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Disappointed in DD and feel It's my fault.

(55 Posts)
Privacygif1311 Mon 11-Nov-19 22:38:57

I check my dd's (13) phone now and again. She has always promised to not to upload photos of herself on Instagram. Not only has she started to do this but they are provocative poses in tiny tops, teeny dresses. I was hoping that she would have more self respect and avoid this, in favour of building a healthy self esteem by nurturing her intelligence or sporting achievements. I work in a school and see that she is more like the shallow vain girls who often get into trouble.
We are very very close and I love her dearly but am struggling to accept this side of her.

I will talk about these images and the way she wants to present herself. Is there anything else I can do? Is there anyone whose DD has not gone down this social media path? I feel like I have failed in some way and she is seeking validation because of low self esteem.

Drinkciderfromalemon Mon 11-Nov-19 23:02:45

Mine (y9) hasn't, but I dont think that is helpful! Unfortunately this is the world young people are exposed to and teenagers in particular just what to assimilate. Have the chat and keep checking her phone - this is part of navigating the minefield that is growing up.

Ozgirl75 Tue 12-Nov-19 00:38:42

It’s tricky - does she have low self esteem? I only ask because although I am middle ages now, I can totally imagine that I would have uploaded pictures of myself as a teen, not because I had low self esteem but because I was pretty and thin and a bit of a show off.
Equally if my parents had said “think about how you’re putting yourself out there, you have lots more going for you” and also made me think about future employers, I probably would have stopped. All I mean is, it isn’t a sign of some huge character defect, sometimes it’s just a girl showing off and liking people saying she’s pretty.

Bluerussian Tue 12-Nov-19 02:13:38

What Ozgirl said. Your daughter was dressed, op, what's the problem? I'm sure there is a lot more about her than just looking good but there's nothing wrong in having the confidence to know you look good.

Winesalot Tue 12-Nov-19 06:43:23

I am very conscious of keeping watch with my own DD of same age. I look at many of her school mates who are posing provocatively in bikinis, teeny dresses or crop tops. It is all about copying the celebs, trying to fit in isn’t it? It is hard to build the self esteem issues when the stereotypes are all about ‘showing off your best side’.

It is one thing taking pics pulling these poses for fun among a small group of friends. Pics to laugh over but not distribute. putting them on line is a completely different thing even though privacy might be set up properly. I make sure the girls she takes muck around shots with know not to put them on line even untagged.

My DD is quite aware of this culture on insta too. I have been talking to her about the fakeness of an insta/fb. About how people have developed mental health issues on both sides. Those who spend hours ‘getting the right shot or look’ and needing that dopamine hit from getting likes and the lengths they go to get them. (and these kids are starting early) And those who feel they never measure up. She gets it.

At school she feels like she never fits in because she doesn’t fit the stereotypes. And of course there is all the gender specific issues that come with that. I think self esteem is so very hard to build and maintain.

Also, I would also check the ‘stories’ on Instagram as the term girls I know use mostly that now too. They also post a pic but delete it within a day or two so there is only one or two old ones up. (If you miss it you don’t know it’s been up mum) But you probably know this working at the school.

I would say blaming yourself isn’t going to help either of you from my experience . This culture is so pervasive now because Instagram and fb means anyone with a phone can copy the famous people getting attention.

Perhaps keep focusing on building that esteem other ways as you are now. Definitely keeping the discussion going is imperative. Particularly about mental health and the need for ‘insta’ validation which I am sure you are doing too.

You are certainly not the only one. I share your worry and many other parents do too. I am watching this thread with interest too.

Savingforarainyday Tue 12-Nov-19 06:46:49

Perhaps it's not a "side of her" - rather, it's a phase.

AmIThough Tue 12-Nov-19 06:52:28

You haven't done anything wrong OP. Some girls do these things, some don't. I don't think it's anything to do with the way she's been raised.

Girls can be pretty and smart - they're not mutually exclusive.

