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Posted by: momma bear ( )
Date: December 29, 2011 03:34AM

The following is a letter I wrote to get things off my chest. Things seemed to escalate over the holidays between me and my sister and her husband. I don't need to write any background info, I think the letter speaks for itself. Let me know what you think. I'm serious about not letting the children play in unstructured settings together though. That is my rule regardless of whether or not I send the letter. Oh, and I am BIC.

Dear sister,

I feel that our children should not play together in unstructured settings anymore. I’m getting out while the getting is good.

For a couple of years, I’ve been aware of your “concerns” about my [7 year old] son. For some reason, you seem to view him as some sort of sexual deviant, and you sexualize just about everything he does. Whenever this happens, I feel not only uncomfortable but also as though I need to step up and protect him from this type of nonsense.

I don’t want him to develop a complex. The way you treat a child can become a self-fulfilling prophecy. If you are going to make him feel as though he has been sexually harassing your [7 year old] daughter since he was five, he just might grow up to become a molester. What would he have to lose?

Some time ago, I confided to mom about how I’ve been feeling about all of this and all she did was shrug her shoulders and say that she’s had some “concerns” about my son herself. This tells me that you’ve been talking behind my back and people have been feeding each other paranoia.

I know I won’t come out as the winner here. You have an anxiety disorder which heightens your fears beyond what is normal. Your paranoia is also being fed by attending chastity lessons at your church. No doubt this also gives you a feeling of moral superiority. Not to mention that being around so many LDS people all the time blinds you to what is considered normal behavior in society at large.

I am not a member of your church and I never will be. My son is also not a member of your church. For that reason, you have no right to impose any sort of Mormon standards on him. Please leave the disciplining up to me- especially when it comes to anything controversial or sensitive matters. I intend to raise him with healthy views on sexuality- and it is my opinion that your church’s stance on this is not healthy. The word “unclean” comes up way too many times in those chastity lessons. And the thought of a twelve year old girl alone in a room being asked if she is morally “clean” by her bishop is sickening to me. To be honest, it ALWAYS has been. I am amazed that bishops have gotten away with that for so long. (Yes, I realize times have changed and there now has to be a chaperone present in the room, but the fact remains that a little girl has to talk about sex with an adult male. Whether she wants to or not- her parents and the church make that choice for her. Sick!)

There have been whispers circulating around the family about which kid has been removing all the clothes off the Barbies and leaving them all naked in the playroom. I know who it is and it’s not my kid. I also know about of one of the kids mooning my son. For Pete’s sake, these are children and these things happen. Get over it. And I won’t reveal who the culprits of these behaviors are- as I see it, you have started a witch hunt that is harmful and dividing the family. As for my son playing under a blanket with your daughter: We have often seen both our brother and your husband playing “slug” under a blanket and luring children under the blanket with them for tickles. For some reason this is acceptable but my 7 year old was up to something sinister??? Wow, talk about paranoid.

I have had conversations with my son over the years and I am confident that there is nothing to be concerned about.

So, back to my point. My children will no longer be allowed to play with your children in an unstructured setting. I’m getting out while the getting is good. Because my son has repeatedly been the subject of unfounded accusations since he was only five, I see that it is only a matter of time before we leave from a family visit with a sexual abuse charge on our hands. This problem will probably get worse as the kids get older. I’d hate to see my son facing serious legal issues just for looking at your daughter crosswise.

I don’t anticipate that it will be easy for you to stop projecting your fears all over the children overnight. And as I said earlier, I know I won’t come out as the winner here. So please don’t bother to promise you would never press charges against my son and insist that I continue to let the children play together in unstructured settings. Those days are over.

Sister, if you have been abused, please. Get help.

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Posted by: GNPE ( )
Date: December 29, 2011 03:43AM

re: paragraph 2: ('you seem to') Do you have an example, one that 'can't' be denied?

general allegations often fail.

naked Barbies? OH THE SHAME OF IT ALL!

bottom line, your kids are YOUR CALL.

'press charges'? Really?

if what the letter suggest reflects reality, Id AGREE

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Posted by: rowan ( )
Date: December 29, 2011 09:26AM

NO, do not send the letter. She will take the words you wrote and twist them to her way of thinking, and use it to further damage your and your son's relationship in the family. I have seen it happen before.

