My daughter joined dating websites! Help!

Leona - posted on 02/18/2015 ( 18 moms have responded )

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She's 12 and started going on MyLOL.Com and other sites that are VERY predator-like. She usually pretends to be "hot" and around 15-16 years old because she knows that people won't date preteens. She has usernames for example: "Sexy7" or "PrettyGirlSwag5" or "HottieGirl" or whatever. One of the websites required users to sign up with the city they're from, and my daughter has added our location but not her real name and age.
She says that kids in 6th, 7th, and 8th grade already have boyfriends! I told her that she doesn't have to have a "boyfriend" just because girls that are her age and older girls have them. I didn't even have a boyfriend as a senior in high school! I took her computer time away, and she doesn't have phones... I don't know why she's desperate, but she tells me that boyfriends love you and tell you you're beautiful but instead of listening to her nonsense about being in relationships, I asked her if she REALLY needs a boy just to tell her she's beautiful because she already is and if she REALLY needs a boy to "love" him....any advice? She's crazy over boys, and is in 7th-grade. Some of her friends are in 8th-grade and some are younger in 5th-grade and they're all crazy about boys, even girls at 10 years! She says her best friend is the EXACT same age as her and already got on a date with a boy who's from her school...

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Ellie - posted on 02/23/2015

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it can be hard to see what children go though these days but have go sat her down and talked to her about everything not just about this problem?

Sarah - posted on 02/23/2015

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I disagree that "most" 12 yo feel pressured to have a boyfriend. Nor do I think that it is what "most" kids are doing. I have four kids, and while once in a awhile one would mention "Jack and Jill are 'going out'" or that someone the the class has a boyfriend. It was a rare and random occurrence. Often the description of going out and boyfriend at age 12 is quite different from what it means at an older age. In my experience, it meant they liked each other and maybe would talk on the phone. It was simply not permitted in my house period.
Professionally, as a school nurse, I have encountered clusters of behavior like you describe. There has been one instance of a "pregnancy pact". More often the behavior I encounter relates to sexual encounters. One girl will have sex, if she is a popular girl or a ringleader, others will follow. I work in a huge school district in a diverse community. This behavior crosses all cultural and socioeconomic barriers and it is worrisome. However, no matter how secretive the students try to be, the school staff usually finds out pretty quickly. We take action immediately! I call students into my office, the counselors meet with the students, we track behavior and intervene. Letters get sent out to parents, open forums are held and we nip it as quickly as possible. Legally we cannot release any names to parents, so we address whole school. That your child's school seems to accept this as normal, and is dismissive of your child's internet behavior is not right.
I realize that your issue is related to "dating" and the desire to date, but it takes one girl to go ahead with sexual behavior and others will follow. Especially if these girls do not have strong sense of self worth and self-esteem.
You are starting to work on this with you child and that is the first and most important step. Meanwhile, the school needs to get on board with holding some internet safety classes and self-esteem workshops.

Ellie - posted on 02/23/2015

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This is normal as most girls feel under pressure at school to have a boyfriend as that's what everyone is doing however these sites can be dangerous and she could get herself in to a lot of trouble. She may think she is talking to people her age but in reality she could be talking to a man in his 40's!

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Leona - posted on 02/23/2015

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The school IS starting to get concerned about the children with this dating nonsense... we parents got a letter home about the police coming to the schools in our city district to talk about stranger-dangers online and what "sexting" online is.
They also talked about RIGHT and WRONG decisions and that people these days make lots of bad decisions. I talked to her about appropriate behavior about her age and such things, and she needs to focus more on interests - besides boys - and sports, family, and such.

Leona - posted on 02/21/2015

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She made some new friends from the badminton team. However, I AM aware that there are boys in her grade in the sports' teams. I've been reading an article on this site called What to Do When Your Gradeschooler Wants a Girlfriend or Boyfriend ....
I told her that she's too young and that she doesn't know what dating is like yet, also, she's vulnerable and can't protect herself from the DANGERS like being forced to have sex, etc.

Dove - posted on 02/21/2015

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Forbidding friendships doesn't usually work out very well, but highly supervising (in your home only) the time spent w/ these girls and encouraging friendships w/ OTHER girls would probably be a good step.

My daughter is 13 and while she DOES like boys... very much... her focus is friendships and sports and being a KID... because she knows there is lots of time ahead for dating and now is the time to just be friends w/ the guys, so by the time you are ready for dating... you already know a lot about what you do and do not like in a guy.

