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Dealing with peeping tom?

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more background, our son is not just innocently curious, we have had the birds and the bees talk with him on multiple occasions, and have also had the modesty / your body is a temple talk with him on multiple occasions. I felt a more drastic approach was needed this time because this did not happen out of mere curiosity, or in ignorance. I will not punish anyone who acts in ignorance, sorry, I should have clarified that.

I'm not sure that love and logic covers serious issues, but I agree with the principle of allowing children to experience the consequences of their actions. The consequence of sexually harassing those around you is pain, losing your family, and isolationism. I wanted my son to experience what that meant for a time, and it is no idle threat. If this continues as he grows older I will not sacrifice the safety of my daughters for him. It would break my heart, but I will not allow it my home.

I talked with him after school, affirmed that yes, he knew that what he was doing was wrong, and he knew why it was wrong, but could not give me an answer as to why he was doing it. I made him talk to his dad about it, again, explained the repentance process to him, and we are all going to fast on Sunday over this.

Some might think that punishment (spanking, yelling, threatening) will lead to insecurity/rebellion/seeking love in all the wrong places etc. etc. I believe, and have witnessed, that avoidance/downplaying/coddling leads to a flippant/mocking/everything is a joke / it's no big deal attitude that hurts not only the victim but the molester. I believe the seriousness of the sin warranted the response that I gave, and do not think it is child abuse to spank and yell at your son for molesting your daughter. She was trapped in her closet this morning, yelling "no, no, no" over and over again at him as he stood at the closet door. I want her to know that she is worth protecting, no matter who is barging through her door.

I love my son, it hurt to have to yell at him, and hurt to have to spank him. The yelling and spanking was done deliberately, not in an act of losing my temper. It was hard not to give him a hug, or say goodbye this morning when I left them all at school, but he needed to understand that those actions end in broken families, and isolationism.

hidden, there is a reason why children cannot be baptized in the LDS Church until they are 8 years old. Children under that age are not mature enough to choose for themselves what is right and what is wrong.

How long has this been going on? This is something he is not choosing with complete understanding. This is something that is a product of something learned or an attention-getting response.

A 7 year old cannot possibly molest anybody. He doesn't have the maturity to understand molestation.

Avoidance/downplaying/coddling is not what is being suggested here. UNDERSTANDING is what is being suggested here. Understanding the development stages of boys at every age level and what their little brains can understand and the proper ways to guide his development.

But, PHYSICAL PAIN AND ISOLATIONISM IS GOING TO HURT YOUR BOY if it is not hurting him already. This is a PSYCHOLOGICAL IMPACT that will stay with him for the rest of his life. What he will get out of this whole incident is that HE FEELS PHYSICAL PAIN AND ABANDONMENT and he doesn't understand why. In addition to this, he will get the impression that the body is evil - especially a woman's body. Because, everytime he wants to look at a woman's body he gets physical pain and abandonment. He is TOO YOUNG to associate the body with the birds and the bees. That just flies over the 7 year old's head. All he gets out of that are the emotional feedbacks. He looks at a female body, he gets abandoned.

So that, when he grows up to be an adult, that learned emotional response is going to lurk inside his subconscious and will rear its ugly head inside his marriage. It will take YEARS of therapy to disassociate his wife's body to abandonment.

Take it from me. I went through this and my husband went through hell for years until I got myself all straightened out. I PROMISE YOU. This will end up VERY BADLY.

Edited by anatess

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I don't know how old your daughters are, but teach them how to shove a seven-year-old boy out the door. Allowing them victim mentality is not going to help matters. My guess is that escalating the situation is going to only increase the drama and excitement for your son. Heck, little things here can help. Have you considered buying locks for your daughters' bedrooms?

As for the spanking/yelling/threatening... I have no problem with spanking within reason, and that includes this situation. Fine. Spank him for this. Yelling... not so much. You're certainly welcome to feel anger about this and to express that to your son, but meaningless and mindless yelling isn't going to do the trick.

