My daughter's biological dad was sent to prison, anyone have any help on how to explain this to a 4 year old? Or to know if she was a victim of molestation?

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Mia - posted on 03/10/2009

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I agree that you should be honest with her, on her level though. Iam not one for sending your children to therapy if its not seriously needed. Just from being around people who have experienced this, for most there were no signs. the kids would ALWAYS end up telling someone else. Something they saw or heard would spark them and they would say something referring to it. I would not push her on this only because, you dont want to spark any uneccesary curiousity of the subject, but as a mom you know how to approach your child. If your bothered really bad about it, I might try talking or even asking or telling "You know", questions like, " You know if someone touched you here, you would have to tell mommy", something like that.

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MarthaLynn - posted on 03/22/2009

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Jessica, my 4-yr-old's dad is also in prison, and I've posted a question asking for help explaining it to her, as well. He is away for drugs, but I can relate to you on 2 different levels, as I was a victim of child molestation. If you ever want to talk, feel free to message me.

[deleted account]

hi i havent read every thing here but i see alot of people say that mustrubasion(is it how it's spelled) is i sign of being molested...

many kids gets sexual in a early age, by thuching them self.. IT'S NORMAL if you'r child do that, NEVER say it's wrong, but talk about it. that you should only do that in your room, and alone.

but if she starts using objects or other people it's not to good.... then i would have called the child service for advise..

Amanda - posted on 03/12/2009

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omg, i cant not even begin to imagine what a child would feel like going through all of this... i just wanted to say that i will be praying for u and your daughter and i wish u the best and hope that it turns out well....

Jessica - posted on 03/11/2009

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Thanks for your help Mia. Her birthday is in November that's why she is still in pre-school. We were told to hold her back until after her 5th birthday because kids that go to school early tend to act out more and with her situation already being stressful for her I would rather not make it any worse, but thank you.

Mia - posted on 03/10/2009

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Are you still in the service? If so you should check out your CDC or send her to your local school for free. Most kindergarten's start at four. There are programs that will help according to your income. Do a keyword search and then scope the phone book! Hope this helps.

Jessica - posted on 03/10/2009

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Thank you everyone. I appreciate all your help. Just so you all know a little more about the situation. Her dad was sent to prison for downloading, posessing, and distributing child pornography. I don't know if she was a victim but I am starting to think she was. He started watching it back in Oct of 2006 and was caught in Sept 2007. I didn't know anything until March of 2008. I was deployed overseas at the time and she was in his custody until I was shipped home early in March and I took full custody from him. We haven't been together since before her birth. He just recently went to prison in Jan. 2009. It's hard to tell her she can't see him for this. I'm lost. We have lost our child support due to him being locked up. My husband and I are trying to make ends meet but with her being in preschool it's hard to pay that and afford everything else. That's why I say it's hard to afford counseling. I am not ashamed to share my story....I want all to know so they can be aware as well. I just don't know what to do and niether does my family! So thank you and if you have anymore suggestions feel free to write me here or send me a message on my facebook. Thank you all again!!

Becky - posted on 03/10/2009

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Unless you have a serious idea that she may have been victimized (i.e., she's mentioned something that made you concerned; she's playing inappropriate games with toys, friends, you, etc.; or the suspected abuser has a history of this type of abuse), then be very careful about accusing someone of molesting a child.  Of course, at the first sign of abuse, you should do whatever you must to protect and heal your child.  Just be aware that if she was NOT molested, it would be a horrible thing for her to grow up believing that there was reason to accuse someone that may love her very much. 



On the other hand, if she was or if you do have serious reason to suspect it, I would have her checked by a doctor (you can ask the local hospital or even the local police which doctor they would recommend to perform such an exam), file a report with the child protective services in your area, and a police report if the incident is believed to have been very recent.  Then, I would make absolutely sure that she sees a child psychologist immediately.



Good luck, and I'm so sorry that you and your daughter are dealing with such frightening struggles!

