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Author Topic: Obviously I need advice
NeedAdvice
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I am a hatrack resident who wishes to remain anonymous for reasons that will be evident but I need some advice from this community. I don't know where else to turn.

Several months ago I found out my 11yos was playing house with my 3yo neices and my 4yo son. My son is emotionally immature for his age - closer to 9 than 12. During the course of playing he kissed the girls on the mouth with his tongue. Nothing else happened. My dad found them in the back yard and had a funny feeling so he talked to the two mom's and then came to me to tell me what happened.

my son has not been able to give a reason why he did what he did but is in counseling. He is diagnosed with juvenile bipolar (due to many other behaviors not just this incident). He talks to the counselor, our clergy and my husband and there are no indications that he was abused or has tried anything else. The incident happened about 4 months ago.

Since then I am no longer asked to watch my neices from either family (when I was watching them 3-4 times a month) my 4yo is never asked to come over and play with his cousins (previously they played several times a week and are/were very close). I now find out that my brother is upset that my mom was going to take my son, his daughter, my other brother and sister to a concert. His daughter is not allowed to be around my son unless he is there to supervise.

I and my family have basically been "shunned" for lack of a better word. I tried to keep it from my mom because I didn't want her to know feeling like she shouldn't be placed in a position "between" her kids. But somehow she has discerned how we are being treated and is hysterical.

My brother tells me he is sad but he has to protect his children even if it means from his own nephew.

I understand his fear but I also think he is overreacting a little bit. There was no physical touch made other than kissing while playing house and that was only ONE time not continous.

I don't know how to approach this. I truly do not feel my son is a danger to anyone. If I did I would take measures to protect. I am not one of those moms that ever sweeps what her child does aside and defends him no matter what. If my child does something wrong that child takes the consequence.

He has apologized to everyone involved and never goes near the kids when we are all together at my mom's. I don't know what else he can do besides continue counseling which he will of course do.

I don't know what advice I'm really looking for I just don't have anyone else to turn to about this and need other perspectives to help me figure out how to navigate this horrible situation. With Thanksgiving coming up my first reaction is to just leave the state so I don't have to face everyone. Even though we've had family gatherings of a sort (nothing formal) since then all this has been stirred back up because my brother refuses to let his daughter go to this concert.

Thanks for reading my novel and any perspective you can lend.

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Libbie
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Oh my goodness - I really don't know what advice I can offer. I feel that your family may be over-reacting a tad, but then, I can understand their wanting to protect the rest of the kids from what they perceive to be a threatening situation, even if it's not actually a threat.

Maybe you just need to keep trying to communicate with your brother and the rest of the family, letting them know that he's in counseling and that he's making a special effort to stay away from the younger kids just to ease everybody's minds, even though he has no urges to ever do something like that again.

I just don't know what to say - I wish I could offer you some better advice. I'm sure somebody else will have something more helpful, but I wish you luck and I hope everything comes out for the best for you.

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Orincoro
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Well, this isn't about YOUR son, this is also about their kids. You seem to be harping on the fact that your son and you are being shunned, but remember that as much as your siblings care about you and your kids, they care more about their own. You need to accept that and simply take care of your own kids first as well. Unfortunately, re-establishing relationships is not something you can be responsible for, because you are invested in "clearing your name" or your son's name; even if you say or think you aren't, you are doing that a little.

Forcing the issue or trying to prove that things are ok will be counterproductive- they just have to come around on their own.. or if I were them, wait until their kids are old enough not to worry about in your son's presence, or until he has matured to the point that they won't worry.

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Troubadour
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Sounds pretty innocent in general to me. I understand your brother's perspective, but I also think he's over-reacting slightly.

Kids imitate what they see around them and aren't always good with boundaries.

The counseliing is probably a good idea, just to be sure he hasn't developed some wayward weirdness.

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Lupus
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It is a tough situation for you to deal with...because you are getting pushed out of your family activities, but I would have to admit if I had children, and that happened I would never allow them to be with that child without my supervision.

Try to look at it from their perspective. They have young children that were being kissed with tongue by an older male. They are worried not only that it will happen again, but that it will go further.

I think perhaps they are going a bit far by not letting your 4 year old play with their children anymore, but perhaps they are worried that something your 4 year old picked up from your older son will be taught to their children.

I know you said it happened only once, and never went further, but I can see a parent worrying that it could happen again.

As what your son can do, at this point nothing. The incident happened already, he can't undo it. The only thing that might make your family come around is time. When they see him get older and nothing else happens, they might learn to trust him again. Though this will likely take years, not months.

