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So sad for my 5yo DD after chatting to my 14 yo DN

(94 Posts)
Readysetcake Sat 13-Feb-21 00:26:56

My niece is 14 and has been filling us in over a family zoom about what goes on on her social media- basically dic pics and getting asked for pictures all the time. She says her and her mates troll paedophiles for a laugh and that all this started around age 10 in year 6. In year 8 one of her peer group sent in her words “hoo ha” pics to a boyfriend that the got sent around the whole year. 13 for fucks sake.

This has made me terrified and so sad for my DD 5. She’s so innocent and trusting it’s made me feel a bit sick to think in 5 years or less more likely she will be exposed to all this shit.

I know I can’t lock her away but that is what I feel like doing right right now. Googling Amish communities. I feel a bit guilty for her having her knowing she will have to navigate this bullshit world sad

OP’s posts: |
TaraR2020 Sat 13-Feb-21 01:22:02

I think I'd alert the school tbh. What do her parents think?

Definitely not ok.

Readysetcake Sat 13-Feb-21 01:36:31

Her parents just laugh it off and think it’s ok because she says she would never be foolish enough to give anything over online. Her father was there and the whole conversation was quite jokey. I do think she is old for her years and wise to it all, so I’m not concerned she would be groomed or anything. But I do find it very depressing. Is this the reality for most 14 yo and we just don’t realise it because not all are as frank as my DN?

OP’s posts: |
Honeybobbin Sat 13-Feb-21 01:47:54

No. This is not the reality for most 14 year olds. I'd be very, very worried about your niece.

Misericordia Sat 13-Feb-21 02:02:55

The thing is there's huge variation between people of the same age at any age. Age 10-14 kids aren't all doing that. Some are, but many aren't hanging round with people who do that. Hopefully your dd will have better taste and judgement

ThatsGoodCakeLove Sat 13-Feb-21 02:04:19

I think a lot of MN will be unaware of how common this is. When I was in my early teens my friends and I would join chatrooms and take the piss out of random, often very desperate men, it was all a good laugh but very inappropriate. Things were different even just a decade ago, we didn't exchange any real images of ourselves, it wasn't the done thing and I don't know of any friends who would have done anything more than a quick flash of her bra on a webcam. I was very computer savvy so knew how to make sure my parents wouldn't find the conversations. I'm afraid it probably is the reality for a lot of teens, best thing you can do is be as open as possible I suppose.

BeanieB2020 Sat 13-Feb-21 02:05:25

That's not the norm and if I were you I'd be worried about your niece, not your DD. She's being exposed to things she shouldn't be and it's definitely not the universal experienced.

RoxanneMonke Sat 13-Feb-21 02:08:40

Definitely not the norm. Agree with PP you should be more worried about your niece than your DD

chipsandgin Sat 13-Feb-21 02:10:00

Not normal at all - if anything I’d have safeguarding concerns for your niece. I say this as a mum of a 17 year old DS who has thankfully avoided that kind of shit so far. I do find social media really fucking disturbing & it is a massive cultural shift (especially for those of us who grew up before mobile phones & the internet..).

However dick pics at 14, trolling paedophiles, sending graphic personal photos etc are all thankfully rare and sadly dependent on peer group & probably a lack of parental control/involvement and influence.

Mostly though the kids are a product of the environment they grow up in, which thankfully OP you still have influence over now and for a while longer. This will be the deciding factor in whether your little girl goes in the direction of your niece (not nieces fault at all, just circumstance presumably).

This is an article which explains what I’m trying to say far more coherently: www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4777050/

It’s not a forgone conclusion - the culture your niece is describing is a reality for some now, but it is by no means the only way. There are nice kids and nice environments around.

Also all teen generations in the last century or so have faced their own challenges. The late 80s/early 90s were brilliant, but we were flashed at on a regular basis, rape wasn’t taken very seriously, mental health problems didn’t exist (I.e weren’t recognised, acknowledged or treated) so they often led to awful outcomes. Homophobia, racism and sexism were rife and commonplace to the extent that they were normalised and laughed off and people still used offensive terms for anyone with any mental or physical disability freely and with no comeback or judgement. You are just describing the evolution of this shit.

We didn’t get ‘dick pics’ we just saw weirdos wanking at us in real life. We didn’t ‘troll peados’ but our mothers did tell us that when men exposed themselves to us in the park we should ‘point, laugh, make a disparaging comment such as “I’ve seen bigger things crawl out of an apple” and then run (my sister & I have laughed about what on earth we would have done had we pointed, laughed and ran but forgotten the put down....maybe run back say it & then run again!?).

