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Dr. Z
Dr. Z, Psychologist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 6046
Experience:  Psy.D. in Clinical Forensic Psychology with a background in treating severe mental illnesses.
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A friends two granddaughters (4 & 7) are coming for their monthly

Resolved Question:

A friends two granddaughters (4 & 7) are coming for their monthly visit to their paternal grandparents and just received an email from the maternal grandparents (they have FT custody because parents are deceased) saying:
"L and L's therapist has been working with them on keeping their body parts private. She is recommending that both of the girls take their showers or baths only here at home.
Thanks for your cooperation."

My friend is concerned - should she be?

Thanks
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Dr. Z replied 1 year ago.

DoctorZ :

Hello I believe I can help you with your concern today

DoctorZ :

I can understand why your friend is concerned by getting this brief email

DoctorZ :

Pre-school and elementary school children are getting used to their bodies and occasionally display sexual behaviors because they are not sure what is socially acceptable and what is not. Showing private parts in public places is common at this age actually

DoctorZ :

May I ask, I was a little unclear did the email say that the other grandparent wants the granddaughters to take showers or baths only at their home and not at your friend's home?

DoctorZ :

Because that would be unusual as they can still keep their private parts private at another grandparents home, and why only showers or baths? These would be some questions I would ask for clarification.

Customer:

I understand that, having two grown sons of my own, however this seems totally out of left field - why would a child psychologist cover this out of the blue?

Customer:

Yes - not at her paternal grandparents home over the weekend.

DoctorZ :

That is odd, because they can change clothes and still get naked regardless of showers or baths at their paternal grandparents home. It is possible that the child psychologist brought this up because either the girls have been displaying certain normal sexual behavior for their age and the therapist is trying to curb that or they have mentioned something about showers and baths to their therapist

Customer:

The four year old would probably need her grandmothers help in and out of tub, hair washing

DoctorZ :

That makes sense and is a possibility, but it seems like her maternal grandmother can help with that as well

Customer:

I am really perplexed - and of course the paternal grandparents are very concerned. There was a very difficult custody battle and the maternal grandparents were given full time custody with weekend visits to the paternal grandparents. One of the grown children of the maternal grandfathers testified in court that her father had peeped in on her when she was changing. Of course that is now really concerning the paternal grandparents now.

Customer:

Would a Child Psyc. out of the blue mention this about showers and baths and keeping private parts private without cause or concern? Why would they do that?

DoctorZ :

Okay, now with that extra information the maternal grandparents most likely believe that the paternal grandfather has a history of sexual incidents involving young children and the maternal grandparents are concerned about this and are trying to limit contact with him and the grandchildren. Most likely the child psychologist may have recommended to limit contact with the paternal grandfather given this concern, but probably did not make this recommendation about the shower and bath. This is also makes sense why the email was so brief and obscure without a lot of concrete detail

DoctorZ :

I think the maternal grandparents are trying to use the child psychologist as an excuse because they may believe that the paternal grandfather is sexual predator based on the older child's testimony in court

DoctorZ :

Oh sorry I misread you meant maternal grandfather's child testified in court

DoctorZ :

Sorry I the chat is really small right now due to a glitch and it is hard to read

Customer:

okay

DoctorZ :

So with this information, I would be concerned as the paternal grandparents are. Because if the information of past sexual incidents involving young children and the maternal grandfather is true then that can be a sign that he is going to repeat that behavior

Customer:

They need to share this with the GAL in a way that will get his attention and not alienate the maternal grandparents. They have full custody and can easily try to keep them from the girls.

DoctorZ :

A child psychologist would not usually make this recommendation to only have showers or baths in one place, as that is unusual especially when custody is involved.

Customer:

Going back to my previous question - Would a child psychologist suggest this without reason or cause?

DoctorZ :

No, a child psychologist would usually only recommend this is if the children mentioned that they felt uncomfortable taking showers or baths at their paternal grandparent's home

Customer:

our messages crossed - okay - can they say they consulted with a child psychologist who said this is not normal for a child Psychologist to make this recommendation without cause? - are you a child psychologist?

DoctorZ :

I am not a child psychologist, but I specialize in child abuse cases and have counseled many children on such cases in the past. Yes they can say that they consulted with a psychologist who is questioning this recommendation as being not normal or consistent with standard practice of care

DoctorZ :

Like I said a child psychologist would not recommend this without cause.

Customer:

Great - thank you - can I print this out?

DoctorZ :

The only cause I can think of right now, would be that the children may have said in a therapy session that they felt uncomfortable showering or taking baths at their paternal grandparent's home. But I can see no reason why that is based on what you have told me

DoctorZ :

Yes you can print this out. Just use your mouse to scroll down and select the entire chat and then copy and paste in a word document. Also after you rate me a link to this chat should be sent to your email, so you will always have a copy of it for the future.

DoctorZ :

Also I can see no therapeutic reason why showering only at their maternal grandparents home will teach them to to keep the body parts private, as the email recommended.

Customer:

No basis for that. These children did not know their maternal grandparents and were very close to their paternal grandparents who had custody for the first year following their parents death. They have now been with the maternal grandparents for one year and still have difficulty leaving the paternal grandparents to return "home"

DoctorZ :

I think the maternal grandparents are trying to gain control in some ways, and using a therapist as an excuse. I would recommend if the paternal grandparents can speak to this therapist to confer. If the maternal grandparents refuse, then you would have to question what do they have to hide.

Customer:

okay thank you - appreciate your help. Only issue now is that I cannot find the select the entire chat button??

DoctorZ :

Oh okay, actually what you have to do is go to the top of the chat and click on the left mouse button and then scroll all the way to the bottom to select the whole chat. Then after it is all highlighted right click the mouse and select copy. Then go to your Word document and right click again and select Paste

Customer:

Got it. Thank you! J

DoctorZ :

Click and hold the left mouse button when your scroll down, sorry I should have been clearer

DoctorZ :

Anytime, glad I can help. Is there anything else I can help you with today?

Customer:

No thankfully!

Dr. Z, Psychologist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 6046
Experience: Psy.D. in Clinical Forensic Psychology with a background in treating severe mental illnesses.
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Dr. Z
Dr. Z
Psychologist
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Psy.D. in Clinical Forensic Psychology with a background in treating severe mental illnesses.