And threatening? Unless you are dead serious about kicking him out of the house, threatening isn't going to do a lick of good. Even a seven-year-old can see through an empty threat. You say you don't mean it as an idle threat, but do you actually have a plan in place for kicking him out? Do you have a friend/relative lined up who has already agreed to take him in for awhile?

You're right: coddling isn't what you want to do here. But there is a happy medium.

It sounds like your family has a lot of issues on this situation. Consider full-out family therapy. This is escalating out of control and I don't think your "Evil child! you're a molester!" is going to bring it down. If your son is really acting out this way because of some sexual depravity, why is it there? What has your son and family been around? You don't have to tell us, but you can't suppress it, hope it goes away, then freak out when it rears its head. Find someone who you can tell who can give you the help your family needs.

Edited by Backroads

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Yes, a 7 year old can be a predator (physically, sexually, etc). In my past nursing experience, I had worked in a special unit for the severely disabled, both physically and mentally. Some of these individuals had prior history of being sexually abused, and some of them committed the sexual abuse. One boy in particular, was 9 years old when he was admitted to this facility. He had the unfortunate past of being sexually abused and becoming a sexual abuser himself. About a year before I was hired on, there was an incident where he had pinned down one of the female staff and sexually assaulted her - he was 14 years old. When I started working, it was stressed that all female staff must be accompanied by a male staff when assisting this boy. He was a BIG boy. At 15 years old, he stood 6 feet tall and was thick. During my time working with him, I had seen him go into berserk mode a few times, requiring two male orderlies. He wasn't only big but he was scary. All this said, is he accountable for his actions? Probably not, especially, for the actions committed at a wee tender age. But is he a predator? Yes. And he was at a wee tender age as well. There's a difference between committing such and being held accountable, and committing such and not being held accountable. So yes, a 7 year old most certainly CAN be a predator but in terms of LDS teachings, is not held accountable for their actions until he or she is 8 years old.

OP, I concur with those that strongly encourage counseling or therapy. Like with anything, it's not a cure but it can provide you with the tools in better addressing and managing the current situation. While I cannot directly relate, my ex-husband was the sexual predator in his family. I didn't know this when I married him. He told me (and I latter witnessed him apologizing to them) he had sexually assaulted two sisters when they were young kids. It didn't stop until he was 16 years old and his father kicked him out of the house. Within my time married to him, I battled against his pornography and infidelity - but I knew that all of it, likely stemmed back to his childhood of molestation and incest. So I know how vicious a cycle this can be unaddressed. I wish you the best. And God bless.

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Bini, I have been thinking about this today. When my oldest girls were about 2 and 3 one of my friends had a son that was six. He had seen a lot of wrong things in his life. He kept looking at my youngest girl oddly and made me uneasy. One day he was sitting on the couch and put his arm around my daughter in a very possessive, sexual way. I was shocked. Never saw anything like it. He was not a normal 6 year old. Although he had not done anything truly wrong, at that point, we had no doubt he was on the way to it.

It is very possible to be messed up very young.

Maybe the problem with the op is just overreacting. On the other hand maybe she is very upset and frustrated that something is seriously wrong and is at a loss of how to stop it from happening. The best advice is to get help from people that will LISTEN to her concerns and not discount them.

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Bini, in your experience, especially with your ex. Is there something you gleaned from it on how his weaknesses were addressed by the adults within the sphere of influence?

Maybe something you can point to and say, maybe this would have turned out differently if X or X was done?

That might help the OP find more successful ways to deal with this issue.

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We had a bad experience with a cousin being inappropriate with my daughter when he was 7 (almost 8) and she was 4. Because of the age and size difference, it was a concern to the experts we talked to. That incident led us to make some choices about what kind of access he won't have to my kids, even though that was years ago. A lot of what we decided has to do with how the adults in the family handled the whole thing (ranging from blaming her, to wanting to shove the whole thing under the carpet).

Regardless of the facts, the biggest thing to me was the very, very strong spiritual prompting I got when I prayed about it, that he was outside of my sphere of influence, but my children were my responsibility to protect and that I should do so at the expense of anything else.

