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Delicate Situation

Lyric412's picture

I've had a tricky and potentially problematic situation arise with my SS12.

We have my SS 50% of the time.  I've been in his life since he was 2.  He is now a VERY tall 12 year old.  My husband and I have an 8 year old son and a 4 year old daughter together.

For a little background, my SS fancies himself as a "gamer."  He (in my opinion) spends entirely too much time closed off in his room playing his video games or on his phone.  My husband does monitor his devices.  He usually can't be bothered and has no interest or very little in his younger siblings.  Once in a while he will invite them into his room to watch him play a video game.

Yesterday afternoon he wandered into our living room where my daughter and I were watching tv.  He went over to her and started tickling her knees and asking her if she wanted to come up to his room to make some music.  I said she could just stay downstairs but she objected and went up with him.  I told him to keep his door open.  I sat there for a couple of minutes feeling very bothered by this scenario.  Is it really normal for a 12 year old boy to want to hang out with a 4 year old girl?  So I figured I had some laundry to put away so would go upstairs and keep an eye open.  When I got upstairs the door to his room while not latched was nearly closed.  I opened the door and the room was DARK.  The only light was coming from these colored fairy lights he has on the ceiling.  My daughter was sitting on his bed and he was in a chair facing her.  He said they were making music.  I reiterated that the door needed to stay open.  He came into the other room a few minutes later to play me a "song" my daughter made, and then a few minutes after that she left his room and he closed the door behind her.

This whole situation made me very uncomfortable.  As in, raised the hairs on the back of my neck uncomfortable.  Now, I am not accusing this child of anything and thank God my daughter is not showing any signs that anything inappropriate has happened to her, but I do not like this.  Am I wrong to think this is completely inappropriate??

I need to figure out a tactful way to tell my husband.  He isn't the type to feel angry but I worry he may think I'm overreacting.  I want him to have a talk with my SS about why this is inappropriate and that it will not happen again.


Badger1986's picture

This is delicate and can really bring a wedge in between you and your husband. You also don't want a triangle dynamic, which is when the husband and ss starts to gang up on you. We have this same rule for ss. All of his friends in the neighborhood are girls and we tell them that they cannot sleep with the door closed or on the same bed and we explained to him in a 9 year old way why. This is a little different though. I can see if he and your daughter had a relationship where he played with her all the time and spent time with her but it's odd that he wouldn't hangout with the older male child than the girl. Kids are very curious, even from the ages of 4 but definitely at the age of 12. I would reiterate the rules to your ss in front of your husband. I would also continue to make sure that 8 year old son is up there at the same time. You shouldn't feel like you're overreacting, most 12 year old boys would not want to hang with a 4 year old, especially a 4 year old sister. I would keep an eye on this one. 

ESMOD's picture

If your daughter is 4.. she is old enough to perhaps tell you what they are doing.. you can also have converstions with her about not keeping secrets and personal safety and privacy.

Lyric412's picture

Yes, I agree with this.  I've been asking her some questions and we had a conversation today about keeping secrets.  I'm going to continue checking in with her about things regularly.

Survivingstephell's picture

Making music?  Wtf.  I'd ask BD what and how she make music.  Let those answers be your guide.  

Lyric412's picture

He uses an app on his phone that allows you to put beats and sounds together.  I asked him how she created a song and he showed me how it works.  So it's a legit "thing" but it doesn't make me any less bothered.

lieutenant_dad's picture

It's not about asking him. It's about asking her. Perhaps ask her if she wants to make music with you and see how she reacts. If she takes you to her room and just starts singing, cool. If something else happens, let that guide you.

CajunMom's picture

You don't have to tell your DH anything at this point. Just watch your child CLOSELY. Talk with her. Get details of what happened and just what kind of music they "made." Dependent on that information, you may want to get with your DH but even if what she says doesn't warrant you talking with your DH, again, watch your child around your SS.

This sounds weird to me and having a friend who works for the government prosecuting online predators as her main case load....that gave me the creeps reading your post. Your SS seems to be online a lot and while you say your DH monitors his activity, I've heard of way too many cases where kids have learned to "hide" what they do from others. 

Again, trust your hyper vigilant in watching your daughter around him.

Lyric412's picture

Thank you.  Trust me, it gives me the creeps too!  I am going to be hyper vigilant for sure.  I almost want to put a baby monitor back in her room at night.  I may just tell my husband straight that I don't want our daughter going into SS's room alone with him.  Period.  If he needs a reason I'll just tell him it's f-ing weird.  He and I both work with and around children and are mandatory reporters ourselves so we've seen and heard plenty of horror stories.  I don't trust anyone with my kids.

CajunMom's picture

It's just another added step of protection and helps your peace of mind. I'm so sorry. I worked in the school system so can really empathize with your position. Sending you a big hug.

Survivingstephell's picture

Beware the parental rose colored glasses.  Parents have a really hard recognizing and accepting their child is flawed.  

SteppedOut's picture


Your husband will go into protect his son mode with a quickness. 

lieutenant_dad's picture

Where you'll run into problems is that they're ALL his kids. While SS is a "stranger" to you, he is the son of your DH and brother to your kids. Your DH isn't likely going to react well.

CajunMom's picture

I have of this. A friend's SS violated her daughter at a young age. It was her half brother and pure son of her father. Pure hell for this family. 

CLove's picture

They are there for a reason, you feel what you feel for a reason.

Too many dance the eggshell dance. Your priority is protecting and teaching your bio children how to be independent and take care of themselves, not looking out for everyone's fee fees. I agree with all suggestions - baby monitor, as well as nanny cams that you dont talk about, so they cannot be deactivated. If hes good with technology he will be able to circumvent the basic stuff.

I do not have my own bios but its weird to me a 12-year old male wants to "play with" a 4 year old female and she is sitting on his bed. My cynical mind that has been told many stories sais that he is grooming and normalising this activity. For future, laying groundwork for things to occurr on that bed.

Hard boundaries are needed and they will need to be enforced, without exception. 

I really got creeped out.

CajunMom's picture

That's the exact word that came to mind. Grooming. My friend (prosecutor of online crimes) just attended a conference on this very topic. OPs story fits the bill. 

Ispofacto's picture

Trust your gut.  By the time she has something to tell you, it will be too late.  There's no reason for him to take this much interest in her, and wanting the door closed is a huge red flag.  This is not normal.  He is at prime age for offending.  As the momma, you are well within your rights to establish firm boundaries regarding your child.

Killjoy was really really interested in my GD, and ended up sexually abusing her.  Now our family is broken.


Rags's picture

I would have the talk directly with your SS as well as wiht your DH.

You need nothing more than "I am not comfortable with this."  If at some point your SS does cross the line you are conerned about, take it out of the hands of your DH and call the authorities.  

I would not put my 4yo at any risk if I were you.

I truly hope it was and remains innocent. But... if it looks like a dog, smells like a dog, and barks like a dog, it is a dog.