11 yr old girl and her curiousity

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by trying_to_understand, Aug 11, 2011.

  1. My former sister-in-law called me and told me that my 11 year old daughter had told her 8 year old daughter that it is good luck to touch certain places of another girl (breasts). My daughter confessed and said she is mad at herself and promises to never do it again. A few weeks prior, I had caught her looking at inappropriate things on the internet. I thought I had been doing all the right things with her; talking to her, keeping an open relationship. But now I feel so deceived and wondering if there could be some sort of underlying problem or if she needs serious help. I am torn because I want to believe my daughter but also don't want anyone else to go through what my niece has just had to deal with. Thoughts?
  2. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Hi and welcome to the board!

    Does your daughter have any other worrisome behaviors or was this the only time? Tell us a bit about her early life. Was it stable? Chaotic? Did she have any delays or quirks? Do you know if she could have been sexually abused?

    You may want to do a signature like I did below. It helps us.
  3. keista

    keista New Member

    Welcome to the board, and welcome to puberty!

    Is your daughter developing already? My 10 y/o looks like she's 12-13 right now. Pubic hair is in, and her cycle is on it's way! The curiosity is a natural component.

    Keep talking to her - Daily if possible. Keep it positive, but make it clear that she's not to touch others just as others are not to touch her. Really, how would she feel is some stranger walked up to her and touched her breast for "good luck"? I'd also be asking her where she got that notion. I pray this did not come from peers at school. (apparently, boys in middle school and up make a game for how many girls they can fondle in the hallways. By planting such a 'good luck' notion in the younger girl's heads, girls are essentially being groomed for sexual abuse en masse)

    Find some age appropriate material for her. Personally, I used to go through my Dad's "National Geographic" collection. in my opinion whether it's natural curiosity or an underlying issue, if you try to completely squash the behavior/curiosity, you will accomplish nothing and just drive her 'underground'. Discuss the dangers of 'inappropriate' material online. #1 it's ILLEGAL for her to be viewing it, and #2 (which is more important to me as a mom) she might stumble across stuff she is not ready to see, and even once ready and familiar with sex in general, might come across things she DOES NOT want to see. been there done that myself.

    While it is normal to feel that way, try not to. You just have to up the communication as your daughter struggles with this phase of her life.
  4. Hi! Thank you for the advice and for the welcome.

    As far as my daughter is concerned, she has had no other worrisome behaviors until the two that I listed previously. She does have some issues getting along with her dad. He tends to be less than supportive of her and overly disciplinary. Her early life was somewhat stable. Her dad and I divorced when she was 4. He lives close and has always maintained a relationship with her and her younger brother. She has been a perfect angel up until now. I do not know for certain if she was sexually abused. She doesn't have any of the classic signs of abuse. But I can't say that I am 100% sure that she wasn't. I would like to think this is a one time incident. But with what happened with the computer last time, I'm worried about it escalating into something more.

    I'm working on a more formal signature. But until then, I am remarried for 1.5 years, I have 2 kids of my own (11 y/o girl and 9 y/o boy), he has 3 kids (11 boy, 3 boy and 2 girl). No previous health issues with any of us and no behavior problems *until now.
  5. Thank you -- and thank you (I think). She has just started developing. And her hormones are raging. I thought we had an open relationship. But I guess I have been forthcoming enough about all the sexual mess she has to deal with. She is starting Junior High and that is even more scary now because of these new developments. The problem is, she is with her dad part of the week and with me part of the week. And he thinks if he just doesn't acknowledge the problem then it is not really there. We were talking last night and according to him, she is now deranged and has horrible issues. I asked if he thinks she needs counseling and he said no. I worry what she truly endures over at his house that I don't know about. I just try to let her know that I will always love her no matter what and she is going to make mistakes. But the important thing is that she learns from each and every one of them. I stressed the severity of what she has done recently and I think she understands...or I hope. Thank you for all of your help! My mind is at ease just a bit and I now know I need to open up the lines of communication even more.
  6. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    Surely I wouldn't go into panic mode but I don't think that she would have dreamed up the "good luck touch" involving another person on her own. I've raised a bunch of kids including four girls and touching themselves would be a self motivated thing but not a "good luck touch". My radar would be on for any possible companion who might have shared that term in an effort to make sexual contact. It might have been innocent or it might be an indicator that the other girl (or boy or adult) is tapping into her vulnerability.

