Watch who your teenagers are making friends with on facebook!

Sandra - posted on 08/07/2012 ( 3 moms have responded )

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I have a problem too with my 14 year old daughter who has befriended a 14 year old boy on facebook. I monitor her facebook and have found out that they have become quite close. Apparently she has helped him overcome a previous break up with a girl as he was threatening to harm himself which he did do by burning his arm. He now says on his messages to her that he loves my daughter and that he doesn't know what he would do without her. Looking back at his messages he has also admitted to attending Anger management counciling and has an early intervention team. My daughter wanted to meet up with him for the first time and I have told her under no cirmcumstances must she. When I have checked on his facebook account, he smokes and drinks. My daughter told him via facebook that she wasnt allowed to see him as his family allow him to smoke and drink etc. He then went mad and asked to speak to us. My husband spoke to him through facebook telling him that he does not want his daughter involved with a person who is undergoing anger management, and who smokes and drinks. He has pleaded with him that he will give up smoking and drinking to be with my daughter as he loves her so much. My daughter admits to loving him even though they have never met personally! I have told her that I am going to block him on facebook as he sounds like he has lots of mental issues, she has said that he will commit suicide if we do this, I have told her that this is not our problem. I have also told her that he is being manipulative saying this. She did agree with this but wants to still be friends with him on facebook. We had decided to let her after much discussion. When I've checked her facebook again since, he has sent her loads of messages saying he loves her and cant wait for them to be together and he said that when he feels angry he thinks of her and feels better. He has told her that his anger management sessions finish atthe end of the month and he is cured! I am very alarmed at this and so is her father. We now want to block him entirely and remove his mobile number from her phone. I know this is going to be tough love and my daughter will scream and hate us for this but it has to be done,doesn't it?, or am I being over the top and horrible like she says I am being? Believe me I feel like taking facebook off her altogether right now and her phone too!

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Angie - posted on 08/10/2012

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First off...got to say KUDOS TO YOU!! I'm so glad to see a parent monitoring their social interaction because of exactly this reason. Whether she meets questionable kids on facebook or school, they are going to be out there and she has to learn which kids she wants to associate with and which ones she don't; however, with that being said, I think social media opens up so many more people that normally would not be in our children's life.

I honestly don't think most kids should have internet on their phone as it's not only facebook that has to be monitored, there are so many other social media outlets that kids know way before us parents...turn off their texting, they can get a free app; there is now a MeetMe (used to be My Yearbook), email accounts are free so while they may have provided a password to one, are there any others & if you have a 2nd email, you can have a 2nd facebook & you can set security settings to block whoever you want. My 20yo has said he has had 14-15-16yo girls set their age at 18 which has made him extra, extra cautious socializing on the world wide web.

So, if you think she is not ready for the social media aspect, that's your decision and it could possibly be the correct one. Maybe if you relate this boy to someone she knows in school, how would she be, how would she relate, would she be as involved? Kids are so emotional at this age; maybe instead of just taking it away completely...maybe just a break. Good luck to you and keep staying involved...now it's just finding the balance of what you want to control as a parent and how to get your daughter to make some of those good decisions herself :)

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Angie - posted on 08/10/2012

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I think you handled it the best you could...unfortunately, there is no parent handbook we can open to page 12 to find an answer, and if you've been on this site for long, every parent handles situations different. I'm a single mom, I'm a strict mom, and I believe in being involved with my kids, their friends, and their friend's parents. My oldest appreciates it now (he's almost 21)...my youngest at 15...not so much..lol. I sure don't remember these years being this complex when we were their age, and honestly, I blame technology for the bulk of it. It's great to have, but not if it's not monitored and not if it's replacing parenting. Good luck to you the rest of these trying teen years :)

Sandra - posted on 08/10/2012

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thank you for your comment Angie. Recent events - we have blocked him from her account but before this we wrote him a message from "her parents" telling him that "he needs to conquer his problems with professional help and we are blocking him for his and her own good" My daughter was upset but not as much as expected, i think she was starting to get wary of him and I think she was partly grateful that we took the decision out of her hands (at least that is what we think as she has not actually admitted this). We can only hope that she is not contacting him by other means that we are not aware of. We did ban her from her laptop for some time but we have since given her it back. Your right to say that she could have set up a new account or even set something up on a completely new social media site, although we hope that she has learnt something from this.

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