13 Year old Daughter in contact with Grown men online. Advice please!

Stacey - posted on 07/17/2016 ( 22 moms have responded )

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Hi Everyone, I'm new to Circle Of Moms I came here because i am truly at a loss about what to do. I am a single mother with a 13 year old daughter named Emerson. I need advice immediately and i don't want to seek it from fellow family members because i don't want to embarrass my daughter or quite frankly myself by making it seem as if i don't pay attention to what she does online,because i do! I am very sorry that this will be so long but please i need immediate advice! Last year i had the same issue with her talking to an 18 year old,turning 19 year old male. This started out the same way, He supposedly helped her through the times she was suicidal and/or felt like hurting herself. Eventually, i made her stop talking to him and because they kept contacting each other the police were involved. She was seeing this man as a father figure,and he was treating her as if she was a baby. Like roleplaying without the sex and etc. It never was inappropriate per say but personally i found this very disturbing. This was about the end of 2014 and the beginning of 2015. I took her phone/laptop away from her for a while after that and we discussed about online safety. Soon after she got the devices back. Just last night i found out that she's been talking with an 28 year old male.She admitted to me that she told him her Name,age,and state. I told her she was aware of the dangers that could come from this and she told me "He knows my state,not my address!" I then explained to her that she knows he can find out where she lives,and very easily now. She then begins to tell me it doesn't matter because i have me to protect her. I then explain to her further and she says "It's not that big of a deal because hes nice" We went on arguing back and forth about this issue for a little while before i told her "You do not need to be talking to him again and that's that" She then says "What if i do?" I say "You know what will happen" and she says "But you won't even know it if i do" I then take away all electronic devices and she proceeds to tell me "Well im still going to talk to him because he's nice." I am at a total loss of what to do here, i am worried she will still seek out ways to talk to this man and although i haven't seen anything inappropriate i still feel as if it's inappropriate for a 28 year old male to talk to a 13 year old girl. Point blank period. He isn't related to us in any way, He lives in New York and we live in Washington. She continues to yell at me and tell me i'm "overreacting" although i am just trying to keep her safe. tried to explain to her that it isn't okay for a grown man to talk to a little girl,furthermore the only thing she gets out of that is "I'M NOT LITTLE!" etc. I'm at a total loss here, Please help!

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♫ Shawnn ♪♫♫ - posted on 07/18/2016

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omg...Loving our resident "of course it's absolutely NO problem for an adult male to converse and have a relationship with a 13 YO:" answer...Lady, and you know who you are, when YOUR kids are 13, THEN you'll be able to say you're qualified to answer. NOW? Absolutely not. You are advocating for potential sexual abuse by saying that there is no problem with this type of contact! Good grief! Get those blinders OFF!!!

Stacey, I'm interested to know why you are not parenting your child either. I asked a simple question: How was your then 12 YO allowed so much access that wasn't being monitored? You state that you DO monitor, but this is twice and as many years...so...

Why don't you monitor? Why is this child still being allowed to act dangerously?

~♥Little Miss - posted on 07/18/2016

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I would personally contact the police so they can watch the men she has been in contact with, and disable her internet entirely. When she NEEDS to use it for school, you are parenting right next to her in a family open space (no privacy) and watch what she does. Couple that with counseling, because she clearly has no concept how dangerous this is. Also, be very careful where she is and who she is with.

Stacey - posted on 07/20/2016

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The situation has been handled, Thankfully. For now the WIFI password has been changed,She is with no phone but a flip phone with minutes on it that does nothing but call/text for emergency's only. I am also checking the things she does through the phone company. She finally decided to talk to me and we had a very detailed conversation once again about the dangers of talking to people she DOES NOT know online. I attempted to talk to her about counseling again and i got the same answer "I don't want to rely on other people to help me when they won't be there for me later." She also told me she still didn't want to depend on medicine to make her feel better. The place we were going to before refuses to pick our services back up,so i am looking into other places to go that she might feel more comfortable with. I'm not sure how she will take to going or if she will even talk when i get her started back but in the meantime i think that i am going to try to see about "Focus on the family" as Strong Wave suggested. Thank you so much for your advice i seriously appreciate it!

~♥Little Miss - posted on 07/18/2016

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Really interesting to read the rest of the posts and how specifically you Stacey are clearly enabling your daughters behavior, and making excuses. Get her ass back into counseling. There is no excuse for your fear of parenting. You may want a counselor for yourself in order to learn how to parent your daughter that is talking with older men. Take away her damned phone period. She lost that privilege. Thats right, it is a privelage to have a phone, not a 13 yr old RIGHT to have one.

Dove - posted on 07/18/2016

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I can not WAIT until a certain someone has teens.... lol

I will say... I do know a 28 year old man that is VERY involved in the lives of a bunch of teens... cuz he's the high school youth pastor. ;) Just some random guy not involved in a youth ministry that she doesn't even really 'know'... hell no, there would be NO WAY. Online if you do not actually know the person... they could be anybody. Sure, it could be innocent... or it could be a rapist, child molestor, murderer type person and you'd never know until it was too late. Is your own child's life WORTH that risk? Not if you have any shred of brains at all it's not.