Do severely limit your child's (children) exposure to the rest of your family.

Just because they are family does not make them suitable friends or playmates.

Find suitable "playmates" for your son. Set up playdates for him with these friends.

Please understand that all children are "sexual" beings. They are curious and experimental...that is normal. That is a good reason for structured and supervised play for young children of both sexes.

The "blanket play" you mentioned in your letter that the adults do...that seems strange to me. I have never seen any games "slugs" and "tickles" such as you describe. Neither slugging or tickleing is appropriate behavior, but a form of passive-aggressive bullying.

For your mother to have had some "concerns" yet never addressed them to you until you brought it up and then her shrugging it off is revealing in itself. I would say that she is inadequate in her role as mother to you and grandmother to your son.

You know your mother's personality, is this her way of dealing with problems by not seeing them until spoken of?

Does she seem to favor one child over another or one grandchild over another?

Children pick up pretty quickly when one child is valued more than another. This can cause great emotional pain that may never be resolved.

Limit your child's time with these (toxic) family members in group settings where your child is being emotionally victimized. Visit your parent(s) at non-group settings. Watch the grandparent's behavior towards your son then. Do they behave warmly or cooly towards your son?

Remember back to your childhood, was there a golden child and then you? This type of family behavior is long term and ongoing. If so, understand that you cannot change your family's problems, but you can protect your child from its damaging influence.

I can tell you that what you describe is unacceptable family behavior. It is just one aspect of a dysfunctional family. It is good that you have realized that your son is being victimized, and that you are standing up for him. That is what a good parent does.

There are many good books on the subject(s) your problem addresses. The internet is a good place to start looking for information. Best wishes to you and your son.



Edited 4 time(s). Last edit at 12/29/2011 09:36AM by rowan.

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Posted by: nonmo ( )
Date: December 29, 2011 10:20PM

"Do severely limit your child's (children) exposure to the rest of your family."

Like visits during the holidays only. Her kid has been accused...since the age of 5, that he has been sexually inappropriate?? 5 yr olds don't know what sex is.

I suspect the other kids are doing this because they know that the nonmo kid will get blamed



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 12/29/2011 10:21PM by nonmo.

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Posted by: jessica ( )
Date: December 29, 2011 09:32AM

I would but I am bitchy like that. What you have listed is totally unacceptable behavior to me. I would like to know what she's accused your son of doing?

I like how you used specific examples and behaviors rather than attacked her personally, she'll still get upset by it but by doing it this way you are telling her you love her as a person but not the behavior she is exhibiting.

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Posted by: EssexExMo ( )
Date: December 29, 2011 09:46AM

I would send the letter, but I am not the best person to advise.... I find that I sometimes speak from my heart and reap the consequences later.

yes, I agree with the other posters that it is bound to be misinterpreted and seen as a personal attack.



your last line, as it is, sounds like a simple insult, unless you expand it - talk about 'projecting her own experiences'.
If you have any reason for making that statement - tell her about your fears and offer to help her. that may make her understand that she is projecting her 'hurt' onto your son

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Posted by: Stray Mutt ( )
Date: December 29, 2011 09:46AM

Dear Sister,

I feel that our children should not play together, because you and your family are a bad influence. Please get help.

-- Momma Bear



I'm only partly serious. But it would be fun to reverse roles in the old LDS my-kids-can't-play-with-yours-anymore drama.

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Posted by: matt ( )
Date: December 29, 2011 09:56AM

Let's suppose that, down the line, the girl develops problems and they blame what they believe your son did for this? Or worse, hire a 'therapist' who has a one track mind and who twists what little she can remember into a wholly fabricated story of abuse that never happened.

But... wait? What's this? "Why, Mr/Ms Therapist, here is a letter the boy's mother wrote! It's clear that if you read between the lines she KNEW her son was sexually abusing my daughter!"

And the therapist would use your letter as the basis for more lies and crap diagnosis.

You are better NOT sending the letter, but taking the course of action that you outline. Don't put it in writing. Tell her as little as possible.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 12/29/2011 09:57AM by matt.

