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Daycare Center and Family Home Forum>4 Yo DCB With Barbie Doll
rmc20021 07:42 AM 05-07-2013
I allow all my dck's to play with which ever toy they desire with no gender specifications.

Yesterday I 'thought' my 4 yo dcb was doing something inappropriate with a barbie doll but wasn't sure so didn't say anything.

Just now, I caught him suckling on the barbie doll. Yesterday what I thought I saw him doing was inappropriately touching the doll between the legs.

I took the dolls and put them away and said he wouldn't be allowed to play with them any longer. He just stood there for a minute looking at me with this guilty look on his face and then broke down and started crying.

I consoled him because I don't want him to feel guilty, and I didn't say much more than that about it, except I told him that is not the way we play with the barbies.

This child lives next door to me so I know a lot of stuff that goes on over there, but not everything...I mean, we are not close and never even spoke after almost two years being neighbors until I started watching dck about 6 months ago.

Dcm screams at dcb a LOT. The other day I heard her yelling at him that she was going to break his neck. She has a LOT of people in and out of the house all the time (I don't suspect any drugs...just a lot of friends). I know she spanks him, but have no idea to what degree.

The way he acted just now was more out of fear, I felt than anything. It's the same way he has acted in the past when dcm disciplines him here...as though he's terrified he's going to be in big trouble once he leaves.

He has told me before he wants to live with me. I KNOW he loves his mom and I have no doubt she loves him...but I do believe she is very rough and strict on him.

This has thrown me for a loop this morning though with the barbie doll...just by the way he was doing it. I know he also co-sleeps with mom and her boyfriend so I'm concerned about what he's been exposed to.

I really am nervous about saying anything to dcm because I don't want him to punish him severely...but I don't want to not saying anything either.

Any suggestions????
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LittleD 07:46 AM 05-07-2013
Wow, that's a tough one! Wish I could give some advice, but I just don't know what to say.
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Crystal 08:18 AM 05-07-2013
I would have called CPS the moment I heard her threaten to "break his neck" You never know when the line is going to be crossed.

You are a mandated reporter. You have heard violent threats. Call CPS.
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Former Teacher 08:33 AM 05-07-2013
Originally Posted by Crystal:
I would have called CPS the moment I heard her threaten to "break his neck" You never know when the line is going to be crossed.

You are a mandated reporter. You have heard violent threats. Call CPS.
Agreed
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Heidi 08:36 AM 05-07-2013
Originally Posted by Crystal:
I would have called CPS the moment I heard her threaten to "break his neck" You never know when the line is going to be crossed.

You are a mandated reporter. You have heard violent threats. Call CPS.
I 2nd that...
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preschoolteacher 08:37 AM 05-07-2013
Oh, I feel for that little guy. He was probably acting out something very confusing he saw on the Barbie doll as a way to try to understand it. It's good you comforted him. Ugh, I feel awful thinking about what he probably has been exposed to.

Keep your eyes wide open. I think there may be a chance something bad is going on. You are a mandated reporter.
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Willow 09:29 AM 05-07-2013
Originally Posted by Crystal:
I would have called CPS the moment I heard her threaten to "break his neck" You never know when the line is going to be crossed.

You are a mandated reporter. You have heard violent threats. Call CPS.
This a million times over.


Want to add, try not to shame or tell him playing with dolls like that is inappropriate. If he's been exposed to something inappropriate or been hurt himself play therapy can be paramount to getting the full story out and helping a child heal. A lot of times that play therapy revolves around dolls. I know it's unintentional but I'd hate for him to start thinking that outlet is wrong and stop expressing his experiences!
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Starburst 09:40 AM 05-07-2013
Originally Posted by rmc20021:
I allow all my dck's to play with which ever toy they desire with no gender specifications.

Yesterday I 'thought' my 4 yo dcb was doing something inappropriate with a barbie doll but wasn't sure so didn't say anything.