We didn’t send pictures of our genitals to other people (it would have cost a fortune in Boots and the pocket money wouldn’t have covered it..) but an early conversation about that will help your DD, to avoid it as sending them screams low self esteem/the need for external validation.

What I am saying OP is that the world can be and always has been a shitty place - it’s up to you to give your DD high values and expectations, to establish clear boundaries and communication & do your best to make sure the people who become ‘her people’ are decent and kind and strong. You’ve got plenty of time as your DD is only 5....over to you.

TaraR2020 Sat 13-Feb-21 02:11:41

ThatsGoodCakeLove

I think a lot of MN will be unaware of how common this is. When I was in my early teens my friends and I would join chatrooms and take the piss out of random, often very desperate men, it was all a good laugh but very inappropriate. Things were different even just a decade ago, we didn't exchange any real images of ourselves, it wasn't the done thing and I don't know of any friends who would have done anything more than a quick flash of her bra on a webcam. I was very computer savvy so knew how to make sure my parents wouldn't find the conversations. I'm afraid it probably is the reality for a lot of teens, best thing you can do is be as open as possible I suppose.

I do agree with you, but I also think it raises questions about her safety and whether she's ever come off badly here. Or if her peers have. There's also the peer pressure effect.

I also agree that there's not a lot that can be done as to the peer group.

If, op, your dn is old for her age and her parents are aware then I don't know how much you can do but id certainly want to keep an eye on the situation.

And yes, depressing and terrifying. But this youngest generation who are coming of age also seem to be so much more autonomous about themselves and their sexuality and unafraid to call out toxic behaviour so it gives me hope.

GrumpyHoonMain Sat 13-Feb-21 02:13:18

Readysetcake

Her parents just laugh it off and think it’s ok because she says she would never be foolish enough to give anything over online. Her father was there and the whole conversation was quite jokey. I do think she is old for her years and wise to it all, so I’m not concerned she would be groomed or anything. But I do find it very depressing. Is this the reality for most 14 yo and we just don’t realise it because not all are as frank as my DN?

It is the norm at the moment and you should be learning from your DN and her parents about how to parent so your daughter can be as open to you. I have no doubt she’s done things they aren’t aware of but stuff like not sending naked pics of yourself to anyone needs to be drilled down at the same age as you have the personal space / body conversation. My DN was 6 when she was first asked for a nude pic on a game chat which we all thought was secure with a few kids from her class and I’m incredibly internet savvy - we have the sort of relationship where she immediately let me know and so I removed her and let the parents of the other girls know too.

PeggyHill Sat 13-Feb-21 02:18:21

I was a teen around the time the internet kicked off and me and my friends would go on dating websites, be very upfront about the fact that we were underage, and collect all the dick pics we got and share them with each other so we could all laugh at the gross old peedos and make fun of their penises and the stupid things they had said to us. Fortunately nothing ever came of it.

I'm certainly not proud of it. Makes me cringe now. But I don't necessarily think this is such a new thing?

thecatfromjapan Sat 13-Feb-21 02:19:03

Not the norm.

Especially because they will know about situations where it all goes pear-shaped.

Dd is researching on-line communities at the moment for her EPQ - it's been a fascination for her for a long time and works well with luck-down - she says this is definitely an internet thing but rolls her eyes at the idea any of her mates would do anything so daft.

user643289 Sat 13-Feb-21 02:20:49

I did that at her age.

It was the norm for us.

Eekay Sat 13-Feb-21 02:31:13

I think some parents would be shaken to the core by their kids' online behaviour and persona.
Unless you know how to properly monitor their devices and history, you'll have no clue.
Sime parents are simply not as tech literate as the kids.
How many parents can even find, identify and access all the apps on their child's devices?
I've found that the average 11 yr old can hide a plethora of online activity very well.
My experience (professional) is that kids are communicating with people you don't know, accessing porn before leaving primary school and I know kids as young as 14 who've developed online gambling problems.
Despite all the awareness campaigns, cyberbullying is still rife.
Kids are bullied and coerced into sending pictures and videos.
The gaming world is a particularly popular place for telling other kids to kill themselves. Often by people who've lost money gambling on the outcome of a game.
I think many adults wouldn't believe the messages I've read, typed sometimes by kids barely into adolescence.
Every time I think I can't be shocked any further, I am. It's hideous.
And most of the kids I know are from "good" homes with "nice" parents who think that vile online behaviour is "not the norm".
These parents have talked to them about online safety and set rules and boundaries. They've had whole classes at school about it.
It's absolutely depressing and frightening.
I haven't actually come across any parents like OP is describing who are laughing about this stuff. I find that mind blowing.

thecatfromjapan Sat 13-Feb-21 02:31:14

The thing about sending nude photos, etc. - I'm surprised your DN is doing that at 14. She'll have had it drummed into her at school that you risk police involvement if you're caught with pictures of another teen on your device.

