A year ago, we caught my 6-year-old son naked with his same-aged friend in his bedroom. Knowing it could be normal curiosity, we explained in great detail that this was NOT appropriate, etc. We found out that he'd done some exploring with a girl in his class, who'd been alone with him while we were babysitting. AND we found out he'd also played this 'game' with his 7-year-old cousin. We were firm, clear and taught him right from wrong, to the best of our ability, all the while trying not to make him feel bad for this natural curiosity.
THEN he taught this nifty game to a 2-year-old, and I lost a dear friend (the 2-year-old's mom). That's when we took it very seriously. I looked up symptoms of sexual abuse, and my son has none of them - except for the 'game.'
We took him to counseling anyway. He saw the couselor twice, who said we should drop the subject entirely, that he would likely not do it again, and that there was no indication that he'd been abused - sexually or otherwise. And we dropped it. That was eight months ago.
Tonight, we found out that he was playing the game again with his cousin - and we already know that my son initiated it. That's when we found out that the game also included humping, naked - and that's when we found out that he learned all of this from a former classmate, who DOES have all the symptoms of sexual abuse.
While I have to find a way to tell this other boy's parents what has happened, I am meanwhile just devastated. There is no doubt that my son knew this was inappropriate and wanted to get away with it. He said he just didn't think we would know, and that he 'must be different than other kids because I really just like to do it.'
He's already played this game with four other people, and he will not be having any more alone time with other kids, including his younger brother (for whom I am now terrified). My son is a fantastic child, bright and well mannered, honest and sensitive. He doesn't lie, steal, or cheat. He doesn't hit or cause trouble. But he obviously can't stop himself in this exploration game. And I can't make him stop.
We have no idea where to turn. Taking him back to the therapist who told us he would be fine seems like a waste of time. We have no recommendations for child psychologists in our area. I've scoured the web, hoping to find help, and this site keeps coming up with other one-time, similar occurrences. One time, then, seems to be pretty normal. We even know that my son wasn't abused.
But how can I make it stop? What does he need to resolve within himself so that HE will make it stop? Or is he doomed, thanks to one playdate with a possibly molested boy in kindergarten, and I'm raising a future child molester? WHAT CAN I DO??? And where do I turn for some real help???
I would post this in the "Ask a Doctor" forum area. I don't think any of us on the board has the expertise you would need on this. I do feel that the occurance with the two year old is sexual abuse, because at six he is well old enough to understand he is taking advantage of an innocent (baby/toddler), and that just makes me shiver. Obviously he does not care of any consequences, and these are just the instances that you have found out about, I would be willing to bet there are some you don't even know about. I do think it is wise to not allow him any more alone time with other children for the moment, and you should tell the mother of the recent incident right away. I hate to say it, but I think your other son is in real danger here of being violated, and I also hate to say I would assume he has already been victimized. I would sit down with your younger son and ask some serious questions emphasizing that he will not be in any trouble for what he tells you no matter what it is. To your son it may be just a game but he could be damaging the other children permanently. I worked at a Juvenile sex offender jail for a summer when I was in college, and almost all the offenders were abused themselves. Are you absolutely positive he was not abused and is using the classmate as a scapegoat story of some kind? The only thing I would suggest is to talk to his pediatrician and ask for a referral of a child psychologist who specializes in this type of behavior. Good luck. I'm sorry- I hope you find some help.
Yes, I'm sure my son wasn't making up the story about the other boy, but thank you for making me feel worse than I already did by telling me he victimized a two-year-old. We have already had all the talks we can have, and something needs to be DONE. That's why I was asking here for help. By the way, this is my first post and I thought I *was* asking a doctor. Conveniently, the related 'Ask a Doctor' forum is 'full' (or broken) and can't accept posts, so even when I had nowhere to turn and found this place, I guess I really didn't have anywhere to turn.
Basically, from my experience with a friends son, your child was molested by this previous experience. I know how difficult it is to get a post into the doc forum, I tried for days before I got mine in. Keep trying.
Now back to my friends son, he was molested by a step-sibling and has followed the same path you have described in your post. He is in weekly counseling and is still facing difficulties. My heart goes out to you and all I can suggest here is to keep being an advocate for your son. Push to get him help - he is 7 now and it is obvious that this is not going to "work itself out." Call your county's mental health services, work with the counselor at his school, call your local Children's Hospital and push until someone will help you. Know that there is nothing, short of keeping your son in a bubble that could have prevented this.