Just now, I caught him suckling on the barbie doll. Yesterday what I thought I saw him doing was inappropriately touching the doll between the legs.

I took the dolls and put them away and said he wouldn't be allowed to play with them any longer. He just stood there for a minute looking at me with this guilty look on his face and then broke down and started crying.

I consoled him because I don't want him to feel guilty, and I didn't say much more than that about it, except I told him that is not the way we play with the barbies.

This child lives next door to me so I know a lot of stuff that goes on over there, but not everything...I mean, we are not close and never even spoke after almost two years being neighbors until I started watching dck about 6 months ago.

Dcm screams at dcb a LOT. The other day I heard her yelling at him that she was going to break his neck. She has a LOT of people in and out of the house all the time (I don't suspect any drugs...just a lot of friends). I know she spanks him, but have no idea to what degree.

The way he acted just now was more out of fear, I felt than anything. It's the same way he has acted in the past when dcm disciplines him here...as though he's terrified he's going to be in big trouble once he leaves.

He has told me before he wants to live with me. I KNOW he loves his mom and I have no doubt she loves him...but I do believe she is very rough and strict on him.

This has thrown me for a loop this morning though with the Barbie doll...just by he was doing it. I know he also co-sleeps with mom and her the way boyfriend so I'm concerned about what he's been exposed to.
I am not saying there is anything wrong with co sleeping, but if they co sleep and boyfriend shares the bed too and he is not the DCBs father, I would find it very odd. Especially if DCB is trying to touch dolls in inappropriate ways- not saying that the bf is touching him, but maybe they think he is asleep when they are trying to be intimate. Also if are you sure she told DCB that she was going to brake his neck or her bf? Either way DCB should not have to be subjected to that either by having it said directly at him or having to witness it.
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Unregistered 10:49 AM 05-07-2013
Depends on the context in which it's said. Lots of people joke around and threaten. My mom used to threaten to string me up by my thumbs. Who hasn't heard the phrase "I brought you into the world and I can take you out" Or somebody threaten a child with "you won't be able to sit down for a week"? It's very common for some ethnicities to make these kind of statements and not mean it at all. It's almost a kind of affection. My point, I guess, is that many, many parents threaten their kids at some time or another with something they would never do.
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rmc20021 11:05 AM 05-07-2013
Originally Posted by Unregistered:
Depends on the context in which it's said. Lots of people joke around and threaten. My mom used to threaten to string me up by my thumbs. Who hasn't heard the phrase "I brought you into the world and I can take you out" Or somebody threaten a child with "you won't be able to sit down for a week"? It's very common for some ethnicities to make these kind of statements and not mean it at all. It's almost a kind of affection. My point, I guess, is that many, many parents threaten their kids at some time or another with something they would never do.
And that's just it. It would be my word against mom and since I'm the one who lives right next door to her, even though it's supposed to be annonymous, there's no doubt who the reporter would be and it would become more involved than what I feel it needs to be at this point.

Now if I felt he was in danger, other than a good butt spanking, or getting yelled at or spoken to in an offensive manner, I'd have no hesitation to call cps.

I've made numberous reports in the past for things a lot more serious than a mom making a threat like that to her child and nothing was done. I'm also a foster parent and know of other foster parents and the things biological parents get away with make something like this look like a sneeze.

I'm not saying I don't have concerns that her parenting skills aren't the best, but I also believe this is just the way she is...very loud, boisterous and obnoxious. I've known this girl since she was in middle school when I worked there (yes, even though I knew her, we never spoke though we lived next door to each other. I'm a very private person and keep to myself in the neighborhood)

And what happened this morning with the Barbie wasn't appropriate and it would be my guess since he sleeps with mom, (and he is VERY sneaky) that she and the boyfriend probably did think the child was asleep. None of this makes it right and I'm not defending her, but I can see how a lot of this could have come about.

