Father sleeping with 7 year old daughter

SunshinenrosesMarch 12, 2012

I read a series of posts on here about a father sleeping with a daughter in the master bedroom and allowing her to use the master bath.

My fiancee sleeps with his 7 year old daughter and then he wakes up several hours later, either carrying her to her bed or sleeping in her bed and leaving it to come to ours.

I looked in on them Saturday night. He had his body spooning hers.

Also, he kisses his daughter directly on the lips and this is considered a form of affection. He does it often, asking her for kisses and telling her he loves her.

Question: Does anyone find this behavior odd?

I realized Dads have very special attachments to their daughters. I was in a step family situation before. However, it seems like my fiancee is not allowing his daughter to have her own space and she as well as he are feeding off of the situation. I guess they will need to work it out for themselves.

I just hate to sit and watch it happen.

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BIG RED FLAG!!! I find it very odd & disturbing!

Every incestuous molest victim in my extended family (2 different aunts and a step cousin) were treated "special" like that. "Spooning" a 7 year old is at the very least, inappropriate. If he's not molesting her, he is crossing a line because kissing on the lips and spooning in the same bed is not usual. I studied some cultures that raise children in a "family bed" and that is different than what you are describing here.

Her feeding off the situation is going to mean that she will demand (or ask nicely) for things and he will give them to her out of guilt. She will learn that she can get whatever she wants or she will requests things to make him pay... at least that is what I see in the situations I know of. And leaving them to work it out for themselves... yikes! As she gets older, the anger will emerge.

"I just hate to sit and watch it happen"

Well, I can tell you that my step-aunt is paying the price by turning a blind eye when her now deceased husband would take their daughter on "special father/daughter" trips in his RV on the weekends. She suspected things but kept quiet... the daughter tried to tell on him but she told the child that he was their provider & if he went away, who would take care of them? So, now the child is grown, in her 30's and the father has died... the child's life is a mess and the mom just gives her whatever she wants because she feels guilty for allowing it to happen. The daughter treats her like crap because she didn't protect her but even so, the mom feels so guilty, she allows her daughter to treat her like crap & continues to take care of her.

    Bookmark   March 12, 2012 at 11:01AM
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I thought it was weird too. I just wanted to get some opinions of others here to validate or invalidate (as the case may be) my thoughts on this subject.

By the way, the spooning in bed occurs at night, and they are sleeping as far as I could tell. The kisses are just during the course of the day and are requested by the father specifically after he tells the 7 year old daughter he loves her.

    Bookmark   March 12, 2012 at 12:48PM
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I also ,like Ima,know someone who was an incest victim.The step dad would take the SD on drives,etc.He was molesting her and I know it for a fact but don't want to go into it.

The SD was always overly affectionate with this man.Always curling up around his feet,wallowing all over his lap,lip kisses ,etc at an age it was inappropriate.

Your fiance has no business what so ever sleeping in bed with his 7 yr old daughter.Even if he is not molesting her his behavior is not normal.My parents(usually Mom)would sleep in a sleeping bag on the floor in my room if I was really sick but not in the bed.Other than that I slept in my own room alone at that age.

Does anyone else know about this?Is there anyone else like a family member that could talk with your fiance about this?Someone he couldn't blow off or accuse of being jealous(that happens a lot in step situations).

It is a big red flag ,Sun.Please keep eyes and ears open for the sake of that child.Don't dismiss it.

Have you ever mentioned to fiance sleeping in bed with his daughter may not be healthy for her and she needs to be sleeping alone at this age?She needs her own space and his boundaries are very weak.Spooning in bed asleep or not..isn't appropriate.

    Bookmark   March 12, 2012 at 5:45PM
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OK I will admit in advance I am going to ask this question to see if there is a complete double-standard out there.

My ex-wife often allows my 11 yr old son to sleep with her, on the nights the kids are with her and her BF is not there. I know they cuddle-up when they sleep and all that. I have no issue with this whatsoever, I want my son to be as close to his mom as possible. Is this behavior viewed with the same "OMG there must be something inappropriate going on?" as the OP's situation?

Probably not I would imagine....

Come to think of it, it's not unknown for him to sleep in the same bed as me occasionally, if we are getting up early to go fishing, or if his sister is not at my house, because my bedroom is on the lower-level of my old house, and the kids' rooms are on the second floor, and he feels real alone up there by himself. Does that make me some type of molester too? BTW, my son is normal, well-adjusted, smart, gets along well with everyone, etc...no problems socially or emotionally to speak of. So obviously all this 'bed sharing' has not been unhealthy for him. And while my daughter is 14 now and 7 seems like a lifetime ago, I am sure that there have been times since then (not recently of course) that she slept with me for some reason. And I can assure you I would put a bullet in my head before I would molest my (or any) child.

I think a lot of you guys might be jumping the gun on the accusations, just because this behavior might not conform to your views on parenting.....

    Bookmark   March 12, 2012 at 6:48PM
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If your ex (or you for that matter) sleep spooning your son and it's perfectly innocent/harmless, then I would tend to agree with you that maybe my first response is an overreaction.

The disturbing part for me is the kissing on the mouth and spooning. I've always been affectionate with my kids but if someone gets an icky feeling being around it, then maybe it's something to be looked at. (that brought to mind the kiss between Angelina Jolie and her brother... clearly an affectionate relationship & brought lots of controversy)

Either way, it is never something to be ignored if a child might be at risk of being a victim. Children tend to keep secrets, especially if the parent is doing something to them. I might urge OP to explore the reasons the marriage failed and look at the family history/dynamics of this guy. It may be innocent but if it's not, the child needs to be protected above all. (and if the dad is not doing anything, he might not be aware how it appears to others that he behaves this way with his daughter.)

