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  1. #1

    Flash How to handle a delicate situation with the babysitter and our son?

    The babysitter told me and my wife something about our 7yr old son that has us concerned.

    She said last fall our boy asked her to hold him on her lap with her hands pulled back into his stomach "just as tight as you can." It seemed a harmless request, a simple way to keep him entertained. So as they watched TV she held him on her lap with his stomach held in extremely tight, and he was quiet and content.

    Next time she came to babysit, he asked her to hold him the same way again. So she did. And ever since, she always holds him with her hands pulled back into his stomach super tight.

    This babysitter is a big brawny 19 year old farmgirl. I'm sure she's capable of squeezing his stomach in horrifically tight. She says at times she worried about hurting him, but he was doing fine, and he was so insistent. So she would hold him just as tight as it could get.

    She said she's been feeling uneasy about all this, but she didn't know how to say no to him. Also she was afraid to tell us. But finally she did, and we told her we're glad she did.

    Actually this isn't the first time our boy's been held like this. His cousin, who's now in college, always used to hold him with her hands squeezed back deep into his stomach, when he was younger. And we never thought anything of it. But now it seems he's fixated on having his babysitter hold his stomach in too, and far tighter than his cousin ever did.

    We don't want to overreact, but what should we do? Should we tell the babysitter not to hold him like this any more, or should we tell her it's okay? And what about our son? Should we let him get it out of his system, or should we tell him to stop?

  2. #2
    If there is not any visible bruising or lasting discomfort than it should be alright. Maybe see how she does it to ensure it's not more than the boy wants. It sound like she really holding his stomach in extremly, extremely tight.

    In the long term it should be just fine, as any constriction will be applied to the stomach and won't propagate into much worse. BUT if there is bruising or markings of any sort I would stop and take the boy to the doctor just incase. Caroline.

  3. #3
    I think you need more information before you can determine if this holding behavior is a healthy practice. I would suggest talking to your son about the way he likes to be held by the babysitter. You want to try to get him to talk to you about how it makes him feel good and where it makes him feel good. And get him to talk about why he wants to be held this way and so profoundly tight.

    Some kids like to be held tightly because they have sensory needs that are met through tight holding. Other kids have found that deep abdominal holding can make them feel calm, tingly, warm, blissed out. If your son enjoys being held tightly for sensory purposes or because it blisses him out, then by all means this can continue, with your babysitter holding the boy's stomach back in just as profoundly tight as can possibly be, and she can rest assured that she is not being harmful in any way. She has done the right thing by having open communication about it. She sounds like a person of integrity and I'm glad you found her. Good Luck to you.

    Arianna F.
    Therapist & Mental Health Worker

  4. #4
    You seem concerned that she is a big "farm" girl, and could hurt him by holding her hands back into his stomach so horribly tight; I would be, too. I am not sure what is at the root of his request--you might find that out over time. But, I would tell her to stop agreeing to his request immediately, and I would tell my son that we know about this, and we don't want him hurt, and that the sitter is concerned, as well.

    He is seven. You do not owe him an explanation for a decision you make as his parents, but if you want to, try explaining "hernia" and any other internal injuries you'd like. She is nineteen. You do not owe her an explanation, either, because she should know better than to hold a boy's stomach in so TIGHT that she's almost breaking his spine.

  5. #5
    You will not succeed in getting your son to abandon this practice. You can only drive it underground.

    If you ban the tight holding the boy will seek out another older girl or woman and secretly get her to hold his stomach in excessively tight the same way. Think, he has done precisely this with his babysitter already. Certainly if you forbid it he will only go and do it with some other female, and you will be in the dark just as you were until the babysitter told you. Maybe the next female will keep his secret and not speak up.

    So your best option is to let his babysitter continue to hold him with her hands pulled back into his stomach ultra super tight just as she has been doing. Only have her report back to you and keep you informed. He's going to keep it up no matter what, over that you have no control. Best you let the tight holding continue where you can keep tabs on it.

  6. #6
    Prediction: This boy's first girlfriend will be a big hulking athletic amazon. He will get her to hold his stomach in that same way with all her strength, her hands wrenching his stomach back in mega maximum deadly TIGHT, until she lands him in the emergency room.

  7. #7
    Senior Member kayly123's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2014
    After seeing your concern i would suggest you to call a doctor for your son and then talk to him about it.

  8. #8
    Junior Member curvyswimmer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    For me, I think you should talk to your son and the baby sitter too. In order to weigh things up and find out the whole situation. But if everything becomes tough and uncontrollable. Perhaps, its time to seek a professional help for your son.

  9. #9
    Junior Member nikki1994's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2012


    I use to babysit a boy who liked to be held this way. So I always held him on my lap with my hands drawn back deep inside his stomach, just as far back in as it could go. I'm a big strong girl and it was HELLA tight for sure! But I didn't see the harm in it. I figured it was just a phase he was going through. If a boy likes to be held so tight wheres the problem? I held his stomach in just as tight as it can go is all no problem for me and it kept him in line. Worst you ban you son and then like somebody said it only drive him under ground. You will wonder what your boy is doing why not have piece of mind he is doing nothing worse than stomach squeezed in tight with the babysitter. Tell the babysitter its fine let him get it out of his system.
    Last edited by nikki1994; 11-25-2017 at 05:00 PM.

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