[deleted account]

Many hospitals will not check a child to see if they have been molested or not. We had to drive to a hospital that had a special unit to check and see if she had any signs of molestation. But unless it just happened most kids do not have any physical signs. Hymens heal pretty quickly on young girls. I was told that is the only reliable way to say she was molested.



I agree take her to a phycologist and let them talk to her. They do not want you talking to her about it. They also do not ask direct questions. I wouldn't talk to her now about where people should or should not touch her for the fact she might not say if she has if she thinks it is bad. Let a professional guide you on what to say and how to say it that way you don't make false memories for her.

Nicole - posted on 03/10/2009

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If there is a change in her. My nephews were at the age 2 and 4 they talked. it was very sad. If you are having concerns take her to play theropy. If you have been talking with DHS about any of this then they will have numbers for you to call. Make sure they are lisenced and they now what they are doing and they can also address the matter of how to tell her about her dad. If you need somone to talk to about this look me up I have sadly delt with this my whole life. But play theropy is the best way to have her talk about anything that she may be going through.

Kat - posted on 03/10/2009

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if you have valid reason to be concerned, contact your local children's services office. they'll be able to help you find out for sure.

also, if she's suddenly developed an interest in touching her own or other people's private parts, or if she has started wetting her pants or the bed, those are usually sings of molestation. another way to tell would be to watch the way she plays with her toys and any pets you might have.

four of my children were sexually abused by their biological father before i was able to get away from him, and i've found that vague questions usually spark detailed conversations. he is now in prison, and they are both aware and relieved. they tell me that the police put him in jail because he's a "bad guy," and now he can't hurt anyone else. my oldest [6] is in counseling, but the younger ones seem to be recovering pretty well just knowing that it's over.

try asking dakota simple open-ended questions, like "do you miss your dad? do you know why you haven't seen him for a while? how does that make you feel?" and if the conversation goes in that direction, ask "were you ever scared of him? did he ever ask you to keep any secrets?" if she seems afraid, make sure she knows that he's in a place where he can't hurt her, and that it's safe to tell you anything she might have been keeping secret. while you're talking with her, watch for her reactions. if she seems oblivious or stays perfectly calm, chances are she's fine. if she acts shy or fearful, it may be that she has been hurt. don't let her sadness over losing her father affect your suspicions. my son had an extra-strong attachment to his abuser until he realized that their relationship was not a healthy one.

i'll be praying for both of you!

Jamie - posted on 03/10/2009

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Please do not video tape your child. Hire a professional. Take her to your pediatrican and tell him your concern. Then should be able to look at her and tell. And when I say look at her I mean look at her little girl parts.  Dont film her yourself simply because whether you belive it or not a child is going to end up telling you what you want to hear. And if she is really being molested then you want something you can take to court and will hold up. Otherwise the other side can claim the child was just trying to please mommy. By getting a neutral party you are saving your self in the long run. Look for a family forensic psychologist who specializes in children and sexual abuse.

Jessica - posted on 03/10/2009

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How my fiance told his daughter about his ex wife was that mommy was going to be in a very long time out for doing very bad things. The way to get her checked is taking her to the hospital and have them do a rape check test.

Kaley - posted on 03/10/2009

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Quoting Madison:



We went threw the same thing with our son. We were advised to grab his favorite toy, and a vidio camra, with sound. then we were to ask him questions, such as... "does anyone hurt you? Has anyone put their hands on you in places they shouldnt have? Can you show me where people have touched you? Can you tell me who has touched you?" just go with the connversation that your child brings up, you might have to question the child a few times......






Also check out this web site, it will tell you everything...






http://www.helpguide.org/mental/child_ab...