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MightyCow
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It seems like a little bit of an overreaction on one side, but on the other side, I don't know if a 11 year old has much to in common for playing games with a 3 and 4 year old. I know when I was 11, I wouldn't have wanted to waste time with "dumb babies."
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Lisa
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I would probably do the same thing your family is doing. I'm really sorry. I know what it's like to be shunned, and it stinks. But what your son did is just really scary. And there are too many potential nightmares that'd go through my head to ever let someone like that back into my home.

If I didn't do what your family is doing, and the inappropriate behavior ever turned into out-and-out molestation, I'd never forgive myself. I couldn't take that chance.

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lem
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I agree with Lupus and StarLisa. I wouldn't let my child play with even a 9 year old who kissed a four year old on the mouth--let alone an 11 year old.

Parental instinct is strong and inappropriate sexual stuff can and does happen as young as 11--especially with children who are emotionally immature.

I think you would be better off to acknowledge their concern and take the time to find friends closer to his age to play with. When they see he is not a threat and matures a little more with friends his own age, the family will probably ease up some.

I wouldn't let this interfere with your relationship with your family. I would just accept their reaction as natural and let time show them they overreacted. I would much rather err on the side of caution.

EDIT: btw, kudos to your dad. By shining light on the situation he probably stopped something that from developing that could easily go from innocent to damaging. Your son learned boundaries, the girls were protected, the mothers were informed.

In the long run this was probably the best thing that could happen for your son. Learning boundaries is always easier then having to re-learn them after behavior is established.

[ November 07, 2006, 08:19 AM: Message edited by: lem ]

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Storm Saxon
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I'm not sure how wrong what your son did was, but the family treating him like a monster, when he is not a monster but a confused little boy, is ten times worse than what he did, and they should be ashamed.

I genuinely hope you can find closure on this, NA.

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Jim-Me
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Along the lines of what Storm said, compassion and love for your son is paramount here. Your family will do what they will do and you can't control that. But if you let your son receive the message that he is broken beyond repair, he is in for a very rough life. As I have posted elsewhere, I was a childhood victim of sexual abuse from an older child (ages very similar to the ones involved here). I firmly believe that the real damage was not done by the abuse, but by the response of my parents-- punishment and condemnation.

Make sure your son knows he is loved, just as he is-- that your love isn't conditional on his behavior, and that other people's choices don't mean he is inherently evil or broken. The trick is, he almost certainly doesn't realize he's being taught those things by this episode. One of the hardest things to do in life is to teach right and wrong without making a person themselves into "good" or "evil". I have no advice on how to proceed, but that is the challenge before you.

I also want to say that I feel for you... being put aside by family is never any fun and being without their support in a trying time such as you have ahead of you makes it doubly difficult. You sound like you have made good choices so far and are dealing with this as well as possible. I wish you luck, grace, and much success.

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Scott R
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quote:
Make sure your son knows he is loved, just as he is-- that your love isn't conditional on his behavior, and that other people's choices don't mean he is inherently evil or broken. The trick is, he almost certainly doesn't realize he's being taught those things by this episode. One of the hardest things to do in life is to teach right and wrong without making a person themselves into "good" or "evil".
I agree... your job is to make sure your son know you love him, and that you will protect him (even from himself). I'm glad to know he's in counseling.

I'm a little concerned about the attitude displayed in the following post:

quote:
There was no physical touch made other than kissing while playing house and that was only ONE time not continous.
The difference in mental ages between a four-year old and a 9-11 year old is tremendous. Your brother's reaction is spot on-- I'd protect my kids in a very similar way.

Lem's advice is solid.

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Amanecer
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I agree with everyone that said your family's reaction to your eleven year old was appropriate. But I don't think the reaction to year four old is appropriate. Assuming that he is a happy, normal little boy, it seems a shame to deprive him of his cousins. I suspect that if you drop the issue of the 11 year old being able to hang out with the girls and instead calmly talk to your relatives about how you don't want the 4 year old to suffer because of this incident, your family might be more willing to let their kids hang out with him again.
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katharina
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Yes, I would do what you can do to get your four-year-old to hang out with his cousins again, but don't try to arrange for the eleven-year-old to hang out with them. I would do whatever I needed to to make sure my kids were safe, and that is their first obligation.

I'm glad your eleven-year-old is in counseling, and that you care so much about him. [Smile]

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Lisa
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quote:
Originally posted by Amanecer:
I agree with everyone that said your family's reaction to your eleven year old was appropriate. But I don't think the reaction to year four old is appropriate. Assuming that he is a happy, normal little boy, it seems a shame to deprive him of his cousins. I suspect that if you drop the issue of the 11 year old being able to hang out with the girls and instead calmly talk to your relatives about how you don't want the 4 year old to suffer because of this incident, your family might be more willing to let their kids hang out with him again.

<nod> And if you add that you recognize your older son's problem and are getting him help, that, I'm sure, would go a long way towards calming them.

