Let me start by saying I have a wonderful, well behaved and intelligent 8 year old daughter. Recently she has started having intrusive sexual thoughts. It started with her confessing small things to me daily. Mostly things that weren’t that bad like chewing on pencils, biting the side of her jaw or cheating on a test. She would sit for long periods of time thinking of anything else she’d done that I might be upset over. This went on for a few days.
Over the next few days she started confessing things as soon as she came home from school. Like it was something she had anticipated all day. After she would tell me she would feel relieved. A few days ago she said she had to tell me something that was really bad. She didn’t want to because she was afraid I would be mad. She finally told me that she had watched an inappropriate movie at her grandmothers. It was a rated R movie that showed a sex scene of a man kissing a woman’s breasts. Her Grandmother was in the bathroom when it happened. ( I’ve had a long talk with her grandmother about checking the ratings and putting a block on her t.v) She said she thought about that and it made her feel really bad. I told her it was ok and reassured her that she did nothing wrong.
Now comes the thoughts that are really worrying me. Over the last several days her confessions are mostly sexual ordinated and are causing her extreme stress and anxiety. She said she thought about that movie at school while she was around a boy. She thought about the girl from the show kissing lower on the man. Her older cousin (10) told her what “gay” meant (boys liking boys and girls liking girls was her description). She was in tears when she told me about her next thought. She said she thought what if everyone was like that. She thought about me and her doing that. Which really shocked me. I assured her it was ok and she didn’t do anything wrong. I’m trying to be as supportive as possible and let her know that she isn’t bad for thinking these things and that it’s normal, but I’m really not sure if it is. I tell her she doesn’t have to tell me everything, that no matter how bad a thought is that it’s ok and a lot of kids do it. I tell her this because I don’t want her to feel guilty about these thoughts and maybe if she knows that I wont be mad she wont feel the need to hold on to them so she can tell me about them.
My mother tells me to not pay so much attention to it. Not ignore, but just not let her see me be so concerned. I tell her it’s ok and she doesn’t have to tell me everything but she says she won’t feel better until she does, so I let her. Is that encouraging her to have the thoughts, so she can come home and tell me about them. I really don’t know how to handle it anymore. I want to do the right thing but I don’t know what that is. I’m sorry this is so long, I just really need advice from someone who has been through this. I really appreciate you taking the time to read this and for any advice.
First off, I must say, you have done a magnificent job thus far. As a parent, its your job to make sure that you stay calm and collected no matter how freaked you really are. Assuring your daughter that things are okay and doing your best to keep communication lines open with her during this, its critical. =)
Secondly, I think its time to seek some professional help for your daughter. I'm not saying what she is doing is bad, but for a child at that age, the scale could tip either way. She was exposed to something that kids her age should not even know about, and its obviously troubling her. Either her thoughts will cause her to act out, or her thoughts may cause some identity suppression when she becomes older and remembers the girl in the movie and sees her body might not fit the image she had seen.
BUT if you really don't want to bring outside help into your daughter's life like that, then keep doing what you are doing now. Talk to her. You may need to have 'THE' talk with her. Choose a night and a start time. Talk to her about the movie and the scenes, just so she can understand what exactly she saw and ask her if she has any questions. By doing this, you will be giving her and yourself an even bigger line of communication and trust. But if you do this, you should also let her know that if -at any time during the talk- she feels overwhelmed, that she should let you know and you both take a break before resuming the talk.
I hope this helps. Good luck and best wishes. As for it being normal... Yes, it is. Kids often get themselves into things they shouldn't. Whether it be that they go into the bathroom and find a pack of condoms under the sink all the way to getting into 'those' types of movies... It happens, its normal, and since kids don't know what to make of any of it... they ask questions and think often about it trying to make sense of what they had just experienced / seen.
I must say that I agree slightly with the above post, and disagree slightly with it... To me, it isn't normal, and I say that only because I have had the same issues. I find it highly frustrating when people without OCD try to tell me that my behavior or thoughts are "normal" when they may appear normal to the outsiders, but inside it is eating away at me. Everything is so much more intense in my head. I went through a period of time when I would think that way also. It is so sad that she was exposed to that at such a young age, but in our culture it isn't surprising. I think that such an intense reaction is something that signifies that she has a greater intensified reaction to things. I hurt for her, because everyday I battle having horrible, embarrassing, or wrong thoughts that I don't want just invade my mind. And it seems the worse they are, the more they seem to stick. She needs to learn a personal redirective thought to help her... although at 8 years old I'm not sure how well she will be able to train herself to redirect her thoughts. She needs to learn that first, these thoughts are not her fault. She had a tiny seed planted due to learning what "gay" is, and now she has seen sexual relations. These thoughts are easy to obsess over. I don't know that "The" Talk would be a good idea, because it would just plant more information for her to have to digest and dwell on. However, it might make her feel more comfortable with communication and make her feel as though it is more normal, thus curbing the thought process a bit more. What a difficult spot you are in :( Watching my daughter's behavior (she is 3 years old) I wouldn't be surprised if I wind up in the same situation. She is just like I am.
