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To take Dd 11 to meet online friend?

(87 Posts)
MummyCool19 Thu 23-May-19 21:19:07

Dd has met a girl on TikTok around 4 months ago. Iv been following their friendship since day 1. She FaceTimes her in the living room etc and Iv heard their conversations. The girl lives in Birmingham and it’s aboht 20 min train ride away. Dd has been begging to meet her so im thinking about taking her. Obviously I will stay with her 100% of the time, but am I crazy for doing yhis😩

jackparlabane Fri 24-May-19 22:00:35

Go with her, and reinforce that by asking you to go with, she's done the mature and responsible thing.

I recall a terrified friend of mine asking for advice about 20 years ago because a girl at boarding school had got access to the Internet and was stalking him, totally hero-worshiping him (he was famous within a very niche field) and when he'd mentioned he was going to be at an event she planned to come too. Given she was 16 and he was twice her age this was never going to look good. I recommended she get a friend to come too, he got a couple more friends, and we tried to convince her he was an ordinary human being with all the embarrassing stories. All ended up as good friends once she left school, but she was damn lucky in her choice of idol! It could have gone badly wrong for her - especially as her parents would never have bothered taking an interest.

NerrSnerr Fri 24-May-19 21:42:07

I was chatting on Compuserve message boards in the early 90s as an early teen. I remember befriending one girl who i exchanged emails with for a couple of years. We both liked watching snooker. The ones I used were crawling with perverts who in those days didn't try to disguise they were grown men hitting on teenagers.

ReindeerTails Fri 24-May-19 20:36:29

welease in theory there's not a lot of difference except online is far easier to connect with people and requires far less effort than putting pen to paper, also the relationship develops much faster (and superficially deeper) because the information can be exchanged at a much faster rate than writing letters and waiting for a response. Also the instant "to and fro" exchange creates a sense of intimacy and can draw out details people probably wouldn't share in a letter where they are generally more careful with what they write.

That's the difference.

Aguamenti Fri 24-May-19 10:51:55

it's like modern penpal and you are supervising it. As long as you go with her it should be fine.

weleasewoderick22 Fri 24-May-19 10:45:43

What's the difference between making friends online and meeting up, and having pen pals back in the day? The parent is going so what is the problem?

CheshireChat Fri 24-May-19 10:24:23

It would be great if you could chat to one of the parents as they'll probably want to supervise as well, but I'm not sure I'd be against the idea really.

I was definitely chatting to strangers on MIRC (is that what it's called) at roughly the same age and was largely unsupervised as my mum simply wasn't tech savvy enough

MummyCool19 Fri 24-May-19 09:34:28

See I was the same! But my mum was an alcoholic and my dad worked away long hours. I spent days talking to randoms on the Internet, and they clearly were older than me! I put myself in such risky situations to meet them. I was constantly seeking that attention I was missing, and because I was badly bullied, it was nice to feel wanted. My parents knew nothing. They weren’t really interested. Our computer was in the dining room and they never bothered to check what I was doing.

I never ever want my children to be like that. So much so I even did a course with Care for the family on Tuesday called left to their own devices.

I’m happy she’s made a friend she can talk too.

Whatareyoutalkingabout Fri 24-May-19 09:02:03

I think that it would really be great for your relationship with her. She will see you as open, trustworthy, and be able to come to you when she wants things and know she can talk to you and you'll try to understand her point of view. My mother said flat out 'no' to everything when I was a child/teenager. She was incredibly strict and would never budge. I couldn't talk to her, because she wouldn't ever listen to or care about my reasons for wanting to do things and would just say no. As a result I felt angry, disrespected, and like I had nobody I could talk to or trust because my mum was inaccessible to me due to her strictness. I ended up doing literally whatever I wanted but behind her back - she didn't have a clue. I have loved to have a mother like you who would be open to things and support me and understand my feelings! You'll be there so she will be safe and it will teach your daughter that she can go to you and doesn't need to try to sneak around.

Citygirl2019 Fri 24-May-19 08:26:43

I have done similar with my dd over the years, so I would say 'yes' Yale her.
My dd and I now have a very open and trusting relationship as a result d continues to ask before meeting people.

At Easter she wanted to meet friends she had been talking to in London. They had arranged to meet in Hyde park. Myself and dp went with her we strolled round the park and watched from a distance after the initial meet up. Once I was comfortable it was safe we went for a coffee etc.

My point is she could of snuck off and gone alone. She didn't because she knows if she talks to me I will support her and find a solution for her to go.

Op continue to be keep communication open. Listen and support her if it's appropriate. I honestly have a lovely relationship with my dd, we actually enjoy spending time together (not just meeting online friends).

nwybhs Fri 24-May-19 08:13:42

I've seen numerous posts on MN where parents have no issue with this.

Oh me too, but they are not the same people that ha e a problem with their child using 13+ apps at 11. There isn't a drawable comparison. 'Some people are much worse' is a pathetic argument that people use over and over on Mumsnet. Judge each situation on its own merit. When discussing 11 year olds meeting people from the internet; how many people let their under 18's drink alcohol is totally and utterly irrelevant.

SandyY2K Fri 24-May-19 08:07:58

Who the hell happily ancourages under age drinking/smoking /sex?

I've seen numerous posts on MN where parents have no issue with this. Often saying "I used to drink/smoke/have sex myself at 14"

I've also noticed it as a general thing when DD was invited to parties in school before she was 16. My experience is that a lot of parents had no issue with this. They were present and aware.... but here's the crazy thing ... it's not illegal to give a child alcohol in the UK from the age of 5 to 16 in the UK on private premises. How mad is that.