If you try and tell them that you don't think it's as big of an issue as they think, they'll never trust you, let alone your son.

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pH
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I'm going to chime in on the "overreacting" side. I mean, I can understand the worry, but at the same time it's very, VERY important NOT to overly shame children when they do something along these lines, in my opinion. It's very unlikely that it was anything but innocent. I think counseling is a good idea just to make sure your son isn't seriously emotionally harmed by the shame/bad person angle.

-pH

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NeedAdvice
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quote:
Originally posted by Orincoro:
you are invested in "clearing your name" or your son's name; even if you say or think you aren't, you are doing that a little.


I'm not interested in clearing my name. That implies that I am denying what happened or the seriousness. I'm not. There is no clearing.

quote:
Originally posted by Storm Saxon:
I'm not sure how wrong what your son did was, but the family treating him like a monster, when he is not a monster but a confused little boy, is ten times worse than what he did, and they should be ashamed.

I genuinely hope you can find closure on this, NA.

Thank you and the others that express this opinion. I appreciate it greatly.

Scott- there was no attitude. I was merely stating the fact. I make no excuses I'm just trying to explain the facts and the circumstances.

quote:
Originally posted by katharina:
Yes, I would do what you can do to get your four-year-old to hang out with his cousins again, but don't try to arrange for the eleven-year-old to hang out with them.

I don't try to arrange for my 11yo to hang out with them. Ever. I never have. We get together at my mom's house for barbeques and family birthdays etc. All the cousins have always played together. There is a 13yo, 11yo, 10yo, 4yo, 3yo, 3yo, 1yo, 10 months old. There is a wide age range and they've always played together. The older kids have been spending less time with the youngers because the ages are so wide but they have always played together. The older ones have often let the younger ones tag along because they look up to the older kids and want to be a part of it too.

The one brother that is causing the most tension over this is also the brother that has been limiting his kids time with the family in general and is also very controlling.

Obviously there are more issues here than what I can type out comfortably. I appreciate those that reassured me that my son is not a monster. I honestly, after much soul-searching and prayer do not feel he is a continual threat. Several family members have prayed and have been watching these last four months and have expressed that to me also. I didn't ask them what they thought - they came to me individually. I'm not trying to push my child or family on anyone I'm just trying to navigate a horrible situation.

Meanwhile my mother is still in the hospital. There is a problem with her EKG and she needs more tests today.

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Mrs.M
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NA, let me first say how sorry I am for your pain. This is a terrible situation for everyone involved and I can't imagine what you are going through.

However.

quote:
I understand his fear but I also think he is overreacting a little bit. There was no physical touch made other than kissing while playing house and that was only ONE time not continous.
How do you know? From your account, your son was alone with the little girls. Since your son didn't confess what he had done until confronted with it, he has proven himself to be untrustworthy in this matter. You absolutely cannot expect your brother to take your son's word and, frankly, neither should you.

I think perhaps you are under-reacting. An 11-year-old tongue-kissing 2 toddlers is extremely deviant behavior. I am glad that you are getting him counseling, but if I were your brother, I would have to know much more about his treatment. How often is the counseling? Is the doctor a specialist in adolescents who exhibit deviant behaviors toward young children? Is the entire family in counseling? What are the treatment goals and what is the plan for reaching them?

I think it is reasonable for your brother to insist upon being present when your son is around his daughter. I am guessing that he feels he can no longer trust your parents because the incident happened under their supervision and that he can no longer trust you because you are the boy's mother. I also think it is reasonable for him to object to the concert. It's harder to supervise children in a crowded public setting and he can't take the chance that your son will slip away with his daughter. I think he has a right to know if your family wants to include your son in their plans if his daughter will be present.

quote:
I truly do not feel my son is a danger to anyone.
I disagree. All you know for sure is that your son inappropirately kissed 2 toddlers and lied about it by omission. I know that every mother wants to believe the best of their child, but you need to consider the possibility that your son did more than that and isn't admitting it. I am not saying that he did do more, but I wouldn't trust his word. I don't think your son should be treated like a pariah, but I think he should be watched very closely.

I don't see how your family is shunning you. I can understand why they don't trust you to babysit. It's a shame that they won't let your younger son play with his cousins, but I understand that, too. Personally, I would insist on 2 adults being present if your children are with their cousins. That is the only way to ensure that they are never left alone. It sounds as if you and your children are still welcome at family gatherings and I think that is the best you can expect at this point. I couldn't tell from your post what these gatherings are like, but it seems like they're awkward, but civil. As more time passes without any incidents, your family might relax.

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Zeugma
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As a mid-twenties non-parent, I'm also leaning to the side of being more concerned about the adults involved overreacting. Obviously it impossible for us internet quarterbacks to know exactly how this played out, and just how "threatening" the situation was. So maybe it's worth flipping out about how the 11 year old boy behaved... and maybe it was just an innocent mistake by a kid who didn't understand boundaries imitating adults in a make-believe game.

