I have a 7 year old niece who at times acts in a very precocious manner. In the last several months, she has behaved in the inappropriate way with me (a 45 year old male) on more than one occasion. She attempted to pull my bathing suit down on one occasion when we were swimming together in a public pool. On another occasion, she touched my genital area. Each of these incidents were totally spontanious and caught me completely by surprise. I explained to her both times that this was inappropriate behavior and told her not to do it again. Despite my initial admonitions to her regarding her behavior, she recently touched my genital area again while I sitting in a hot tub right along side her parents. I immediately removed her hand from me and gave her very stern look. Obviously her parents were unaware of their daughter's activity that had just taken place just out of their sight under the surface of the water. I have never done anything to encourage this behavior. Rather, I have made every attempt to discourage this behavior and have made it clear to her how inappropriate her actions were. I am very fond of my niece and we have enjoyed a wonderful, completely normal relationship, up until the time these incidents began happening. I regret having to limit or even discontinue my relationship with her if this behavior continues.
Is this behavior normal curiosity for a 7 year old girl or is this indicative of a more serious underlying problem. I want to mention this to her parents but they are of the kind of people who will not receive this very well. Her father is a very controlling personality and is extremely strict with her and her sibling brothers and can be unreasonable at times when it comes the misbehavior of his children. Although, I know that strict discipline is maintainted with their children, I have not seen any proof of physical abuse. Nonetheless, the daughter has recently displayed extreme visable distress at the prospect of receiving discipline and becomes extremely upset whenever any of her siblings are about to be disciplined.
I would appreciate any advice on this matter. I mentioned earlier in this piece that I care very much for my niece and her other siblings and I am concerned about the posibility of any underlying problems that may be causing her to act out in the way she has been lately.
Wow, what a problem. Do you think the discipline covers sexual abuse in the family, or do you think she might be getting abused by someone else? You're going to be in a bad spot, because if they don't believe you (and they won't want to), they will blame you and cast you in the role of sleazy Uncle Henry who can't be trusted around the kids, when the kids sound like they need you a lot.
Can you work with someone else in the family who trusts you, to see what is happening for those kids? It is possible that someone else has had this happen.
I don't think it is normal for a 7-year-old to behave this way, at all. I knew someone who was being molested by her uncle (sorry, but that is who it was) when we were kids, but we were too young to know what it was that was happening (he would pin her on the bed and not let her up and grind against her while she asked him to get off her). She went on to be very "boy crazy" acting and very inappropriately sexualized for her age. It sounds to me like something has been happening to this girl. At 7, I would have no more tried to touch the genitals of another person than the Man in the Moon.
If you have no other family member to help you, I'd go to an attorney experienced in family law, and ask for some advice. I'd also go to a family therapist and tell what has been happening and ask if there is any way you can address this to help the kids without being cast as the evil one.
If you get kicked out of the kids' lives, you are going to take away something they need, so this is a very delicate thing.
Sounds like the girl is being sexually abused. It isn't normal for kids to act like that at that age. She needs help. If she has done it more then once, there is deffinantly somthing going on. Good luck.
May I ask if you know she does this kind of thing why you dont steer clear of her, for her to do what you describe you are in close proximity...and yes speak to her parents tell them what you have said here .....
Yes. Handle this situation quite carefully! It does sound like classic sextual abuse. An abused child will often confuse mutual affection with sexual affection . Simply telling the parents could do more damage than good. And of corse you dont want to make any accusations if your wrong. Next time it happens TRY not to jump. Show her you appreciate the affection and take it as as a complament but your not interested and see if you can get her to talk. But ask the questions carefully!
If you ask "WHO showed you to do that!" Thats what a parent asks when you did something wrong
Use complementing words. With a smile ask " where did YOU learn THAT?" Or chainging the emphasis on the words like "who SHOWED you that? [stay positive] If she feels like she did something wrong. She will lock up like a safe. Let her know you LOVE HER VERY MUCH its just "YOU" dont like that. I touch [your wifes name] like that some times she even touches me. Who do you touch?
I dunno, Its hard to keep her open without promoting that behavior. TRICKY but thats how id try and handle it
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