That being said... I don't know if this helped at all, but I do think you are doing the right thing in calming her down. She will wonder why she is having thoughts like this, and why no one else seems to be having these thoughts... these two combined will only intensify her bad thoughts, and will consequently lower her self esteem because she will feel she is "weird" or just drastically different. The best thing you can do is reassure her that you love her, and always be willing to listen. Having a listener that cares is very, very important.
I have that "I'm weird" feeling gnawing at me all the time. My fiance and I have gotten to a point where, although it still kind of hurts me when we say it, we can calmly discuss the fact that I AM different... that I am kind of a socially-functioning (in most scenarios) crazy person due to my OCD. That is not to say your daughter is crazy by any means... Just that she will always feel that way.
hi i just read your post (concernedkymum)its as if i wrote it myself my daughter aged 10 is exactly the same she has just started to tell me her thoughts and does so very very often and she does obsessive things like does things in 3,s and and moves her thumbs in a stainge way over and over when i ask her why she feels she needs to do this she says so nothing bad happens and it helps her to not thing of these thoughts with her crecent confessions to her thoughts i took her straight to the gp he says she could have ocd and is reffering her to a mental health counseller but will take some time for an appointment (frivolouspixie ) hi hope you dont mind me asking u do u have obsesive compultions with your thoughts and have you any advice for me i would so apriciate it im sick with worry dont no how to deal with this i also reasure daisy and listen to her she is now telling me everything im so upset she has been going through such disstress with out me noing thanx for your time x
Hello, I can understand what your daughter is going throughh. I am going through the same with the sexual thoughts and everything. I am 17 though, but I can understand what she is feeling and kudos for you for staying so calm for your daughter. Please get her help, it's easier as kids instead of waiting till your older like me. It is much harder. I hope your daughter is better, I will keep her and your family in my prayers. I hope your better.
Oh my God! I am so glad I found this post. My 6 year old daughter is going through the same thing. She confesses to me and has said, many, many of the same things your daughter has. We have started counseling and she is scheduled to see a child psychologist, but it takes time to get in to see them. I hope you see my post. I would so very much love to hear how you are doing and what progress, if any, there has been with your daughter. I am so worried for my girl. My 17 year old daughter has anxiety, but nothing like this. I am in way over my head and would greatly appreciate having others to talk about this. Her thoughts give me anxiety and I try to stay calm, but some of the stuff she is telling me makes me very sad that her little brain even knows they exist.
Irrational thoughts come in so many forms. You are already doing so much for your daughter by scheduling the appointment with the child psychologist and getting counseling under way. There is no rhyme or reason sometimes as to why we think what we think but rest assured that if she could stop she would. It usually comes from some sort of a trigger so maybe the therapist can get to the root of what has actually started this thinking in the first place. Maybe she saw something that you are unaware of or heard something.
I just want her to feel better. I know she had a incident with another child and she appearently saw some things on the internet that I was not aware of. She is slowly telling me everything and I am trying very hard to lighten her burden, but I need help. I don't have the experience to help her properly. I did find a book I plan to by "Freeing Your Child from Obsessive Compulsive Disorder." I wonder if anyone else has read this book and if it has helped. I suffer from an anxiety disorder, as well, and I think it is only adding to the issue for me. I stay calm and listen and reassure her, but some of the things she tells me are disturbing to me.
From my own experience with OCD (I am diagnosed) trust me when I say that I have had some pretty disturbing irrational thoughts over the years, once you get rid of one another replaces it. She really needs to learn how to help herself. I will say that I learned CBT years ago and I still fall back on it today. I also took medication way back when, went off for a number of years and had to go back on it again. I'm not saying that this is what is going to happen to your daughter, but from what I can tell you are doing all the right things. You are listening, she feels like she can tell you anything no matter how irrational it is, and you are getting her help. I have lived with OCD for a very long time. I am successful and I have a family. So know that your daughter is going to be okay.
