I am writing this letter regarding the Dear Abby segment that was printed on Sept. 19 in The Daily World. The letter is from a mother who is concerned about her 4-year-old daughter and her interactions with a 5-year-old cousin. Apparently, the cousin has repeatedly exposed himself to the younger child and other children. The 5-year-old has been told not to do this but continues to. He has also instructed the other children to keep his behaviors a secret.
Abby applauds the mother’s choice to keep her daughter away from the older child. Abby also goes on to suggest that “repeated naughty actions can be corrected only if there are consequences for them.”
I would agree with Abby that this mother needs to protect her child, and I would also agree that the older child seems to be demonstrating some alarming behaviors. I am unsure, however that consequences for his behaviors will solve the problem here.
In Grays Harbor County, any family that is facing issues or concerns such as these should call the Children’s Advocacy Center of Grays Harbor. We can offer advice and referrals to assist this family in appropriately caring for both children and ensuring that they both feel nurtured and cared for. A five year old who repeatedly “plays doctor” with other children — even after being told not to — is demonstrating concerning behaviors.
If you have questions about a child’s “sex play” please call us at 249-0005.