Sorry to veer a little. . . my point is, I agree with Bini. Seven is outside of the age of accountability but not too young to commit harm. I don't know what happened with my nephew to make him how he (was? is?) might be, but like I said, that's outside of my influence. I have only to protect my kids from perceived threat. YOU, however, have not only your daughters to protect, but your son. I ache for him. I don't know what he's been through, but he must be really lost and confused and in need of some kind of help and guidance so that the rest of his life isn't a series of bad to worse. What you do for him and your family now will affect him for the rest of his life. Tread carefully.

I also think of a friend whose little brother molested their sister when she was 3. But he was 14. He WAS sent away for treatment, and I'm told he turned himself around. There are loving family relations now. I don't think the parents ever shunned him or made him out to be a monster, but they did what they needed to to protect their daughter and save him.

He is your child, too.

Edited by Eowyn

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Bini, I have been thinking about this today. When my oldest girls were about 2 and 3 one of my friends had a son that was six. He had seen a lot of wrong things in his life. He kept looking at my youngest girl oddly and made me uneasy. One day he was sitting on the couch and put his arm around my daughter in a very possessive, sexual way. I was shocked. Never saw anything like it. He was not a normal 6 year old. Although he had not done anything truly wrong, at that point, we had no doubt he was on the way to it.

It is very possible to be messed up very young.

Maybe the problem with the op is just overreacting. On the other hand maybe she is very upset and frustrated that something is seriously wrong and is at a loss of how to stop it from happening. The best advice is to get help from people that will LISTEN to her concerns and not discount them.

My gut feeling (admittedly based on what I've been told) is this probably does go beyond innocent kid curiosity, especially after punishment has been dealt out. But I do not think the OP's tactics are at all working.

If a seven-year-old is acting out this way in a not-just-innocently-curious fashion, it is certainly not his fault. He has been exposed to something he should not have been exposed to. The OP seems to want to find a way to punish her son and that be the end of it. Spanking/yelling/threatening are not going to fix this, which is why so many have been recommending therapy. I still believe short-term solutions like teaching the daughters to stand up for themselves and/or putting locks on their doors would be helpful.

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A seven-year-old boy is a sexual being. Beating him for it won't change the fact; it will merely teach him that his sexuality is evil. Far better to treat him with love and compassion.

He's seven. That is the central fact here.

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One more thought...My brother hit puberty at 8 and almost went crazy. They said he would have if my mother didnt get him the treatment needed. There are a lot of things that could be going on. Get help.

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OP: " this morning we had another incident, I spanked him, yelled at him, told him I was not going to allow him to be in our home anymore, that he was not allowed to talk to or be around his sisters anymore."

I'll play 'the other side' in wondering if his behavior couldn't be repeated in an effort to *be* removed from the home. It sounds pretty grueling. Kids aren't stupid. I wasn't.

At maybe 5 or 6 yrs, I once said to my father, "I like it when your home. Mommy doesn't like me." "What? Your mother *loves* you! Don't you ever let me hear you say that again!" He never heard it again. Didn't make it less true. She gave with one hand and took with the other. What happened 'for show'/duty was different than other times.

I've also come to strongly suspect, in my spiritual path, there that is such a thing as "spiritual genetics" - the soul one receives as a composit of the parents is passed on. Children become mirrors for the hidden/covered things in parents. Perhaps existential quilt has this as one of the sources.

I don't have a stellar past. Three times I whipped my step-daughter with a belt either drunk or hung-over. Spiritual problems require spiritual solutions. To Understand is to Heal. Doing the work to receive Healing for myself, then spreads to others.

Hidden ~ nothing changes if nothing chages. The change had to begin with me being willing to admit there may be a better way. Spirit can't lead if I'm unwilling to let loose of the reins of the other horse. Scary? You bet. They didn't tell me it would be easy - they told me it would be worth it. That was/is my experience.

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I read through all the comments and found some great suggestions. Clearly this is a case with more details that aren't known to all the readers. Granted, I am not sure you would want to share all the details in such a public forum.

I wonder if involving your Bishop (assuming you are LDS) might not be a wise step. If he is already involved ignore this post. If he isn't you might consider bringing him into the situation. They often are aware of others struggling with similar challenges. They can also listen to all the parties involved and through inspiration and the keys they hold offer counsel. Finally they have access to vast counseling resources. As a sitting Bishop I know these situations can be very difficult and are often complicated. All the best to you and your children.