My concern now is how to deal with this with mom and child. I just don't want the boy getting into trouble unnecessarily if I were to tell her about it, yet I don't feel it's something that should be pushed under the rug.
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Heidi 11:35 AM 05-07-2013
Originally Posted by rmc20021:
And that's just it. It would be my word against mom and since I'm the one who lives right next door to her, even though it's supposed to be annonymous, there's no doubt who the reporter would be and it would become more involved than what I feel it needs to be at this point.

Now if I felt he was in danger, other than a good butt spanking, or getting yelled at or spoken to in an offensive manner, I'd have no hesitation to call cps.

I've made numberous reports in the past for things a lot more serious than a mom making a threat like that to her child and nothing was done. I'm also a foster parent and know of other foster parents and the things biological parents get away with make something like this look like a sneeze.

I'm not saying I don't have concerns that her parenting skills aren't the best, but I also believe this is just the way she is...very loud, boisterous and obnoxious. I've known this girl since she was in middle school when I worked there (yes, even though I knew her, we never spoke though we lived next door to each other. I'm a very private person and keep to myself in the neighborhood)

And what happened this morning with the Barbie wasn't appropriate and it would be my guess since he sleeps with mom, (and he is VERY sneaky) that she and the boyfriend probably did think the child was asleep. None of this makes it right and I'm not defending her, but I can see how a lot of this could have come about.

My concern now is how to deal with this with mom and child. I just don't want the boy getting into trouble unnecessarily if I were to tell her about it, yet I don't feel it's something that should be pushed under the rug.
Then I think you need to be direct with mom. "So...something kind of akward happened today, and I need to talk to you about it. Not a big deal yet, and I certainly don't want you to be upset with dcb. He was playing with the dolls in a rather adult way, and I'm thinking MAYBE he saw something on TV (let her save face) that he's probably too young for?"

I'd really stress that at this age, it's probably normal behavior, and it's not a problem unless it's contintues or gets worse. Chances are , he did see them being intimate, and he's just trying to work it out. HE doesn't know it's innapropriate yet.

If mom says something to the affect that "oh my gosh..he must have seen us", then you could ask her if she'd like you to sit down and talk to him together. She doesn't have the tools, but as an early childhood expert, you do. So help her. Would you be comfortable with that?

My ex husband was a big cusser, until one day we heard our 2 1/2 yo let out a string of really nasty words in the back seat of the car.

On a side note, keep a close eye on him, or next time it'll be one of the other dc kids, and then you've got other issues.
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AmyKidsCo 09:11 PM 05-07-2013
Maybe it was simple curiosity and nothing inappropriate?

If he'd seen a mom breastfeeding, maybe he was wondering about that and experimented with the Barbie. And at this age children are very interested in how they're the same and different from their friends (eye color, hair color, boy/girl, etc) so maybe he was just noticing that Barbie was different than he is. (For that matter, Ken is different from real boys too... Not that I'm advocating anatomically correct Barbie dolls, LOL!)

I think I'd watch him closely to see if it was simple curiosity or if there is something else going on.
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Michael 12:07 AM 05-08-2013
Originally Posted by Willow:
This a million times over.


Want to add, try not to shame or tell him playing with dolls like that is inappropriate. If he's been exposed to something inappropriate or been hurt himself play therapy can be paramount to getting the full story out and helping a child heal. A lot of times that play therapy revolves around dolls. I know it's unintentional but I'd hate for him to start thinking that outlet is wrong and stop expressing his experiences!
I agree with this.
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Laurel 05:18 AM 05-08-2013
Originally Posted by Heidi:
Then I think you need to be direct with mom. "So...something kind of akward happened today, and I need to talk to you about it. Not a big deal yet, and I certainly don't want you to be upset with dcb. He was playing with the dolls in a rather adult way, and I'm thinking MAYBE he saw something on TV (let her save face) that he's probably too young for?"

