11yo DD getting inappropriate messages from 12yo boy(279 Posts)
Need a bit of advice and no criticism please as I already feel like a really shit mum and wonder how I could have missed this.
DD is 11yo. We are in Scotland. She's in the first year of high school and is one of the youngest in her year but also one of the tallest and looks much older. This is a worry for me in terms of how she is percieved and her desire to 'keep up' with her older peers.
She says we are far too strict - we don't let her go to the houses of friends we do not know, we do not let her go into the city on the train with her friends unless an adult also there, we don't let her stay out past a certain time, we have a tracker on her phone, there are certain places she's not allowed to go and we've only recently allowed her to walk home from school.
She's doing well at school - getting good reports, getting results between 70-80% in tests, 100% for music. All homework submitted in time.
But I have felt that she's becoming more moody, more argumentative, blaming me for everything, saying she 'hates school' etc. I initially put it down to hormones, typical teenage behaviour etc. When she moaned I was too strict, I worried that maybe I was being overprotective.
It kind of came to a head last week. We had a big argument about her moodiness and snappiness. Also her eating habits - she's hardly eating anything and I was getting rather concerned. She was also mad because she wanted to go into the city (hour each way on the train) with some friend I'd never heard of before and DD has never been on a train herself before and hardly at all as we have cars. I asked DD if there was anything else going on and she lied and said no.
I asked a few times to let me see her phone and her messages because I was suspicious that maybe something else was going on. Maybe she was being bullied. Every time I asked, she would say "Oh my phone's dead" or she would say hang on, take her time which made me think, is she deleting messages. I even tried sneaking into her room whilst she was asleep to get it only to find it nowhere even though she nearly always had it on charge and in sight before.
Anyway tonight we had another argument. I said let me see your phone. Its dead etc etc. I said okay lets charge it right next to my chair. She then started to cry. Turns out she has a boyfriend! He told her not to tell her parents. Messages her saying not to hang out with x friend or y friend, do you want to skip class and even worse, he sends her sexually explicit messages! DD has not responded in a similar manner, other than a few love yous, miss you etc. She tells me she really likes him!
Obv I went ape shit. Telling DD she is 11 yo, she's not to see him or talk to him anymore, his messages are inappropriate, I will call his mum and the school if it continues, she is grounded for a month, only allowed phone whilst at school (in case of emergencies / sick etc), no more walking to or from school, homework to be done at dinner table not in her room etc.
I did get her to text the boy to get his home number before blocking him, meaning I'm able to call his mum if needs be. He did say before being blocked delete my home number so I think he's worried now.
AIBU to threaten to call his mum if he doesn't leave DD alone? Will I get into any trouble for maybe harassing him? My DH wants to call the police, but this boy is 12, is that too extreme?
I'm devastated. I did everything I could to keep DD safe got told I was overprotective, and yet this still happens. I'm worried there might be more going on that I don't know. I worry that I've let DD down. I worry what else may be to come if this is happening at just 11 yo. She comes from a good home. We've always been open and honest with her about safety, relationships, responsible behaviour etc. I never thought we'd be the kind of family that this happened to.
I'm worried that DD may get bullied now by this boy and/or his friends.
Has anyone been in a similar position and what else can I do?
Wow. 1: I don’t think you’ve been too strict, sounds just right to me.
2: Are you sure he’s only twelve? Did they meet at school?
yes he's only 12. He is her best friend's cousin, DD says.
Yanbu, it's a scary world these days, hence new laws being brought in regarding revenge porn etc. I would make sure 100% that your daughter hasn't sent any compromising photographs, tell her that police forensics can find them if she has. Then you'll have a better idea of what she may be up against in relation to retaliation or bullying by this boy and his friends.
Either way, I'm inclined to go with your husband on this one. The police are trained in these matters, and although she says he's 12, no offence, but she's lied to you already, he may be a lot older.
Did u take copies of the messages before u blocked him?
IMO you have to ring and tell his parents. Not in an accusatory way, but informative so that they can also pull him into line (assuming they will!)
You need to talk to your daughter, let her know that you love and trust her because she doesn't seem to be feeling it and probably craves the attention from this boy. No wonder if you don't let her go on the train by herself and only just started letting her walk to school and don't let her go to friends houses. Yes you have to protect her but you also have to teach her to think for herself.
I haven't been in your situation but oh my I remember being in your daughters at her age. It was awful I was so embarrassed of my strict parents I did crazy things to make people like me and believe I was normal. I never want that humiliation for my children
I would call his parents now, not wait for something else to happen first.
The most important thing you should remember, is that you've done nothing wrong as parents. This situation could literally happen to anyone.
Do you only have her word that he’s 12?
You’re doing all the right things. I’m dreading all this with my dd x
I'd be phoning his Mum and also talking to the school regardless. His behaviour needs to be nipped in the bud right now.
What specifically are these sexually explicit messages?
