hand and arm with her still very wet little fingers and slowly wrapped mine around her. I could even smell her sex from under the blanket! I was out of my realm and completely startled at this! I know it was so wrong but I just didn't know what to do? She stuck close with me the rest of the weekend which made things even more uncomfortable for me. I asked her about boyfriends and she said she really liked 2 boys at school. I even told her I had a girlfriend but she continued hanging close like velcro. I don't know if I should speak to her or my brother about it. It was a very awkward experience. I have no idea what my sister-in-law's previous marriage or relationship was like or whether there was abuse involved? Again, what should I do if anything at all?
I talked to the mother and grandmother and told them my worries and they thanked me and told me they'd talk to her and monitor her internet use.
I installed blocking software on both her cellphone and grandma's laptop to make sure inappropriate websites are blocked.
to -perplexeduncle- the only thing I could think you should do is like I did and talk to your niece and tell her being curious is ok but her behavior with you was not and should be a private thing. Make sure she understands you love her and are thinking about her well being. It's up to you if you want to tell on her, I didn't tell anyone about my niece masturbating in bed with me and never will, but once I found out all the porn she's watching online I talked about that to her mom.
I have heard of 11 year olds doing that sort of thing but not many I was once touched at 8 buy a 10 year old ...I am thinking either the same thing your thinking the older kids have involved her in something...or she has caught one of them masturbating and they didnt realize she saw and was probably watching...and you need to talk to her mom because if your right and the older children have taught her things then she needs to be aware of that...thats not being a snitch thats being concerned she needs to be rational about the situation...
Stand by for a court case, followed by a spell in prison. The sad fact is that one day your niece will walk into a police station and allege that you molested her. Juries don't believe that young girls do things like you describe. It is the adult that is the monster and in their eyes you must have made her do it. And in twenty or thirty years time, your niece will have taught herself to believe you made her do it. The sad fact is, your niece has/had a crush on you. But that fact won't save you. This happens often. Men are being wrongly convicted every day thanks to false allegations of this nature. Whole prisons are being built to house them, and sex offender registers are there for police to manage their lives after prison, as risks to children and adults. You won't be able to appeal either, until courts accept polygraph test results.
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