Thank you for your communication. I cannot tell you how much it helps. Having anxiety "generealied anxity disorder" is what I was told, I worry x5. I have gone back on medication so I can think without panic and help her. It is not completely in my system, so talking to others helps. Thank you.
I've heard of this exact thing before have you had your daughter checked for something called PANDA! It's an acranum but look it up and talk to ur doctor about it. Your description sounds exactly like it! I really think this is what's going on. It is a form of OCD
Oh my gosh, I stumbled upon this today after being in "crisis mode." My daughter will be 7 years old in two weeks. She is intelligent, articulate, and has a very social personality. For the past two months, we too have been going through this!!! Obsessing over private parts and inappropriate touching... It scares me to death. I have asked her repeatedly if anything has ever happened, but she tells me no, that they are just "mental images" she can't get out of her head. I don't know if it something she saw accidentally on TV or not... Her school has child abuse people come in a few times a year to talk about this kind of stuff and read stories to children about sexual abuse scenarios. My child is now consumed with it... To the point where she will ask me tons of questions, worry, and cry. The thoughts have gotten much more intense and troubling in the past 8 weeks. Her dad and I, unfortunately, have had some patience but have gotten frustrated with the obsessing. (We are not together but my daughter sees her dad on a regular basis.) This morning her obsessive fears started within 10 minutes of her waking up... I was in a rush to get to work and got angry with her. She looked at me with tears in her eyes and said she was sorry for being "weird" and "not normal" and that she was making everyone mad. I was heartbroken. Enough is enough. I made an appointment for her to see a woman who specializes in OCD and young children. It is in 5 days. I will do everything in my power to help this child!!!!
It is very, very hard as a parent to watch their kids suffer. Don't beat yourself up because If you don't have OCD it is kind of hard not to have the mentality "well just stop thinking about it." What is going to happen is your daughter is going to learn ways to help herself and you are going to become educated and learn ways to help her as well. It is important for her to have somebody she knows she can talk to without being judged. Take care and good luck.
ATTENTION! please read this!
I am 19 years old an in college currently. When I was around 7 years old, I had the same experience as your daughter, as in, having sexually intrusive thoughts that were very confusing and traumatizing to me. I was very embararassed talking about sex, and did not even know what it was because I was scared to know what it was. I started having what I called "bad thoughts" and I would feel extremely guilty about the thoughts, and obsess about how horrible I was until I could come and tell my mom about it. THIS IS EXTREMELY UNHEALTHY, AND SHOULD BE HANDLED PROFESSIONALLY. Your daughter is not psycho, her biggest fear is that she's having those thoughts because she "wants" to do those things. This is wrong! She does not want to do those things! BUT, she is having the thoughts because they are disgusting and repulsive to her, and she's freaking out and thinking she is "bad" for having those thoughts, which is what keeps bringing them back. Confessing to you is a ritual that makes her feel better that is ENABLING her OCD. I am just now finding out that I have OCD, and only in the past few months has it been flaring up (my first semester at college), since I was a little kid. So if this goes untreated and your daughter just supresses those thoughts, they might come back again in a stressful environment. I wish so badly that we had known then that I was having OCD. You might look out for other habits! I was washing my hands constantly at that age, to the point where my hands were getting dry and scabbed. My mom had no idea why I was doing this but did the best she could. Please take your daughter to a therapist to help her to learn other ways to deal with stress, I'm sure it will work wonders and a huge weight will be lifted off of her shoulders. This was posted a few years ago, so if her OCD was supressed for then without professional help, I strongly urge you to STILL take her to get help. Obviously, I went ten years before my OCD started making itself apparent again, and it IS possible. I really wish I had been treated right when it started if I had realized.
I read these messages. I have been through such things before and even now. But I know how to control it now. Thoughts are like quick sand, more you try to come out of it, more worse is your situation. So my advice is, dont fight it. Teach your kids to tell to themselves in their mind "OKAY WHATEVER" when the thought comes to his/her mind. By not fighting the thought, you are rather cutting growth and it will slowly subsides. As for supporting your kids, always tell them that you are with them all the time and u love him/her a lot. The thoughts they are having is all normal. Just say okay whatever when they bother you. If you discuss those thoughts a lot with your kid, my guess is you will just give it food to grow. This is the tricky part. When, your kid comes to you, very nicely tell him/her, I know what it is. Dont worry, dint fight it. Just say okay whatever and move on.
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