My sensible 14 year old ds..

(26 Posts)
highlighta Thu 10-Oct-13 10:29:43

Sorry this is long but i need to get it off my chest. I wish I had the book on' the right thing to say" at times.

I knew something was bothering ds the end of last week and this week. We have a very good relationship, are open with each other and can talk about anything (and he tells me stuff which I hear is quite rare in the case of a 14 year old boy).

He woke me up in the middle of the night and asked if I would come to his room so we don't wake dh. I could see he was upset and during the last few days I had asked if he was ok so which he said yes everything is fine. But deep down I knew something was going on.

He tells me that a group of his "friends" at school took his phone last week and took the battery, sim card and the sd card out and they put the sd card into one of the other boys phones. This is where ds tells me that he had some stuff on his phone that he shouldn't have, but had deleted.

Backstory: He met a girl last year who was bad news. The girl was kicked out of the club they attended to together for various reasons. This girl sent ds her cousins number and they have been chatting for months, but never physically met up. (they had a "date" a while back, to which she did not turn up!) It would seem that this girl had sent him naked pictures of herself and he sent one of him to her.... So when they put the sd card into the other phone these pictures came up. (clearly I have a lot to learn as I thought if you deleted a pic it was gone forever shock.

So then these boys starting bribing him saying that he had to pay them each X amount of money each day otherwise they will show everyone in school the pics and tell us. The worst thing is that the little shit would instigated this, has been friends with ds for years, he has been round our house and we taken him places with us for the day....

So ds then admits to taking some money that I had as he didn't know where to get the money from and couldn't tell me, but promised to pay it back..

So we had a long chat, I admitted that I was shocked about the photos, but the thing that alarms me the most is that I honestly do not think that the girl is who she says she is. He never met her, it was a number given to him by a vindictive little so and so! Although we have discussed the dangers of cellphone use (as I am sure we have all done) it times like this that it becomes reality. So there is a pic of him somewhere out there hmm. He said that as soon as he sent it, he knew it was wrong and its been eating at him ever since. He sent her a msg asking her to delete it, and then he deleted the girls number from his phone. She msg him since but he deletes them and ignores her.

I was also shocked that a friend of his would do this to him. He paid him and the group twice. After our discussion he stood up to them yesterday as when they went to 'collect' he told them that this is over and that he wanted all his money back. They said, I have your mothers number to which he replied, go ahead as they know all about it. They were shocked and said things like 'how could you tell your parents that etc etc'. At the end of the day, the boy who started this (his so called friend) brought his money back to him and apologized.

Oh and I found out that he had smoked too, but didn't like it so wouldn't be carrying on.............. Gawd, I didn't sleep a wink after that!!!

Thanks if you got to the end. I know some teens who are totally out of control, so to some this may seem a bit trivial, but to me its a major thing.

ChippingInNeedsSleepAndCoffee Thu 10-Oct-13 10:37:58

flowers

You are doing really really well to have such a good relationship with your son.

Your son has been daft - but weren't we all at 13/14?!

The little shits, have indeed, been little shits - but seem to have come to their sense now.

If you think the 'cousin' is an adult and not a child (and if you have the phone number) I'd go to the police and tell them that you suspect it is not a child and they are sending and asking for naked photos.

If you think it is a child, I'd just let it go. Sadly this is quite common and getting younger and younger.

As for the smoking - hopefully it has put him off and I would let that go too.

YoureBeingADick Thu 10-Oct-13 10:38:49

What is it you are asking? What yo do?

Well i would call the police about the person sending pictures of underage girls (your son will be told off too) and inform the school of it too if that other boy has copied the picture.

ChippingInNeedsSleepAndCoffee Thu 10-Oct-13 10:41:52

I would also say to your son that he knows there is a naked photo of him out there, these other kids know there is a naked photo of him out there and sometime in the future it is bound to appear again. He needs to think about how he is going to handle that so he can't be bribed/scared/bullied in the future.

My (15yo) cousin has bright ginger hair - he is the KING of unbothered! and has a lot of witty replies, never rises to the bait. I know it's a bit different, but kids smell 'bothered' a mile off... he needs to work on his 'unbothered'.