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Anything my pediatrician's office had to offer was useless to harmful, I'm afraid. They wanted us to call CPS and take my 4-year-old daughter to the ER to be cross-examined alone and have a rape kit performed. The circumstances did NOT warrant anything so extreme and would have traumatized her more than the actual incident, by far. Thank goodness we found a great counselor who told us to, by no means, put her through that.

This isn't an area for a pediatrician to offer advice on. Health and physical development is their area. Any pediatrician worth trusting will refer emotional and developmental issues on to an appropriate expert.

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my little son (7yo) has become a peeping Tom (he has sisters) and I am having a hard time knowing how to deal with it. I've spanked him, yelled at him, went pretty postal on him, and this is still happening. I've told the girls not to go to the bathroom or change unless their door is locked etc. etc. but then I catch him looking under the crack in their door... this morning we had another incident, I spanked him, yelled at him, told him I was not going to allow him to be in our home anymore, that he was not allowed to talk to or be around his sisters anymore. There is some bad stuff i our fam around this, and I will not allow this to happen within our home. I'm not interested in hearing from anyone who is going to say "he's just 7, he'll grow out of it, don't be so hard on him..." because you have obviously not been in a domestic situation with molestation going on. I'm interested in hearing from others who understand the dangers, and know of ways to stop this before it escalates any more.

thank you for your advice.

No one has yet addressed the attention topic. Just how much attention to you give your little son of 7 years? Other than the negative attention?

Children will repeat bad behavior to get attention if that is ALL the attention they ever receive.

Also, I don't see in the OP anything about this 7 year old boy sexually satisfying himself as he is peeping- so why all the warning as if he has. She did say:

There is some bad stuff i our fam around this, and I will not allow this to happen within our home.

, that to me says that an adult within the family is a sexual predator, an adult that she is not able to control.

Yell, scream, spank the adult- but not the child.

Attention is attention, even if it is negative. Give the boy some positive attention, listen to him when he talks. Don't be just a radio and broadcast all the time. Be a receiver and actually listen to him. Right now his actions speak louder than words - he wants attention. So - give him positive attention.

Lower your voice, remove the anger and disgust from not only your voice but your actions and listen to him. He is the only boy isn't he? Chances are good that he wants to be included in the activities with his sisters. Find him some same age - same gender playmates.

The Church has a video called: Listen to the Children. Borrow it from your wards library and watch it. In it there is an example of listening- a young mother discovers her young child is not in the house, she goes outside looking and finds the child at the corner of a super busy intersection. She scolds the child, yelling at her to Not Go To The Corner.

The child repeats the going to the corner, the Mother repeats the yelling, both end up crying. Finally the child, in tears, says: Mommy, whats a corner?

She was going to the corner because she is going where the action is. Your son is spying on his sisters because that is where the action is.

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I read through all the comments and found some great suggestions. Clearly this is a case with more details that aren't known to all the readers. Granted, I am not sure you would want to share all the details in such a public forum.

I wonder if involving your Bishop (assuming you are LDS) might not be a wise step. If he is already involved ignore this post. If he isn't you might consider bringing him into the situation. They often are aware of others struggling with similar challenges. They can also listen to all the parties involved and through inspiration and the keys they hold offer counsel. Finally they have access to vast counseling resources. As a sitting Bishop I know these situations can be very difficult and are often complicated. All the best to you and your children.

Please forgive me, but I think we mis-use this solution as a pat answer for everything. Marital problems? Call the bishop. Got laid off? Call the bishop. Low self esteem? Call the bishop. Ran out of toilet paper? Call the bishop!

Yes, we love our bishops. And yes, bishops love to help. BUT, it is my experience that subjects like this are over most bishops heads. Yes, inspiration is good. But bishops (most of the time) are not therapist's and usually end up referring anyway. They are good for helping with the bill, though.^_^

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2 responses to Misshalfway's post:

- My wife going to her inspired bishop and vomiting out all the garbage she had been carrying around and dealing with, was one of the most healing and strengthening and clarity-bringing and overall good experiences to come out of the whole mess. Yeah, don't call the bishop when you run out of TP. But avoiding your bishop just because he will 'probably end up just referring you anyway'? I'm not sure I can stand behind such advice.

