My 8 years old has been exposed to ****** by a friend - not sure what else to do

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My 8 years old has been exposed to ****** by a friend - not sure what else to do

Postby WorriedMum12 » Tue Mar 05, 2019 12:55 pm


As my username says I am very worried.
Let me firstly say that I have been a member pretty much since the beginning of this website but I have name changed to protect identities since a few of my friends knows my username.

For context:
When it happened it was on a school ipad. My child and friend were doing research for a project on super volcanoes.
The child said to mine “do you want me to show you something” to which my child said yes. My child was transfixed in a negative way later using words like horrible ans disgusting. They were found out by teacher 6after about 5 min and upon examination of the history they didnt went too far.
I talked to my child who told me the whole story and that he other one instigated it. The child confirmed it was at the start of the whole thing.
But then my child told what this child said and i became extremely worried by that child choice of words ie. sex partners etc. To me that child has heard it from somewhere.

My husband and I had a meeting with headmistress and class teacher. We said there was 3 things that was of concerned for us.
1. Our child was exposed to something inappropriate;
2. How come there was no filter and parental control at the school;
3. And as they have a duty of care, we were extremely about that poor poor child.

The school listened, had already talked to the parent in question and were dealing with it.

We believed them. And we talked to our child a lot: about what was seen, about safety, about keeping secrets that were too big, about being a good friend especially if that child is unhappy at home, and about saying no even to a friend.

I didnt mention to any of the other parents as I trusted the school (amd I still do) and I really disnt want that child and mum to be the subject of rumors and gossips in such difficult times.

Fast forward to yesterday.
A group of children (including mine) were commenting on that child way of behaving and saying that was inappropriate. My child then proceeded to say what had happened to her. Other children joined in and said what that child had said to them: other stuffs using vocab like fake willys and having sex on your own.

A friend called me last night. She wanted me to be aware in case i didnt since my child was involved. We agreed we would go separately to the headmistress at drop off today.
The headmistress said a few parents reported something.

Now i am worried about 3 things and i am not sure what else i can do.

1. About my child. Obviously my child is still processing it but I have reached the end of my resources. Do you think i should get my child to meet a child psychologist?
I dont want to make a bigger deal than it already is ut equally i need to help her.

2. About my child being blamed. I told my child to stop talking to others about it. It was not nice to spread informations. I told my child to be a good friend as clearly the friend needs help so needs friends at a time like this. I said the child was welcome at home for playdates but my child would not go there for now.
I insisted particularly on not keeping that friends secrets anymore. That some
Secrets are too big to keep especially if someone is troubled. I reminded my child that yes it was inappropriate stuffs so to not expose her other friends to it.
But i worry if my child is going to get blamed.

I didnt say anything at the time because I really had the other child welfare at heart.

3. About the other child. I am so so worried about what that child has heard or seen.
I have told the school again. I reminded them about their duty of care. Should I call the mum in question? I have met her when she picked ip her child from a playdate but dont know her well at all.
I would want to know if my child was being groomed or something. But equally i dont want the mum to think i am fishing or not minding my own business

After such a long post, thank you so much for reading.

Please what would you do? Any pointers?

Thank you
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Re: My 8 years old has been exposed to ****** by a friend - not sure what else to do

Postby RumourMill » Tue Mar 05, 2019 1:05 pm

How awful for you all - I am so so sorry.

The first thing to say is that this is not uncommon - however parents being aware of it is uncommon and very stressful. I am not attempting to minimise the stress, far from it, but when I was at primary school I remember a child bringing in some very graphic playing cards which were eventually confiscated.

I think this is something that you can’t handle on your own and although you have been to the school we I would go again and again until you feel as reassured as you can.

The school is at fault here not the parents. We have filters for a reason and I am stunned to hear they didn't work.

Have you got also thought about group therapy? That might help. But I would not worry right now about going back to the school for support.

Also do the other parents know that your child was involved? On one hand I would suggest leaving all contact with the other parents to the school but maybe they are now aware anyway?