SuperiorCat Thu 10-Oct-13 10:42:31

Well done on having such a good relationship with your DS that he could tell you.

Chippings advice is spot on IMO

highlighta Thu 10-Oct-13 10:46:43

Youre I just needed to get it out somewhere really...

I think I will ask ds to give me the number if she msg's again, as deep down I think it is an adult....

chipping I brushed off the smoking thing as at the time it was an overload of info, but yes I do think it has put him off. THanks, needed that bunch of flowers today wink.

YoureBeingADick Thu 10-Oct-13 10:50:29

If you think it is an adult call the police now! Dont wait til 'she' messages again!

AnythingNotEverything Thu 10-Oct-13 10:56:50

I repeat the sentiments above that it's fab your son can talk to you about this. Yes, he did something silly, but he made the right choice in the end.

I also think you should inform school about the blackmail. That's quite nasty behaviour and should be dealt with.

timidviper Thu 10-Oct-13 11:00:15

I think you need to take advice on this (maybe Childline or NSPCC?) If it is an adult doing this it is a completely different situation to silliness between yound people

sweetfluffybunnies Thu 10-Oct-13 11:00:48

I don't think this is trivial at all, I completely understand how you feel having been in a very similar situation with my dd a couple of years back. She was 14 at the time.

Unfortunately this is so common now. Your son has made a silly mistake which he regretted as soon as he had done it. You need to contact the school to let them know. I didn't do this straight away, and i wish I had as the bullying dd endured got worse and worse until it all came out and the teachers could deal with it. The 'friends' involved need to be made aware that blackmail and extortion is a crime, as well as a very shitty thing to do to someone who is supposed to be a friend.

It is worrying that you don't think the 'girl' is who she says she is. I would think that you may need to contact the police if you really believe this. Even if she is who she claims to be, you need to be sure that the photo is properly deleted so that it can't resurface at a later date.

It is so depressing that these stories keep on coming out. Like you, I had talked to dd many times about keeping safe on the internet etc, but they are so naive. They think they can trust people, and never believe that someone would treat them like this. It is a bitter lesson for them.

You sound lovely, and it sounds as though you have a great relationship with your ds, so I'm sure things will work out for you. It is hard though, and I would recommend getting support from the school. I found them to be sympathetic and supportive, they have probably dealt with these kinds of things before. I wish you luck!

HenriettaPye Thu 10-Oct-13 11:04:03

First I would contact the school and tell them, as that's where the phone was taken. A naked picture of a 14yr old is child pornography. I would want to the teachers (or I would myself) explain to the boys why they cannot send it on to anyone else, as this will be seen as 'distributing child porn' and they will be in big trouble with the law. This would scare them into deleting it!!

Your poor son though, from what you've said he just deserves a big hug. We have all done stupid things! You sound like you have a wonderful relationship with him. I only hope my relationship with my son is as good as yours when mine reaches this age smile

ButThereAgain Thu 10-Oct-13 11:08:09

It is fantastic that he spoke to you about it. I shudder to think how unhappy he would be right now if he hadn't had the brilliant relationship with you that led to him opening up. And I shudder to think of all the unhappy young people out there in similar situations that don't speak up.

If I were you I think I would make an appointment to speak with someone at the school and raise any concerns you have. They will surely have a policy/guidelines that help them to know the best response and whether or not to contact the police.

I hope that the fact there is a picture of him "out there" will become less and less of a concern for him as time goes by. The major sting, his vulnerability to blackmail, has been removed, which takes the power of the image away.

ButThereAgain Thu 10-Oct-13 11:14:47

In case anyone doesn't know, there is an NSPCC hotline for children affected by this kind of blackmail (often perpetrated by adults rather than by children as in this case), mentioned in a news story here. It might be of some comfort to your son to know that he is very far from being the only person who has been victimised in this way. As the article shows, it is sadly becoming common.

highlighta Thu 10-Oct-13 11:34:59

I know it's a bit different, but kids smell 'bothered' a mile off... he needs to work on his 'unbothered'.

This is so true!

If you think it is an adult call the police now! Dont wait til 'she' messages again!

