HELP! is it OK that my FIL refers to my daughter as "sexy"?

Leigh - posted on 08/17/2011 ( 6 moms have responded )

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hello! i'm not new to the site but i just recently joined and this is my first time posting. i have read a few discussions concerning the issue of people referring to young children as sexy and was hoping for some feedback on my specific situation.

so... my daughter just recently turned one and my father-in-law has, on a few occasions, referred to her and/or what she was wearing as "sexy." the first time it happened she was about 5 months and had on those socks that look like little shoes. he kept saying she had on her "sexy shoes" and that she had "sexy feet." on that occasion i just ignored it as to not cause a scene but was very uncomfortable by his word choice.

just recently we were visiting their house (they live about two hours out of town) and when i brought her downstairs from a nap he started saying "oh E that's such a sexy outfit you have on. you are looking pretty sexy. (wolf whistle wolf whistle)" i said, "eww stop saying that! she's a baby! she's adorable, cute, pretty, beautiful... she is NOT sexy!" (by the way her outfit was not anything that would be viewed as sexy). he continued to say, "oh i think she looks sexy. all the boys are going to think she's sexy, too!" i walked out of the room with her and again told him to stop and that boys better not be telling her she's sexy for quite some time and he just said, "well it will be here before you know it!" i literally felt sick to my stomach.

now, i'm not naive... while i don't approve of the word being used in association with babies i know that some people don't mind. i also know that the word kind of gets thrown around way more than it used to like it's some cool new slang word. but my father-in-law is not in the young hip crowd that throws around words like sexy when referring to cars, food and the like.

i find it completely inappropriate that a grown man would look at his 1 year old granddaughter and think of "sexy" when describing her. it bothers me even more that while i protested the use of the word he continued to say it like he didn't care or see the cause for concern. even if he is not some pedophile i don't want my daughter to be brought up encouraged to look sexy and think it is ok for people to refer to her as sexy.

on a side note, my FIL creeps me out by the way he talks about girls and women. he is always talking about their bodies and looks. he continually strokes my daughter's feet. i have had to ask him to stop saying my daughter had "titty lips" when she was much younger and first breastfeeding because it made me uncomfortable. also, on a few occasions he and my MIL have come to stay the weekend at our house and when i've given him my daughter to hold he has taken her out of the room and into the guest bedroom and closed the door and i had to send my husband in to get her back. i'm not accusing him of anything it's just that the things he says and does just leave me with an unsettling feeling. i have never left my daughter alone with them and i really do not plan on EVER doing it but i'm not sure how to talk to my husband about it without hurting his feelings.

am i being paranoid and blowing things out of proportion? (i believe this is what my husband will tell me) what should i do? please help.

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Christy - posted on 08/17/2011

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You gut is telling you something. He's a loon for referring to ANY of his Grandchildren, regardless of age, as "sexy." As far as the comment on titty lips, that is even more unacceptable. DO NOT EVER leave your child alone with him, EVER.

Yolanda - posted on 01/10/2013

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The definition of sexy is to be sexually attractive. Children should NEVER be consider, referred to or called "sexy"!!

Amanda - posted on 08/17/2011

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No you're not being paranoid, and no it is definatley not ok for you father in law to speak of your daugter like this.
If someone was talking about my daughter like that they would never see her again. It's creepy and totally inappropriate.

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i would be creeped out too and would not even leave my daughter alone with him. i think that referring to babies and small children as sexy is inappropriate and kind of gross,especially when coming from the opposite gender relative. your husband should really have a discussion with him about not using that word to describe your daughter

Valerie - posted on 08/17/2011

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I agree with Elfrieda and I don't think you are being paranoid it bothers me that you said he takes her into the bedroom and shuts the door. I'm not trying to say he will do anything but nowadays you can't be too careful. As her mother you have the right to stop anything you do not feel is appropriate for your daughter regardless of wether people think you are overreacting or not. I personally would not accept that talk if I had a daughter and your husband should stand by you maybe if you just tell your husband that it bothers you he may be able to talk to him. First and foremost I was always taught that when it came to my kids listen to my instincts. I hope things work out for you :)

Elfrieda - posted on 08/17/2011

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Ew, he sounds vulgar and gross. I think you're doing the right thing by being careful not to leave her with him, but not making a big scene.
To me, it seems like it could be one of two things, and I don't know which it is.

1) He could actually be attracted to her and really think about her in a sexual way. I don't think this is very likely, but he sure sets off some "creepy old man" alarm bells.

2) He just didn't realize how inappropriate it is to call a baby "sexy", and once you pointed it out, he kept on with it just to tease you. I think most people like to stroke babies' feet, and the remarks about "boys will be after your daughter sooner than you think" are very common, so I don't think that those are warning signs at all.

But if you have a bad feeling, just keep being watchful like you're doing, and good luck. I hope his wife will straighten him out soon. Is there any way you could talk to her about it? Maybe just say, "It really bothers me that he calls my baby sexy". and see what she says back.

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