8 year old acting out with my five year old

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by So Confused, Jul 31, 2009.

  1. So Confused

    So Confused New Member

    So I am a single mom and I have a friend who is also a single mom. Sometimes she bring her 8 year old son over to my house and he spend the night in the bed with my five year old son. The boys go to bed and we grownups get to watch a movie and hang out. Last night my five year old was in the room while I was changing his two year old brother's clothes. He told me that he was tickling his little brother's penis. I told him that penises are private and that he shouldn't touch anyone else's penis and that no one should touch his. He said, but my friend's eight year old asks him to touch his penis and he does. I was in shock. I made sure to tell him that I wasn't mad at him or his friend but that I just wanted to know what had happened. He said that when they go to bed my friend's son pulls down him jammie pants and asks my son to touch him. My son said that this has happened lots of times and that one time my friend's son wanted to touch his penis, too. I have a lunch date with my friend today and I am going to tell her what my son said. I am just so confused. I am wondering if her son was abused and that is why he did this, or if he was just curious. I am also wondering what I should do for my son at this time. He doesn't seem at all upset by it and I will make sure that the two of them are never alone together again, but does he need counseling? Probably, right? I am also concerned about my five year old now acting out at some point with my two year old. Any advice or info would be appreciated.
  2. SRL

    SRL Active Member

    Hi So Confused. I'm really sorry you had to find us. How upsetting this would be.

    I'm going to flag down some parents of older children on the general board (watch for responses here) so more moms will see it. I'm guessing that responses will be all over the place and in the end you will need to weigh it all and decide what's best for your family.

    Your friend definitely needs to be confronted and you need to take precautions that the two boys are never alone again. My gut reaction is that if it had happened once or twice you might be able to chalk it up to innocent exploration but that if it's happened "lots of times" something is definitely wrong there (along the lines of the other boy having been abused, viewed pornography, hypersexuality, etc).

    As to what to do for your son, that is really going to be a personal decision and may be based on how your friend responds and how your son responds. If your friend blows off your concern and opts not to get help, there will no doubt be other victims down the road. Personally I would probably schedule an appointment with a reputable sexual abuse counselor to discuss whether your son needs counseling (at least call and talk to someone). You do need to know that counselors in all states are mandatory reporters so it will likely start up an investigation by child protective services. I know that's painful if you're talking a friend's child but you really have to look out after your own little guy and younger sibling at this point. If it hasn't gone any further than this and he's not upset by it then probably ongoing counseling wouldn't be necessary. But if something else has occured and you don't check out that possibility in a professional manner, there could be some serious implications down the road.

    Are there any older brothers or adult males in the friend's household?

    Again welcome. I'm sorry you're having to deal with this.
  3. goldenguru

    goldenguru Active Member

    Hi Confused -

    Part of my job is responding to pediatric sexual assault matters.

    I agree with SRL that at this age, some touching and exploring is natural. "Lots of times" is concerning.

    You need to have a talk with your friend. I would not only be concerned for your child, but for your friends child as well. I would NOT NOT NOT let the 9 year old be alone with your child anymore. Period.

    I am of the opinion, that this needs to be addressed by a professional. I would contact your doctor and ask for a referral to a sexual assault specialist - someone who handles pediatric cases. Ask for a "forensic interview" for your children.

    This is a great opportunity for your kids to learn about good vs. bad touching.

    Good luck.
  4. JJJ

    JJJ Active Member

    It doesn't sound like your son was coerced. I think that is a key point. If he thought it was just a game, he will probably not be very traumatized. Just teach him that private parts are not toys and that he shouldn't touch others nor allow them to touch his. I think a therapy may make him feel that there is something wrong with him. (Therapy is great when something is wrong but if this was innocent play on your son's part...)

    Regarding your friend's son, I would let her know what your son said and that you are no longer comfortable having the boys sleep in the same room. It will be up to her to decide if her son needs help.

    Also, child-on-child sexual contact without force/coercion is not abuse and should not trigger a cps investigation as long as the parents are taking steps to stop it.
  5. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I tend to agree with JJJ. The fact that the other boy is 8 is somewhat iffy but I can remember that my whole circle of friends played doctor when we were 4 and 5 years old. We were always getting caught naked.

    I would definitely talk to the other mom because maybe there is a problem going on but you should teach your son good touch bad touch and just keep them from sleeping together.

    This is also something I am going to have to have a talk with my daughter in law about because my granddaughter is starting to notice that her playmate who is a boy and a year older has a penis and she is starting to try to grab it! She just turned 2...lol.
  6. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    When difficult child was in pre-K a family moved into the neighborhood with a son in grade. Something similar happened. The boy's Mom adamantly denied that her son would every have done anything sexual etc. Coincidentally I
    discovered the problem just two days before that family moved to the other side of town.

    Anyway, GFGmom was aghast and insisted that difficult child "feel free to talk about it all he wanted to" etc. I finally found a Pediatric specialist in Tampa and following her interview with difficult child she said he was not traumatized, most kids have some type of experience, keep the boys apart, reiterate the good touch-bad touch, keep your ears open but your mouth shut.

    So...I, too, think you should make an appointment if you can where you likely will hear that same advise. DDD

    PS: I may not be correct but in raising the children when something "odd" happened (not just sexual but stealing etc.) most of the time my kid or the other kid would ask "but WHY can't Billy spend the night etc." and I would say calmly as if I were discussing the weather "In our family we do not accept stealing (or bad touching) etc." My philosophy is/was that I would not give the impression of keeping secrets by not answering. The unacceptable behavior was named. I think that kept some kids away from
    the house that I did not want at the house and also told my children that we don't keep secrets etc.
  7. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    While I don't know what has happened to the friend's son, touching between 4 and 5 yo kids is different than if the kid who starts it is 8 and the other child is 5. That is a 3 year gap, not so significant in the eyes of adult relationships, but those years are HUGE in development of a child. Al the older boy would have to do is convince the younger one that it is what "all the big kids" play or do or whatever.

    Don't speak to your child about this until you have gotten a forensic interview. i don't think it should be ignored as kids being kids. The boys are NOT the same age, and by that dynamic alone the older one has lots of influence on the younger boy. If you don't talk about it until after the interview you will help bring the truth out. Asking a child teh same question several times can easily result in the child telling you what he thinks you want to hear.

    You also don't want your son to start to do this with other people. So the interview needs to ahppen and they will tell you if further steps need to be taken. As for your friend's son, I would wait until after the interview when you know more of what went on and how the forensic interviewer suggests.

    I am sorry that this issue has come up. Gentle hugs for you and your friend and both your families.

    Whatever happens, if you stay calm about it then it will be MUCH better and easier for your son.
  8. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    Forgot to add this:

    some little boys play with themselves as they go to sleep. i used to volunteer at my son's daycare when I had a day off. There were always a couple of boys and some girls doing this to calm and quiet themselves. Each of the kids was examined when it first came up, per the laws of that state, and in each one it was deemed "normal" for that child.
  9. SRL

    SRL Active Member

    How did the talk with your friend go?