Overall the impression I'm taking away from this is that 11 year olds and 3 year olds are just way too far apart developmentally to be playing together unsupervised, period. When I was an 11 year old girl, I hung out with a lot of 11 year old boys and girls, and I remember several "incidents" where everyone was clumsily but innocently coming to terms with moving into adulthood.... but since we were all basically at the same stage of development, we all learned boundaries quickly and no one was scarred beyond the point of being asked for a kiss, or hearing some really raunchy jokes, or graphic depictions of what so and so saw her parents doing when they thought they weren't being watched.

Had the girls in the house-playing game been the same age as the boy, they probably would have just said "ewww gross, no way!", the boy would have learned something about boundaries, and none of the adults would probably ever have heard anything about it.

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Jim-Me
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Mrs. M., NA is not taking anyone's word for it. From what she has posted there are no reasons to believe the incident is anything other than what she says it was-- an isolated incident that went as was described. There doesn't appear to be any controversy or ambiguity as to what actually happened, nor in the counselor's assessment of the 11 yr old.
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Amanecer
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Since the incident happened four months ago, this might be a moot point. But in the Shame and Monsters thread importance was placed on the need to explain to the 11 year old what is happening without making him feel like a bad person. Is it possible to emphasize his age when explaining why things are happening? Meaning that when situations arise where he is not invited, you can simply say it's a little kids activity? At family gatherings perhaps you could come up with different activities (in different rooms) for the 13, 11, and 10 year old than the four and under crowd.

It's been said already, but I think calling a family meeting could be very helpful. Try to reach compromises that will make your relatives feel safe while also protecting your boy's self-esteem. I'm thinking that scripting could be very usefull here. Your family members might not always be thinking about the harm their words and actions can do to your boy. If you can give them things to say when inevitable questions about why he can't play with the kids or be alone with them comes up, things will likely go smoother for everybody. Instead of making a huge deal about him not being alone with the girls, they can just say he's old enough to hang out with his aunt/uncle/etc. Or you could leave activities and toys for him at your relatives' houses so that when he goes over there he has something to do that's special for him.

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pH
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quote:
How do you know? From your account, your son was alone with the little girls. Since your son didn't confess what he had done until confronted with it, he has proven himself to be untrustworthy in this matter. You absolutely cannot expect your brother to take your son's word and, frankly, neither should you.

I doubt he thought there was anything to confess. Therefore, he wasn't being dishonest.

-pH

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Storm Saxon
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I <3 family therapy.

Treating one component in a family dynamic is like treating,um, only one of something that is really interconnected and dependent on each other part for its health? Hmmm. Army ants? A pride of hyenas? I don't know.

I so hope everything works out well for you, your son, and your family, NeedAdvice.

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Samarkand
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Hmm.

1) I would not leave your 11 year old alone with younger children, and I would generally keep an eye on him while playing with others, just in case.

2) Experimentation with sexuality is a part of human nature. We have cultural boundaries which shade our perceptions regarding sexual experimentation, but from a biological standpoint it's really pretty normal and expected.

3) It's quite possible that he didn't mean it in a sexual way at all (all the 11 year old boys I have known or know now are SO not interested in anything; kissing and stuff are gross) and was just playacting or curious about what kissing felt like or something. It's possible it was something more sinister, which is why I advocated for number 1 above, but it seems quite unlikely.

4) I agree that an immature 11 year old boy really shouldn't be playing unsupervised, especially around younger children. Period.

5) I think it's SO IMPORTANT that it be clearly presented to your son that the reason why what he did was wrong was because his cousins are really too young to be able to make choices about whether they want to be kissed, and also that there are stigmas about engaging in any kissy stuff with relatives. I don't want him to walk off with the idea that he's evil or bad; I think he should just know why it wasn't a smart choice, and understand why it wasn't, and some more about boundaries.

6) So the concert would be supervised by your mom, yes? And it was at your parents' house that the incident occurred? I dunno, if I were your brother I wouldn't be too keen on the idea either. I would a) want to go too to keep an eye on things or b) not let my daughter go. And honestly, that doesn't seem like overreacting to me. Try to imagine how you would feel in the situation were reversed and it was your brother's 11 year old son who had kissed your 4 year old daughter while under your parents' supervision. I would be mildy freaked. Now, that said, I would be 100% fine with family gatherings or any other event at which I was present, because I could keep an eye on them both and make sure everything was kosher. And I totally don't get not letting your four year old come over to play, that seems extreme to me.