Thank you. Finally, someone in the world who knows how to be helpful. You're right - I can call the county services - I hadn't thought of that! - although the school is a pitiful excuse for 'help' so I doubt anyone there will be able to do much. I'm also going to try my pediatrician and see if he has a reference. And thanks for the comment about keeping my son in a bubble - I sincerely believe that if I'd just followed my gut about that boy and not allowed the one playdate, that I could have prevented all this. But you're right - I didn't know until I knew. Thanks again.
I don't have the energy to fight with you. This is the most painful thing I've ever gone through with my child and while I appreciate your attempt to help, your post just caused me additional pain. I sincerely hope you never have to go through this with your child. My son is no monster, but it is fine that you think he is. It reminds me that I have no where to turn, not even to my closest friends, for fear of that kind of fear-based, knee-jerk response. All I can do is cry and pray, alone, and beg as anonymously as possible for help. I have way too much emotion invested in trying to find a solution to argue about why your post hurt. I simply can't.
I was just reading this post and I'm sure that Keerstn read what I read btw the lines too.
"I do feel that the occurance with the two year old is sexual abuse, because at six he is well old enough to understand he is taking advantage of an innocent (baby/toddler), and that just makes me shiver. "
She's already lost a dear friends due to this, knows that her son was wrong in his doing yet you had to rub in and make a point ! Even though you may not have called out " Your son's a MONSTER " but in not soo many words that's excatly what your text implies dear !
"I worked at a Juvenile sex offender jail for a summer when I was in college, and almost all the offenders were abused themselves. Are you absolutely positive he was not abused and is using the classmate as a scapegoat story of some kind?"
Exactly what are you suggesting ? Did you not read Keerstn report clearly where she stated:
"We took him to counseling anyway. He saw the couselor twice, who said we should drop the subject entirely, that he would likely not do it again, and that there was no indication that he'd been abused - sexually or otherwise"
Pls stop lifting fingers and try to help ! Do you realise how much effort it takes to even open up on a public forum regarding your child's behaviour issues, knowing that there's def something wrong with your child that even the therapist could not help with or resolve. From my way of seeing ...this MOTHER has truly been reaching out in every direction for help
To the Mother: I truly feel your pain. Pls try to check in what movies he's watching & to use parental control of the web ( if he web surfs ...you'd be suprised what can come up in those pops just by typing 'naked' ) Limit exposure with kids though I'd still suggest supervised playdates....dont leave the room or your child alone even for a sec. When playing together , point out how good he did etc
Since he's gonna be turning 7 and at that ages better at grasping concepts nuture him about nature, the role of man & wife, how God creates babies etc .Pls talk to him about child molesters , let him know that they go to jail where they dont have fun time ....Ask him do you want that to happen?
Try to listen in to whatever he wants to say....also are you spending quality time with him ? Are you a single working mom? What role does the father of your child play?
Wishing you God's sweet blessing and the patence to deal with what you're gpoing through. A special thanks for reaching out....you're doing the right thing !
You are quite welcome. I've seen the pain that my friend is in. Her son is my godson and I cry to think what has happened to him and the effects of just one instance. I can try to get in touch with her this week to see if she can come here and offer some additional "real experience advice."
Hang in there. There is help out there for your child - you just have to push and push until you find it!!!
Thanks so much for your kind comments, and for standing up for me when I didn't have the strength to do it. I sincerely appreciate it.
As for the TV and quality time, I'm a stay-at-home mom and a former teacher who considers my two boys the only things in life I've really done 'right.' Of course, I'm not perfect, but all of our time is quality - and the only time they are allowed to watch TV is one video before bed. Oddly, my son is afraid of movies (even Disney) and watches mostly preschool and toddler things. What's really interesting is that my husband and I were talking about the videos the *other* boy watches - the one who taught him the game - and he has complete access to cable TV (including HBO etc) all day long. He also doesn't spend any quality time with his parents. But that's another story entirely.
And my husband, while he's at work five days a week and occasional evenings, is wonderful - a solid role model who, too, is in a lot of pain over this, but is very focused on finding out what the next right thing is - before saying or doing anything to make the situation worse.