    I don't know her personality at all but it might be possible in a casual way to remind her of the elementary school lessons on "good touch/bad touch" and remind her that she is almost a teen and has to really really be careful that nobody touches her but herself and that she morally and legally can't touch anyone else. I'm old as the hills and I still vividly remember one girl who often tried to make casual sexual contact with others. It scared me to death!
    Good luck. DDD
  7. Well, I just talked to her and she said a girl in her class gave her the idea. This girl has 3 older brothers and has taught her less than flattering things. Unfortunately, the girl's parents are approachable about such things. I will have a more extensive talk with her about it later. But I don't want to make that all we talk about, though I just want to grab her drill this stuff in her head. But I know that will probably make her avoid me and make her numb to the entire conversations. I have gone over the moral and legal ramifications of her actions and I think it made a dent. Time will tell I guess. But I don't intend to stop talking about it. I do NOT want her to be one of the kids that you remember, DDD. She is a good girl deep down inside. She just has to learn not to give into temptations and not listen to that "little voice" when she knows it isn't the right thing to do. Welcome to real parenting, I guess. It has been a cake walk up until now.
  8. JJJ

    JJJ Active Member

    If the little friends parents are not approachable, I would let a school counselor know so that they can monitor the situation.
  9. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    I don't doubt for a second that she is a good girl. The story just "rang my bell" and I suspected it was another child "teaching" her inappropriate behavior. I'm relieved it was another little girl who started this and likely the internet searching too. Chances are that she has experienced abuse in her family and just like measles...inappropriate sexual activity is catchable.

    Chances are you will find the right way to approach the subject. Breaking the bonds of their friendship will be tricky but sure sounds like the right goal. One approach I used decades ago was using the part of the Lords Prayer that says "lead me not into temptation". With that child it worked because the word temptation had never been broadly discussed. The subject matter wasn't the same but that made it effective because I was able to just chit chat about all the ways other people can tempt us. Fyi, we are not extremely religious but strongly emphasized moral values.

    Best of luck. DDD
  10. I appreciate you speaking up. You incite led me to ask a few more questions. I had to be brief because I am at work and she was with her dad. But this is not the first time we have had issues with this particular child. And she has told me some things that she and this girl have searched for in the past. Nothing to risque, but it should have turned on a light bulb and it didn't. I didn't think anything of it until now. How horrible I feel for not suspecting sooner!

    I, too, talked to her last night about temptation and we have to be strong enough to recognize when we are being tempted and be able to say no. Poor girl, she is dealing with so much, as all children do at this age. And, I'm finding out that the whole ordeal wasn't all her idea to begin with. It was made to be her fault because the other girl didn't want to get into trouble. As the story unravels, I don't waver from the morally right and wrong aspect. But it will definitely help us all sleep a little better at night.

    DDD, I'm SO glad you said something! Thank you!
  11. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I don't know...my sexual abuse radar is up...are you SURE bio-dad is safe? Any boys or new SO in his home? Are you positive your husband is safe? His kids? Usually kids are abused by people in their families. My two children were sexually abused for two years by an eleven year old boy that we adopted and he acted "safe." In fact, he acted like a great kid and my younger kids were afraid to say anything to anyone about it, although they did get the talk about "we'll believe you if anyone ever touches you in a way that you don't like..." Predators tend to make scary threats.

    I don't know if acting out on a sibling is normal or not at that age, but I'd have my antennae up. As for the computer, put parental controls on it.

  12. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    You're welcome and rest assured I am still sending supportive thoughts your way. DDD
  13. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    MWM, I wouldn't be just looking at the main adult males in the family. Equally likely, possibly even more likely, are male relatives or friends of the family who can actually seek out opportunities like this. Single parents can be befriended (wooed) by pedophiles in order to get access to the children.