In both DD's and DS's peer groups this has happened, usually in the first year of secondary. And everyone knows about it. And it's a complete mess. And it kind of acts as a Terrible Warning to the others.

And, yes, I think what your DN is doing is a safeguarding issue.

thecatfromjapan Sat 13-Feb-21 02:38:31

Sensible post from chipsngin.

MixedUpFiles Sat 13-Feb-21 02:40:17

My 11yo has a phone and she is online, but I can assure you she has not encountered any dic pics. We are careful about where she goes and who she communicates with and regularly monitor online activity. Her friends parents have similar policies.

Mummyoflittledragon Sat 13-Feb-21 04:11:44

My dd is 12 and some of her friends are curious about sex in a very innocent way. Right now, dd isn’t. I’m sure she will be at some stage.

One of DD’s friends was introduced to a paedophile grooming site dressed up as a kids chat site via another friend. This friend then showed the site to my dd and their mutual friends. Some of the children thought it hilarious and naughty but didn’t understand the implication of what they were seeing and continued to go on it both to chat and probably to look at the paedophiles. I have no idea if they interacted with these men as there was a sexually explicit video portion (people wiggling their bodies in various states of undress) on the site and an interaction portion.

My dd isn’t interested in such stuff but one of the others showed the site to younger children. The children then alerted their parents and this is how I found out about the site. Much as dd wasn’t interested in the site, she didn’t see the need to alert me. This triggered a safety on the internet not just for yourself but your friends talk.

I could well understand that if at 12 children are doing what i described above and their parents didn’t stop them or monitor them, they could be paedo hunting by 14. In their mind it would perhaps be seen as a way to reek revenge. This is why it is important to be talking to your child about cyber security.

My dd is pretty honest but you can never say never. Another of her friends, who is 13 is not and had an innocent Instagram account as a dud then made a second and ended up in contact with a guy, who sent her dick pics. Her mother is tech savvy and found the account very quickly. But what if she were not?

Your niece sounds pretty clued up. But this doesn’t make it right. I’m actually horrified but at the same time could well see how this has happened. Her parents don’t appear to have properly safeguarded her. It doesn’t have to be the same for your dd.

JoeWicksSurvivor Sat 13-Feb-21 06:47:37

@Eekay what advice would you give parents?

catfeets Sat 13-Feb-21 07:09:44

I guess a lot of the disgusting behaviour has just moved online where it's easier to hide your identity.
We couldn't afford the internet or mobile phones when I was a teenager so thankfully I missed out on that (I'm 35).
I unfortunately did encounter disgusting blokes perving on me from being very young. It's crazy to think that less than 30yrs ago, men were openly pulling their car up at the side of a main road to tell a 7yr old how beautiful she was and no one ever intervened.
As a teen my friends had boyfriends who were anywhere up to 30. They thought it was cool shock, especially the ones who were with married men. It didn't seem to worry them that they were only a few years older than the blokes' kids either.

The stats on online grooming are so worrying and when I had my daughter last year my heart sank knowing what shit she's going to have to put up with.

Eekay Sat 13-Feb-21 07:11:32

@JoeWicksSurvivor
Hope this link works.
www.saferinternet.org.uk/advice-centre/parents-and-carers

Landlubber2019 Sat 13-Feb-21 07:19:11

I am surprised by the "not the normal" comments tbh!!! I would very much say depending on the child, most kids will be sharing or viewing some type of media that as parents, we take a dim view upon. I doubt my eldest child is engaging or engaging in such risky behaviours but he hasn't spoken to any friends since school closed and isn't a gamer. Youngest is a different kettle of fish and absolutely will need monitoring heavily 😭

Thatwentbadly Sat 13-Feb-21 07:24:21

I’m a secondary pshe teacher. Yes some of this is normal or some student in the same way drinking or abuse it is the norm is acceptable for some students. It doesn’t make it acceptable or not a safe guarding concern.

You need to make sure you have open lines of communication with your child and discuss these things as they get old.

I would be reporting the paedophile trolling to niece school safe guarding team.

Graciebobcat Sat 13-Feb-21 07:29:35

It's definitely not normal.

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