I don't have the number and neither does ds anymore as he deleted her and any subsequent messages that she sent. I don't want him to be trying to find her number again via the cousin. If I had the number I would call it anonymously just to see who answers it. He has a Samsung Galaxy Young phone. Is there a way I can retrieve the number after its been deleted? Anyone know?

He has asked me to not contact the school as he feels it will be making matters worse if I do, if these boys get wind of it. He seems to think that its 'over' now, as the rest of the group were laughing at 'so called friend' saying things like "mate, that plan backfired on you" and mocking him ( the instigator). I have a feeling that it could crop up again.... I am going to phone Childline though.

God, kids can be so bloody mean to each other!!

flow4 Thu 10-Oct-13 11:36:54

I think Chipping's advice is spot on.

Do you still have the "cousin"'s number? I think I would call it (withholding your own number) to see who answers. Even if your DS thinks he deleted her number, it may still be on his SIM and retrievable if you put it into another phone, such as yours. (I recently got a new phone, and dozens of numbers reappeared, which I thought were deleted the last time I got a new phone).

If you think this may actually have been an adult, report it to CEOP. You can do this online. Their website has a report form and info for kids and parents that it might be good to look at - www.ceop.police.uk/safety-centre/ .

YoureBeingADick Thu 10-Oct-13 11:37:34

The phone company will be able to be able to get the number for the police- hand the phone over to them and they'll be able to find the sender.

flow4 Thu 10-Oct-13 11:40:23

Oops, sorry, cross-posted.
Re. getting the number: try swapping the SIM into another phone, or connecting it by USB cable to a PC. Did your son ever back it up? Even if he didn't, phones connected to charge sometimes do an automatic back-up at the same time.

highlighta Thu 10-Oct-13 11:51:48

Thanks, I will try putting his sim into my phone and see if comes up. If I get the number and call it and a girl answers, it will be lesson learned. Its that churning in my stomach that is unsettling me though. I believe in Mothers Intuition......

He has charged his phone on the laptop, maybe it has backed up.... does the phone have to be connected again for me to find it on laptop? Sorry all the questions, I'm not all that technologically gifted wink.

flow4 Thu 10-Oct-13 11:59:37

I think it probably does need to be connected. I'm not sure though.
I believe in intuition too... You're right to follow it I think...

timidviper Thu 10-Oct-13 12:15:42

My phone backs up contact details automatically to my laptop via Google. Check your computers in case the number is on there as a result of backing up or updating

highlighta Thu 10-Oct-13 16:34:23

Thanks everyone. Just to update: we found the number on an old sms message, I called the number and a girl answered. Afterwards ds told me that they had spoken on the phone once, so I now do think that she is who she is saying. I did only now find out that she is only 13 shock.

A big lesson learned here......

I also wanted to say thanks to everyone for your comments.

ChippingInNeedsSleepAndCoffee Fri 11-Oct-13 01:13:53

Well, it's good that it's not an adult preying on children - it's sad it is fast becoming the norm for our 12/13/14 year olds to be doing this (the sending of naked photos).

I would let it all go now. The boys appear to have learnt their lesson, your DS has hopefully learnt a few things and he trusts you... I don't think it's worth breaking that trust & involving the school over something that is over and isn't actually 'out of the norm' for kids these days (sad though that is).

Friday tomorrow wine

BrianTheMole Fri 11-Oct-13 01:19:25

Its great your son felt he could be so open with you. Well done, you're obviously doing something right.

EBearhug Fri 11-Oct-13 01:32:46

If he just ignores all her messages and so on anyway, can't he just block her number?

But I think it's great he's so open with you.

IHaveA Fri 11-Oct-13 01:37:56

Wow, that's awful.

I think you have to involve someone (I would phone the police on the non emergency number - 101) The girls parents have to be told. She is a 13 year old girl for goodness sake shock What if she does this again?

The other boys could have distributed her picture to other people? Surely, this has to be investigated properly and as a matter of urgency. I think you would be very naive if you trust the other boys - even if they have 'promised' that they haven't distributed the photos.

I know your son wants you to take no further action as he thinks its 'all over' but, unfortunately, he doesn't know that and you have to do what's best for the girl too.

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