    Bookmark   March 12, 2012 at 7:36PM
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and I wanted to add that while most parents cuddle their children (it's part of the bonding process, IMO), a grown man spooning a 7 year old girl is somewhat different because there are physiological things that occur in males (unintentionally) while they sleep that the girl may notice or feel, which is not much different than "molestation", even if it's not intentional. That is why the spooning while sleeping is quite disturbing to me.

    Bookmark   March 12, 2012 at 7:43PM
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I agree to a point with Mkroopy.

I think it depends on a multi set of circumstances. I would not automatic sound alarms given certain circumstances and frequency...on others, banging that alarm bell as loud as I could. For example, mother and.or father sleeping with sick child (typical occassional nonthreatening); comforting a child after a nightmare (dito); short term adjustmentment to brand new setting/situation (just moved in place ect); special happenings (such as Mkroopy said about fishing or like when my GS shares a bed with his GGma at hotel on a weekend outing and similar type scenario).

I believe children need to sleep in their own beds in their own bedrooms on a regular basis (exceptions stated above). It builds independence and security...who wants a 8 or 10 yr old who can't go to sleep night after night without Mommy or Daddy. Crib to youth bed to big boy/girl bed in their own rooms. Their space, their privacy, their comfort zone.

Would I get alarmed if a child crawled in bed with me on a Saturday morning to snuggle and watch cartoons while I snoozed an extra hour? No.

I think in opinion might differ greatly , again depnding on circumnstances and any and all signs of 'something not quite normal' going on.

I don't live with the OP. I don't know anything about the guy she's asking opinions about. All I can say is if the OP really thinks something is abnormal DO NOT TURN A BLIND EYE.

    Bookmark   March 12, 2012 at 7:49PM
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As a Mother to a son I never slept with my son at age 11.Now if it had been a matter of being frightened or sick I may have allowed it on a rare occasion.If it is nightly(not just on occasion)or several times a week ,in my opinion,it isn't healthy.

Maybe this woman's fiance is not a molester but if he is doing this quite often it seems he has some weak boundaries.
Frequently spooning with his daughter in bed instead of sleeping in his own bed seems off to me.I took the OP as saying he was doing this often when she is there.

Even if it was a man whom I had a child with in an intact family, if my DH was doing this, I as a Mother would talk with him and request he gives the child her space and stops the frequent co sleeping.

I would also be very reluctant to allow my older children to sleep with me in a bed I share with a man who is not their father.Or sleep there because because my partner is not there.Being close is a wonderful thing and there are many ways to be close beside co sleeping with older children.Are you comfortable knowing your child sleeps in a bed your ex shares with her boyfriend?Everyone has their views but I would not be completely comfortable with it.

I see what you are saying about the double standard.Really I do.But when a man(or woman)would rather sleep and cuddle with their child nightly or too often there is an issue.That issue may not be molestation but rather a parent who should observe better boundaries and maybe a lacking in the relationship and the child is there to some what fill that void.

mkroopy,no not every parent or step parent(man or woman) is a molester but it does happen.Yes women have been known to molest as well however statistics show it is more common with men/female child.I've seen it(literally) therefore reading something like this triggers me to be completely honest.

The OP should keep her eyes open just in case, if he is doing this quite often.A child's well being could be at stake.Why turn a blind eye completely instead of being alert to any signs of sexual abuse?Had people I once knew not turned a blind eye they could have saved one child from abuse(she's dead now) and another child from emotional trauma and a life long psychological scar.

Sun,how often is your fiance sleeping with this child?Are there other boundaries being crossed like not respecting privacy while bathing or using restroom?Any sexual like behavior the child is displaying on her own?Being open to being certain the child is not being abused is not a bad thing.

Has anyone read about emotional incest?It is not always a situation of molesting but putting a child in a role more appropriate for a spouse or partner.Sometimes the child is put in a role of parent or caretaker as well.Fathers can be guilty of it,Mothers can be guilty of it.

My own DH has put one of his daughters in a parent/caregiver role in the past that has left her an anxious person in adulthood.A person who feels she MUST take care of Daddy/Mommy,their relationships with others,their responsibilities and other issues when she needs to focus on her own life/family.I put a stop to it when we married.

    Bookmark   March 12, 2012 at 7:54PM
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If it looks like a duck, walks like a duck, quacks like a duck, I suppose there's an off chance that it's not a duck, but it sure looks/walks/quacks like one, & this little girl's safety & welfare trump everything else.

(Where the heck is mom?)

    Bookmark   March 13, 2012 at 4:29PM
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In some families, that kind of behavior would be considered perfectly normal.

In fact, my husband used to regularly fall asleep in our son's bed after reading him his bedtime story. They both enjoyed the closeness then and still sometimes nap together even now (even though DS is 16). Typical? Hardly! But harmful? Not for those two. Hubby and DS are both very affectionate and huggy people -- it's just who they are. And we're still trying to get DS to accept cheek kisses instead of lip kisses -- but honestly, it seems to hurt his feelings a little if we make an issue of it...

Of course, that kind of boundary-crossing can also set kids up for molestation. And as Ima points out, there are certain unintentional physical happenings that would make spooning inadvisable for a father and daughter.

As a future StepMom, I'd tread carefully but also watch carefully... Catnipped was right that anything you say could be misconstrued as jealousy --

    Bookmark   March 13, 2012 at 4:29PM
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