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Concerned about porn on playdate

(22 Posts)
CrazyforCrochet Mon 01-Jun-15 21:22:28

I've had a text from my daughter's friend's mum asking for her to go to their house for a play-date. Trouble is, my daughter (11) says that this friend has access to unsuitable internet stuff on the tablet and computer in her bedroom. (We don't allow our daughter to use a computer or tablet without supervision.). This mum has also shown her daughter (also 11) sex-education videos and also shown her how to use condoms. I do not know this mum well - only small-talk at the school gates occasionally. We haven't wanted to really encourage this friendship as this friend blows hot and cold with my daughter and also because my daughter gets worried about the things this girl says - that an 11 year old shouldn't really know.... but my daughter really likes her and wants to go on the play-date. We are not keen at all, but if I say we are busy this week, she is just going to ask for next week, etc. What should I do?

HagOtheNorth Mon 01-Jun-15 21:24:58

Sex education isn't porn. hmm
Turn down the playdate, you have very different ideas about what's OK. Have a playdate somewhere neutral outside the home.

CrazyforCrochet Mon 01-Jun-15 21:41:28

I'm not saying the sex education video is porn, I'm saying my daughter's friend seems to have access to unsuitable stuff on her tablet and computer in her bedroom. Therefore my daughter could see it too. The impression I get is that the mum does not seem to monitor what she looks at.
It's just tricky turning down play-dates though isn't it? They may have a play-date somewhere neutral, but at some point they will want to have play-dates at each other's homes. Have other mums had experience of something similar? How have you managed it?

Spidergirl2015 Mon 01-Jun-15 21:43:45

Could you not just say she can go but ask the mum not to allow unsupervised access to the Internet!

CrazyforCrochet Mon 01-Jun-15 21:58:01

I could try, but I don't know how much notice she would take - she seems very laid back and liberal about that sort of thing. I just feel like I'm still taking a chance. Trouble is, once they have seen these images you can't un-see them. sad

Heartofgold25 Mon 01-Jun-15 23:18:08

I would make my excuses and bring the children back to my house, where it is possible for you to monitor what is happening on line. When you are invited back there are a hundred reasons why you can't ~ and I would slowly but carefully side step the issue. If she is laid back about internet access, she is unlikely to be persuaded otherwise. My feeling is my children and their innocence is too important to waste on one single playdate. An invitation with the queen would not sway me in this regard.
Some parents are incredibly lazy when it comes to monitoring internet access, and the risk is theirs, and not yours. Stick to your guns and look after your child.
PS I taught my girls the facts of life at seven years old, it is NOT the same as viewing on line porn!!!!!!! FGS

Heartofgold25 Mon 01-Jun-15 23:20:57

Mental health, relationship issues, crime, rape, and more I could go on can begin from access to porn at an early age, why on earth would any parent allow it to happen in their home.... No way...springs to mind. No monitoring, no access. Simple.

Nicky898 Mon 01-Jun-15 23:25:33

You need to put your worries to the mother and gauge her reaction. She is not going to change her values but if you are tactful she may at least be honest with you about them and disclose how 'liberal' she is. My daughters at that age were capable of understanding my (parental) caution about allowing them to go freely into a situation where they might be exposed to information or experiences they would rather avoid. This even though they liked the friend. Only you know your own child well enough to make that judgement and unfortunately it is the lot of being a parent you have to bight the bullet and make that call. You must keep faith with yourself and your values: there is no middle way!

Iggi999 Mon 01-Jun-15 23:29:21

She may have no idea what her dd is viewing - if, indeed she has been looking at unsuitable images rather than just having the opportunity to do so. I would think such a young girl choosing to look at porn would be a red flag from a child protection point of view - is she over-sexualised, or did she just follow on from her mum's educational stuff with a search of her own?

HoneyDragon Mon 01-Jun-15 23:30:19

I'm confused how do you know all this and know that the eleven year old is watching porn?

Heartofgold25 Tue 02-Jun-15 08:53:37

Crazy ~ was also wondering who on EARTH shows their eleven year old how to use a condom???? I am sorry but this is way too much, way too soon. I would listen to the warning bells that you are clearly experiencing, also friends at this age share everything, so whatever your dd's friend is watching/learning will be shared by all of the children in her friendship circle....which does put you in a rather difficult situation. I still say no to the playdate, I just would not allow it, perhaps suggest going to the cinema instead or out for pizza. It is such a shame our children's childhood is being cut short like this because of the grubby side of the internet.

BeaufortBelle Tue 02-Jun-15 09:07:04

I'd be a bit careful about being too aghast. Your daughter might stop telling you what happens when she's out and about.

The friend's mother does sound inappropriate though. Can't you get tickets to something age appropriate and take both girls to that and swerve the next invitation. Meanwhile having some chats about appropriateness with your dd.

I'm also a bit confused about the "playdate" references at 11. Are they still at primary or secondary? They won't be having play dates for much longer and your control is about to dilute hugely.

All you can really do is set boundaries at home so your children know what is right, wrong, good and healthy as they grow up and develop independence. To be independent in a good way you do have to teach them about stuff - so they are empowered and mature enough to say no when the time comes and not go with the herd.

The couple of girls my dd was friendly with at 11 who had mums who both laid down the law over facebook, etc., both had facebook accounts in alias names and were much more risqué and daft than those would have firm boundaries but a bit of freedom within them.

