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Posted: Thu Jul 12, 2018 6:30 pm
by potatochipeater
My girlfriend recently walked in on her 8-year-old's friend masturbation while she was staying over. She's not sure how to address this. Should she talk to her about this being normal but do in private such as the bathroom or should she mention the incident to her parents? It shouldn't be a situation left unaddressed but not to embarass her. My girlfriend is weary of talking to her because she's not her child and figured the parents may not like that she had. Any advice on how to handle this would be appreciated.

Re: Masturbation

Posted: Fri Jul 13, 2018 7:12 am
by Jacob
Hi Potatochipeater,

I think this would be a good thing for your friend to mention it to the parents.

In the moment itself it could have been fine to state those boundaries like "whoa, this isn't the place for doing that, ok?" but to initiate that conversation after the fact, feels inappropriate to me.

I think kid sexuality, and boundaries are something that most/all parents will find themselves having to deal with at some point. So mentioning it could give the parents a heads up to have that conversation or to advise how they would like it addressed if it happens again.

Re: Masturbation

Posted: Fri Jul 13, 2018 2:30 pm
by Heather
Btw, I also think it is an option not to address it.

Like Jacob already mentioned, if she didn't address it with the child at the time, it feels to me like that opportunity was missed and is just over. I just can't see how the kid wouldn't feel massively uncomfortable for a friend's parent to *now* be like, "Hey, remember that last time I walked in and you were touching yourself?" It just seems like bringing it up with her after the fact is unlikely to be beneficial or in any way productive. And is very likely to feel creepy for the kid.

I agree that talking to the parents -- in a super-chill way -- is an option, but I also think it isn't required. After all, that child wasn't harming themselves or anyone else, nor were they doing anything inappropriate. Assuming they were in a private place at the time (like a bed they were sleeping in), it strikes me as something your girlfriend can also just leave without saying anything to anyone, because it's a perfectly normal thing to be doing. In the event she thinks the parents may shame their child for it, or overreact in some way, just letting it go may be the best option.

Re: Masturbation

Posted: Sun Jul 15, 2018 5:39 pm
by potatochipeater
Thank you very much for your advice. She opted not to say anything because she doesn't think there will be a reoccurance. She is partly to blame for walking in on her because she thought the kids were both in the pool and had laundry to place in her daughter's room. From now on she will knock first and in the event she needs to correct someone she will suggest a more private and appropriate place such as the washroom for this activity. She agrees that her time to have said anything was then and not now.