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Posted by: beansandbrews ( )
Date: December 29, 2011 06:42PM

++1

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Posted by: cludgie ( )
Date: December 29, 2011 09:59AM

Of course, Mutt's letter dangles a bit on the harsh side, correct as it is, but I think that rather than make it an appeal about your son's character that you need to throw the blame in their direction and question THEIR character. It is only due to your sister's and your BIL's warped sense of things that this is an issue in the first place. Since they are the ones seeing the "evil," it might be appropriate to point out to them that you believe they have some sort of serious sexual issue that others don't have. Forget defending your son, as he doesn't require it; defending him like that lends credibility to it being your problem when in reality it's their problem.

Also, a long, wordy thing will just not get read (apologies for using passive voice.) Shorten it and give it punch.

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Posted by: AnonyMs ( )
Date: December 29, 2011 10:13AM

pick and choose the kid's play time.

Kids need to be supervised. I think you're right about structured play settings.

You are the parent...........and you can protect your son.
Be happy and raise a happy kid.

Awwwwwww families
K

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Posted by: summer ( )
Date: December 29, 2011 10:24AM

Just tell your sister that you want your son to have more supervision while he's playing. This might mean that he only plays with his cousin while at your house. Lots of parents do this. Or meet up with your sister and her child at a playground.

One idea would be to get a big bin of the small Legos (and a batch of the small Matchbox-type cars.) Young kids love these and they can be entertained for a long time with them. Dump the Legos out on the carpet in the living room or family room, and let the kids enjoy building things.

I would cut out the blanket games entirely. That type of play seems off to me.

Bottom line, you don't want to set your son up for false accusations.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 12/29/2011 10:28AM by summer.

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Posted by: notinthislifetime ( )
Date: December 29, 2011 10:31AM

However, I would always supervise play times myself.

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Posted by: omreven ( )
Date: December 29, 2011 11:57AM

I wouldn't send the letter. I wouldn't take too kindly to being told I was paranoid and then reading about how horrible my church is. Some things are best left unsaid.

I would, however, minimize any time my child was around theirs. Only supervised visits from here on out. If he's already thought of as a sexual deviant and trouble, you don't need to toss him into the fire. Neither of you need to be put in a position of false accusations. It might be a good idea to instruct your son to not play in a room alone with the cousin and always make sure he's near you or another trusted adult.

I'm curious what exactly your son is doing. Naked Barbies is silly, but at the age of 7, there should be better understood boundaries, and an understanding that some families see things as "wrong" that we don't and you have to respect that. I don't see anything wrong with "forts" or playing under a blanket, but if it makes the other parent uncomfortable, then it needs to stop. He can play fort with his other friends.

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Posted by: blueorchid ( )
Date: December 29, 2011 12:15PM

Do NOT send that letter.

Do not put any of that in writing. Delete your copy now. I am no authority, but I speak from experience.

Your son has been sexualized enough. The last thing he needs is any more of that, but especially even the mention of it should not be in writing. Those written words should not be in the hands of your sister. What if your son reads that at some point, what if someone else sees it, the other children? That happens all the time. Your sister in anger might take it further.

Tell her you will not allow the children to play together any more unless you are there if that is your wish. You owe her no answer to that, you owe her no explanation. It is more that OK to protect your child in any way you see fit. He comes first.

If you want to explain the matter with your sister, sit down with her and tell her everything you want her to know. Make a list and be calm--just the two of you, or if spouses are there it has to be both spouses. Everything stays oral.

If you send a letter, keep it on general topics of why you object to the church methods with children. Do not make it specific to your child or any ones else's. Be very careful what you put in writing on such an important topic.

Toxic is Toxic. Family does not get a free pass on that one. And "meaning well" doesn't count either.

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Posted by: Socrates2 ( )
Date: January 03, 2012 11:52PM


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Posted by: Julie1 ( )
Date: December 29, 2011 12:17PM

What's your real goal here?

To protect your child from developing an unhealthy sexual attitude because of your sister's influence?

To confront your sister about family issues?

Personally, I'd choose one goal and stick with that. I think it's pretty obvious which goal is the most important.

Do you believe that you can change your sister's attitude regarding your relationship with her? If you truly believe this, save that conversation for another day.

