Stepparents and Nudity


#1

Hi,

I have a situation where my 5-year-old daughter’s step mom is doing things that I find inappropriate and I have seen outright and obvious changes in my daughter’s behavior as a result. When my daughter was 4 she would take showers with her or let my daughter sit on her naked lap when in the bath, and I finally complained enough that it stopped. Now I’m being told she walks around in her underwear all the time, sits at the table or couch in just tshirt and panties, she comes in and uses the bathroom when my daughter is in the shower, and my daughter goes into the bathroom to ask her questions when she’s showering. I asked my daughter, why dont you knock or wait like you do here (she doesn’t walk in on me EVER and hasn’t in over a year) and she said her step-mom “won’t let me.” We have other issues with this woman trying to turn my daughter against me and alienate her from me, and she even calls her “her daughter” and i’m the “biomom.” My question is, are these naked situations that I, as her legal parent, am objecting to, illegal in anyway (indecent exposure, etc.)? Is there anything I can do here? My daughter has become obsessed with nudity, trying to pull off my clothes or even my husband’s clothes, trying to see her 5yrold stepbrother naked, and even pulled down her pants and undies at school and showed some kids EVERYTHING. She’s doing other things in this vein that I find beyond the scope of a 5 year old, so I really feel there is something to my concerns. My point is, if the step-mom was a man everyone would freak out, but because it’s a woman it’s ok? Just wondering what I can do in this situation where it’s not clear cut molestation but it’s hurting my child and affecting her behavior and who she’s growing up to be.

Thanks,

ModestMommy


#2

If there is any concern of molestation, then you need to contact Child Protective Services and get them involved ASAP. You can also move forward by filing for a modification of child custody, citing your child’s recent behavior as changed circumstances. The court can order a modification of your existing custody agreement, and can specifically include language in the order that would require the step mother to be clothed in the presence of the child. The court can also order that your daughter attend counseling or therapy in order to address her wanting to expose herself at school. The court will always act in the best interest of the child, and if it is clear that being exposed to nudity in this fashion is affecting her behavior, the court will take action.