Again so so sorry - how horribly stressful...
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Re: My 8 years old has been exposed to ****** by a friend - not sure what else to do

Postby lalectrice » Tue Mar 05, 2019 3:31 pm

I am a teacher and have recently undergone renewed annual training on safeguarding. You MUST log your concerns about the other child with the school's designated safeguarding lead (DSL). Do so in writing, outlining clearly the information you have. If an 8-year-old is making a lot of age-inappropriate explicit comments to other children as well as accessing pornography, there may be issues at home that need investigation and this could be a child protection issue. I would not advise you to speak to the mother, but to lodge your concerns with the school. You do not know what the home circumstances are. The school is legally obliged to act on this in order to safeguard the child. (If your concerns are serious and the school is not acting, you can contact children's services yourself, although it sounds from what you say as if if the school is paying attention.) 
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Re: My 8 years old has been exposed to ****** by a friend - not sure what else to do

Postby design tertia » Mon Mar 11, 2019 6:05 am

I would be very worried too. When my daughter was six years old, there were rumours at school that a girl in her class was slipping under the partitions in the loo and trying to touch the other girls. I spoke to the teacher and and she told me she was aware of the problem and was in discussions with the girls parents. She had also established a monitor system in the loo.

About a month later, when a mum I didn't know very well came to pick up her daughter after a playdate, she began talking about how her daughter had gone for a playdate at the home of the little girl who was trying to touch the other girls in the bathroom. She seemed very nervous, then she told me that ever since that day, her daughter was very angry at her and had become withdrawn. She also told me that her daughter was bruised around her upper thighs and pubic area. She said she had no idea what to do.

I told her to call the NSPCC immediately. I gave her the name of a friend who was working there, and told her that it would all be handled in with care and confidentiality. 

The end of this sad story is that the poor girl who was trying to touch the others in the bathroom had been exposed to all kinds of inappropriate sexual images. She was being abused by her mother. 

Speak to the NSPCC. Children of abuse will often imitate the behaviour of the abuser.
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Re: My 8 years old has been exposed to ****** by a friend - not sure what else to do

Postby Scientist » Mon Mar 11, 2019 7:14 am

I sympathise, but like others believe that you have to go through official channels and get the school to follow this up. I think you have the right to be kept informed as to what the school is doing and about any progress they are making. 

My cousin found out that her daughter had been exposed to p*rn at the age of around 9/10 by a (female) school friend of the same age. The first my cousin knew of it was via the discovery of some graphic drawings her daughter had made after a play date with the school friend at home. Shortly after this, she discovered that her daughter had seen p*rn on her school friend's iPad at the school friend's house. She confronted the girl's mother, who immediately blamed her ex-husband. It turned out that the mother's ex had a p*rn and s*x addiction problem, which was the main reason they had divorced. When he had the children every other week end, he wasn't very careful about hiding what he had been looking at on his computer - and that's how it all started. But moreover, as a newly 'single' mother with a full-on career, she had given her daughter no less than 2 iPads and a mobile 'phone by the age of 9 (!!). Maybe as a way of keeping her occupied during the mother's long absences whilst at work, maybe bought as a means to assuage guilt about what had happened in the girl's life - one can only speculate. But the net effect had some undesirable consequences. 

Luckily, with some extra parental help and supervision, it doesn't seem as though the experience has had any lasting negative effect on my cousin's daughter, who has turned into a wonderful, happy and healthy young lady. 
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Re: My 8 years old has been exposed to ****** by a friend - not sure what else to do

Postby Sheds » Mon Mar 11, 2019 8:40 am

My heart goes out to you WorriedMum12.

Reading your post, I wonder if there is a conversation that your School could have with your husband, Head and Class teacher, yourself AND your child which is solely for the benefit of your child.  From what you have written, your child is not to hold onto secrets, and yet at the same time is to withhold this massive 'secret' from conversations with friends.  It seems a mixed message that perhaps could be straightened out with the massive 'secret' openly discussed with the adults listed above, so now your child knows that she isn't holding a secret, it is purely a conversation that can lose it's potential power.

Don't know if I am articulating very clearly.  Just pointing to where your child might become confused.

