Tuesday, September 4, 2018

Children playing inappropriately with dolls or action figures

Last week I was having a conversation with my older sister about my childhood. She told me that when I was 3 years old I had undressed Barbie and Ken and that I was playing inappropriately with the dolls. At the time she was 9 years old. She asked me “what are you doing?” I looked at her and said “daddy” and my father stepped into the room. I quickly hid the naked dolls under a pillow. From this conversation I had terrible flashbacks and memories coming back to me. Now I remember being sexually abused by my biological father since I was three years old. Children at 3 years old who play inappropriately with dolls or action figures is something that must not be disregarded. We have to observe, ask questions and be alert to children’s behaviors. Some behaviors can be mixed up with normal exploration or child’s play, but sometimes it’s also a child acting out from being sexually abused. I don’t want to alarm parents, but children mimic grown ups behaviors with their dolls. I also remember mimicking that Ken would beat up Barbie because that was another abusive behavior that I was seeing every day with my family. I’m not saying that all children that play inappropriately are being sexually abused but it’s something that we must be very alert. Children use their imagination to play, but how can a child imagine oral sex? Where does that inappropriate behavior come from in a young child? This is something that we as a parent must investigate because we are responsible for their well being. I recommend that every parent or every teacher that witness a child acting inappropriately with their dolls during play with them should ask questions. Act like you are joining their game and ask questions. What are you playing? Where did you see this game? Who taught you this game? Don’t ask them the questions as if they are going to get in trouble. Remember that many sexual predators tell children that they will get in trouble if they tell anyone about the “game". Make the conversation comfortable and let them talk freely without any face reactions or putting words into their mouths. Let them feel safe to be able to communicate and share with you where they have learned that inappropriate behavior. When they tell you something you can either be at peace that nothing bad is happening to them or you can help the child and report the sexual abuse immediately to the police. Sexual abuse is a terrible crime that changes everything in a child's mind. The self-image and self-worth are distorted and destroyed. Children can develop a lifetime of after effects due to the sexual trauma.

Protect Children!

Cecibel Contreras
Chief Executive Officer

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