Question: when you say you have been shunned, do you just mean them not wanting your 11 year old over or their kids to play with him, or to go to concerts with him, and not asking your 4 year old over, or have they also stopped inviting you all to family gatherings? Or don't go out with you and your husband anymore? If you think it would do any good, you might approach the most receptive party about having your four year old over, and you might also try arranging a nice dinner out with your brother and his wife and get separate baysitters. *shrug*

Again, I have no idea how gracefully they're handling it, but I don't think it's at all strange that they don't want their kids around your son, sad though that is. They're parents, and their number one goal is to protect their kids.

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Icarus
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I agree strenuously with Storm Saxon, and I don't agree with the characterization of your child's behavior as "extremely deviant." Immature, yes. Unaware of boundaries, yes. Would I let him be alone with young children? No. But I think I know a thing or two about sexual abuse, and this was not it. People should be concerned and vigilant, but the treatment your son has received is shabby and damaging. I understand your siblings' desire to protect their own, but their actual behavior has been a misguided overreaction, not unlike those people who never let their kids play outside for fear they might be snatched. I'm sorry you and your son have to go through with this.
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NeedAdvice
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1. The incident happened when the whole family was over - all the adults were inside and the kids went outside and we all asked 11yo to keep an eye on the little ones so they didn't get into stuff. A regular and not at all unusual request. The girls parents were there as well as myself and my parents.

2. The concert was to be the 10yo, my 11yo, both my parents and my single sister and single brother. 4 adults to 2 kids is a pretty darn good ratio.

3. We did explain to him the boundaries and he does recognize now why it was so inappropriate. The only conclusion I can come to is that he was curious. So many shows have kids in the pre-teen years pairing off, kissing etc and while we really limit what they watch we can't police everything all the time. No parent can.

4. Its hard to explain how we are being shunned. One brother and sister in particular will see us at church and not sit with us - despite sitting with us all the time before this. They avoid us if possible. If I bump into the moms at the library a look passes between them before they come sit with me at storytime... its a whole bunch of little things that make it quite obvious they'd be happier if we moved away and they didn't have to see us. If they know we will be going to my parents after church they don't show up when otherwise they will if they know we won't be there.... stuff like that. Its obvious.

5. I don't even think the 3yo girls even remember anything. We did not make a big deal of it in front of the kids - their parents did explain we don't go around kissing each other like that etc. and we did the same with ours. The little ones act normal and happy around any of us. In fact I don't even think my 13yo even knows what happened. We are careful to not allow the adult problems to filter to the kids - at least I try to be. The drama is behind the scenes so to speak.

I know there isn't much I can do but my mom is devastated by my brother's treatment of her - there is more than I have gone into. She spent the night in the hospital having chest and back pain, not being able to breathe and numbness. There was a discrepency on her EKG and the repeat EKG this morning was okay and the stress test was okay. But her heart is broken and things will never be the same. My son's incident is only one piece of that game.

Anyway - thank you for your honest opinions and insights. The other thread is hard for me to read but also contains some interesting viewpoints and I appreciate the concern and love I've felt from some of you.

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Pelegius
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I am afraid that there is a predjudice against young teenaged males.

I have seen a thirteen year old boy, smart, funny and from a good family, expelled from school becouse a girl claimed that he "tried to kill her" during the course of a game.

The two situations seem the same to me, particularly in the light of this quote "by an older male."

It is true that men are more likely to be sex offenders than women, but really. The young teenage years are very hard, for boys perhaps more so than girls. Remember that girls mature both physicaly and emotionaly more quickly than boys. Add this to the fact that manyŚ not all, but manyŚ elementary and middle school teachers do not even bother to hide the fact that they prefer female students (my sixth grade math teacher was one of the worst in this regard, none of the girls understood why she was fired after four years, all of the boys did.)

In short, your son is at probably the most difficult time of his life. Well actualy, he will be in a year. Twelve and thirteen are the worst. Eighth grade and high school are a breeze after that.

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Icarus
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Meh . . . just because a particular year of life was difficult for you does not mean that is universal, even for people of the same gender. For myself, ninth grade was my worst year, emotionally, by far.
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Scott R
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quote:
The only conclusion I can come to is that he was curious. So many shows have kids in the pre-teen years pairing off, kissing etc and while we really limit what they watch we can't police everything all the time. No parent can.
IF you are seriously asserting that TV has something to do with his behavior, THEN you should get rid of the television.
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Jim-Me
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I think she's just trying to figure out where he's seen it.
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DDDaysh
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First of all, look at Pelegius's point. If this had been an 11-year-old girl and a 3 or 4 year-old-boy, I doubt anyone would have reacted so strongly. They would probably have figured the little girl was trying to "gross out" the little boy. Secondly, take a looke at what REALLY happened... two cousings exchanged brief contact in a PLAY situation. They were probably PLAYING like husband and wife, and the 11-year-old was being more realistic than he should have been. It's a little STRANGE maybe, but not that unusual. Cousins who are close often do WEIRD things.... heck, when I was in elementary school (granted, not quite a toddler, but still young) I was the ONLY girl in all my cousins. I was around, while my pubesent cousins were showing eachother dirty magazines and DOING stuff with them. I don't think that's what happened in this case, I'm just saying, they're COUSINS, it won't scar them for life.