When a poster in a recent thread was talking about getting her 14 year old on the pill because she has a BF and can be careless... most responses supported this.

So I'm not saying every parent is like that, but back to the actual thread... I think the OP has been very responsible, by monitoring from the get go and supervising a potential visit of another child her DD has been facetiming....

OP... I'd give the friendship longer to develop and as I previously mentioned, I'd want to talk to the other girl's DM.

EverybodysTalkingAtMe Fri 24-May-19 07:04:25

My DS met a friend online at the age of 14 and played multi player games with him consistently for years.

At the age of 18 DS passed his driving test and almost the first thing he did was drive to meet his friend at the friend's home in the Netherlands.

They had a lovely time and are still firm friends now - they are both 22.

SparklyLeprechaun Fri 24-May-19 06:58:13

I wouldn't, it's not a good lesson to teach her. Also, if you do decide to take her, at least make sure you protect yourself by contacting the other parents first, otherwise you'll be the weirdo who meets children found online.

Rubberduckies Fri 24-May-19 06:44:07

I think it's a good idea to model how to safely meet people you've met online. So many people are idiots as adults because they just don't think.

Lots of people online date now and it will be important for your daughter to know how to be safe.

Make sure to explain the steps you are going through together and why. Letting someone else know where you're going, meeting in a public place etc etc

Pinkyyy Fri 24-May-19 06:37:47

You need to speak with the girl's parents first.

kmc1111 Fri 24-May-19 06:34:56

My step-son was chatting in various forums beginning in 92-93. He would have been 9-10 then. I remember he was particularly fond of a palaeontology board where he was chatting largely with what turned out to be many very highly regarded palaeontologists. We got many invites to attend lectures and have private tours of exhibits and he later got a few internships out of those connections.

It was a cool time for the internet if you had any sort of niche interest, as you could almost guarantee the chat boards for that interest would be loaded of real experts who were delighted to talk to enthusiasts.

He also made a ton of friends his age, and when he was older and starting to travel he had a friend to stay with practically everywhere he wanted to go (many stayed with us too).

I think the early 90’s was a pretty polarised time as far as the internet. There were a lot of fairly regular people who’d been using it in some capacity for years at that point, and then there were plenty of others who’d never even touched a computer yet. I’d say maybe a quarter of my step-sons irl friends back then used the internet like him. By 95-96 it would have been more like half.

speakout Fri 24-May-19 06:09:10

On the 13 age restriction.. what makes me laugh to those making a big deal about it... is the number parents that happily allow/encourage under age drinking...under age smoking... under age sex... and you make a fuss about this. ..Really?

Who the hell happily ancourages under age drinking/smoking /sex?

No parent I have known.

Snakelight Fri 24-May-19 02:24:10

I'd talk with the other child's parent (probably sensible if they attended) and have the meet up in a public place. With basic precautions there's no real risk.

ReindeerTails Fri 24-May-19 00:46:32

My DD is 12 and personally I wouldn't do it.

m0therofdragons Fri 24-May-19 00:43:09

Nope, nope, nope. Why are you allowing your 11yo to do this?! Google Tiktok danger and you'll see the articles from this year come up (see screen grab). blush

nwybhs Fri 24-May-19 00:32:48

On the 13 age restriction.. what makes me laugh to those making a big deal about it... is the number parents that happily allow/encourage under age drinking...under age smoking... under age sex... and you make a fuss about this. ..Really?

I never facilitated any of my now adult DC to do any of those things. I was quite pro active in teaching them to respect that ratings and restrictions were in place for a reason.

Quite odd if you to think people don't allow under 13s to use 13+ apps but allow them to drink, smoke and have sex though - what even makes you think that would be the case?

SandyY2K Fri 24-May-19 00:30:04

Pp are saying the other girl is a stranger...yes she is...but if her mum supervises the trip, it will soon be obvious if there's a problem.

They've been facetiming...very different to online chat where it could be an old man pretending to be kid.

I would like the friendship to be longer than a few months before meeting up though.

On the 13 age restriction.. what makes me laugh to those making a big deal about it... is the number parents that happily allow/encourage under age drinking...under age smoking... under age sex... and you make a fuss about this. ..Really?

The OP has monitored the friendship from day 1. She's allowed this safely under supervision and it's rather unfair to make out she has been irresponsible here.

nwybhs Fri 24-May-19 00:28:24

I was just really surprised because I was 15 in 1993 and thought I knew it all blush

BoomBoomsCousin Fri 24-May-19 00:23:19

LimeKiwi it doesn't have to have been mainstream for a few people to have had it though, does it? One person said they'd found a friend this way and lots of people jumped on board telling her she couldn't possibly have. But she most certainly could. I used bulletin boards in the UK as a kid in the mid 80s. There were other kids on there on the right boards, Quite a lot from the US. It's not at all beyond the realms of possible just because it wasn't mainstream.

Skittlesandbeer Fri 24-May-19 00:18:08

Depends on the maturity of the child (yours) in my opinion.

Some 11yos would certainly take this experience and make dangerous assumptions: that minimum age limits don’t apply to them online, that all internet contacts are positive, that meeting online contacts alone is the same as meeting them with a parent. That’s some pretty bad precedents, right there.

On the other hand, I know some 11yos with very screwed on heads. Who could easily take in the difference in this situation compared to dangerous ones. Kids who could carry this off, as a one-off, and in fact emerge more conscious of cyber safety than their peers. As a parent I’d be weighing up the benefits of having my DD spend lots of time online with this one mate, rather than wandering more aimlessly around the internet. It’s a full-time bloody job policing the games (which add chat rooms without warning angry, etc). This relationship might actually prevent other online situations developing. But it’d be a carefully made decision, based on knowing my child very well.

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