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10 year old and WhatsApp

(56 Posts)
dabbler Fri 31-Jan-14 14:39:22

DD got a mobile phone from DGM for Christmas PAYG. We were thinking she would text friends and play games with it. We told her she shouldn't access the internet with it and have trusted her on this as she has always been quite a sensible girl (so far).

However, I have discovered that she has downloaded WhatsApp and is having conversations with friends at school. I am uneasy about this.

Firstly because she has downloaded it without telling me (I looked on their website and it states you have to be 16 to use it though she has easily got through that)

Then because I told her not to 'text' friends after 9pm (her bedtime) and she said she wouldn't but she was on WhatsApp last night till 9.40 so not technically a lie but texting and chatting the same thing.

Then she is constantly hiding it from me whenever I go near her.

I checked her phone today (she leaves it at home when she goes to school) and found lots of harmless photos, fairly innocuous conversations with other girls (though am shocked at the bitchiness!), quite a lot of talk re boys though but they can do that face to face as well, I can't control what she says when I'm not there .

What are people's thoughts on this App? I have always said I won't let DD go on facebook but is this any different?. Am I right to feel uneasy or am I overreacting?

disclaimer: I don't own a smartphone and am not on facebook so not very clued up on social media, have just heard bad things about it

dabbler Fri 31-Jan-14 14:47:38

Maybe I should have posted this in another forum

MillyONaire Fri 31-Jan-14 14:50:02

Watching this as 11 year old is pestering me to get it but I am being an ostrich about it and saying I will look into it....but haven't yet. Hoping it'll all just go away - not very grown up of me!

dabbler Fri 31-Jan-14 14:52:35

I didn't even know it existed till DD got it

Xmas2013SantaA5696 Fri 31-Jan-14 14:54:11

It's just like texting, you can only message people who hbw your number/they have your number. It's a 'free' way of sending pictures and you can have group conversations easily.

It is using the internet though so watch her internet allowance.

Elderberri Fri 31-Jan-14 14:54:25

All mobile devices should be on the kitchen table charging before bedtime.

PeteCampbellsRecedingHairline Fri 31-Jan-14 14:55:17

As long as she's connected to wi-fi I think she should be ok. I don't think it's anything like Facebook, it's just a free way to message people instead of using credit.

WaitMonkey Fri 31-Jan-14 14:57:48

Disclaimer, I have younger ddc. I remember stories of bullying being prevalent on BBM, when everyone had that a few year's ago. What'sapp is a similar sort of thing and I wouldn't allow a 10 year old to have it. I have what'sapp and love it, but it's not for primary aged children.

morethanacondiment Fri 31-Jan-14 14:59:46

I thought Whatsapp only used the contacts list on your phone, rather than allowing you to search for randoms. So, it really is just like using the usual text message function? Using it later at night than agreed is a separate issue that needs discussion, but the app itself wouldn't worry me at all.
Disclaimer: I am not techy so may be wrong!

dabbler Fri 31-Jan-14 15:01:51

Yes from now on no mobile phone in bed, I have been naïve

What was BBM, what happened?

morethanacondiment Fri 31-Jan-14 15:02:26

Oh, I do understand Wait's point, but I think if you're already allowing DD to send texts, this feels like the same thing to me.

HamletsSister Fri 31-Jan-14 15:02:32

It is just free text messaging via an app so you can use the WiFi, rather than the mobile signal.

What they message is another thing entirely but there is nothing sinister about the app itself.

dabbler Fri 31-Jan-14 15:05:40

Am feeling reassured, thanks.
Have to go out

picklesrule Fri 31-Jan-14 15:07:34

Whatsapp is fine but you really should get up to speed on how the phone works and what all the apps do.
There was a really interesting article a while back I will try to find it later it basically said the majority of problems stem from kids having phones with way too much power that their parents know nothing about and are not properly controlling.
It suggests becoming totally clued up on how phone works and putting all possible parental controls in place.
Particularly around the internet on smartphones..

Good luck!

Juno77 Fri 31-Jan-14 15:13:43

Yeah whatsapp is literally just texting for free. Exactly the same as iMessage except it can be between any 2 phones.

It's free as uses the internet.

You have to know someone's number - it's nothing like Facebook.

OldBeanbagz Fri 31-Jan-14 15:22:58

Whatsapp is ok and a free way to send texts if your DD has a limit on her texts but i do think she shouldn't be hiding her phone from you. You also need to get up to speed with the phone and disable anything you don't want her to have access to.

My own DD (12yo) knows that in order to have a phone she had to agree to me having access to it. So i can check her messages/photos any time. To be fair to her she's a pretty sensible girl and there's never been anything to be concerned about.

Even she got annoyed with all the Whatsapp messages coming through from her friends the other night when she was doing her music practise. She asked me to put it in my pocket and used my phone as a timer instead.

crochetedblanket Fri 31-Jan-14 15:25:25

Its basically texting for free but you can send pictures too.

Ihatemytoes Fri 31-Jan-14 15:32:03

My DD had whatsapp and at first I was uneasy as well but the only contacts you can access on it are the people who's numbers she already has. It really is harmless and it is just texting but you can send pictures and videos for free.

That's what she said anyway!

SavoyCabbage Fri 31-Jan-14 15:36:39

My dd is ten and I've talked to her about texting and told her not to text anything she wouldn't want the headmistress to read. And to be aware that is she says about anyone else, bitchiness, that it could be shown to them.

Whatsapp is fine - it's Kik I find a problem. I have had loads of randoms sending me pictures of their bits.......I made DS come off Kik after that!

yankeecandlebabypowder Fri 31-Jan-14 15:41:49

I have a 10 yr old DD & she uses KIK on her tablet to talk to her BFF as she calls her. Its free, like What's app. I use that to send pics over the net.

GlitzAndGiggles Fri 31-Jan-14 15:46:09

Whatsapp is harmless imo and you can block numbers from contacting you. When I was 10 it was all about MSN messenger grin

Fakebook Fri 31-Jan-14 15:50:16

Like others have said, it's just like free messaging, and nothing like Facebook. You can only message the people whose numbers are saved in your phone book.

Tango is similar but you can video chat and it has a feature that shows you all the people using it around your area(!) so I would definitely not allow a child to use that.

Viber is pretty safe too I think, it's like Tango but you can make free phone calls via Internet and no video chat.

ItsSoooFluffy Fri 31-Jan-14 15:50:22

Just like texting but free as it uses the wifi. No one can message her unless they have her mobile number, so yes it is just like texting.

GlitzAndGiggles Fri 31-Jan-14 17:06:33

Arohaitis I hate using the phone! I used to work in a beauty environment so was taking and making calls most of the day and I just hated it. Even phoning docs to make an appointment makes me nervous and if I need to phone in sick at work I have to prep myself up for it. I'm fine face to face it's just the phone I struggle with

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