Karen Answers Crysatalyn

Comment by Crystalyn on October 13, 2008 1:53 pm
Dear Karen,

My daughter age 11 told me my husband, her stepfather verbally teases her in ways that make her feel badly. I talked with her and she said he never touched her. I do not want to excuse this or accuse my husband of wrong doing but do you believe this is a prewarning to something sexual? My daughter is starting to enter puberty and with so many changes happening I worry.. I read your book in my readers group and felt nauseated that no one saw any signs. I am not a paranoid person. I’ve become aware just like you wish all of us parents to be. Were you teased as a child in a sexual way?

Crystalyn M.

Dear Crystalyn,

It’s good to hear your daughter came to you and shared with you that she feels ill at ease with your husband’s teasing. I think it’s not okay if this teasing brings on bad feelings. Although you didn’t mention whether this teasing was sexual in nature, I assume it may be at least suggestive. If this is a pre-warning sign, you shouldn’t take it lightly. I am not a professional and can’t give advice, but you really need to talk to your husband about this and let him know this teasing is not welcome or appropriate.

As a child, yes, I was constantly teased in an inappropriately sexual way–too many times to mention here. Your daughter is very brave to come to you. Be proud of her for doing this. At eleven, your daughter’s body is starting to change and she may feel awkward about what’s happening to her. She could be sensitive to any sexually suggestive comments and they could harm her self esteem. Please keep the lines of communication open with her and your husband. It’s your responsibility to keep your daughter safe.

Now that she’s come to you in confidence and made you aware, it’s your job to do the right thing. You can make the difference.

Thank you for caring,

Karen

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