Sorry, you never thought you’d be in a family where your daughter got a sexually explicit message from a boy aged 12, and she’s 11?
It’s massively wrong and really inappropriate, but was she hiding it for fear of this sort of reaction from you? It seems way way over the top, especially if it is just a 12 year old boy. Hormones are all over the place, she needs sitting down and talking to about how there is plenty of time for this and that having a boyfriend isn’t anything to be ashamed of. Not made to be held prisoner when other than lying about a boyfriend, hasn’t done anything wrong. She didn’t reply back in an explicit way so must know on some level it’s out of order to do.
I would definitely call his parents, they need to help him understand that his behaviour is wrong.
YANBU unreasonable about the boyfriend or the phone, but I do think you're being over the top with the other things.
we don't let her go to the houses of friends we do not know
You will never get to know all the parents of the children in secondary school (especially if you don't let her go to their houses!)
we do not let her go into the city on the train with her friends unless an adult also there,
How would she manage if that was how she had to get to school? Why can't she do that on a Saturday afternoon to be back by teatime? Or in the day in the holidays?
we don't let her stay out past a certain time,
Depending on the time, not unreasonable
we have a tracker on her phone,
Bit over the top. What are you afraid of?
there are certain places she's not allowed to go
and we've only recently allowed her to walk home from school
Over the top. Most parents start allowing that end of Year 5 or in Year 6
Not really surprising she's rebelling. And keeping secrets.
@NoKnit "No wonder if you don't let her go on the train by herself and only just started letting her walk to school and don't let her go to friends houses."
She's an 11 year old child! It's quite clear without your statement to say that you've not been in this position yourself, if you think an 11 year old child can take a 1 hour train journey to another city alone, or worse, with a boy you knew nothing about!
Attitudes like yours are why we have so many teenagers who lack respect, smoke, drink, take drugs and get pregnant! Parents aren't supposed to be "cool friends" FFS!
Do you know him?
I would be really concerned she is being groomed and take that to the police. Let them check if he is 12.
If it's not a boy in her year I too would call the police. This boy could easily be 16. My dd is same age. I would be horrified at the sexually explicit stuff.
He told her not to tell her parents.
I think the way she went along with that shows she really isn't mature enough to deal with having a boyfriend, unsupervised internet access, social media, or a smart phone.
I doubt she can see how controlling he is, or how much of a safety concern it is. I don't think you've overreacted. Hopefully when she's calmed down you'll be able to talk to her about not being so easily influenced.
I don’t think you’re being too strict, but your reaction might have been a bit OTT. You’ve punished her, which will only push her away. Maybe try and work towards her sharing with you naturally... you say you’re open with each other but that doesn’t seem to be how she sees it.
I’d recommend thanking her for telling you this, you’re pleased she has a boyfriend and that she’s happy, but because you care about her, you want to check that he’s who he says he is/that he’s respecting her etc. Make it apparent you’re on her team and equip her to deal with these situations herself, they won’t disappear, they will get worse.
DD has a friend here nearly every weekend and I've been called "the cool mum". I buy them movies on amazon, buy them dominoes and I drop DD at their houses and pick her back up - provided its parents I know. She is allowed to walk to her friends houses, but again depending on who and where. As I said, she's only 11 yo.
I have a good relationship with many parents at the school, mainly those we knew from primary school. It does seem, however, that she's added the whole class to her whatsapp and their text messages to her are also alarming - "why are you not answering me you slag"
No I didn't save the messages before blocking him, I assumed previous messages could still be seen?
You do come across as rather strict with her. Which is likely to make her more secretive towards you? I would start allowing her more independence. if you stop her from doing things with her girlfriends, won't it make it easier for a boy like that to target her?
Talk to the school. His behaviour is coercive and they, along with his parents will need to address it. It's much more common than you think, unfortunately.
I voted YABU not because I disagree with your rules but because of the way you are implementing them.
Ok, calm down. They are a similar age. If that is true! Check!!!
If so-You have his home number. Please ring but be factual. Read the messages out,rather than state she has has explicit messages. Think about how you would feel in their position!
If you are unable to check he is 12.. then you really do have a problem. Go to the police, let them check!
You know you are massively over-reacting and massively over-protective. You must know this. It is entirely normal for an S1 to do things like walking home from school alone, going to people's houses that you don't know - that's high school, that's how it works. If she doesn't know how to navigate the train, show her how to do it! Give her some trust, set some ground rules and open up communication. She has got completely out of her depth with this boy, but the biggest issue is actually that she's kept it secret because she was scared of your reaction. You have to reset your relationship so that she navigates her teen years with your support.
So some simple ground rules like not having your phone upstairs at night - we still do that with our 14 yo. You have the right to check her phone (after all, you pay for it) but don't make a deal of it or do it too often.
As for the boy - you need to talk to her. What does she want to happen? Are the messages really explicit or do you just not like them? If they are explicit then report to school. If they're way out there, report to police. By all means protect your girl - but give her the tools to protect herself!
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