I try not to be a fear-based thinker. But I have a fairly strict anti-sleepover policy with my kids, and here’s why…
ABC News reports disturbing news out of Carson, Calif. Parents are reporting sexual activity among 4- and 5-year-olds from a local preschool, which is now shutting down.
Distraught father Richard McCarthy says his 4-year-old son often received oral sex at school from a 5-year-old female classmate.
“He told me about all the bad things that girl had been doing to him,” McCarthy shared. “It went down in the classroom, it went down in the bathroom and it went down out on the playground.”
At least one other boy at the First Lutheran Church of Carson School says the same girl performed oral sex on him as well.
“The two boys that have been introduced to this feeling that they don’t know how to process are still looking for it, and trying to make it happen,” McCarthy added.
After an investigation by the California Department of Social Services, there appears to be an overall lack of supervision and an improper teacher-child ratio at the preschool.
The entire community is upset. Parents are angry they were only given two weeks’ notice that the school is shutting down, and church leaders won’t go on camera.
And now, McCarthy’s son is considered at-risk for acting out on other children.
“There’s no way I can just take him to another school and be that parent that just lets a predator loose,” McCarthy said. “How else do you explain it?”
While I agree there was poor supervision at this particular preschool, sadly, McCarthy bravely brings up a valid point.
As a semi-retired social worker with years of experience in sexual assault counseling, I’m very sorry to report that children who have been sexually abused often act out on other children.
So in other words, the preschooler who performed oral sex on her classmate was simply repeating what has been done to her. And McCarthy’s little boy will likely do the same to another child. And so on, and so on, and so on….the vicious cycle will continue.
It pains me to say that this behaviour is of epic proportions.
At the sexual assault center I worked at for years, I met with my colleagues once a week to discuss the new cases. And every single week there were numerous stories just like this. This is how a child often reacts to sexual abuse. In order to make sense of what happened to them, a child will perform the sexual act on another child.
And this, my friends, is why I will not allow my children at sleepovers unless it’s our immediate family or someone I know reeeeaaaallllly well.
The statistics are stagering: 1 in 3 females and 1 in 6 males experience some form of sexual abuse before the age of 18.
If this is happening in your family and you’ve been too overwhelmed or embarrassed to do anything, I urge you to reach out for help. Play therapy works wonders for children who have been sexually abused.
And if untreated, your child could harm another child. And not to mention, your child will be at-risk of issues such as low self-esteem, emotional and behavioral disorders and mental health problems.
As informed adults, we must stop the vicious cycle of abuse.