Online stranger planned to lure my 14 year old

Carly - posted on 07/06/2016 ( 3 moms have responded )

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My daughter is 14 and started playing a massive online multiplayer roleplaying game for children about five months ago. I looked at the website before allowing her to play it and it was a game with strict monitoring, which means users will be banned for inappropriate language, explicit pictures, giving out personal information, etc. I monitored her a lot and I set very strict rules - if she can't show me something she's doing online, she can't be online and her electronics will be all taken away. I found out that someone she met online who claimed to be a 15 year old boy planned to meet her in person. She's attending a day camp program for the summer and she walks home alone - he planned to meet her after day camp because they both knew that no one would know since she would be walking home by herself so she could've easily lied to me on her phone (she calls me when she gets home every time to make sure that I know she got home safe) that she went home and it was her typical routine. She met this guy on the game, they snuck past the monitor system (which means they added random capitals or numbers in between the words so the other person could read it without getting kicked out of the game). She created three secret social media accounts: Kik, Instagram, and Facebook. I found out when I caught her taking a picture with just her bra and underwear on in front of the mirror that's in front of her closet! I was horrified and at first she refused to give me her phone but she did at the end because I told her that her phone is now confiscated, she will be in counselling, and I will find out why she took that picture. Then I discovered she's been talking to this stranger and how they will meet so I called the police. They will deal with this and they have her phone so they will investigate everything. I had a long talk with her and how that was absolutely very inappropriate and it was a foolish decision to make because now that she doesn't have a phone because of a decision she made, she can no longer call me if there's a time that she really needs to. I told her that I bought that phone to keep her safe, so she could contact me and her dad and emergency numbers when she needed to although I am getting her a phone that only lets her call home and emergency - no texting. Her fake Facebook account doesn't go by her real name and her profile picture wasn't a picture of her, she even has a fake identity and it says she lives in the UK so we would never find out that she's using it to communicate with this person. Whoever this guy is would've had plenty of time to lure her and take her to another location or do whatever he wants with her and I wouldn't have known until I came home hours later! Any ideas? She has absolutely no Internet access and she's restricted from doing fun activities, she's staying home WITH supervision and all she is allowed to do is get back from day camp program (a family member picks her up everyday instead of walking home alone), do the homework that her math tutor gave her, read a book, go see her therapist as planned, the police are planning to talk to her, and that's it. Any more ideas?

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Lisa - posted on 07/07/2016

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I am so glad you caught this in time. It sounds like you are doing all the right things. The consequences need to be very clear. You have set up some good ones. I am glad you got the police involved and that they will be talking to her. Sometimes kids just don't know how serious their actions are. They don't understand the life altering consequences that come from this kind of online interaction. Also, her deception, on so many levels, really does clue you into the need for her to understand the seriousness.

Can you have a couple of sessions of family counseling, so that the counselor can help you two mend the relationship and help her understand that your actions were appropriate and right?

Good job mama, keep going!

Carly - posted on 07/06/2016

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I already looked up plenty of articles of kids who made similar choices as her and ended up with huge consequences :) hopefully she understands by now..she will keep seeing a therapist anyways and the police are still investigating. I told her that she better hope that this stranger who manipulated her online stayed where they lived and isn't in our neighborhood waiting for her. Apparently she told him the neighborhood we lived in as well.

Dove - posted on 07/06/2016

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What you have set up is good so far. Perhaps look up articles on kids who did the kinds of things that she has done who were kidnapped, raped, or murdered because of their foolish choices online.

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