My daughter has secretly signed up for social media

Melissa - posted on 12/29/2015 ( 5 moms have responded )

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My 13 y/o daughter opened up an account without my permission. It's a game called Fantage, where children can collect pets, make friends, dress up, etc. it sounded like a safe environment for kids and teens to me, but when I took a closer look, the users on that site are inappropriate and racist. My child has experienced cyber bullying on that site as well. When I found out the reason why she was being bullied, it seems like the avatars are angry because she asks to trade items (dresses, hairstyles, shoes, accessories, etc.) and then she dictates them to go first and when they give it to her, she just leaves and "steals" the items. They have called her a scammer, a liar, and a thief. I quit letting her go on that website as soon as I found out and explained that when I looked up the game on Common Sense Media, other parents have also complained about their kids being bullied and learning sexual content. I also told her that some things that people say on the chatrooms is not appropriate for a teen at her age and that they may be upset that she stole their pixels/items and asked why she did it....eventually, the answer came out and said that she wanted to be "rare" on the site and have lots of items. Fantage also wants money from the children, there is constant pressure that they should spend money on membership and buy game cards to get the newest currency, etc. It's targeted for children that are around 6-15 and has lots of games that are appropriate for the ages, the chatrooms are filtered and you can get banned if you use profanity but users tend to "sneak" past the monitor system and say sexual things and pretend to be naked, having sex, getting raped, etc. There's ALWAYS drama on the shop called MyMall, from what I've seen. Users argue about so-called items and what's worth, etc. and some get upset because they were being scammed or ARE the scammers and a ton of other drama going on. Should I block this site? My daughter used it for weeks and I never knew. I grounded her from the computer, gave her a phone that can only call home and emergency, set a password for ALL electronics so she may only access it when she is doing schoolwork or searching something up and I have to know first. She knew very well that she is not allowed to talk to others that she does not know in person - I have warned her many times of the dangers, and online drama may lead to fatal consequences. What else should I do?

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Melissa - posted on 12/29/2015

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I have talked to her friends parents - and warned her about online predators who want to seek young girls to talk to because they have bad intentions to hurt children. I also told her that she feels very safe and secure behind a computer screen at home, but in the digital world, lots of dangers are roaming around. Some want to sell drugs, alcohol, sex, etc. while some may be grown men that are perverted and want nude pictures of females. I teach a group of middle schoolers in 8th grade that are her age and one young girl was lured by an online predator claiming to be a high school freshmen girl but instead a man picked her up. She died just weeks ago and I told my daughter that she's dead because of an online predator and she was just a young kid at her age.

Dawn - posted on 12/29/2015

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You are so right about getting things from friends. it's so hard to raise kids in this day and age. Kids think we are prying but we are trying to keep them safe. There's only so much we can do. I was told by a neighbor once to go to my local police station and report someone that lives locally that's chatting with her but she is of age. I hope things get better and work out for you.

Ev - posted on 12/29/2015

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" I grounded her from the computer, gave her a phone that can only call home and emergency, set a password for ALL electronics so she may only access it when she is doing schoolwork or searching something up and I have to know first. She knew very well that she is not allowed to talk to others that she does not know in person - I have warned her many times of the dangers, and online drama may lead to fatal consequences. What else should I do?"
You are doing everything you need to be doing and keep an open dialogue on this subject. You must also be aware that when she is not with you she still might try to get on these social media sites. You could make her friend's parents aware of this and what you are doing about it so they can also keep an eye out. Talk to her teachers at school and let them know as well.

Melissa - posted on 12/29/2015

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I've warned her more times than I can count - these random chatrooms have sick adults pretending to be kids that are PEDOPHILES, weirdos, and have bad intentions.
I've blocked that site already, but kids these days...they can always get an electronic in their hands from a friend, a school electronic, a library electronic, etc.

Dawn - posted on 12/29/2015

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Oh wow, i would try and block that site. I been having the same problem with my daughter with that social app called kik the instant messenger only problem is my daughter is 21 with very mild cerebral palsy and knows exactly what she's doing on there. She was told many times by us not to be chatting with anyone that she doesn't know and giving out personal information and pics of herself my husband turned the wifi off on her and gave her many chances. Just last night when she was in the shower I picked up her iPad and checked it and sure enough she was chatting on kik again with a different account. Yes she is 21 but these guys are trying to get nude pics sent to them of herself and talking dirty. I don't know what else to do as she is of age. I know how you feel. But at that age I think you can just control what she can go on. I'm so afraid for these kids now a days there are to many crazies out there.

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