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would you be concerned...?

So, I take care of my cousin during the week while her mom is at work. Shes 3. The other day I was trying to explain to her about wiping after using the potty and how its important so she deoesnt get sores and what not and she comes out with something about a snake and wiggling. I asked her to repeat herself and she just got this blank look on her face and was quiet. Then she said snakes hiss and then she went off to play. I mentioned it to her mom and she just laughed. I know how random 3 year olds can be but it kind of bothered me. Should I be concerned or just let it go?

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Asked by Anonymous at 2:42 PM on Nov. 20, 2008 in Preschoolers (3-4)

Answers (11)
  • write it done in a journal, be as specific as you can and even put the date and time. if anything else happens keep it all logged. i don't know where you live but i am in oklahoma and here if you even suspect abuse and don't report it you can face the same punishmet as the person doing the abusing. i personaly would be alarmed, the least you can do is make an anon. call to dhs.

    Answer by Anonymous at 2:48 PM on Nov. 20, 2008

  • A friend of mine had something similar, she took the girl to the ER to have a physical exam and they found evidence of trama so any time a child makes any kind of comment, no matter how silly I take it seriously.

    Answer by Anonymous at 2:51 PM on Nov. 20, 2008

  • most of the time children won't use proper names for things so you can't be to safe. i took a class once on noticing child abuse and neglect and there was story about a little kid who was being sexualy abused and they kept telling there daycare teacher that someone was "eating their cookies". the teacher ignored it thinking that someone was eating all of the childs dessert, but it turned out that they child was really being abused. this can happen to anyone. one thing they stressed at the class is to not tell your self that the parents would never do that. when it comes down to it you don't know what happens in their home and alot of things can happen without the mother knowing.

    Answer by Anonymous at 2:57 PM on Nov. 20, 2008

  • did you make the jump from snake to child abuse??? Honestly. My 3 year old can come out with some of the oddest statements at the oddest moments and she's not abused. For me, the first thing that comes to mind is worms....I'd suggest a trip to the doctor to check if she has a parasite...lots of kids talk about "snakes" when they have worms.

    Answer by Anonymous at 2:58 PM on Nov. 20, 2008

  • For anonymous 2:58...that was a ridiculous repsonse...Children will often associate a penis with "snakes" especially children that have been abused. No it does not necessary mean that the child has been abused but it is a definite warning sign...The OP should also watch for behavioral changes, discomfort with men (or women), discomfort or unusal interest in having gentials touched, inappropriate play, withdrawl, etc. Keep close watch on this child and if you see any other warning signs report the possibility or have her checked out yourself if you can find a way.

    Answer by Kimebs at 4:09 PM on Nov. 20, 2008

  • I second kimebs on anonymous 2:58...I would write it down and maybe play a game with her asking if anyone has touched her and who. Or maybe wait to see if anything happens again for you to feel concerned. its just so scary to wait if someting were happening.

    Answer by san-1 at 6:00 PM on Nov. 20, 2008

  • with all do respect it could be anything a check up could be plosible, my daughter had to go for several soppositories for her constipation,therefore now everytime we need to go somewhere shes always telling me "No mommy i dont want to get a stick up my bum, no stick mommy", i have to constantly let her know thats why we arnt going, it could be anything, i do agree with the keeping a log book, those work because then you can also see if it's getting worse or if it was just being fun.

    Answer by julie120 at 6:06 PM on Nov. 20, 2008

  • I did work with children who have been sexually abused. The thing is this could be a harmless statement or it might not be. You did the correct thing by informing her mother, ultimately she is responsible for her child's safety and well being. I wouldn't really suggest "questioning" her b/c it could be suggested that you were leading her her or coaching her. If you have regular contact with your little cousin then casually, and privately, tell her you have been thinking about something she said the other day. You were wondering what she meant by "snake" when she used the potty the other day. "Can you tell me or show me what you were talking about?" If she remembers then she may tell you. Or she may not open up even if she does remember.

    Answer by frogdawg at 9:33 PM on Nov. 20, 2008

  • cont..But at least you have opened up that door. Let her know that if she is ever scared, hurt, or confused that she can always talk to you. Leave it at that. IF she does give you information that is indicative of child abuse then do not question her any further. This is really hard to do. But you could ruin a case if you do that simply b/c you are not trained. All a defense attorney would have to do is say you coached her. Just listen, ask if there is anything more, and then write down everything she said. Do not use quotes. People often say to do that but I have seen that work against the victim. Then call law enforcement and social services.

    Answer by frogdawg at 9:37 PM on Nov. 20, 2008

  • Fisr thing im wondering is what exactly was said, you dont make that very clear, so i cant really judge that. Also the randomness alarms me, that doesnt seem random, you are talking about her genitals, and she is thinking about snakes ... sounds odd to me. I would definatley write it down, you talked to her mother, maybe you can ask her if she has talked to the child. I might not jump to conclusions but id be concerned. At three years old, and not in preschool, id be wondering where the thought of wiggling snakes came from while she is being told how to wipe properly.

    Answer by Anonymous at 12:16 PM on Nov. 22, 2008

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