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♫ Shawnn ♪♫♫ - posted on 07/21/2016

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there's an issue with her not wanting a counselor.

Why does she think that a certified counselor would "not be there" for her later? They're counselors and therapists. They don't drop you like a hot potato because you're "better". They remain concerned and in contact, if you wish, for the rest of your life.

I know you think you've been attacked, but you really haven't. We have asked you questions that you clearly are not willing to address, such as why you have NOT monitored successfully for 2 years in a row. There's a breakdown somewhere, and unless you address the core, you can't get anything accomplished.

Stacey - posted on 07/20/2016

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I am going to give this a try until i can find a counselor that she is comfortable with and that can hopefully help her the way that she needs. I really appreciate the advice and thank you for saying a prayer for Emerson and I, we really needed that!

Strong - posted on 07/17/2016

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Why don’t you speak to a counselor? I know that Focus on the Family can provide a free phone consultation with a licensed counselor if you call this number 855-382-5433. One of them would be in a better position to help you set boundaries with your daughter. You might also find this information helpful -- http://bit.ly/29TRhMm. Said a prayer for you and your girl.

Chasity - posted on 07/17/2016

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I don't know, but there are plenty of reasons an adult would talk to or be friends with a teen, maybe he see's that she's upset and just wants to help her or cheer her up. Maybe he's just immature for his age.
Could be many reasons. It doesn't necessarily mean that he's trying to hurt your daughter or prey on her. It might be a bit weird, but it's definitely not a crime.

Michelle - posted on 07/17/2016

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With what you have just said they are all red flags!!! Of course he is going to "act" like a teen to gain their trust.
You are right that a 28yo man shouldn't want anything to do with teens. The fact that he is following a bunch of them is very worrying. You need to do everything you can to protect your child.

Stacey - posted on 07/17/2016

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From the conversations that i've seen (Plenty have been deleted) whenever she posts that she is upset on Instagram (She has this Instagram where she posts everything that she feels on, and basically just vents) he will message her and talk her out of hurting herself or just talk to her in general about what's bothering her. They've also talked about space,Fandoms, and how he does some kind of live stream on a site called Twitch. In all reality he acts like a teenager. He talks to a bunch of teenagers,Follows a bunch of them on Instagram aswell and i've seen videos where he plays video games with people who sound like teenage boys. It seems very off to me that he isn't talking to people his age group, Is that just me? I don't think that it is okay for any adult male to have frequent conversations with a child. It's not the conversations that worry me, it is more or less that a grown man wants to contact a child and the influence he has on the children he does talk to. In these videos that he makes he talks about how he wishes that his cigarettes were weed. He also considers wrestling on Youtube as a "career'. The other guy,from last year did the same thing starting off and that is what worries me. He tried to get on her good side,help her through tough times,and talk to her about things like video games and things she enjoyed doing. Also i am not sure if he is really 28 or not in one picture he looks much older in my opinion however in others he seems more of the age he says that he is. It is all very confusing to me still.

Michelle - posted on 07/17/2016

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You are right to be concerned Stacey. There is no need for a grown man to want to "talk" to a teen. Like the others have said, that's how predators groom their victims. They become their "friend" and then it goes wrong very quickly.
You are doing the right thing by keeping her off technology. She is only 13 and she has to live by your rules. Let her be angry with you, she will get over it. She needs to earn your trust back before she is allowed freedom on her technology again.

Stacey - posted on 07/17/2016

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Hi Chasity,
I think that you are right about the 'Daddy issues' She doesn't know her father that well. He has no interest in being her father whatsoever. They've talked over the phone before and as i thought they were bonding well everything went South. He was more so offering her things as presents instead of giving her his presence. He later basically told her she was just using him, etc. Last years incident was reported to the police because he refused to stop talking to my daughter although he was warned several times aswell as she was. They investigated that for a while and as i said before they said they'd continue to but i think that they've stopped. Yesterday i found out that she was talking to this guy and it upset me honestly because she knows the dangers that could come from it. I'm more so concerned about her safety than angry or upset with her. As of right now i still have her devices but she continues to tell me "He's nice so i'm not going to stop talking to him. You can't do anything about it" and things such as that. She's refusing to talk to me, and if she does it's very short. Earlier today she said "Are you mad at me?" and before i could answer her she said "Nevermind" and walked away. I am just very confused at this point. The conversation that i did have with her about it all she cared to tell me was "I'm not little so I can talk to him if i want to. It's not bad." I told her it was inappropriate for a 28 year old male to be talking to a 13 year old girl, He knows her age it isn't like he isn't aware of how old she is.

Chasity - posted on 07/17/2016

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Also, unless there are inappropriate or sexual conversations, you really have nothing to report to the police. Two people talking and having an innocent conversation isn't illegal in any way. Even if she is 13 and the person is 28, just harmless "talking" isn't a crime. Though it may be inappropriate in general for an adult male to talk to a minor female over the phone, it's really not something you can involve the police about unless you have proof of inappropriate things being said.

