You are here:

Fatherhood/Why would a 12 year old girl like the fact that a 40 year old


QUESTION: Why would a 12 year old girl like the fact that a 40 year old man the she has know for less than 30 minutes gives her hugs/kisses and the same type of physical affection that would be socially expectable for a father to give to his daughter. The girl is quickly to realize that this man is very good with children. Why would the mother of the 12 year old girl not care, if she sees this, because this is not child abuse?

ANSWER: Sorry for the delay with answering this question.  I have been traveling and did not have access to reliable internet until today.  

So, is this Elizabeth and are you 10 years old?  Because there is very limited information here, your question is difficult to answer.  The appropriateness of hugs and kisses between a 40 year old man and 12 year old girl would vary depending on many considerations, such as culture and relationship between the two. The kiss should be "innocent", meaning that it should be what would be considered appropriate between a father and a child, like a "peck on the cheek", or peck on the lips if this is considered appropriate by their culture and family. It would also depend on the level of comfort of the child, if she was uncomfortable, and says please "don't do that" for example, the adult should comply (If this was the United States).  This could be different in other countries. I have seen fathers kiss their children on the lips, both boys and girls, in an innocent "fatherly" manner.  I have also seen (mostly in other countries, men holding hands and kissing other men and women doing the same yet are simply friends. It is when the show of affection becomes sexual between an adult and a child, that it would be considered wrong  

You ask if this was child abuse?  In the United States, The sexual abuse of a child would only be considered if the kissing and hugging were sexual.  By that, it would have to include touching of private parts, those parts of the child's body that would be covered by a swim suit.  If this has occurred, it needs to be reported to the appropriate agency, like the police immediately.

I hope that this was helpful and please contact ma again if you need more information.

God bless you,

Marcos Torres

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Why would a 12-year-old girl make it clear that she likes this?

Why would her mother not intervene because she told by other people that she knows that this man can be trusted?

Difficult to know without knowing more detail.  As i said, we all look for people to love us which is why so many children are preyed upon by manipulative men who confuse these children with what is love and sexual.  To most of us, both feel just as good if it is not forced which is why children become victims.


All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts


Marcos Torres


I can answer many questions regarding child development, best practices in child care and the fathers role in his children's development.


10 years as a child protective services investigator, 10 years administrator of a residential nonprofit program for developmentally disabled adults and children, 2 years working with parents facilitating a parenting group of first time parents with my wife using the MELD curriculum in the early 80's. Co-wrote and Administered a fatherhood grant working with young fathers and incarcerated fathers. Ran a fatherhood program in a Texas State jail and was Director of Incarcerated Programs for the National Fatherhood Initiative for a year and a half. I also raised two children now 22 and 26 who have excelled academically which I believe is from our learning the best practices in child rearing from the start.

BA in Social work in 1980 from New Mexico State University

©2016 All rights reserved.