    I also think this other girl is possibly at risk. Her influence alone could be where much of this is coming from.

    If I look back to when I was 11, I could have been seen as a bad influence in a similar way. I was not molested or abused. But I also had zero information plus an enquiring mind - a dangerous combination! I was noting the changes in my body, I was examining them in detail and sharing my findings with my best friend, encouraging her to find out for herself too. My mother told me nothing in the mistaken belief that innocence would protect me. The trouble was, innocence made me more vulnerable. I was like a young bonobo... absolutely no imposed inhibitions.

    When I look back now, I cringe. Amazingly, I am still friends with the girl who I shared those intimate confidences with.

  14. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Well...there is bad influence and sexual abuse and unfortunately we lived through it so I like to be careful. I'm especially concerned about bio. dad or anyone in his house. It is more likely to be somebody close to the family. Better to be safe than sorry. Sadly, I had to learn a lot about sexual abuse and it usually is somebody from the family (or extended family). Sometimes it can be an outsider though, but best to cover all your bases. And, trust me, predators are always the last people one would suspect as they tend to not act or look the part. We were certainly thrown for a loop! Once it has happened to your own kids, you want to warn others...
  15. So what is a good way to find out if she has been sexually abused? I mean, if she doesn't want to talk or has been threatened, how will I get it out of her? No, I'm not sure bio-Dad is safe. She is not ever left alone with my current husband so that's not an option. But people come in and out of bio-Dad's house like crazy. Would she act afraid of the person? Or cling to them? What are some signs to look for? I'm sorry, I'm new at this and now I'm paranoid. Could the step-mother be the one doing it?

    I know I did sort of the same thing when I was her age. And, I wasn't ever informed either. My mom didn't talk to me about anything. So I was just left to "discover" things on my own. However, the cousin that she did this with doesn't have a good home life either. I haven't gotten to actually talk to my daughter. face to face because she is with her dad. But something tells me no one has stopped to listen to her side of the story. I think (and hope) there is more to it than what the cousin told her mom and mom told my ex and ex told me. The grapevine is a dangerous place to be, especially when something like this is involved.
  16. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Play therapy is a good way for younger kids. Therapy in general is another way. My kids did not want to talk about it and did not talk much about it to us. Certain special therapists got them to talk. Still...on top of my two younger kids being abused by their adoptive brother (who is now no longer with us), my oldest daughter was raped at her friend's house. A friend of a friend of a friend who was visiting raped her when the friend's mother and the friend were in the kitchen cooking and my daughter was waiting for her alone in her bedroom. He came upstairs, covered her mouth and just raped her. She was eight years old. Afterwards, she didn't tell anybody, including her friend, washed up, and tried to act normal. We did not suspect and did not know about it until she blurted it out at me at age fourteen. How do you find out? I don't know. Often, kids don't want to talk about it or feel ashamed. My daughter said she felt ashamed. She showed us that something was wrong by her behavior...although she did not act out sexually, she started using drugs at the young age of twelve.

    I really hope it isn't that, but you may want to have a talk with bio. father about watching her closely when he has people trapsing in and out of his house. Who are they anyway?
  17. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    There are psychologists who specialize in children's sexual issues. I had to take difficult child to a large city to find such a resource. Obviously I don't, thank heavens, have much experience in that area; however, the appointment was worth the time and the money. In one appointment she was able to get the details from him (he was only 5), discuss the issues in a child appropriate way and determine that although he was the victim of a peer that it would be best to not discuss it further (in his case) so that he would not perceive it as a life alterning experience. We were instructed to keep our eyes and ears open should he bring up the subject again. Luckily for us it evolved into simple discussions of the subjects I mentioned in my previous post. There was no sign of extended trauma.

