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Desperate for some advice... It's regarding my son (who is 12)... Anyone?

(250 Posts)
somewhereoverthere Fri 06-May-16 21:40:17


I literally have no one to talk about this to... I'm just desperate for advice. I can't find much info online, but came across here.

My son has a laptop, his dad brought it for him (we are recently divorced) and I was never keen on the idea. However, it has a been a big help for homework and my son uses it a lot to Skype with his dad, who he only sees once a month - that's a whole other issue.

We have some controls on there - as much as I could possibly find, I spent a lot of time Googling, etc. and things have been going okay.

However, he does use Skype to talk to his new friends, from high school. They all have it, apparently, and it's good if you don't have FaceTime, which he doesn't. He has been taking his laptop to his room a lot, which I have tried my best to discourage. However, he complains that it gets to loud downstairs when he is trying to work (I have 3 other children) - 8, 6 and 4. Also, the younger one does constantly press the keys, which I then get a bad attitude from my older son (the one I have talking about). So I have just let him take it up, he gets his homework done.

Everything has been working out okay, I haven't really thought much of it.

However, he was crying in the bathroom for about 35 minutes, something which was very odd, so I ended up getting him out of there, for him to just break down in my arms. I gave him a cuddle and asked what the problem was, he got angry, stormed away and said he just couldn't tell me.

I later get a knock on the door from 2 of my son's best friends, who live in our village (they don't go to his school) and asked if they could speak to him and I tried to explain that he was a bit upset and asked if they might know if anything has happened recently. They looked at each other in a really weird way, I was then panicking and admit I raised my voice a bit at them, they said I should ask him and left with a bad attitude, because I shouted at them (not really a shout, but a raised voice). I now feel really bad about this, but cannot sit and worry.

I went up and told my son who I had just saw and for him to tell me. He starts shouting about how this man is unfair and how he is going to be in so much trouble and how sorry he is and how he is packing all his bags. I tried to get him to calm down; he then grabs some pain relief and says he might as well just take them all. I snatched them and just told him to tell me and tried to explain that I would sort it.

He then was explaining how he did something really stupid online. That this person said that he was a 13 year old girl and said that he knew (a friend of my son's name) and he had told her to add him. However, he wasn't actually that person, etc. etc.

My son then explains how he showed on his webcam and it was a big mistake and was literally sobbing with tears - I tried to calm him down and was trying to say that I'm not mad at him and we can sort it and we will report it and all that.

He then goes on to say how it isn't possible and all his friends have seen an image of him naked and they all laughed at school today and everyone knows and have been sending it all around to everyone. He says that everyone has been nasty and printed posters out of this picture, but he was saying that it was at his after school club so no teachers or other years know yet, but how they will on Monday and how they will post it all over Facebook (my son is not on Facebook) etc. etc.

My son is literally in hysterics. I have no idea how to help, I am trying to say that it will be okay, but really, I don't know if it will? It sounds awful, I just don't know what to do or say, or whatever. I'm just lost and need some advice. He is cooped away in his room, crying and screaming. He has lost the plot.

Please can someone here just give me a little advice? Please, I'm absolutely desperate.

BillSykesDog Fri 06-May-16 21:44:11

Police. Contact school urgently. Is there a way you can contact someone from the school as an emergency out of hours?

How awful. All you can do is support him, does he have good friends at school who will stick by him?

Stickerrocks Fri 06-May-16 21:45:33

It's a criminal offence to share those kind of pictures. You must try to make your son understand that it is not his fault and anyone sharing the photos is doing something illegal. His school and the police should be able to help you.

MinnieF1 Fri 06-May-16 21:45:37

Sorry to hear your having a difficult time. Your poor son must be very upset/embarrassed.

You need to contact the school first thing on Monday morning, as distributing pornographic images of a minor is an offence.

I remember something similar happened to a girl in my school (social media wasn't big then but we had picture texting etc.). Everyone forgot about it eventually. I think putting on a brave face and acting like he doesn't give a shit will soon make the bullies very bored (much easier said than done of course).

If you don't want to wait until Monday, there is the option of contacting the police of course. Does he know who this 'girl' really was? (A school friend or a stranger etc?)

NotSayingImBatman Fri 06-May-16 21:46:32

The poor boy, that's awful.

I'm not sure what can be done if he's sent a naked picture to someone pretending to be a girl. Once these things are on the Internet, nothing can really be done to get them back.

Tell his teachers so they can be aware of any bullying that may result and have a firm chat with him about not being so stupid in the future, but in the meantime he's just going to have to style it out.

SouthPole Fri 06-May-16 21:47:23

Police are hot on this. They'll take it from there. I'm so sorry op. Best of luck to you and your boy and do keep us updated.

Stickerrocks Fri 06-May-16 21:48:50

Please contact or the nspcc may be able to help.

RobinHumphries Fri 06-May-16 21:48:52 may help.

Storminateapot Fri 06-May-16 21:48:54

Call the police. This is a crime. Poor lad.

If you have an email contact for a teacher you trust at the school then try sending an email marked urgent. Many teachers pick up emails on their personal phones now so you might be able to get some kind soul to respond over the weekend.