We have an appointment with a specialist in this area, Thursday a.m. I'm hoping she'll be able to give us some guidance. Meanwhile, thanks to all of you for your support. I sincerely had nowhere else to turn and I appreciate it.
i also feel like you were being attacked. i will say this about the doctor's question area: if you can wait until christmas try to get your question in that day or christmas eve. i had a question that i posed on thankgiving and no one was in line so a holiday is a great day to get yours in.
look i see a terrible thing you are going through but i wouldnt necessarily jump to the conclusion that your child might be a molester or a monster. there's a reason that we have the old phrase playing doctor. of course it's disturbing to you and should be taken very seriously but i doubt 30 years ago it would have been cause for such alarm. i have a friend who performed oral sex on a little girl at this age as well, i think there were a few other incidents and it eventually just went away. good luck and ill pulling for you and your family
i wish wish the best of luck and i will keep you in my prayers but it'll all work out you have done nothing wrong i admire your courage to come out and ask for help that makes you a very strong and brave women not to many mothers know how to do that
Hi there, I read your posts and just feel so badly for you and yours. I know you must be devastated by what has happened. Don't listen to people like AfricanGrey, who say that your son "exploited" a two year old. Although what he did was wrong, it's Very likely he has no idea that this really and truly is wrong, and a 6 year old is not really capable of "exploiting" anyone or anything in my opinion. AfricanGrey was speaking of your child as if he is an adult. Fact is, he's still a small child. I do know that it's totally normal for little kids (from what I've been told anyway) to explore a bit, to even masterbate at times, it's part of growing up. Most children at some point will play "doctor" or other games during their lifetime, but to keep doing it, as you say, is a concern. I would really talk to him heart to heart (I'm sure you have already) it may be that someone abused him, and he's scared to tell anyone. Whatever the case, it certainly isn't your fault. There has to be someone out there who can help you. If there are any other therapists besides the one who told you not to worry, then I'd consider seeing one of them. Also, have you considered your pastor/priest if you're in a church? I know not everyone is religious , but if you happen to be, perhaps your clergy can help you sort it out, or at least help you to pray, and give you some peace of mind and strength to face whatever you have to. I hope this helps, if anything just to let you know people feel for you and your situation. Have a Merry Christmas and Happy Holiday.
I am very proud of you for accepting the fact that your son has a problem, and are attempting to do something about it. Often parents are in denial of their own childrens behavior, no matter how obvious it is to everyone around them.. I also think it shows people that you are mother that not only cares about your own childs welfare, but also of other children that this may have happened to. Sounds like a great mother to me!
continue to trust your gut instinct. If you go to a specialist, md, psychologist, etc. and get the same story. "dont worry" "he'll grow out of it" "blah blah blah". JUST KEEP TRUCKING TO THE NEXT ONE IF YOUR GUT FEELING IS TELLING YOU THAT THERE IS MORE TO IT. THERE PROBABLY IS. and also for some peace of mind for yourself, that in the case that this isnt resolved. you can feel that you have really tried everything, and didnt just take one or two opions, that may have been dead wrong. I'll Keep you in our prayers
Dude, you don't seem to realise you are dealing with human beings here. I know you may think this is a forum for you to chat away but your posts are completly negative and totally unhelpful. If you have nothing positive to say dont post, you clearly are not qualified to speak on the subject. You are posting in responce to a family facing incredable difficulty, and actually the boy involved is also 'victimised'. If sexual abuse has taken place then its not just the two year old who has suffered. Keerstin should be COMMENDED for having the bravery to try to solve the situation. You do not know what has happened and should be offering helpful adivce or nothing at all.
Kirstin, in this country (the UK) we have to fight very hard to recieve any kind of decent help for mental health care of any kind through the NHS. Unless you are rich it is very difficult. I will say this, trust your instincts and fight for your right to get your son seen by a competent specialist. If you dont like thier care, fight untill you find somone you are satisfied with. Do not drop the subject, that advice is retarded. Deal with the subject in a calm manner but be assertive. FIGHT for your right to advice and services. Ring up mental health and child abuse charities. Dont give up. I am sure everything will be fine in time.
i think kids need to understand bounderies . i am so sorry to hear this. it is so hard being a parent in general and to be faced with something like this is very difficult. you definatly need to tell the other mom what happened. he may have found out this feels good and wanted to share with his friends even though it is inappropriate. just make sure you let him know this isn't a dirty thing that can devastate him, since he thinks it feels good. make sure he know this is something that happens between a man and women who are in love and not children, family members or friends. it's a private thing when you are an adult. just keep working with him.
i feel in my heart he learned this from somewhere? does he attend any places you haven't been with him? babysitter? uncle, friend of the family. kids are embarrased to tell their parents if someone touched them the wrong way, even if it was one time. they may act on it, like i said b/c it felt good.
counseling seems hard for a 6 year old. but as parents be his guide and keep on it. no other children left alone. hang in there i pray for you and your family. we all have issues just at different times. you aren't alone...
keep us posted.
hi, i am so sorry about what is going on with your family, the best thing for your son is a therpist.
i have and have been going down the same road as you but a little longer. my son now 8 has been going to a therpist for the past 3 years because his step aunt was molesting him from the age of 3 to he was 6 when i finally found out i could have broke her little neck, she was only 3 years older then him. she made it out to be a game that is way it went on for so long, my son thought it was a normal thing until i found out. my son is doing better but i do keep a very close eye on him at all times cause it is just a fear of him doing it to someone else.
when i found out i called cps and the police department. but in the state of maryland something can only be done if there is 4 years between the kids. but i feel molesting is molesting period because of the things she did to my son and also her sister a year older then her. i did find out that she was molested by one of her older sisters when she would visit her mom out of state, but the sick part about it was her father and mother knew about it and didnt do anything.
i truely feel your pain! god bless you and your family! and if you need to chat i am here!