I'd really stress that at this age, it's probably normal behavior, and it's not a problem unless it's contintues or gets worse. Chances are , he did see them being intimate, and he's just trying to work it out. HE doesn't know it's innapropriate yet.

If mom says something to the affect that "oh my gosh..he must have seen us", then you could ask her if she'd like you to sit down and talk to him together. She doesn't have the tools, but as an early childhood expert, you do. So help her. Would you be comfortable with that?

My ex husband was a big cusser, until one day we heard our 2 1/2 yo let out a string of really nasty words in the back seat of the car.

On a side note, keep a close eye on him, or next time it'll be one of the other dc kids, and then you've got other issues.


Laurel
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Blackcat31 09:08 AM 05-08-2013
Originally Posted by rmc20021:
And that's just it. It would be my word against mom and since I'm the one who lives right next door to her, even though it's supposed to be annonymous, there's no doubt who the reporter would be and it would become more involved than what I feel it needs to be at this point. .
Who cares if she knows it was you who called it in?

YOU yourself said "...I mean, we are not close and never even spoke after almost two years being neighbors until I started watching dck about 6 months ago." so it isn't like you are friends, right?

Originally Posted by rmc20021:
Now if I felt he was in danger, other than a good butt spanking, or getting yelled at or spoken to in an offensive manner, I'd have no hesitation to call cps.
This doesn't make any sense because in your first post you said

* "I know she spanks him, but have no idea to what degree."
* "The way he acted just now was more out of fear, I felt than anything"
* "as though he's terrified he's going to be in big trouble once he leaves."
* "but I do believe she is very rough and strict on him"
* "I really am nervous about saying anything to dcm because I don't want him to punish him severely"

Those are some pretty powerful statements.

Originally Posted by rmc20021:
I've made numberous reports in the past for things a lot more serious than a mom making a threat like that to her child and nothing was done.
NO WAY would I let the fact thought nothing was done in the past detour me from ALWAYS calling if I suspect ANYTHING. ever.

I called for 3 years before CPS FINALLY stepped in and did something and it turned out that what had been going on was the WORST case of child abuse I have ever even heard about. I KNEW it was bad but had no idea how severe until afterwards. I hesitated to call too, but still called. And kept calling and documenting and calling and documenting.

It was the WORST experience as a child care provider I have ever been through and if I am ever in the position again where I even suspect....even a teeny tiny bit, I would still call, and call and call.

I am sorry if my post comes across as harsh, but I don't take calling CPS lightly and if you EVER even suspect something I think you need to call IMMEDIATLEY!!

It isn't YOUR job to decide if there is or isn't abuse going on, it is only your job to call in your suspicions and you DO have them.

Your second post seems to kind of go against what you said in your first post and I am more inclined to believe your first words.

I will carry emotional baggage with me FOREVER based on my personal experiences with calling CPS but I KNOW I made a difference in the children's lives that I called for.

I KNOW they are alright now and even though they no longer live with or near or even see their parent, they are still ok and safe.

Was the parent mad at me? You bet!!

I had to file a restraining order and had the police involved on several occassion, until one day the parent simply disappeared.

I am a little freaked out that they could come back and could try and contact me again, but calling CPS was still the right thing to do and I would do it again.

You need to call about this family.
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craftymissbeth 09:25 AM 05-08-2013
Please, please, please do not take this as rude...

BUT...

Have you taken a Child Abuse/Neglect class? Mine was required for licensing and included identifying, reporting, and preventing child abuse/neglect. It specifically stated that if you suspect in any way that a child is being abused in any way that you report it. It's not your job to investigate or determine how severe the abuse is... if it's suspected, you report it.

Also, it specifically state that it's very common for nothing to be done at all by CPS... but to just keep reporting it if you keep suspecting it.


What I'm trying to say is that it doesn't matter what your opinion is on the severity of what's going on.. you're obligated to report this. You've suspected it.. now you need to report it.


This is a tough situation!
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Tags:inappropriate behavior, inappropriate touching
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