Meanwhile keep an eye on him. It's a temporary sensation, but he feels like the world has ended.

noschooll4mee Fri 06-May-16 21:49:36

Oh this is awful for you all. Am I right in thinking he was duped by peers and not an adult ? I would firstly contact his father and decide how you want to approach this .
I would actually contact the police (not using 999) and seek their advice . I would also contact the school or be there at 8.30 Monday morning. Please don't become involved with your dons peers or their parents. It's very hard to tell a young boy that this will pass but I do think someone should be held accountable here .

PacificDogwod Fri 06-May-16 21:50:59

Please inform the police and your DS's school.

Here's advice from CEOP

Your poor DS, what a horrifically hard way to learn about internet safety.
I hope he will be ok and things are not as bad as he fears.

Oysterbabe Fri 06-May-16 21:51:03

You must call the police.

Howaboutthisone Fri 06-May-16 21:51:08

Definitely get the police involved. This person got your son to do this at all- that's not on. That they did it by claiming to be something they're not- even worse.
I'm so glad that he was able to tell you and that you're able to help him with this. That allows you to limit what he has to face.
Definitely also speak to the school as a matter of urgency.

Storminateapot Fri 06-May-16 21:51:46

Also - can you contact the friends who came round, if you feel they were coming to check he is ok/offer support? Apologise that you sounded angry, you now know what it's about - he's not doing so well, ask them to come & see him tomorrow.

Only if you feel it was a genuine offer of friendship though & not malicious.

Amy214 Fri 06-May-16 21:51:51

Call the police and school immediately, if hes still really upset on monday maybe keep him off for the day until you get a chance to speak to the school properly?
All you can do is be there for him, hopefully it dies down very quickly for him.

gingergenie Fri 06-May-16 21:52:17

Oh op your poor son. My eldest is that age and I constantly worry Something like this will happen to him. He must feel desperate. He needs to calm down, and work out who this person was, and who has shared this info, then as others have said, contact the police and the school. I hope he is ok. And you.

DontFeedTheDailyFail Fri 06-May-16 21:53:13

think u know its a police department site aimed at children and parents

You can report the person pretending.

You can get support.

A CEOP volunteer gave a fab presentation at a local school today. It opened my eyes and have said they'll do further work with the school and pupils on online safety, cyber bullying and grooming.

DixieNormas Fri 06-May-16 21:55:47

call the police

gingergenie Fri 06-May-16 21:56:46

Here's a link to something very similar to what your son is going through. I hope it helps. Watch it together Perhaps. My heart goes out to you both.

TheBouquets Fri 06-May-16 21:57:44

I am so sorry to hear about the distress your 12 year old is in and it must be very upsetting for you too.
I am not sure but I think this is possibly considered to be grooming. If not that it is definitely cyberbullying. I think the only people who could trace who the person was who pretended to be a 13 year old girl are the Police. I think it might be an idea to discuss it with Police even to see what the exact position is. Your son was coerced into doing something which is wrong by a person imitating a young girl. He is terribly upset with it all and I think you must be too. Is there any chance that you could contact his dad, would his dad be helpful or create more trouble?
Or you could phone your local out of hours Child Protection Team or NSPCC for information and advice.
I am so concerned about your son's statement that he was going to take pills of any description because of all this. You really need the help of professionals in the computer stuff to trace back who got your son to do this. I think you would also benefit from having a professional person to support both your son and you.

CurlyhairedAssassin Fri 06-May-16 21:57:51

I think if I were you I would be keeping a very close eye on him just in case he really does see it as the end of the world and tries to do something silly to himself, or run away. In fact I may even ask if he wanted to sleep in with me tonight. He needs his mum and a tonne of reassurance. He is still very young.

Oysterbabe Fri 06-May-16 22:00:30

I'd also keep him off school until some action has been taken. He might feel better knowing he doesn't have to go in?

timeforheroes Fri 06-May-16 22:00:37

Definitely contact school. Students have talks about exactly this sort of thing and the legalities of sharing images in school, police come in to school to discuss the consequences of sharing photos such as this. There are consequences and the school and police will follow it up, individuals will be dealt with, as they should be. There will be designated people within school that you can speak to, their responsibility will be to report it. Sadly, situations like this happen far too frequently.

Your son made a mistake, one which I'm sure he has been warned about, however the culpability now lies with those who have distributed the image. From what you have said, they appear to have set him up, pretending to be someone else to obtain the image. This adds further malicious intent to the gaining of the image and it's subsequent distribution.

My heart goes out to you and your son, I hope you the school deals with it appropriately and swiftly.

timeforheroes Fri 06-May-16 22:03:09

Also, can you back up the laptop, make sure he doesn't delete any of the message threads if there are any. I know you said it was via Skype, but there is a chat facility on there too I believe.

nopel Fri 06-May-16 22:05:43

Police definitely. Contact the school Monday and explain what's happened. So sorry this has happened, how very stressful for you all. I would see if he wants some of his friends round over the weekend to cheer him up but agree, keep a close eye on him.

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