I was over a friends house today and when she changed her baby's nappy she started blowing on her vagina, shocked I said 'what the hell are you doing' to which she replied 'she likes it' I flipped out and started berating her about sexual abuse, but I wonder now if I over-reacted. After I told her off she told me that she was doing it to dry her vagina, but I'm still not sure on this...Do you think I over reacted? Do you think I need to take it further? I think the fact that she did it openly in front of me means that she wasn't aware it might be wrong, and maybe just needs a bit of re-education. What do you think?
I only joined today as I usually ask all my parenting questions on facebook but I felt like this should be more anonymous.
The baby is 6 weeks old, she did not have a rash. When she blew it was a close blow directed into the area between her labia it didnt seem like a general blow over the entire area. When I say berated I dont mean I yelled and screamed I just said very firmly that I didn't think what she was doing was appropriate if she was doing it just because the baby liked it, and it could be seen as sexual abuse. (I feel it could be considered a sexual act because if an adult were to do it to another adult it would seem sexual to me, and I feel baby's gentials should only be touched to be cleaned or dried and it didn't seem like she was drying her even though thats what she said after) When she said she was doing it to dry her, I said that was ok, but she shouldnt do it for any other reason.
The reason why I reacted so strongly is because when the mother was a baby and I was about 12 I saw her mother do it to her, she also touched her genitals and she did this up until toddler years, she then started grabbing at her gentials and breasts right up until her teenage years. her mother always treated it as a joke and as I was so young and didnt have children of my own I felt like it was inappropriate but wasn't sure, and had never really thought about it again until today.
I was concerned that she may be behaving in a way that she thought was appropriate because of the way she was raised, and I wanted her to stop now before it escalated to what happened to her. So what I wanted to know is if blowing/touching your childs genitals is ok and up til what age? Also if you think I over-reacted and should apologise? or do you think I should give her some more advice about what is appropriate? or should I just leave it be?
I hope I covered everything.