Seeing a therapist is good. But, some of this behavior is normal for children. My brother and I used to play with a vacuum with our private parts when we were 3 and 5. Was my brother taking advantage of me since I was younger? I really doubt it. He just wanted to share the fun, I guess, though that is a tacky and crude way of saying it. A 5 or 6 year old doesn't understand. And the more you make it taboo, maybe the more he'd want to do it anyways, but you have to stick with making it a no no. WHen my brother and I were older, my brother's friends used to pay me money out of their allowances if I'd take off my shirt or pants or let them touch me. So, does that mean they were going to become sex fiends later in life if they did that at 6 or 7 or that I would become a prostitute? No, we did not turn out like that. My brother, his friends, and I all turned out normal, and we have normal healthy relationships and normal healthy marriages. These behaviors probably should have been addressed by the parents earlier on, but not all of them were known by the parents at first. I did have a sit down about the birds and the bees and what was considered appropriate and inappropriate and what you are allowed to do with boys or girls and what you should definitely not be doing. Even though I wanted to, I learned that I was not allowed to. ANd yet, I would still find ways to try to play "games" with my boy cousins when my parents weren't watching closely. Some of this stuff is normal, it all depends on how far they are going. I was not abused, in any way, by my parents or anyone else for that matter. If something feels good, some kids want to share. Doesn't mean the behavior shouldn't be stopped by parents, parents do need to step in and address it and keep a close eye on the children. At 6, I would not worry about him being a child molester. He doesnt' know any better, but he needs to learn to know better.
Hang in there, don't feel like a bad parent, or that your boy is a bad boy. He just doesn't know any better and needs to learn, and keep learning. HOpe my two cents helps your emotional state some.
my son who is two years old, about to be three in february, is going through the natural exploration of sexual feeling. I.E. he is taking off other childrens' pants too find out what is down there. He plays with his own penis until fully erect and then just handles it. It is not masturbation as we think, for he isn't trying to achieve orgasm, nor is he trying to insert it into anything or hump anything. However, I feel that I have done something wrong for him to have this behavior. I also feel that I cannot change this behavior, and I have tried. I am a single parent who just returned from Iraq, my son was staying with my parents, and I am trying to get him in to a psychologist to get to the root of the problem. I quit my job to stay home with him. I am trying. He never acts sexually to me. I was investigated by SRS and in turn so were thefoster children at my parents home. Nothing at all indicates that there was any abuse, and my son is very verbal and has said nothing to my thousands of carefuly chosen questions. This is far harder on the parent than on the child, who most likely will not remember the situation as something being 'wrong' with them. I am just at my wits end because although I know I am a good mom, I feel awful, and I also feel like I cannot get any time to myself, because i can't take him to a sitter.
UNLIKE the 6 year old who should have a more fully formed conscience- your two year old's reasoning is just "that it feels good"- Seeds of course can be planted now- and I suggest just telling little Johnny- It feels very good to play with your penis, yet toys are to play with- not penises and redirect with a toy. That's it! Nothing else-
keerstn and others- yell at me if you want but basically africangrey said nothing except that "your son should know better"- and at age 7 (he is pretty darn close at age 6) a conscience should be fully formed/ Games are games and he chose this game- alright- he was told it was unacceptable- and that he was not allowed to do it and chose to disobey- now it's time to see about underlying issues and not look the other way in that respect- as far as you being sure he was not abused- unless you have spent every minute with him from birth- you cannot be SURE- AND- I truly hope he was not abused-
so I see that you took him to a counselor-OK- you didn't like their "counseling" and suggestions but you know deep down something is wrong OK- how about another counselor?
If you wanted sentimentality from women maybe you should have asked for that right up front. Yes it's hard, yes it's terrible. yes we are sorry you are having to deal with this, but he is affecting the lives of others, including your toddler son- and we have to protect him since he is helpless as much as you have to deal with 6 year old's emotional/sexual issues. And reading between the lines here THAT is what africangrey wanted you to dwell on was the other children being harmed/
any sexual predator is a person who doesn't respect other people's bodies and their rights to their bodies as well as their right to say NO.