Personally, I think that's a fools errand.

If you do send a letter telling your sister you don't want her child to play with your son in unstructured settings (btw, unnecessary--all you actually have to do is make certain it's inconvenient whenever she suggests it,) I'd make the letter about 2 sentences long. Something along the lines of "I don't want my son to play with your children without me present as I think he is receiving an inappropriate message regarding his sexuality from your family. Thanks."

Remember, whoever says the least has the most power.

If you don't really think your sister is damaging your son's sexuality and it's just an excuse to send the letter to air your issues with her, I say don't send a letter at all. You shouldn't be using your son to get your own agenda accomplished.

Your letter is very emotionally charged (filled with incendiary language) and my belief is that by sending it you will cause a rift in your relationship with your sister (and possibly your entire family--as if she's talked about other things, she will certainly show your letter to everyone she thinks she can get in her camp) that may never be healed.

I seriously doubt (based on the way the situation appears from your letter's content) that your familial relationship can be much improved. This letter won't do it.

Remember to go VERY SLOWLY when it comes to putting things in writing. They NEVER go away.

My opinion is that the least said the better. If you feel she is emotionally abusing you, your son, your family or any combination of the above, you may be right. The last thing you would want to do is give her your power by confirming she's right by wearing your heart on your sleeve (or in this case, the paper the letter's on.)

Sometimes all you really need to do is just write the letter so you can get it out. You've said what you felt, you just haven't wasted your time telling it to the injuring party who isn't going to listen to you anyway. If she were the kind of person to listen, acknowledge her fault and make a concerted effort to change her behavior she wouldn't be the type of person that you'd have this kind of issue to begin with.

Good luck.

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Posted by: SilkRose (not logged in) ( )
Date: December 29, 2011 12:38PM

I agree 100%. I think I read your Background info on another site (DWIL). And, as soon as you mentioned she was LDS, one of the posters flipped out on you.

I agree that you shouldn't risk your son to their brand of crazy. It may just be comments now, but when he is 10 or 12, they will up the ante.

I personally would not allow my son around them period. They seem to think that because you are not a part of their cult, that your son is trying to be sexual.

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Posted by: Mia ( )
Date: December 29, 2011 12:42PM

Never ever send letters where family problems and issues are brought up. They will be passed around and used against you to make you look like the crazy one. Your words will be kept possibly for years. They will be read over and over.

It is better to say it on the phone. That way, if you need to, down the road, you can deny you ever said some things that you may regret. Don't ever put it in writing.

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Posted by: Lost ( )
Date: December 29, 2011 12:45PM

@Momma Bear

This story of yours sounds eerily familiar to me. I've have been in this exact situation as a child.

My aunt was a looney tune. She was OBSESSED with chastity, morality and everything had sexual overtones. Men constantly wanted her. Everyone was after her children. She really needed help.

When I was 9 years old, she accused me of improper behavior with my 9 year old cousin who I just adored. We lived nearby my Aunt, so my cousin and I went to the same school and had the same teachers. She was wonderful! Auntie just destroyed our relationship and made something great something awlful. To this day our relationship is nonexistant. I'm so sad about that.

We were doing a stupid kid thing of kissing each other. They were sloppy cheek kisses and I don't even remember what the catalyst was that started it, only that she was being annoying, teasing me about something and so I was annoying her back. It broke down into total tomfoolery and lasted maybe 15 minutes with both of us laughing our heads off. There was nothing to this at all. We kissed frogs together and had done other stupid things, like licking a flagpole in the winter and losing our clother on a trek through the swamp. Harmless.

This same Aunt had accused me of other bad and sinful behavior too, when I was younger, so this wasn't a new concept, only this time I was the spawn of satan for soiling her innocent daughter. The whole thing was blow out of proportion.

My mom, bless her, thought it was pretty stupid and was irritated with her sister for once again making accusations, trying to punish me and making all kinds of threats.

Mother the mistake of sending my Aunt a letter. All it did was incite my aunt to basically go insane. She took it as a personal afront and was on a mission to harm me and out me as a pervert. I am not kidding: she because an absolute bitch. The only ultimate solution was to get away from their entire family.
My family was messed up too, but this was nutso behavior by an adult.