Chasity - posted on 07/17/2016

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First of all, there is nothing wrong with a 13 year old having electronics or internet access as long as they are responsible, trustworthy, and monitored a little. Because this is 2016, this is the generation of social media, electronics, etc. Every teenager has a phone, IPad, something like that. I didn't have a phone at 13, but that was in 2004. Things have advanced now.

Secondly, maybe your daughter is looking for attention from these older men because she has emotional issues or daddy issues, or maybe she's just going through a phase. She's 13, at this age a lot is changing inside of her. Her body, hormones, brain, everything is changing. She is beginning puberty and becoming a young lady. You can't treat her like a baby or talk to her like she's an ignorant child. At 13, kids are smarter than adults think. Talk to her like an individual. Let her express herself to you. Now, this doesn't mean you should let your daughter talk to grown men on the internet, but at least ask her WHY she's doing it and get to the root of the issue.
Communicate with her. Educate her, don't put her down or ignore her feelings.
Just my opinion!

Stacey - posted on 07/17/2016

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She has been in therapy in the past, but they dropped all of her services because she refused to go. I made her go several times but she would only go and sit in there with here councilor and say nothing the entire time. She says she doesn't want to have to rely on medicines to make her feel better. She's been struggling with an eating disorder and we have something set up for her where she charts everything she eats and at the end of the week if she has kept everything down and eaten a decent amount that she's rewarded in some way, but she's also struggled with self harm and suicide in the past and currently aswell. Also, For everyone expressing concerns about her having her own phone at her age, I got it so that she could contact me in case there was any emergency or should she need me for any reason. The laptop is a family laptop but she started taking it to her room and using it most of the time, She is a video editor and that is how she spends most of her time. I had NO idea that she was talking to people on Youtube and other websites. I've checked her search history several times and nothing would be there inappropriate. Shawnn, She was threatening to harm herself i made her stop talking to her "Daddy" because he was nice and he helped her and he wasn't a danger. I let that get to me for a while, but eventually after reading some of their conversations, The police were called and they did a full investigation. They said they would continue to monitor her phone in case he or anyone else that she talked to decided they wanted to contact her again after being warned not to. She had her phone taken away for a while,she pleaded with me that she had learned her lesson about talking to people online and that this really hurt/scared her so she wouldn't be doing anything like it again. She begged me for the chance to show me that i could trust her,and i gave her that chance. Yesterday i found out she was speaking to the man i posted about. He is 18 years old and she is 13. She told me no matter what accounts she makes he always seems to find them and that he's nice so it doesn't matter she'll find a way to talk to him anyway.
I've always told her about online safety, not to tell anyone any of her personal information and i've told her several times about the dangers of what she does but she still seems to think "Nothing will happen,Mom you're just overreacting." This time i told her that she won't be getting her phone or the laptop back because she broke my trust but she still insists that she will talk to him anyway. All devices have been taken up and her brother knows not to allow her on his, i've talked to him about it and he understands that she isn't allowed to and if she should ask him then he should come to me about it.

Sarah - posted on 07/17/2016

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Good point Shawwn.
Take away her phone, shut down the WIFI and only permit online access when you can monitor her activity.

♫ Shawnn ♪♫♫ - posted on 07/17/2016

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I am wondering how a (then) twelve yo had enough internet privacy to be contacting the 18 yo in the first place "last year", and why in the world you , as a rational parent, would have not rescinded internet privilege at that time, rather than allowing the access to continue unmonitored so that she did the exact same thing a year later?

Dove - posted on 07/17/2016

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She needs to have zero internet access and be in counseling immediately. If she was/is suicidal she should have been in counseling consistently this entire time. She's been crying out for help and boundaries for at least a year and a half now... and so she was way younger than 13 when this started. At that age she should own none of her own devices and only use family devices in a family monitored room. Talks about internet safety (and not doing exactly what she is doing) should have been drilled into her head years ago.

Therapy... immediately.

Jodi - posted on 07/17/2016

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Is your daughter in counselling? It sounds like she is really struggling with a lot of issues. I am concerned that she is looking to these men for "comfort". She needs to be in counselling, particularly given that she clearly has had mental health issues at such a young age.

These men are not having these conversations with your daughter at a platonic level - they are "grooming" her. If you know they are over age and you know these conversations are going on, and you have evidence of these conversations, you need to report this to the police. This is how these men groom these young girls.

In the meantime, clearly she can't be trusted with her devices. You need to monitor EVERYTHING. How has she got applications that she can find these people on her devices in the first place? Why is she allowed to have this freedom? When it comes to computers and internet, they should have no secrets from you. She is 13. She is a little kid. She does not know yet how to use this technology appropriately without strong guidance and boundaries from you.

Nellynunes148 - posted on 07/17/2016

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Keep the computer in a common area in the house, ours for example stays in the living room at all times. Cell phones are not allowed to be used at home, they can use our home phone again it's in the kitchen. You are the parent you make rules as a child she must follow and obey rules.

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