- You did know you just gave your response to a post that was made by someone claiming to be an actual bishop, right?

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2 responses to Misshalfway's post:

- My wife going to her inspired bishop and vomiting out all the garbage she had been carrying around and dealing with, was one of the most healing and strengthening and clarity-bringing and overall good experiences to come out of the whole mess. Yeah, don't call the bishop when you run out of TP. But avoiding your bishop just because he will 'probably end up just referring you anyway'? I'm not sure I can stand behind such advice.

- You did know you just gave your response to a post that was made by someone claiming to be an actual bishop, right?

First of all, I did indulge in a little rant. Forgive me.

Second, please read the point of my post again. Bishops are a great resource for us. Sounds like your wife had a great, life changing experience. I'm happy it went down that way. BUT, this is a serious case that demands a professional assessment. Any responsible bishop would know the limits of their calling and refer.

Third, yes. I absolutely knew I was speaking to a bishop. I'm trusting that this bishop has the ego strength to hear an alternate view, has compassionate humor towards my rant, and agrees that its irresponsible and unethical for bishops to counsel outside the scope of their calling.

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First of all, I did indulge in a little rant. Forgive me.

Second, please read the point of my post again. Bishops are a great resource for us. Sounds like your wife had a great, life changing experience. I'm happy it went down that way. BUT, this is a serious case that demands a professional assessment. Any responsible bishop would know the limits of their calling and refer.

Third, yes. I absolutely knew I was speaking to a bishop. I'm trusting that this bishop has the ego strength to hear an alternate view, has compassionate humor towards my rant, and agrees that its irresponsible and unethical for bishops to counsel outside the scope of their calling.

I agree with yout 100% that we use our bishops for way more than they are there for. They should not be used for everything.

I think this is a case where a Bishop would WANT to be involved to one degree or another. But could use other resources for encouragement and support for the situation. Bishops have at there disposal the Releif Society, Elders Quorum, High Priest, Home Teachers... to aide in situations that do not have to do with personal worthiness. And even then he can involve them somehow.

The situation outlined in this thread is way too large for the Bishop to handle. Which is what I am taking from your comment, but none the less, he would be very helpful in a situation like this. Esecially since Baptism is coming up for the child and it is placing great stress on the family.

I personally found your rant humorous

Edited by EarlJibbs

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I agree with yout 100% that we use our bishops for way more than they are there for. They should not be used for everything.

I think this is a case where a Bishop would WANT to be involved to one degree or another. But could use other resources for encouragement and support for the situation. Bishops have at there disposal the Releif Society, Elders Quorum, High Priest, Home Teachers... to aide in situations that do not have to do with personal worthiness. And even then he can involve them somehow.

The situation outlined in this thread is way too large for the Bishop to handle. Which is what I am taking from your comment, but none the less, he would be very helpful in a situation like this. Esecially since Baptism is coming up for the child and it is placing great stress on the family.

Well said.

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Unless there is something medically wrong with him a pediatrician is not going to help. Sounds like he's more than just peeking at his sisters getting undressed, which is usually normal for most boys that age.

If he is physically harming his sisters then sounds like he need to be removed from the home and entered into a counseling program or something. I don't think any amount of yelling, spanking or threats is going to make him stop. If he's that aggressive then it sounds like he's being abused himself, in that case he still needs help.

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I had a friend who's LDS, parents raised him right ect. And he told me a few months ago that since he was a young kid he's been spying on his sisters naked and masturbating to it. I was very shocked to hear him say this. He moved out of his parents house after HS and is living in an apartment about an hour away from their home. He told me he won't move back in with them again because of this issue (they don't know but he's trying to stop). And he only see's them every few weeks for dinner.

I was really freaked out ect and wished he'd never told me. But, as others suggested LDS family services would be helpful. Try and solve the problem quickly.

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