So if you send this letter, the odds are good your sister will take it out on your son. It will mostly likely take the form of behind the back sniping, but this kind of stuff really hurts kids. What if grandma starts asking your son personal questions? Mine did. I'll never forget the day she asked me if I'd ever touched a girl's breasts, etc. THIS WAS MY GRANDMOTHER. I was 10 at the time. I was freaked out and horrified! I later found out, dear auntie had been constantly telling grandma that I was a lech because I overheard her when they didn't know I was around. This was devastating to me at the time. How does a child confront an adult about falsehoods?

The better thing to do in this situation is to take action without saying anything to your sister. Simply don't allow your son to be in a non-structured setting. Your sister doesn't need to know. If she doesn't know, she can't be offended. If she suspects, play innocent. Well, we just like to be around when our son plays with STRANGER'S kids. It keeps him safe and makes sure nobody does anything that they shouldn't to him.

Good luck. It's a rotten position to be in.

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Posted by: wine country girl ( )
Date: December 29, 2011 12:49PM

WTF? ALL kids do that!!! It's perfectly normal. Much ado about nothing in my opinion. I wouldn't send the letter, I would just refuse to associate with people who sexualize what is normal in little children.

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Posted by: SusieQ#1 ( )
Date: December 29, 2011 12:55PM

There is a wonderful bit of wisdom I have stuck to like glue for years now and it works almost perfectly.
Write all the letters you want, But DO NOT MAIL THEM!

Consider what you will even remember or care about 20 to 30 years from now. Usually, minor things can be ignored. People have short memories generally.

Everyone has their personal opinions and they won't change over a letter.

You might just want to whisper something in the woman' ear: knock it off, do you sexualize everything and everyone - stop doing that to the kids? Then tell her if she repeats it you will deny it. It's just for her ears only but it's a warning that her attitude and behavior is NOT appreciated and you'll not tolerate it anymore.

Then take the kids and leave.

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Posted by: wings ( )
Date: December 29, 2011 01:13PM

I vote no.

Detach. Do not engage in the drama. It does not sound healthy for anyone involved. Don't announce your plan to detach. Be busy when invites come your way. You are busy, even if it is reading a book. It is not ok to place your son in a position where he can be branded a deviant at 5-7 years old. Kids are going to be kids and sometimes there are things that need to be addressed. Mormon parenting style is going to clash with yours.... and you are better off moving on to other social settings. No need to create a major family issue. Just don't engage.

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Posted by: Leah ( )
Date: December 29, 2011 06:04PM

NO!
NEVER put anything in writing, it may come back to bite you in the butt years later.

But please do cut off ALL communcation and interaction with that side of the family.

These people are out to make your son a scapegoat in the family - they are out to harm him.
STAY AWAY FROM THEM!!

It is quite common in dysfunctional families for a person/child to be marked as the one who is at fault for everything that happens.
For whatever reason, the consensus seems to be that your son is "it".

Forget structured or unstructured play. Get your son the hell out out of reach of these people, they are transferring all their mental problems onto the kid.

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Posted by: thingsithink ( )
Date: December 29, 2011 08:29PM

That's what I'd do in a heartbeat.

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Posted by: honestone ( )
Date: December 29, 2011 07:09PM

I am not sure what you mean by structured or unstructured play. What is important is that at their age they should have supervised playtime. Now if your sister is as nuts as it sounds why would you allow your son to be in that house at all? I wouldn't. No person accuses my child with no proof.

Seems like she has some issues to resolve regarding sexual issues. Children that age should not be talking about sexual matters. So what if a barbie is naked. Get over it. Or don't have barbies around. Protect your kid at all costs. So if you send the letter fine, but perhaps just telling her that no time in the future will your child play with hers unless there is supervision by you. Play will be in your home. And if there is a family affair, YOU will supervise the kids so yours in not accused unfairly and she can look over your shoulder. YOU protect your child. She won't.

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Posted by: Grey ( )
Date: December 29, 2011 08:44PM

1. Data shows that Momrons are statistically well above the USA average when it comes to sex abuse of children

2. According to Google, more serches on the term "Child sex" is performed in Salt lake than anywhere else in the USA.

Therefore you understand why she, as a mormon would be skewed to think along these lines.