The only thing I would say, though, is why are you buying her clothes you don't feel comfortable seeing her in? At 13 she's old enough to make her own choices but young enough for you to put your foot down if she picks something inappropriate.

Winesalot Tue 12-Nov-19 06:53:46


There are other issues that start creeping in with posting images on SM that aren’t just about ‘looking good’. hmm I am sure you are probably aware of it if you have teenagers at the moment. Or maybe you aren’t aware.

That is without even talking about the inappropriate attention and grooming aspects.

I am sure working at a school OP has seen many of these issues when it becomes about more that looking good. So is working to make sure her DD has a healthy and fun relationship with SM.

LucileDuplessis Tue 12-Nov-19 07:03:12

I have a 12yo DD and I think perhaps you are expecting a bit too much of your DD. I think you need to recognise that a blanket rule of "don't upload any pictures to social media" is, while sensible, a strict rule. You are expecting her to be different to the vast majority of her peers - that's a tough ask for a teen!

I'm a feminist btw, and I want my DD to value herself for her intelligence and her sporting achievements just like you say - and I believe that she does - she's very bright and hard working and plays lots of sport. But I don't think this is incompatible with this behaviour. (Obviously, if she was topless in the photos my answer would be different!)

GrumpyHoonMain Tue 12-Nov-19 07:06:06

Where is she getting the clothes from? And why is it okay to wear teeny clothes in RL but then not post photos on Instagram with them? Your SM messages are confusing

user1374384 Tue 12-Nov-19 07:06:46

I think internet use (Youtube mostly) and social media is far more detrimental to mental health of teens than society thinks. Suicide and self harm ideation at the worst of it, and vanity selfies and narcissism at best. My nearly 13 year old is not allowed any unsupervised internet access at all after some dark thinks I found being targeted towards her last year. The things I see her friends posting keep me up at night. We have a teen mental health crisis and more parents need to be proactive with these issues and say no to social media/smartphones to children.

Winesalot Tue 12-Nov-19 07:07:04

can start creeping in.

Kiwiinkits Tue 12-Nov-19 07:10:54

I just want to chip in and say that any parent of kids 8-12 that hasn’t read Teen Brain by David Gillespie should read it. He explains exactly why social media is addictive to girls (in particular) and how SM use sets up neural pathways for life. It’s scary stuff and as parents we need to understand it.

Slappadabass Tue 12-Nov-19 07:11:42

For a start I wouldn't be telling her your disappointed and I wouldn't be so harsh about it, that's only going to push her further down that path. She's only doing what she sees daily, I agree it's a sad reality.

Sit her down, explain about grooming and the seedy side to the internet, about revenge porn (its worth warning her just incase) don't sugar coat it, tell her the truth and hopefully the reality will help her make better choices.

PlanDeRaccordement Tue 12-Nov-19 07:11:59

My teen children do not use SM to post photographs of themselves. They do use it, but post photographs without people.
But then I never posted pictures of them either. I thought if I told them don’t post pictures of yourself, it’s not safe it would be hypocritical of me to have posted pictures of them from baby times on.
It would have been a “do as I say, not as I do” situation. Since it is a “do as I do because of good reasons” I have not had any issues.

LucileDuplessis Tue 12-Nov-19 07:15:37

Who can see these photos? Does she have a closed account so only her friends can see them, and do you keep an eye on her friends list? To me this is more important than the photos themselves.

Oopsy41 Tue 12-Nov-19 07:28:39

My daughters 14 and doesn't have any social media at all but she is definitely in the minority. One of her friends who's lovely post theses pictures but is nothing like that in real life and spends her life in hoodies and leggings. I suspect your girl is just trying to fit in which is what most teenagers want to do but I can completely get why you're not happy with this. I would explain to her why your not happy with this and try to come to some kind of compromise that you're both ok with. My son has a private instagram account but he is friends with his dad on it and it's checked everyday, he knows how we feel about it so he will delete things himself if his mates put anything inappropriate on

SoupDragon Tue 12-Nov-19 07:38:29

Your daughter was dressed, op, what's the problem?