Leona - posted on 02/20/2015

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I don't know what's going on at school, but I hear that they are pretty 'secretive' about it. She has some of her friends over sometimes, and goes to their houses. I don't see issues with that and there's usually adult supervision (they usually eat snacks, do homework, music, chat, nothing sexual, etc.)
I'm sure that there are at least SOME girls who aren't interested in boys, but the kids she usually hangs out with are and all of them are either in 6th, 7th, or 8th grade. I don't know if I should quit letting her hang out with kids that 'encourage' her to be 'dating' or just let her go and hang out with them .... she joined a badminton team at her school where she can verse against other schools and meet other children from her own school and also be friends with the other schools....

Jodi - posted on 02/20/2015

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So what is her school doing about addressing this behaviour in general? If you live in a little pocket where all the girls a boy crazed, then the school needs to consider putting programs in place to address the situation. Because while it is normal for SOME girls this age to be like this (although they usually have some issue or another going on in their lives for them to be this way), it is not normal for them to all be like this in most places. This is highly sexualised behaviour that should be concerning to the school.

Jodi - posted on 02/20/2015

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I find it incredibly unusual that the counsellor said this because it's not actually true that all girls nowadays are into teen boys. Not to mention that teen boys are not found on these websites she is accessing, so that isn't the reason anyway.

Leona - posted on 02/20/2015

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Yup, I am putting her into counseling. The counselor says that girls nowadays are all into teen boys, not playing on the computer or just be a kid. I deleted her MyLOL.Com account but I fear that she may or may not have joined other websites where people under 18 are allowed to join as well...
The counselor said that my daughter was asking her if she has heard about a site called eHarmony.ca and I've heard of it in the ads but I've never known what it's about but when I searched the site up, it says adult dating JOIN FREE! I took my daughter's phone away, and prevented her from Internet access. I called her school again and told them not to let her on the net unless it's for work or a necessary purpose. they don't allow cell phones at school so that's no worries...for now.

Dove - posted on 02/19/2015

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Definite red flags going up all over the place. Especially since you say she has a good relationship w/ her father. Her behavior is 'typically' what one would expect to see from a girl w/out a solid male role model, one who has been abused, or one who lacks a real 'focus' in life that is important to them.. or also one that is easily influenced by peers.. which may or may not come in connection w/ the previously listed struggles.

Definitely seek professional help for her... and for you to learn how best to proceed in this situation.

Leona - posted on 02/19/2015

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Thank you, Shawnn.
She's never attempted to meet any of these so-called "teens" she met online. I'm very surprised how much girls have changed nowadays compared to when we were tweens and teenagers. Back when I was a kid, there were no such things as being sexy until I was about 16 or 17.
I first noticed her behavior about males when she was in the beginning of seventh grade and I do notice that lots of 8th graders and 7th graders have "boyfriends", what they call it.
I also lended her a book about two girls her own age who contacted boys online, and one of them agrees to meet them in person and she disappears forever and was never seen alive again until someone found her dead. I told her THAT'S why we do NOT allow our children be online unsupervised.

♫ Shawnn ♪♫♫ - posted on 02/19/2015

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HUGE red flags here. I'd also be tempted to get her into counseling to find out if she's been sexually abused.

Good luck with everything.

Leona - posted on 02/19/2015

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She has a father and a brother. She has a good relationship and there are barely any fights in our family.
I got her some counseling, but she just says she wants one "just-because" her friends (both older, her age, and younger) have boyfriends and that they go to the movies, shopping, parks, whatsoever,.... I've also sent an alert to her school, so the supervisors can watch out for her actions around boys. The teacher said yes, there HAS been some flirting and after she eats her lunch, she wanders off to the table where boys in her grade sit and she starts talking to them when I went to her parent-teacher conference.
I sat down alone with her to tell her that she's not ready for one yet, even if she feels like she is. Then I asked her if she thinks it's the most IMPORTANT thing in her life, besides having fun, school, friends, and family??? I also told her that kids' bodies DO change, so they might make decisions very suddenly and that people do break up with each other so I also don't want her to be "broke" over a boy at a young age and it can also cause lots of things to change in life.

Jodi - posted on 02/18/2015

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Get your daughter some counselling. She is displaying classic issues of a girl who lacks a strong male role model - " she tells me that boyfriends love you and tell you you're beautiful" - this statement bothers me. She is showing that she is not getting enough male attention from more wholesome sources. Where is her father? Does she have a good relationship with him? Or any other male role model? I'm definitely seeing a lot of red flags here.

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