That being said, I can understand why the adults might be a little concerned. In this day in age, horror stories are everywhere. However, they are TOTALLY overreacting. An appropriate reaction would have started with what you've done, and then increased to (circumspectly - the children should not know) making sure your son is not alone with his much younger cousins just as a precaution. However, if you agree to this, it's ridiculous for your family to act like you are untrustworthy. You recognize your son is getting couseling, and it sounds like you might take this reasonable precaution. To insist that HE be the one to supervise is absolutely insulting to you, your parents, and any other adult.

People say that you don't KNOW what may have happened before. This may or may not be true. However, the fact that you did not supervise your so so closely before is not something YOU did wrong. You had no reason to even be concerned before, and now you do. I doubt your son was deviant, or sexual, or anything like that. However, you have to look at how it might feel to the girls, even if he's only being friendly. You see this now, and you sound like you're taking steps to help your son behave more apprpriately. It disgusts me that your family would abandon you with this. My family isn't perfect, but I have some cousins that are just plain WEIRD, and even so, my family doesn't desert them!

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Brad Daniels
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I frequent hatrack alot, and many of you know me well. I felt that my advice could be very helpful in this thread, I had to read the tangent thread before I could find this one. Though I hate posting anonymously in this instance I felt that though I trust most of you to be civil, hatrack is a large community and I cannot safely assume everyone would react to this post in a manner I'd find appropriate. Anyway enough about me.

NeedAdvice: Within my family we have a custom of kissing each other as a sign of affection. My father and mother always kissed us. For some reason it did not really catch on amongst us siblings and in some cases my parents now kiss some of us on the cheek rather then on the lips.

Growing up my youngest brother and I have always been very close. I was thrilled when he was born and I was five years old. Since everybody kisses babies I took no exception covering my brother with kisses. By the time he was 4 I was 9 years old and I still kissed him as a sign of affection. My other brother who simply put is far different from me I cannot remember ever kissing, not once.

One day while I was playing with my brother he kissed me, and I think for some reason I was reminded of how they kiss in the movies and for a moment slipped my tongue in his mouth, I wanted to see what that felt like. I pulled away almost immediately because I felt a shock as if something was not right about what I had just did. My parents until that point had NEVER told me, "Boys dont kiss other boys." or anything of that nature. I worked it out in my head that I should not be kissing my own brother that way, nor any girl for that matter.

My brother went to my parents and told them what had happened. I did not know how to explain my actions so I lied to my parents and told them I had done no such thing. There were no repeats of that event and so my parents believed me.

I was not physically attracted in any way to my brother, nor to girls at that age, I could not understand how men and women fell in love that intensely. I just had nothing in common with girls at that time. I honestly think it was a moment where I wanted to see why people kissed that way.

I felt ashamed of my behavior however and I never kissed my brother even in my affectionate way ever again. We still are very close, I am not sure if he remembers that incident, I have never brought it up, but we are the best of friends still. I naturally figured out how to appropriately express my sexuality as I got older and I never once felt attraction for underage children, or even men for that matter. I am quite firm in my heterosexuality.

Now I cannot pretend to know what is going on inside your son's head. I just hoped my own experience with a similar circumstance could impress in your mind that although what your son did was not right, I would suggest calmly talking with him about what motivated him to do it.

There honestly is a VERY good chance there is nothing wrong with your son, he was just being childish. But I would strongly suggest you do your best to in a mature manner find out how your son views the situation. Don't assume there is a sexual predator inside him. Don't assume he won't do it again. Though in my case I had no intention of ever doing anything remotely like that, again everybody is different.

Don't freak out, and don't deny responsibility. Just calmly discover the stimulus that brought on the response.

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Storm Saxon
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Thank you so much for that, Brad. [Smile]
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Icarus
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*nod*
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dkw
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quote:
If this had been an 11-year-old girl and a 3 or 4 year-old-boy, I doubt anyone would have reacted so strongly.
I strongly disagree. I think the responses would have been pretty much the same.
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Mrs.M
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I just want to point out that I never wrote that the boy himself is deviant, though I do believe the behavior was. I don't think he is a monster and I also wrote that I don't think he should be treated as a pariah.

