Concerned about behavior of a good friends chi

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Elizabeth81, Jul 13, 2015.

  1. Elizabeth81

    Elizabeth81 New Member

    This is my first time posting, so bear with me while I figure out how replies and all that works... But here goes (it's long, sorry!):
    I have a close friend whose daughter is about the same age as mine and they've played together very often for the last few years... I'll call mine "L" and my friend's daughter "J"... L is 5, J is 4, soon to be 5. Lately, I've tried to scale back the amount of time the girls spend together because J regularly does mean, sneaky things to L. We met when the girls were 2 and 3 and this has been going on since then, only in the beginning I chalked it up to the "terrible twos" and J having a new baby brother in the house. Thought it was just a sharing/attention thing that she'd grow out of. As she's gotten older, her behavior has become sneaky and meaner. An example of some things that happen regularly: hitting with objects, shoving off bed and/or swings, pushing down stairs, pulling hair out, pinching with nails, hiding toys in her pockets or backpack, almost like to steal them... And when she does these things and gets a reaction, she just stares, almost expressionless, like she's observing the reaction. She doesn't show any emotion at all. When we (mostly me, her mom seems like she's almost immune to it) try to address what she does, she denies having done it or claims "it was an accident,". She doesn't make eye contact, or if she does, her eyes almost have a glassy affect, like she's not really absorbing anything you say, her voice is totally flat, like without emotion. She refuses to apologize, will literally just stare and say nothing. If I give her a time out, she will cry bloody murder at the top of her lungs while staring straight at me with the oddest look in her face... No tears, just screaming and staring. She's taken to shutting the door when they play and/or wanting to go outside or into a different room from us. Inevitably, within 5 minutes of them leaving our sight, my daughter comes back crying or mad about something J's done. Two times the other day, I saw her reach out and pinch my daughters vagina (through clothes). The first time, I immediately moved her hand away and tried to talk to her about private parts and not touching anyone else's privates, etc... She said "OK" and then, almost immediately reached over and did it again while looking at me. I sternly said her name and NO! She dropped her hand and shouted my name while staring right at me and then loudly said "GOD!! Ugh!" This was in line at an amusement park! What the heck?
    J usually only has this kind of behavior when they are playing alone or with her little brother, never in a group of kids. Also, I've never seen or heard of her doing this to any other kid. Mine goes to school and regularly plays with other kids, and doesn't have any of this stuff happen with any other friends. At first, I kinda thought she just had a bit of a bully and a stubborn streak, but lately I've been increasingly worried that her behavior is outside of normal behavior for a kid her age and really feeling like something more is going on here. It's hard to explain but it gives me the chills sometimes, and I hate to say it, but I really think my friend should have her evaluated because I feel like these could be some serious warning signs of almost sociopathic behavior. I think if that's the case, maybe with some early intervention, those behaviors could be changed? Problem is my friend is very defensive, when these things happen, she acts as though my daughter is being dramatic or over-exaggerating them... It's like she doesn't want to consider that something could be going on. I have no idea how to bring it up in a loving way that she'll be able to hear without blowing it off or taking it personally! J is a really smart, bright girl and can be very social and kind when she wants to be. Lots of good qualities but there's this darker side that has me concerned. Any ideas on how I might be able to handle the situation or how I can (or even if I should) try to talk to my friend about it??
  2. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    If it were me, I'd just discontinue the playdates. This mother has already heard your concerns and is not going to do anything. Save your own daughter and don't worry about something you can't control. Until a parent is willing to get help, all you can do is get her angry. If the vaginal play didn't alarm her, nothing will.

    If you feel the child is suffering from some sort of abuse by, say, a boyfriend or even your friend, call CPS. You don't have to give your name.
  3. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    I agree with SWOT.

    If you believe, really believe that the behaviors stem from abuse, call CPS. That is straight-forward. I for one on the basis of what you have written, do not this call as warranted.

    I would stop play dates now. You believe your child is being harmed by this contact. Your responsibility is your child.

    Your tough decision is this: You could say something like this: I saw J doing ___,___and___. The problem with this is it could you cost the friendship. And it could also be hurtful to your friend.

    You have already spoken to your friend and she seemed to reject what you said, and react defensively. She is not likely to welcome further discussion of the same sort. And she may well be angry and hurt. She has not asked you for your opinion. She has made clear that she is not open to it.

    The responsibility for her child is hers. You have already made an attempt. If you feel it is your responsibility to try again and cannot live with yourself if you do not, so be it.

    This may be viewed as intrusive and none of your business.

    If it were me I would not say anything, decline further invitations and continue to be a friend to this woman. At some point she may need you as a friend, to be there for her. To listen.