My neighbor told me a disturbing story. Their 4 YO said that her "privates" hurt. When asked why, she said that another neighbor child, who is 7 was touching them. They were alone, out at the back of the yard, and she apparently moved her clothing to touch her vagina. The 4 YO stuck to her story until her parents mentioned talking to the girl's parents, then she quickly said, "I was just kidding, that never happened. I fell." The parents spoke to the girl's parents anyway and they basically said that they were surprised that she'd do that, she's usually better behaved, etc. I got no sense that they were disturbed or shocked by it.
I'm worried about this 7 YO child. I have a 7 YO daughter and she would never think to touch another child's private area. But I have heard that some kids get curious. Does it sound like this child is being molested herself or is this normal for some children, even this old, to do? She has two older brothers. I don't want to jump to conclusions or accuse anyone if this could be normal. But I also don't want to let this child continue to be abused if that is what is happening. What are your thoughts or recommendations?
There is obviously something terrible going on here! The parents need to keep as much of this as possible between the adults as the little girl is afraid that if the parents find out "she" will be in trouble. The 7 year old may have threatened her in some way. If she is sore, there may be more going on and they need to have her checked out. This whole thing needs to be investigated! That 7 year old has learned this somewhere and it's affecting her in an adverse way, and now this 4 year old may be affected emotionally by this. This is not age appropriate at 7, something has been done to the 7 year old and is probably still happening. She has learned that this is normal in her world. I feel you are correct in being concerned, her parents lack of concern says a lot. Well behaved is one thing, but not knowing what is happening behind their backs is another. I know a parent would never want to hear this, but they should care enough to investigate this completely. Your neighbor needs to have her daughter checked out and not take this lightly.
I agree with mammo. This is concerning. Some kids do want to see another's privates (the old "playing doctor" and may even touch but . . . this absolutely does not sound like that. Pain in the 4 year old after an event is not to be taken lightly. However, these are not your children. I hope that the parents of the 4 year old are more vigililgent about supervising their 4 year old. And the 7 year old's parents are put on notice. I would not let your child alone with the 7 year old. What accusations can you actually make? I think the only thing you can do is a call to protective services but that is tricky. If you were friendly with the 7 year old's family, you could try to talk to the parents about your concerns. But you heard what happened second hand. You heard their reaction second hand and the "I got no sense that they were shocked by it" was also second hand. See what I am saying. It is a tricky situation. You also do not want to perpetuate gossip in the neighborhood. So tread lightly. And if you are truly under the opinion that abuse has happened, then you must call child protective services. good luck
Thank you both. Specialmom, you see my dilemma perfectly. I am not involved in this at all and was not present during the talk with the 7 YO's father to make my own assessments. I also know that if I call CPS, it will be assumed that it was my neighbors with the 4 YO and I don't want to put them in that position without speaking to them. They told me the story out of concern for my 5 YO son and 7 YO daughter so that we could closely supervise any activity between the 7 YO and our children. I wanted to get a few opinions before I spoke to them, however. I wanted to confirm my feelings that this is not normal and sounds like she herself is being molested.
Another problem is that all three of us have 7 YO daughters - the parents of the 4 YO have twin 7 YOs - and my house is between these two so they are both our next door neighbors. So of course, the girls love to play together. So it's a hard situation because I feel that out-casting this child will only hurt her more. If she's being abused it is not her fault. But, I don't want any other children to be harmed either by her. I asked my children if she had ever done anything inappropriate - touching private parts, talking about it, etc. and my daughter's reaction showed that she had not. She seemed thoroughly confused by my asking such a question. I did tell them that if she ever did or if she ever mentioned someone doing it to her, that they should tell me right away. I feel awful for this little girl and want to talk to her, but know that if she is being abused, either by her brothers, her father, or another family member, she probably would not tell me. The worst thing about it is that their house is up for sale, so I'm running on limited time to figure out what to do.
And I would like to add that my conversation with my children ended there. I did not explain what happened or give any other details. I simply wanted to make sure that my kids were ok and reiterate that they should come to me. Once I felt confident that neither of them had been touched by her, I brought the conversation to a more broad level - if anyone touches you or tells you that they have been inappropriately touched, you should speak to me. I don't want my children to know too much because I don't want it to be spread around.
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