CrazyforCrochet Tue 02-Jun-15 14:21:28

Thank you all for your replies and advice. It's just a difficult situation to be in - our mother's didn't have these sort of problems to cope with! If I went to a friend's house we would just chat and play, now it's a whole different ball-game. It's a minefield really - you can monitor internet access in your own home, but when they go to someone else's you do not really know what is going on. I will somehow have to tactfully raise the issue with the mum. I know from what my DD has been repeating that this girl has seen some shocking things - but I'm not sure whether at her own house or someone else's. I am careful not to react too much when my DD tells me this because I don't want to stop her confiding in me. I hardly see this mum so have not had a chance to raise it, it's a difficult situation. Since this friend has been repeating these things to my DD she has been anxious about it. She knows it is wrong, she says she wishes this girl (and some others also) would stop talking about 'rude things all the time' - it makes her worried and anxious. We talk openly about puberty and she is very confiding. Luckily she is a sensible girl, she is still at primary school and I realise that she will be wanting to do her own thing more in the future. She knows what is in-appropriate and not. But she is only 11, she shouldn't really be aware of some of the things she has told me - that she has repeated from the girls at school. I get the impression that it's not just the one girl that is aware of more than she should at that age. It's very worrying - those innocent years go all too quickly as it is. I read the other day that 70% of boys have viewed adult content by the time they are 12 years old and with girls the figure is 50%.

Flingmoo Tue 02-Jun-15 14:55:51

who on EARTH shows their eleven year old how to use a condom????

We were taught how to use a condom in sex ed aged 11/12 - in year 7. I remember the sniggering as it was a girls school and we were all given this massive plastic willies (basically they looked like really crap dildos) to practice with... grin We had to do it again at GCSE age, I also recall the plastic willy supply dwindling more each year... hmm

seaoflove Tue 02-Jun-15 14:59:49

I'm saying my daughter's friend seems to have access to unsuitable stuff on her tablet and computer in her bedroom. Therefore my daughter could see it too.

You seem to be making a lot of assumptions. Just because you think she has unsupervised access to the Internet, it doesn't mean she's watching porn.

So, do you know she's definitely been showing your daughter unsuitable stuff, or not?

CrazyforCrochet Tue 02-Jun-15 15:20:53

Seaoflove - I'm not making assumptions - she has told my daughter what she has seen - it is porn.

She has not shown my daughter unsuitable stuff because she has not been to her house on a play-date.

Iggi999 Tue 02-Jun-15 17:47:22

If my 11 year old was viewing porn and another parent knew and didn't tell me I'd be mightily pissed off.
If you really think the parents are ok with this, contact the school and say you have heard these things and are concerned. It is a child protection issue, you shouldn't sit on this info though I suspect you will.

fellowship33 Tue 02-Jun-15 22:16:38

Hideous situation. I would not let my dd go, and would make one excuse after another to the mum. Have done this with a couple of my dd's friends because I was worried about supervision (nothing as bad as porn though).

fourchetteoff Tue 02-Jun-15 22:22:13

Sounds like a really tricky situation, and also reinforces why I am positively Mary Whitehouse about kids having screen access in their rooms which can be unsupervised.

The sex ed thing is fine - my DD knows about all of this and she is your child's age (although I've skimped a bit on contraceptives because I think her head would melt. We just about struggled through the section on 'why masturbation is perfectly fine' in the book, without her dying of embarrassment!)

But if a kid was mentioning porn things, I would be going to the parent and just gently mentioning it as a 'heads up, thought you would want to know this, no judgements etc'. Depending on her reaction I'd decide if further plat dates were feasible.

Heartofgold25 Wed 03-Jun-15 08:11:34

Mamumuska ~ year seven being shown how to use a condom? What school does that? Age 11/12?? It is called rape when a child of that age is involved in sexual activity, I do not believe a school would positively reinforce the sexual abuse of children by legitimising and showing the children how to have sex safely. I would expect to see this kind of education from year nine onwards at the earliest.
There is one thing teaching the children about sex and babies, there is another thing entirely supporting children having sex at this age by providing them with a visual instruction manual!!
My kids would be out of that school that is for sure, totally unacceptable.

mathanxiety Sun 12-Jul-15 01:16:20

Schools in Scandinavia include instruction on proper condom use as part of sex ed beginning at a very young age. It is not sexual activity. It is not child abuse.

I think your comments here are ott, Heartofgold.

I would talk to the school abut the sort of conversations that have been going on, and the topics that have been discussed amongst the students. Does the school not conduct sex ed or social ed classes? How about internet safety?

I would also have a word with the safety officer of the school regarding the fact that the friend has seen pornography and that there is apparently no effective parental safeguarding going on in her home.

I would do my best to scupper this friendship, partly because the girl blows hot and cold towards your DD. Wrt the matter in hand, I would not allow my child to go to the home of the friend. Since they are still friends, I would have the other girl to your house, but I would plan on finding more like minded girls to be friends with your DD and try to get her to dump those whose parents don't take their DDs' safety seriously.

proudmummy2004 Thu 23-Jul-15 11:59:32

I would be very wary of phoning the social services and causing distress that would be brought with that. I have known this to happen before and it has done far more damage that was supposed to have gone on in first place!! I do see where some of you might feel calling SS is necessarily but think until there is actual proof or if you feel this girl is in danger (either mentally or physically) I would not go down that route. If you really feel you have to call SS, I think you have to let the mother in question know (IMO).

Some kids do talk the talk - perhaps this girl has heard things from older siblings/relatives but uses her Mum as excuse, it does happen, have heard it myself. Or perhaps she just gives it the large one. She may google stuff herself but could know how to delete history or whatever, so if her Mum did check, she might not realise what her daughter is looking at. These days kids are pretty techy LOL and can be sneaky. I don't always check what my daughter is up to but then have a panic few hours of scanning everything in case I have missed something.

Difficult situation - I would not know what to do. I would playdate on neutral ground and perhaps get to know the Mum a bit more, then perhaps tactfully try to bring up and see where land lies? Everyone parents different and whilst we might not agree with this Mum being over liberal, perhaps this was how she was brought up so knows no different?

Just my opinion x

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