Seriously? You think provocative poses are fine as she had some clothing on? Blimey you're naive.

Privacygif1311 Tue 12-Nov-19 07:39:51

Thank you for the messages. I will definitely read that book.

Amithough They are her t-shirts she has tied a knot in or friends clothes or in a changing room in a clothes shop. She does understand and accepts there is a compromise to be had over clothing, she is still very amenable but she has obviously learnt how to get round this by adapting her own clothes or using someone else's.

Booboostwo Tue 12-Nov-19 07:48:04

I think you are both BU and NBU.

I think you are Bu to be focusing on her clothing choices and poses. The only way she can learn that it’s her body and her choice what she does with it, is if you teach her that and treat her that way.

What would worry me about social media is the exposure to other people who may bully, criticize, cajole, or pressure her into behaving in ways she shouldn’t. It opens up a world of criticism which is not usually available in day to day interactions.

Booboostwo Tue 12-Nov-19 07:49:05

Sorry I know this is Chat, I wasn’t intending to turn it into an AIBU slagging fest, just used BU/NBU as a figure of speech.

Cuddling57 Tue 12-Nov-19 07:49:16

Firstly it's not your fault! Secondly don't be too disappointed with your daughter. It's a hard world to grow up in with social media and trying to fit in.
I would speak to her and discuss both your boundaries. She wants to put photos up - ok but they need strict privacy controls and no provocative poses/clothes. I think a complete ban will just see her hiding it all from you.
My ds says no one talks about the positives of social media. This doesn't apply to provocative poses though!

multivac Tue 12-Nov-19 08:01:38

I work in a school and see that she is more like the shallow vain girls who often get into trouble

Here's a crazy thought. Maybe that's because those "shallow vain girls who often get into trouble" are also ordinary kids with parents who care about them and sometimes wonder if they've got it wrong. Rather than some other species.

Winesalot Tue 12-Nov-19 08:02:08

I think part of the issue though is that there is still a competitive edge to the getting of followers even with privacy settings. My DD talks about her friends doing ‘shout outs’ to get more followers so they get friend requests.

SM can be positive. But it really has many real negatives so I guess that is what is talked about. We are only beginning to understand impacts on kids using it the new era. I have noticed myself as a heavy SM user for work, the powerful influencer era that has built in past three years.

Mine is not allowed to post selfie images with her face for privacy reasons. After seeing selfie after selfie from her friends, that selfie pull was so strong but she then got bored of their posts and is more interested in other types. Her friends still do though. OP maybe the shine will wear off with her as well.

I find hilarious pics of her pulling duck faces on my phone where she leaves little surprises. So she gets the opportunity to pose all right!!!

PurpleTreeFrog Tue 12-Nov-19 08:03:46

I agree with others that the clothes and even the photos are not the problem, social media is always potentially problematic at this age though. It does depend how 'locked down' her account is in terms of privacy and how many friends she has on there. Hopefully no strangers.

I remember being between 13-16 and wanting to flaunt my body more. I felt like I was changing from a child into a young woman and I wanted people to see that. Being in frumpy, baggy school uniform all day, especially as I was very petite and slim, made me feel shapeless and childlike. I was very keen to wear tighter fitting clothes when I wasn't in school uniform, so that people could see the 'real me' and so that I could feel stylish and have more of a visible identity. I took photos of myself and shared them with my friends on MySpace or whatever we were mainly using back then - I forget now! (Early 2000s)

It's not that I wanted to do it to attract men or anything sexual. It's hard to explain but I'm sure those feelings are normal at that age. I am not generally a superficial person but the teenage years are probably the peak time for being shallow and appearance-oriented. So I think it's not a reflection on her on your daughter's personality as a whole that she wants to do these things.

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