It sounds like your 7-year old boy is a boy. Unless he is walking about witjh an aze that is sripping blood, I wouldn't worry about him. He's just a boy. And with a healthy mum and dad like you and yourn husband, he's turning out just fine.

Your sister has the issues. But of course, she's mormon.

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Posted by: bigred ( )
Date: December 29, 2011 10:28PM

Please share the 'data' to which you refer. I call bs and say you are making that up and assuming.

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Posted by: Anonymous User ( )
Date: December 29, 2011 08:55PM

I would not send the letter (destroy it) as it can come back to haunt your family. I would tell your sister the rules face to face.

How old is your brother anyway?

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Posted by: forestpal ( )
Date: December 29, 2011 09:24PM

Do NOT send that letter!

You can keep it in your files, because it states your position very well.

Take charge! You are giving your family too much power over you, by explaining and making excuses.

You have the power!

--You know you are right.
--You know your family will twist things around to be whatever they want it to be. Yes, in my opinion, Mormon families are notorious for doing this. Apostates, inactives, and non-Mormons are ALWAYS the bad guys, and the Mormons are the good guys.
--These relatives are definitely toxic to your 7-year-old.
--It is your responsibility as a parent to protect your child from toxic people and toxic situations!

Just TAKE ACTION, without any explanations whatsoever. Make your own private boundaries and stick with them. I have a pedophile in my family, so I know what I'm talking about.

No more "under the blanket" games. That is so Michael Jackson!

You need to be in the same room as your child, at all times. You will probably have a better time playing with the kids, than visiting with thee TBM idiots, anyway.

Leave early, and never, ever, ever, allow any sleepovers! My little girl was molested by a high school senior at a ward campout. She woke up and screamed, and his hands were all over her body, under her sleeping bag. There were witnesses, but because the molester was the bishop's son, the kids were threatened to never tell about it.

You can make your decisions very business-like, if you want. If your relatives ask you WHY your child can't play alone with their child, just say, "It's not my policy." I think this should be a parent's policy everywhere, with everyone. If your family chooses to be offended by your rules, they can shove it. Stay strong!



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 12/29/2011 09:40PM by forestpal.

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Posted by: bona dea ( )
Date: December 29, 2011 10:26PM

Unless the kids are really good friends, I would limit contact and try to be there when they are together. If they are friends, I would not send the letter but I would be sure the kids are supervised so that your sister cannot accuse your kid falsely. I would also lay some rules down in person and let her know that naked Barbies are not a big deal in your mind and you do not want her letting your son feel that this is something dirty.I would try to find other friends for your kids regardless of the situation, but you might have to be more patient if the kids are close.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 12/29/2011 10:32PM by bona dea.

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Posted by: freshperspective ( )
Date: December 30, 2011 12:09AM

I'm asking because after reading your letter, It could have sounded like you were the one paranoid about some of the things you were accusing your sister of doing and saying behind your back and about or toward your son. You think she's really on a witch hunt, talking behind your back a lot and trying to demonize your child with over-sexualizing his behavior? Do you really believe she would press charges if your son made any kind of inappropriate advances? Can you at least talk openly with your sister about your concerns instead of right out accusing her of these things? Or are you certain a lot of these things are true for the reasons she says these things and acts like she does? Maybe she's struggling with a lot and maybe you are too. Can you both try to work out the kinks and iron out some misunderstandings instead of throwing assumptions back and forth at each other? I have a lot of accusers, assumers in my own family and it drive me nuts sometimes. I'm pretty familiar how this dynamic and behavior works either for someone or against families. There's no good or positive that comes with throwing accusations. Try encouraging yourself and herself to be more open in discussion about things with one another if at all possible. Unless she's one of those impossible people to talk to with their heart full of pride.

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Posted by: nicole456 ( )
Date: January 03, 2012 11:06PM

Mormans can turn anything sexual. See this lovely article http://www.ksl.com/?nid=968&sid=16393005 "Why I Banned Barbie". I think that sending the letter would make matters worse, she thinks she is right in her fears and would probably think you are trying to protect your son.

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