I was tongue-kissed by an 12-year-old when I was 9. I developed very early and was already 5'2'' and wearing a bra. I was at a small school where 3rd through 6th grades had lunch and recess together. This boy said that he wanted to show me something neat, but he didn't want the teachers to see. I went with him to a spot where the teachers couldn't see us and he said that I would have to let him kiss me before he would show me. I had misgivings, but I said yes anyway and before I could brace myself, he kissed me roughly on the lips. He then jammed his tongue in my mouth. I was so startled that I jerked myself backward so hard that I bumped my head on the wall. He said he was sorry and showed me his father's bowie knife. We went back to recess and that was it. I never told anyone and we never discussed it. While I certainly wouldn't say I was scarred for life, to this day I can't abide tongue-kissing and won't even do it with my husband.

I've thought about this and I would probably avoid NA and her children for a time, too, if I was one of her relatives. Not because I think her son is a monster, but because I wouldn't trust myself to be able to treat him normally. I would rather stay away from him than hurt him through my behavior or attitude. Not only am I the somewhat overprotective mother of a special-needs little girl, but I am someone who was sexually assualted in my youth (not the incident described above). It would be very difficult for me to be in any way fair or rational in this situation, so I would just remove myself from it to protect everyone involved.

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TomDavidson
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quote:
I strongly disagree. I think the responses would have been pretty much the same.
Hm. I've been quiet so far on this thread, but I've got to admit that I disagree. In fact, I suspect that had it been an 11-year-old girl, this thread would never have been started.
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Brad Daniels
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That is very interesting Mrs. M. Thank you for sharing. Would you say then that in your opinion there is just no good way you could react to this situation?

I'd personally have to say that if I had an aunt or an uncle who did not want their children to be around me, based on who my parents are and my own personality, not to mention how NA has already reacted to the situation, its likely I would find out my aunt/uncle felt that way.

I would be very hurt, I won't say for sure that I would think, "I'm a monster." though thats a strong possibility, I would think, "They don't love me." From my perspective as a child if any of my aunts and uncles did not love me, it would hurt alot, because I would have a history of expecting love from them. Its different when you never really know them, or they never really notice you.

But like I said before perhaps there is no good way to respond to this situation, I personally think there could VERY WELL be a favorable outcome to this whole situation.

It is to be hoped that NA's brother with some time accepts that this will not be a reoccuring situation, and it is to be hoped that NA's son copes with this whole situation well.

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NeedAdvice
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Thank you Brad. I can't tell you how grateful I am that you posted. There really aren't words to express how grateful I am to get your perspective.

My son is starting to feel rejected. His uncle used to hang out with him all the time playing video games. My son got a new game and has invited him over many times only to be told "sure.. I'll come over sometime" Well sometime never happens and he is starting to pick up on that.

I am dreading Thanksgiving because of the tensions between this brother and ourselves, and with my mom. They are fueding too... my brother is really being a jerk right now about a lot of things and this isn't helping.

Anyway - again Brad thank you so much.

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Jim-Me
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quote:
Originally posted by dkw:
quote:
If this had been an 11-year-old girl and a 3 or 4 year-old-boy, I doubt anyone would have reacted so strongly.
I strongly disagree. I think the responses would have been pretty much the same.
I wouldn't say that no one would have the same reaction, but I bet there would be a great deal less furor. Males are still generally viewed with great prejudice on this matter.
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Brad Daniels
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quote:
Originally posted by NeedAdvice:
Thank you Brad. I can't tell you how grateful I am that you posted. There really aren't words to express how grateful I am to get your perspective.

My son is starting to feel rejected. His uncle used to hang out with him all the time playing video games. My son got a new game and has invited him over many times only to be told "sure.. I'll come over sometime" Well sometime never happens and he is starting to pick up on that.

I am dreading Thanksgiving because of the tensions between this brother and ourselves, and with my mom. They are fueding too... my brother is really being a jerk right now about a lot of things and this isn't helping.

Anyway - again Brad thank you so much.

My pleasure, [Hat]

I must confess I would never have guessed that an occasion might arise where that memory would warrant mention, let alone be useful.

The best of luck with your son.

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Samarkand
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Well, I think it's unkind and immature of your brother not to get his little booty over to your house and play some video games! Come on now! There's no need to talk about anything but what you're playing, it's classic male bonding, and there's certainly no danger of anyone getting tongue kissed.

Anyway, if I were in his shoes I would be very careful about my kids being alone around your son, but I would also make a serious point to make sure my nephew knew I loved him. That's important. And I really feel that lying to an 11 year old about spending time together and being unkind to a young family member is very damaging behavior. Poor kiddo.

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Storm Saxon
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quote:

Hm. I've been quiet so far on this thread, but I've got to admit that I disagree. In fact, I suspect that had it been an 11-year-old girl, this thread would never have been started.

No question.
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Storm Saxon
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quote:

While I certainly wouldn't say I was scarred for life, to this day I can't abide tongue-kissing and won't even do it with my husband.

