Today I am asking the question.
I am very interested in knowing how the rest of you would react/respond to the following situation.
I think that I am considered by most of the kids’ friends as a pretty cool dad/step-dad and I like to play with the kids, rough house, joke with them etc. This has never been a problem until this year. Our 13 year old daughter has a friend who comes over from time to time. She has recently become very clingy with me. She always runs up to me yelling that she needs a hug. At first I was OK with it and many of our kids’ friends come up and give me hugs or fist pounds….or whatever else is cool in said time period.
The thing that is strange is that this girl is very aggressive and will hug then try to put her arm around me or make the hug a lingering one. I just feel uncomfortable with it all. I have tried to back away and say that she can have a group hug with everyone around but that does not seem to satisfy her…she always wants more. She has never been outwardly sexual but I still feel a bit ‘wronged’ when around her.
I have talked about this with Mariah and nudged her when it was going on….so she knows exactly what I am talking about. She and I have been closely watching the situation and I have been very careful as to not ever be alone with this girl and when she rushes me for a hug…I am always around many other people.
So now…the other day I was with my two boys, our 10 year old daughter and her friend…(the sister of the above mentioned girl.) While we were at the ice skating rink, this ‘younger sister’ of the original girl, started the same shit. She kept asking me for hugs…and when I would not concede , she began to chase me around the outskirts of the rink trying to hug me. Above and beyond that, this girl seemed to do everything in her power to touch me. She put her hand around our daughter in a way that would have put her hand in contact with my…’manhood’ ...I almost jumped across the rink to avoid that one...and then she just leaned up against me …like a new love would...even while I was hugging Mariah.
I don’t know if it is something with the family or if the kids are just fucked…. I don’t know if I should talk to their parents or just keep my distance.
I think the girls are nice and sweet kids, but I don’t want anything to do with misconduct or have anyone think that I condone their actions…what would you do?
Single parent Dad's House responds: a girl in my son's grade was just like this with me. When I volunteered in the classroom, she would always ask me for help. If a mom was nearby and ready to assist, she'd say no, she wanted me. She tried hugging me, but I wouldn't allow it. She tried sitting in my lap, and I definitely wouldn't allow that. She tried touching me a lot. For this particular girl, her mom had remarried, so she was dealing with a step-dad. And her step-dad was almost never home. He traveled extensively for work. Her mom was from another country, and she was only here because of the marriage so she put up with a lot. I think the girl just really needed male attention and affection and approval. But it didn't seem right for me to give that to her through physical touch. My advice to you - stay far away from these girls in terms of physical contact.
Daddy Geek Boy says: As I was reading this, I could imagine this turning into some horrible Lifetime movie where you have been wrongly accused of some misdoings with this girl and the whole thing turns into a media circus and trial...but clearly I watch too much TV.
Seriously, chances are good that this girl doesn't have an agenda but is looking for something. Either it's lack of a male parental figure at home as Dad's House implied, or she's got a crush. I'm guessing it's the latter. I would also guess that she's told her little sister about her crush and her little sister has a crush by proxy. If this is the case, I think you need to talk to her, but you need to tread lightly. Discuss how you are not comfortable with the hugging. But know, she will most likely take this as a form of rejection. Feelings will be hurt, etc. You may want to talk to Mariah to go over the best approach. I would also cut off all physical contact. Good luck, man. This is a difficult one.
Knowing the girls home life would help with the cause of her need for affection. Either way though if it were me I'd definately not allow much affection, nothing more than a quick hug if that. I can see that ending up being a visit with police or a fist fight with her mom or dad if she has one. Tough situation though. If you shun her and she just needs innocent affection that would be bad but if you give her innocent attention and she has some malicious intent then that would surely be bad. All that being said it surely isn't your responsibility to give her affection or attention. I'd go with no hugging policy from now on with kids that aren't yours.
While this maybe innocent, you really have to err on the side of caution. I think that a discussion with the parent(s) of the children are in order. It may be a simple case of needing a father figure, or it could be a case (as you put it) the kids might be fucked.
Speaking of parents, where are they during all this? Do they act the same way when they are around?
Canadian Bald Guy says:
Wow...quite the creepy situation. I would probably tell them flat-out that I'm not much of a hugger anymore or just tell them to stop fucking touching me. I mean, if it's creepy and uncomfortable then I wouldn't worry about hurting their feelings, especially in a world that would see that and immediately want to make it something that it's not.
Seriously...if both kids are making you uncomfortable and even Mariah knows that it's really awkward, then don't worry about telling them to simply NOT HUG YOU.
Hubman says: I'll echo what Russ said- talk to the parents, perhaps you and Mariah together and let them know what is happening and why it's making you uncomfortable. I can appreciate the desire not to hurt the feelings of a (possibly vulnerable) girl, but you need to look out for yourself first, so if the parents don't take you seriously, perhaps you just need to be blunt with the girls. Good luck!
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