    If you are concerned that you don't have the full story I would suggest that you carefully choose a specialist to explore the issue with your child. They are experts at compassionate conversation and reading the signs of trauma. Personally, I would not just make an appointment. with a non-specialist person as over the years I have found that psychologists really vary in attitude and methods and often seek an extended interaction...even when it is not warranted. Hugs DDD
  18. Wow. That is sickening. And very scary. I can't imagine what she had to deal with for all of those years, keeping it to herself. I imagine she was ashamed and embarrassed. I wish kids could just understand that, as parents, we are there to help them and love them.

    The people coming in and out of his house are friends, relatives and God knows who else. There is a creepy next door neighbor, too. I have thought about therapy but I remember going to a therapist as a kid and I resented my mom for it because it assumed she thought I was crazy. My daughter's dad says she doesn't need it and I have told him that she needs to be supervised at all times. But talking to him is like talking to a tree stump. To him, nothing bad will happen to him or his family. I mean, he literally plays golf while there is a thunderstorm outside because "he" won't get struck...but that's a whole other ordeal in itself.

    I guess I just need to sit her down and talk to her and then evaluate the situation and make a decision afterward. The wait is killing me. I may try to find her some kind of therapist that she can talk to. I have really been praying over this whole situation and have found some peace in it. But I still am unsure what direction I need to take.
  19. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    My oldest daughter was sexually attacked in the school playground when she was 5 years old. Her attacker was 7 years old. The damage was done more by the violence and control exerted over her, I believe. The boy had held her down, removed her knickers and told her he was going to have sex with her, and sex hurts. He also said that if she told, he would send his father around to run over her mother (me) with his lawnmower. Really sick. We tried to get her help but with hindsight, we got the wrong sort of help and it was way too late - she didn't tell us for two years.

    So attacks can come from anywhere and for all sorts of reasons. They're not always violent - in some ways, when the attack is violent, it is easier to deal with emotionally because the child feels less complicit. The seduction and mind games that can come with a less violent abuse can leave a lot of nasty confusions in a child's mind. However, easy child was a mess for a long time, even though there was no way she could blame herself for what happened to her. The fear did the damage.

    And how do you find out? Not easily. Sorry. Perhaps the best you can do is equip your child with the skills to know what is acceptable, what is not and that it is imperative to tell someone in order to make it stop and ensure the perpetrator cannot do it again to her or anyone else.

  20. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Marg, my kids knew. They were told. It's one thing to know and to even be told that Dad and Mom will believe them, and it's another thing to react as a child when it is happening, especially if it is a person who is much bigger than you (our adopted son was 11-13 and my kids were very young, daughter was maybe five). My oldest daughter's attacker was a drunk, grown man. We had all the right talks many times. It didn't matter.

    I just don't want the blame to start shifting to the parents of these kids who were abused. There is no way to prevent sexual abuse 100% other than to keep your children at your side 100%. My oldest daughter's friend came from a wonderful family and we always checked out where s he went. However, they happened to have company drop by that day and one of the men was drunk...we did not know.

    The predators are often so graphic in what they will do to the child and his family that it shuts them up out of fear. The shame that the child feels is puzzling...we had told our daughter that it is always the perps fault (this was before it happened). This is very sticky territory and very heartbreaking. Because of our experiences, I learend a lot abotu sexual predators and abused children/women and their behavior. I even volunteered for a long time at a woman's shelter where many of the clients were raped. It's not pretty and when a younger c hild is confronted by a bigger, stronger person your advice is hard to follow. Unfortunately, I know.What are the kids supposed to do when somebody bigger attacks them. "This isn't approrpriate?" Yes, if they maybe want to get hurt or killed. My younger kid's abuser flashed a knife at them.

    Fortunately, sexual abuse isn't a death sentence. All of my kids are doing well, even my twenty-seven year old who has processed what happened to her and come to terms with it. The younger kids got therapy right away, the young man was prosecuted and found guilty, and both k ids got to see justice. Unfortunately, because my oldest daughter didn't tell us at the time, we had no way of knowing who did that to her so we could not press charges or get her the appropriate help at the appropriate time. That is the best we can do, if we can only find out.
    Peace :)