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What would your gut reaction be?

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#1 Lallalla

Posted 20 February 2020 - 04:49 PM

If an educator at your daycare centre had an ongoing game with your 2-4 year old child where they “try to count their ribs”, which inevitably involves touching/tickling them?

Do you think the educators gender or age would affect your reaction?

I got a really bad feeling from seeing this person do this and I am not sure why. It was almost like they were putting on a show for me, it felt forced, but I know this an ongoing thing as my daughter has told me about it.

And as you have probably guessed by now it is an older (45-50ish) male.

I’m paranoid And stereotyping, aren’t I? Or am I? I can’t say I had the same reaction to the few other men who gave worked there

#2 Kallie88

Posted 20 February 2020 - 04:51 PM

I think if that meant pulling their shirt up (even if asking the child to) that would make me very uncomfortable. Over clothes a little less so, but I'd trust my gut. It's never led me astray yet so

Edited by Kallie88, 20 February 2020 - 04:51 PM.

#3 born.a.girl

Posted 20 February 2020 - 04:59 PM

Yes, age and gender does make a difference to me.

I'd have thought male carers would be hypersensitive to the image of men as the perpetrators in the vast majority of cases and take extra care to work in a way that could never, ever be misconstrued.

I appreciate child care workers have to touch children intimately in order to care for them, but in a way that should be why it's a good idea to avoid that sort of game the rest of the time.

So, in a nutshell, it shouldn't make a difference with their age and sex (although I think age is irrelevant, they all get the same training), but perception is a powerful thing.

#4 Dianalynch

Posted 20 February 2020 - 05:06 PM

Trust your gut

#5 Freddie'sMum

Posted 20 February 2020 - 05:06 PM

It would creep me out and I would tell them to stop.  I would raise the issue with whoever is in charge and say it's unacceptable.

#6 melanieb530

Posted 20 February 2020 - 05:08 PM

I have had some fabulous male educators and teachers work with my children who I feel very comfortable with but yes this would raise concerns for me.
They should know this is an unwise choice of “game”

#7 Lou-bags

Posted 20 February 2020 - 05:25 PM

+1 for trust your gut.

#8 Isolated Old Elf

Posted 20 February 2020 - 05:31 PM

Another for trust your gut.
And I wouldn’t be comfortable with any educator doing that, male or female. It isn’t a necessary, there are heaps of other fun ways to interact/ play.

#9 Sweet.Pea

Posted 20 February 2020 - 05:32 PM

I think I would feel uncomfortable even if it was a female. It's a little odd.

There are many counting games that don't involve ticking kids. Counting fingers, counting toes etc.

#10 Luci

Posted 20 February 2020 - 05:33 PM

View Postmelanieb530, on 20 February 2020 - 05:08 PM, said:

I have had some fabulous male educators and teachers work with my children who I feel very comfortable with but yes this would raise concerns for me.
They should know this is an unwise choice of “game”

I agree with this. For me it’s just not a good choice of game.  My gut reaction would be not to like it at all.

#11 JomoMum

Posted 20 February 2020 - 05:35 PM

Does it involve one touching the other, or just themselves?

Child care educators need to be very mindful of respecting children’s bodies and teaching them choice and autonomy, regardless of their own sex or gender.

Gender would not concern me here. If it involved the teacher touching, that would probably bother me on it’s own. But the staff at our sons daycare were very mindful of this. Would always ask if the child wanted a hug/cuddle etc once they get to the age of learning about it and having the choice.

#12 Moo-me

Posted 20 February 2020 - 05:39 PM

Weird, unnecessary and seems inappropriate.

Inappropriate in the way that if there’s no benefit to the child why touch them if you don’t have too??

I think it’s weird regardless of age though gender is a factor.

Like everyone else has said trust your instincts!

#13 Silverstreak

Posted 20 February 2020 - 05:44 PM

To me it's unnecessary touching. hugs for comfort are one thing, but counting ribs is weird and smacks of potential grooming, to be honest.

I'm reminded of the Judy Garland story where the creepy director kept showing her where her heart was by placing his hand on her chest, until one day she informed him that she knew where her heart was, thank you.

TLDR, trust your gut.


Edited by Silverstreak, 20 February 2020 - 05:56 PM.

#14 IamtheMumma

Posted 20 February 2020 - 05:53 PM

He's hitting your radar so trust your gut. Ask him to stop or report it higher up to the centre's director.

#15 just roses

Posted 20 February 2020 - 05:54 PM

I just did child protection training last weekend for working with children. That would be an absolute no no. An adult should never initiate touching such as you’ve described. Doesn’t necessarily make them an abuser, but it’s inappropriate and they shouldn’t do it.

#16 Yetski

Posted 20 February 2020 - 06:08 PM

It might be a unpopular opinion but I wouldn't be happy with a male working in my child's day care centre, and that type of behaviour would freak me out big time. I'm very paranoid about stuff like this.

#17 Lime-Polka-Dot

Posted 20 February 2020 - 06:16 PM

I think this is inappropriate regardless of the age and gender of the educator.

#18 GingerbreadWoman

Posted 20 February 2020 - 06:17 PM

Another one for trust your gut.

I would not be comfortable with that either. I have seen my child tickle a staff member at her day care, and the carer did not tickle back, even when my child said ‘now you tickle me’. The carer redirected and started a different type of game.

#19 Feral-as-Meggs

Posted 20 February 2020 - 06:20 PM

At best the person has no EQ and no respect for the rules and norms of his profession, so I wouldn’t trust him as an educator.  

Do you think he was testing you out, and seeing what you’d do?  

#20 Soontobegran

Posted 20 February 2020 - 06:35 PM

View PostYetski, on 20 February 2020 - 06:08 PM, said:

It might be a unpopular opinion but I wouldn't be happy with a male working in my child's day care centre, and that type of behaviour would freak me out big time. I'm very paranoid about stuff like this.

Which is sadly why men don’t generally enter the profession when often they’d make awesome carers.
My youngest grand daughter’s favourite ever carer was a male.... complete with piercings and tattoos.

Edited by Soontobegran, 20 February 2020 - 08:15 PM.

#21 TrixieBelden

Posted 20 February 2020 - 06:40 PM

I’d be pretty surprised a male carer didn’t think more carefully about a game like this.  It’s not a good sign for his judgment.  I’d speak up if I didn’t like it - there’s lots and lots of other games.

#22 Ozquoll

Posted 20 February 2020 - 06:40 PM

View PostFeral-as-Meggs, on 20 February 2020 - 06:20 PM, said:

Do you think he was testing you out, and seeing what you’d do?  
That seems possible 😟. I've known a child abuser who did that, seeing how much he could get away with without parents noticing, or confronting him.

#23 MadMarchMasterchef

Posted 20 February 2020 - 06:42 PM

I wouldn't assume abuse but I would ask him not to do it. If necessary you could ask to change your childs primary carer if you feel uncomfortable in general.

#24 amdirel

Posted 20 February 2020 - 06:49 PM

That would be a red flag for me.
The last person I saw playing tickling games with preschoolers is now in jail.

#25 Lucy30

Posted 20 February 2020 - 07:02 PM

It's weird as I have always - and still do - play my girls' ribs like a piano (over their clothes) which makes them laugh. I still even do it to my 7 year old. But if an older male carer did that it might make me feel weird but would depend on their age, over or under clothes, and my gut instinct. I would feel totally weirded out if anyone apart from me or their dad did it to them now at 5 and 7 haha.

I am another foe trust your gut

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