You are not raising a sexual predator because you will make consistent effort to teach your boy how to respect others.
Teach him that sex is not a game. teach him about sex. teach him about sexual predators. teach him about rapists.
Thank you to the caring parent who wrote the question. Thank you for making the effort so us girls don't have to contend with more rapists.
Children are smart and of course the birds and bees must be discussed. Obvisiously the time is now.
Don't allow two years to be raped. Be a grown up. Tell your son masterbation (masturbation) feels good and when he gets a girlfriend his own age he can have sex. etc. . .
I just happened to come across this post, and I have read the comments left by africangrey. I think that what africangrey has said about your son is uncalled for, and disheartening to the matter. africangrey had mentioned she/he is not a doctor and does not have the expertise to advise you of what to do, so africangrey should keep his/her mouth shut about your child. He/she does not know what you are going through and neither do i, but I am sure it is very stressful and probably a very emotionally devastating experience that you are trying to prevent. Do not get me completely wrong because the advice africangrey has given about attaining a referral to a child psychologist is an essential step you should take in order to help your son. Your son may know right from wrong but he is only six and people need to think of that when they start speaking about children, and calling them names that a child should never be called just because they have learned something bad. People need to have a heart and its sick to me that africangrey would rather put you down as a parent and make your six year old look like a monster rather than to show some sympathy for the turmoil you and your family are experiencing. Children are very impressionable. I believe it could very well be true your son learned it from a friend, and then he thought it was ok, and by the time, you saw this behavior it had already been instilled into his head that it was ok because he liked it. Although, you have told him it is not ok he was already environmentally conditioned to think it was. I am sorry that people are so unsympathetic in this world and I hope you get some help for your son and that your family heals from this. I send my best wishes. Just keep god in your heart and find the right professional psychologist that can help you out and I’m sure your son will grow up to be just fine.
I am going to share a personal experience. The therapist tells you he wasnt sexually molested or abused. but he was. By the other child who taught him that. That Happened to me. My sister was molested by a older cousin, about 10 years older than her. She then taught me these things. My parents caught us and they took her to theraphy i went for one session but i was told i wasnt showing signs of sexual abuse. The thing is. when two kids do it to each other they dont feel like its abuse or something is wrong. But he was the outcome was me showing other girls the same thing. and When i reached a age when i knew what happened. i fell into depression, guilt, shame, i became suicidal turned to drugs did anything for attention. a craved attention it ruined my life. Something is wrong with him, he does need help. and he was abused by whoever showed him that. If you say he learned it from this kid who was abused then. that kid did the exact thing your child is doing to him. Please dont push this away i know because as soon as i read your article i remembered all these things in my past. i have put them behind me and moved on with my life but i am so scared with my girls i have 2 girls and i am so careful with anything.
I know how u feel. I am also dealing with this. I believe that the other little boy showed him. My son was molested by his cousin, after she was molested. He then molested his little sister and brother. He is not a child molester. He is just confused. He may start hearing voices after taking him away from other children. When he realizes what he did was wrong. The voice is going to tell him to do "bad things" to people in the house and himself. The biggest voice my child complains about is the voices telling him to gouge out our eyes along with his own. This is because he cannot handle remembering what he did. Your son will be just fine.
My son has seen psychiatrist and they say that it's normal for children to hear voices and as long as they can learn to cope with it that they will be fine. I am sorry you had to deal with this. Just keep in mind God will never give you anything you cannot handle.
i think that if a child has sexual contact with another child they should be kept from seeing eachother for atleast a few weeks while the perents tell the child that if they have sexual contact with another child they could make them sick and also tell the child that they could lose friends by doing those acts, i also believe as i when i was molested as a child i learned that it is not a choice that is made for you in the (victom becomes the victomizer) concept, the child has to decide on there own what they want and if history occurs again then there is a problem, you see when i was a child i was molested by my older sister and my mothers friend that was babysitting me, my mothers friend had a girl atleast around 5 years old and i was a 6 year old boy, one night i was in my bed and she was in my room i had to go to the bathroom she followed me in, she came in our room tore her underwear off and started to hit her with a belt i grabbed the belt and made my life decision to not be a monster like her
Hi, I wouldnt feel bad about what happened with your son. At the end of the day you have done everything in your power to stop this type of behaviour which makes you a good parent. I realise how long ago this was posted but I have only stum;ed across it today so hopefully you havent had anything more to worry about. Good luck and I am sure you are doing your best by your son. Other people shouldnt be so quick to judge if they havent experienced it themselves
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