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DEAR CHRISTINE: Daughter asking hard questions

marciadottin, [email protected]

DEAR CHRISTINE: Daughter asking hard questions

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Dear Christine,
My mother is married for the second time. They were married when I was 14. A year later, she discovered he’d had an incestuous relationship with both of his daughters from the age of five until the oldest went off to university and the second girl was 14 years old.
The relationship with the second daughter ended six months before he married my mum. She forgave him and we all went to counselling.
I’m now 29 years old and the mother of a six-year-old daughter. We see them only on holidays. My mother does not understand why my daughter cannot go to their home without me or my husband.
My daughter is asking why she does not get to see grandma often or spend the night when grandma asks. Should I tell her why? Is she old enough to understand?
Dear MEL
Your daughter is old enough to be told the difference between appropriate and inappropriate touching. Tell her she should immediately report to you any behaviour that makes her uncomfortable.
I also believe you are currently doing the right thing, but please do not discuss with her what her step-grandfather did sometime in the past. If this must be told, wait until she is much older.
The last thing you want is a child who is going to hate her step-grandfather for what he did or wonder why grandma is still with him even though he has done bad things.
In addition, despite how your mother may feel, under no circumstances should your child spend time at her house without your supervision.