Internet/Child Safety

DJ - posted on 04/28/2015 ( 6 moms have responded )

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Hey lovelies! I am new here and if I ramble or posted in the wrong space please inform me. I am a happily married,mother of two beautiful girls. My issue is, my oldest which turned 13 not even one month ago has changed.
No, I am not talking about acting more mature. I am talking about from loving tigers,horses,drawing to want to be goth,by wearing black shirts,jeans,never anything girlie. (Yes up until her birthday she was wearing frilly, cute girls tops)
I allowed her to get her hair cut in emo style as that's popular here, and dyed it black(temporary color nothing damaging).
Then my husband upgraded to XBOX 1 and we put the 360 in their room. They play online on his account which we didn't mind.
Well about 2 wks ago we noticed her acting strange,secretive about her online time. I went in after she went to school,searched through. Well random messages,hi,what's up, basic stuff then a add me on text now and kik.
I'm new to tablet apps for teens so I looked it up.
Come to find out my innocent daughter was talking on both of them same guy from online.We told her we didn't mind if she talked on the game but it doesn't leave the 360 no texting and such. I mean come on that's a parents right,and safety issue.
Well boy, did I have a bad cry, my daughter had over 400 messages from this boy to and from. From I hate my life, to I cut if you don't message me back, and then he wants to know where she wants IT to go! OMG ,yes IT!!!
I went from sadness, to fear to anger towards this boy who claims to be 14. None of the messages came across as childlike.

So, I took away all internet,tablet privileges. Did I mention he messaged wanting them to run away together, and how he would stop for them to charge phones and keep contact with certain people.
I told her a month first few days I had my girl back,sweet,innocent and loving. Well fool me I guess, she started getting secretive again so I went in her room where she threw her notebook down. I was like :
Me-Hey silly what are you doing?
A-Oh Nothing mom,drawing but I'm not finished....
M-Oh Ok

She went to bed and then I snuck in for the notebook, wow my daughter has been going behind my back,writing notes to this boy and getting her friends to send on to him. I am so done with this crap! I put the papers back in so she didn't know what I seen. She has 16 days left of school, so taking her out isn't an option. But I am seriously torn between allowing her in school next yr or homeschooling.
I mean what's to say this boy doesn't know where we live? I know he is from Kansas and is persistent on getting her and doing things to her. Her talking to him and saying whatever is putting our family safety at risk and making her change drastically. Claiming she loves a boy she never even met, then mentioned mom can I go to a friends house this summer SHE lives in Kansas,haha would have fell for that if I wouldn't have read your plan on his messages.

Keep in mind my kids do not date, do not go to random places. I am protective of them and care about safety. What should I do? What would you do?

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Oksana - posted on 05/05/2015

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I think that the main problem is that our children grow up much more quickly than we are ready for this. We want to believe that they are still small kids, playing with dolls and that kind of staff. And of course they don't like such attitude and do everything they can to seem older in their friends' and our eyes. If we could behave in another way and try to show them that we trust our kids, that we see they are old enough to lead their life in the way they want, we respect their wishes and feelings - they would be much more closer to us.
My cousin had the same problem with her daughter. But they solved it. She just downloaded the parental control program on her computer so she could see what she is doing there when she's not near her. She started to talk to her a lot about different things, told her about all her problems, asked for advice - so the teenager understood that she could trust her mum and do the same. Now they are the best friends. I'm not having the same problems yet, because my little daughter is small. But I think that in future I'll also use the same program. There are a lot of them on the Internet nowadays. My cousin used this one http://www.refog.com/
Hope my advice will help you to solve the problem!

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Ev - posted on 05/05/2015

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Oksana--While parental apps to help watch the kids' internet use is a good thing its not enough. Parents need to be on top of it and have the following:

1) All user names and passwords to all places the kids go.
2) Parental apps or programs to set up parental locks on the internet.
3) Research things to keep up with the teens as they manuver through the internet to social sites, chat rooms, and gaming.
4) Set up rules. THIS IS THE MOST IMPORTANT THING YOU CAN DO AS A PARENT! Setting rules and consequences up and telling your teens what is what and how it will be handled if not followed has to be done in a consistent manner and done. Do not let things slide.
5) One thing about the kids sexting and sending pics of themselves in the nude--discuss this also. Tell them that its against the law and called child pornagraphy and it can ruin their lives as well as that of the parents.

DJ - posted on 04/28/2015

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I took it all away period, for a month or until I felt she could be responsible. I told her no chatting online on tablet, xbox is fine it doesnt leave there,its for safety. Then bam its all over her tablet.
She doesnt go over to friends houses as the parents are either working during times or just act shady.One has had ecigs taken away 3 times this year,and called our youngest a b!tch. So thats a no go and if her parents cared they wouldnt be supplying a 13 yr old with ecigs. I thought of speaking with teachers,she went from a recluse the beginning of the school yr to ending it rowdy and disruptive for attention.

Ev - posted on 04/28/2015

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Then it is time to take the xbox out of the bedroom and put in the family area and restrict the amount of time she gets on it. Be where you can see the screen. She is not going to like this but tell her its the consequences for her actions of going online and texting a guy she does not know and kept on doing it after she was told not to. Take away the other tech gadgets she has and she only uses say the PC or tablet as needed for school work only. Have her friends come to hang out for a time frame so she is not unmonitored online at someone elses home. As far as school goes, you might warn her teachers of what is going on so they might watch her too. But that may be a long shot. But you at some point need to get across the message that meeting people online is not a safe thing no matter what is going on. She is young and is going to think she knows it all. And all parents get that from their kids at a point or another during the teen years and even into the twenties.

DJ - posted on 04/28/2015

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Pm'd you. But yes, we monitored that via our xbox,it relays all messages . It wasnt until she went on kik and textnow things got severely out of hand. I have discussed safety concerns with her and she lets it roll off, yeah like anything would happen sorta attitude.

Ev - posted on 04/28/2015

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Did you ever sit down with her and talk to her about the concerns of being connected to complete strangers online? Did you ever put a perimeter around what she was allowed to do online and what she wasn't allowed? I think before putting an xbox or other system in a bedroom where they have access to the internet is not a good idea where the parent can not see it. As for her trying to get you to allow her to go to Kansas to see a friend of hers, I am glad you caught on to that before you did allow her to go. You need a serious chat with her and the other one about the risks of meeting people online. THis guy who claims to be a boy could be an adult male seeking a young girl to have his way with one way or another. Kids this time frame do not seem to understand the dangers of the internet or other things even. That is why the computer, tablet, video game machine and any other things that can connect to the internet should be in the living area or main areas of the home not the bedroom. You would then be able to monitor with your own eyes what is going on. You also need access to the accounts so you can see what they are doing onlline. Always check history and then you can go and see where they were. If they have figured out how to delete history or such, you can get programs that can keep tract of it even if they delete it on their own and then you can see what they have been doing.

I would highly suggest that serious talk and set some rules now before this grows to be something that is regretted by all.

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