 






And as soon as you can, 1- see physical, emotional, or behaviorl signs, call the police, and then call social services. or 2- your child says anything, try to get it on camra, but if you cant, also call the police and then social services, they will tell you were to go from there






The bad thing about doing this is that you're putting the questions in their head. And they could say anything because they don't know if they will be in trouble or what answer is right or wrong.. if you talk to them about what people aren't suppose to do and they come out and say someone has already done that to them on their own it's a lot better and gives them the opportunity to tell you on their own not be forced into recalling a horrible memory with intrusive questions that could end up hurting more than helping. Trust me.. I've been molested and been in that situation & I didn't tell my parents for years for fear that I would be in trouble. A lot of the time your abuser makes you feel as if it is your fault.. If you explain to them how to be safe & stay out of situations where something like this could happen it's a lot better.. and know that the abuser is usually always someone that the child knows personally.. NO ONE is off limits.. I never would have thought in a million years that my grandfather would molest me & he did along with several other members of my family through out the years and because no one until me said anything about it, it kept happening. So, make sure your children know that if it does happen to tell you about it so that it will quit happening and doesn't happen to anyone else either! Sorry.. this is a subject very close to my heart & I would give my life to keep this from happening to any one.. no one should ever have to go through that pain!





 

Kaley - posted on 03/10/2009

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We are in the same situation with our 7 year old. We both believe that she too was molested while she was with her biological parents & we've addressed it with her counselor, but there's really no way to tell for sure because you don't want to come right out and ask if it's happened.. because it could be traumatizing for them. So what we've done is just work on issues that come up instead of trying to find out what happened right now. Just make sure she knows that no one should be touching or looking at her private parts.. they are hers only! When/if she is ready to talk about anything that might have happened to her she will.. but don't force it. Talking to her about being safe as far as things like that go will give her the opportunity to tell you, if she even remembers it. And let's pray to God she doesn't if it has happened!



 



As far as the prison thing goes, we were completely honest with our 7 year old about what was going on with her parents. She understands that they are in jail because they did bad things. I don't think you should ever lie to them about things, because in the end it will come back to bite you in the butt & they will be hurt because you weren't open & honest with them. At least that's how my husband & I feel.. We are also dealing with a family adoption.. our two little girls were my sister-in-law's biologically & she's a real piece of work. She's the type that cares about nothing but herself and would hurt & lie to both our girls just to get to us. Which with us being honest and open with them she doesn't have the chance to hurt them that way if they already know the truth. Anyway.. I'll stop rambling now.. I hope this helps!

Madison - posted on 03/09/2009

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O and as far as him being in prison, you can tell her "daddies on a VERY long time out. away from the family." and when she asks why, You can just tell her, that he did something very wrong. you dont have to be very spicific at this time, you can wait until she is older for that

Madison - posted on 03/09/2009

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We went threw the same thing with our son. We were advised to grab his favorite toy, and a vidio camra, with sound. then we were to ask him questions, such as... "does anyone hurt you? Has anyone put their hands on you in places they shouldnt have? Can you show me where people have touched you? Can you tell me who has touched you?" just go with the connversation that your child brings up, you might have to question the child a few times......



Also check out this web site, it will tell you everything...



http://www.helpguide.org/mental/child_ab...



 



And as soon as you can, 1- see physical, emotional, or behaviorl signs, call the police, and then call social services. or 2- your child says anything, try to get it on camra, but if you cant, also call the police and then social services, they will tell you were to go from there



 

[deleted account]

You need to think like a kid. Dont ask her if she was touched. Ask if the person played any games with them. Games that she wasn't supposed to talk about.

[deleted account]

I would keep it very age appropriate like daddy got in trouble and had to go away for a while. The only way to know if she was molested would be to have her checked out, but that can be very traumatizing to a 4 year old as they are understand modesty and even the doctor shouldn't be touching down there. Watch her actions, does she wet her pants around men? My cousin that was mollested used to lay on her tummy put her hands underneith her at her private area and wiggle her butt around. We talked to a doctor about it and he said that was a good indicator of mollestation. Ask a doctor he can tell you other signes to look for.

Josephine - posted on 03/09/2009

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I think it's most important to be honest, but not too forward to where she can't understand at her young age. My kids' dad has been in and out of jail most of their young lives and the older two at 9 and 4 know what mommy means when she says "Your daddy is in jail." As far as the molestation goes, I think that would be a matter for a professional to address; doctor, counselor, etc.

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