Happy to chat if you like.

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Re: My 8 years old has been exposed to ****** by a friend - not sure what else to do

Postby LoveSW11 » Mon Mar 11, 2019 1:12 pm


My child went through a very similar situation last year at age 7 and I’m happy to tell you exactly the official steps we took to ‘resolve’ the situation.
If you want to chat, message me and I’ll send you my number.
I’m so sorry to hear other people going through similar situations, it was so stressful and a constant concern for us now but awareness is the main thing, thankfully it has come to light so you can deal with it to protect your child. I can relate to all the feelings you must be going through.
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Re: My 8 years old has been exposed to ****** by a friend - not sure what else to do

Postby Bubs » Mon Mar 11, 2019 2:23 pm

So upsetting to read, and sadly I have also experienced similar (to a lesser degree) with two children at one of my child's schools. It's all very well to keep your child away, but I absolutely believe you have a duty to push this as far as you can, obviously to alert the school and protect your own child, but very much for the other child too - someone needs to be his/her voice and make it very clear that whatever he has seen or is experiencing is not right.

I attended an NSPCC evening recently where an adult recounted his childhood story (for the first time in public) of his idyllic childhood wherein he was actually secretly being abused by a family friend. Subtly at first and of course very discretely. All he needed was for someone to speak out for him, and I believe that is yours (and all of our) place in the situation you describe. His life was all but destroyed by the events he experienced at primary school, he must have been about 30 now and only just coming to terms with it and having it still affect his mental health and relationships now.

Others seem to have advice on exactly how to do this/the appropriate channels, but I just wanted to add my support and say please don't stop pushing on this. Yes maybe it's childhood curiosity, maybe .... but even then, as a parent I would absolutely want to know so that I could have that conversation with my child.

Whether it is in innocence or something more sinister, it absolutely needs a conversation with the child involved somehow by someone. It breaks my heart to think of someone so young being shaped unknowingly by such things.  

Just to add though, at this stage I wouldn't speak to the parents of the child directly. I think it should come from an official channel in the first instance. If the school could offer some kind of Place2Be type arena to discuss 'things' with the child it may be a start - try and work out what's going on that way. 
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Re: My 8 years old has been exposed to ****** by a friend - not sure what else to do

Postby Annbir » Tue Mar 12, 2019 10:01 pm

Hi Worriedmum12,
It must have been so upsetting to discover that your child has been exposed to such inappropriate material. I agree with other posters that you should inform the school of your concerns (preferably through writing) and trust then to take it from there. They will have a designated safeguarding lead who will be best equipped to investigate and deal with any suspected abuse.
Some schools are now starting to discuss ****** (in the context of it setting very unrealistic expectations of intimate relationships) as part of their sex education and PSHE but usually for older children.
Good luck
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Re: My 8 years old has been exposed to ****** by a friend - not sure what else to do

Postby parentpractice » Mon Mar 18, 2019 9:44 am

Dear Worried Mum

I am not sure if you have fully resolved this and there have been some super useful replies here but wanted to reach out to you to say just how impressively you have handled this scenario

Your daughter clearly has a great relationship with you as she told you everything and that comes from great connection and communication and from a relationship of mutual trust and respect.

The reality is that no matter how many controls and firewalls we have, disturbing content will find our children even when they are not looking for it and a simple school project on marine life and researching crustaceans may not bring up your traditional prawn! Our children need to know they can come to us and talk to us about everything they see and this will only happen if we are able to listen without judgment and blame.

The other top tip I wanted to share was I would NOT  speak to the other tempting as it is and I do agree with another post her that this may be a safe guarding issue and your school will have a designated safeguarding lead ( DSL) and a safeguarding governor who will have been informed and will have assessed the situation and hopefully taking action and measures.

Your daughter needs you as the first bus to get can bring in other professionals if indeed you feel that her behaviour warrants this, but as parents we have the biggest influence by just talking and listening and nothing is broken here that needs fixing. You've clearly got her and are taking action to minimise the chance of it happening again and giving her super useful strategies to move forward with.

Sending you much positivity  xElaine x
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