...
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Scott R
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Brad:

Uh...wow. While I won't say that your story has changed my mind on the general principles that I've expressed... you've certainly showed how things can be viewed differently from within a similar situation.

Thanks-- I think your voice is one that was needed in this discussion.

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Jim-Me
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quote:
Originally posted by Samarkand:
Well, I think it's unkind and immature of your brother not to get his little booty over to your house and play some video games! Come on now! There's no need to talk about anything but what you're playing, it's classic male bonding, and there's certainly no danger of anyone getting tongue kissed.

Anyway, if I were in his shoes I would be very careful about my kids being alone around your son, but I would also make a serious point to make sure my nephew knew I loved him. That's important. And I really feel that lying to an 11 year old about spending time together and being unkind to a young family member is very damaging behavior. Poor kiddo.

Bears repeating. It's absolutely possible to care for all the kids in this situation.
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Jim-Me
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Gutsy post, Brad.
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MandyM
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Kudos to Brad for that post. I had a similar situation in my family but both children involved realized how weird it was and it never happened again, although I still remember it more than 20 years later.

NA, who says you have to be involved int he family Thanksgiving this year. You are right, it will probably be awkward and the time leading up to the event will be trying as well. Why not take a vacation with just your family for a change. Make it YOUR decision to not put your son or your family in the line of fire. Tell everyone that you wish them well and hope they have a great time but that you need time with just your family. Go camping or something fun! [Smile]

My family was shunning me for a while for a reason that was just as ridiculous as yours and I skipped a Thanksgiving one year because of it. It hurt them more than it hurt me. I had a great time without them. They were hurt that I didn't want to be around them (although I never said that to them) and they started to change their behavior just a little. It took a few more years but we are all fine now.

I am so sorry your son and your family has to go through this. I don't think your son is a monster either. Keep up with the counceling. God Bless.

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Amanecer
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quote:
NA, who says you have to be involved int he family Thanksgiving this year. You are right, it will probably be awkward and the time leading up to the event will be trying as well. Why not take a vacation with just your family for a change. Make it YOUR decision to not put your son or your family in the line of fire. Tell everyone that you wish them well and hope they have a great time but that you need time with just your family. Go camping or something fun!
I don't see this as a good idea. Her family is withdrawing from her. If she chooses to withdraw as well this might lead to a more permanant seperation. It's possible it could go the way it happened for you, but far from guaranteed.

I think the best thing to do is to try to talk to the people that are doing the shunning before Thanksgiving. Otherwise Thanksgiving is undoubtedly going to suck. If you bring up the issues before hand, even if it causes a mess, it would be better. Thanksgiving might not be great, but it's not like a time bomb will go off, because that already happened (in a more controlled way).

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BannaOj
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Oh but holiday knock-down drag-out familial blowups are so much fun! Thanksgiving is too close, at least one adult sibling is behaving childishly, and the grandmother is having a health breakdown anyway which gets worse with stress.

Thanksgiving is gonna suck. I'd bet my savings account on it. And don't tell me the kids aren't gonna pick up on all of the passive agressive backstabbing and/or confrontation going on with their parents and grandparents.

For the sake of the kids going far, far away would probably be the best. For the sake of the family as a whole, adults and children, maybe having the fights would clear the air and make things healthier.

AJ

(And if you are a kid that picks up on adult vibes, hiding in the furthest away corner with a book doesn't help the pain)

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NeedAdvice
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Sigh. I don't know whether to post here or on the tangent but since the tangent is supposed to be discussing concepts verses the specifics I'll post here I guess.

I feel like I need to defend my brother after reading some of the posts. He really is a good guy just trying to do the best he can for his family. He is under tremendous stress working full time, going to school and dealing with all this. I don't fault him for his reaction even if I think it is over-reacting a bit.

We definately need more discussion. We had left out two siblings because they didn't need to know but since my mom overheard my brother venting to my dad she has blown up and brought all the adults into the fray. Life really sucks around here right now because now we have all sorts of feelings running amuck. Grrrrr. Where is my magic wand? I want my magic wand!

Anyway. The end result at the moment is that neice gets to go to the concert after my brother re-evaluated. We all tiptoe around mom until she calms down enough to be rational (sigh) and brother and I will need to talk further. Hopefully the non-involved single adults can be smart enough to keep their mouths shut at Thanksgiving because its really none of their business anyway (I have one sister who is very vocal and thinks she knows it all even when she doesn't).

I can't back out of Thanksgiving. That would make the entire situation so much worse than it is. Hopefully the fireworks will be small.

Anyway, Family dynamic suck and I'd rather move to a deserted island somewhere but failing a major lottery win that won't be happening anytime soon.

And its time to put the discussion to rest.... I've gleaned as much as I can and the rest is too much.

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