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25 Bumps

Is Mr. Mom next door "grooming" my daughter?

We moved in a yr ago and the neighbors seemed perfect. They have all girls like we do the oldest girls are both 7. They have been friends since. The husband is home with the kids as am I so naturally we talked more in passing while the kids were playing but as time goes by he makes no attempt to get to know my husband, and even seems to avoid it. And from that point the boundaries get fuzzy. He is confused that our kids have rules, and when I told my daughter to not play inside houses today (theirs or ours), he invited her in and when I came looking for her he said "I didn't think you'd mind", he kisses my daughter on top of the head along with his girls, and when my daughter complained to her friend recently about not having a sleepover he asked her if she wanted to stay at their house and then told her not to tell us so he could "convince us"? He randomly hugged me once and commented that he was used to just walking into the old neighbors house (now ours). He gushes about how polite our daughter is and invites her over for dinner when usually the Mom is not home. To be fair it seems they take turns so when he's home she is not and visa versa. Their kids are rude, also without a sense of boundary and they even let their dog run free (going to the bathroom in EVERY yard). I feel like I am being "played" and have recently gotten the "feeling" that I should pull my daughter away. Am I being too cynical or is my daughter being stealthily groomed by a possible pedophile. And how can I pull my daughter back without being too obvious?

Answer Question

Asked by Anonymous at 10:07 PM on Mar. 16, 2011 in General Parenting

Answers (45)
  • trust your instincts... you will never know what you may have prevented!!- Just the fact that he doesn't know boundaries is enough for you to have warning and pull away. Be very firm - there are no secrets that your daughter should keep from you, he is not to kiss her... Any normal Dad would understand those boundaries and he is WAYYYYYY of line in doing those two things, not to mention the rest - TRUST your intuition it is rarely wrong, doesn't matter how awkward it is, or if he is offended that it just tough shit!

    Answer by myheartx4 at 10:11 PM on Mar. 16, 2011

  • Ummm, just don't let her go over there anymore.

    Answer by Kword at 10:11 PM on Mar. 16, 2011

  • To add more:
    I know all of that sounds random and that's the way it feels. It feels like he has a relationship with my daughter that someone closer to her should have (i.e. Uncle) but we really don't know them that well. I haven't even really been in their house and visa versa!

    Comment by Anonymous (original poster) at 10:13 PM on Mar. 16, 2011

  • Wow - that's a serious question and dilemma!

    What does your daughter say about him? Does she seem at all worried or concerned about him? Does he invite all your girls or just this one in particular?

    Regardless of the pedophile angle I don't like that he doesn't respect your rules and boundaries. I would probably start urging my daughter in other directions. If he suggests something say "let's do a family thing" and be there yourself.

    You could use the following "excuses" without being confrontational:
    - you want to spend more time with your own child
    - child needs more time for schoolwork or hobbies
    - you worry the other kids (yours) feel there's preferential treatment

    None of those say anything "about him" but would still give you "something to say"

    ... I wish you the best in this...

    Having been a victim of abuse, with parents who didn't realize, I can tell you that I that it's import

    Answer by angelmommy11 at 10:14 PM on Mar. 16, 2011

  • ... better safe than sorry.

    Answer by angelmommy11 at 10:15 PM on Mar. 16, 2011

  • Trust your instincts...if your right then you may have prevented a tragedy, if your wrong, no harm done

    Answer by Lucky209 at 10:16 PM on Mar. 16, 2011

  • sorry im not sure how to step things back but you do have a legitimate concern esp because he is allowing her to do things that are against your wishes or rules. something defenately doesnt sound right. not sure how i would handle it tho other than maybe say something to him about the fact that your kids do have rules and would like it if he could respect that. like if you told your dd to stay outside then he should respect that. personally i think i wouldnt let her go inside their house anymore and let the kids play only outside and under supervison.

    Answer by laura970 at 10:16 PM on Mar. 16, 2011

  • Thank you both, it's funny how someone random can slowly make you start doubting yourself. I agree with you both! Just nice to hear! My poor husband is feeling helpless (he works 6 days a week) and wants to move!

    Comment by Anonymous (original poster) at 10:16 PM on Mar. 16, 2011

  • I would be VERY uncomfterable with his touching, and kissing her on the head? Not cool. Trust your instincts on this one, he does not saound like a safe person, or a good role model. You seriously need to talk to him about his behavior, make sure he is aware that your house rules do not go out the window just because he says so. And you need to have a talk with your daughter as well. Make sure she is aware of the boundaries etc. But, I would be sure to start keeping her away from that family.

    Answer by Tarrar at 10:17 PM on Mar. 16, 2011

  • PS - As for being too obvious - sit him down - tell him he has crossed boundaries - he has asked your young child to keep a secret, he kisses her, he invites her inside without checking with you & that as a Mom it is entirely your job to ensure that your daughter is protected & safe. If he isn't grooming he will either understand & not push the issue ( & totally stop all behavior) or be offended - in either case it does NOT matter. If he is grooming he will know you are watching his moves. I would never invite a child into my home unless I know their Mom said ok, My husband is never left at home alone with anyone else's young girls, just on principle, & I would no sooner plant my lips on another child, than take a belt to them - it is inappropriate & in this day & age with the amount of media attention & info that he as a father will have heard, there is no possible way he can think he is being appropriate

    Answer by myheartx4 at 10:19 PM on Mar. 16, 2011

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