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DDs friend suicide threats and photos of self harm on facebook

(11 Posts)
londoner01 Mon 06-Jun-11 14:01:28

My DD is in year 6 and doesn't have facebook but a lot of her friends do. She was moaning and I said she could look at their profiles from my account (most parents havent made their DC make the profiles private). I went off and did my usual popping in and out the room while shes on the internet. I came in and she suddenly shut it, I asked her to go and get me something so she had to leave the room and couldnt shut the window without me seeing.
As she opened up the page to close it I saw the flash of her friends profile, she had posted photos of an arm (presumably hers) with self-harm cuts along it, quite severe. I told DD not to close the window but she did anyway, later on I went back through the history and found the profile again. She frequently writes statuses such as 'I am going to jump in front of a car today' and 'no one cares about me I am fat ugly and no one knows what I am going through, tonight I will end this pain'

Other children from the class reply some nicely saying I am always here for you or asking whats wrong. Others (normally the boys) say 'LOL' or 'Go on' or tell her shes attention seeking.

I also saw a full blown arguments between a group of DDs friends over which of them has had the worst life so far (all wanting to be the one who has had the most traumatic past) They are really nasty and unsympathetic and a lot of exageration/lies going on. At the end they all make up and one said 'everyone has good and bad things in their life but its not a competition, its about supporting each other and how much strength we all have to get through things'

I am really concerned and shocked! I thought my DD and her friends were all fairly innocent, didnt know about self harm, or suicide.. I thought they all got along reaosnably apart from the odd normal fall out.

The school theyre at is a reasonably good area, very good school and so (obviously i dont 100% know) but they havent generally had difficult childhoods or upbringings.
The girl writing the sefl harm and suicide comments has a very supportive (from what i see) caring family, much older siblings which may be an influence, but generally a very very good background, she is reasonably popular got a secure set of friends. there is nothing obvious about why she is feeling like this. I dont want to say its attention seeking but I feel it may be.

I havent asked DD about it, but will. But any advice! I feel so shocked, i need to tell someone about htis but feel I shouldnt have been looking at the facebook profiles.

londoner01 Mon 06-Jun-11 14:03:48

Sorry just remembered- the other thing is the tiems the children are on facebook- many at 11 at night, or 5am...

GypsyMoth Mon 06-Jun-11 14:04:08

when my dd's friend was self harming i informed the school. they did actually itervene. they also take fb seriously,so i'd inform them

StewieGriffinsMom Mon 06-Jun-11 14:07:49

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

pointissima Mon 06-Jun-11 14:09:45

Tell the school. It sounds as though a very unhealthy culture is developing amongst the children.

Malaleuca Mon 06-Jun-11 14:48:36

Yes - I think you should take it very seriously, as the other posts suggest. There are many websites with information about the warning signs. I also find it extraordinary that their profiles are not private, which suggests that their parents have NOT got control over their children's FB activity. Recently my (primary)school got a specialist person in to talk to parents about cyber-security. You might suggest that your school provides something similar. Our parents were very pleased with it.

londoner01 Mon 06-Jun-11 15:27:21

thank you, i am off to collect DD now and have arranged to speak to the head urgently.

manicinsomniac Mon 06-Jun-11 23:52:23

How did it go? I definitely agree that you did the right thing telling the school.

On a sidenote I think the school should also know that the children don't have the profiles private. We had a problem like that where I work and the head put on a special seminar for parents about e-safety with infor on how to privatise profiles and why to do it etc. I think it was very valuable.

Although in this case of course, it was a good thing that the child's profile wasn't private!

IntotheNittyGritty Tue 07-Jun-11 02:29:37

I had a similar situation to this once and I reported the comments to the child's parents because I was extremely concerned. The child immediately blocked me and fell out with me (understandable) but it woke up the parents into realising they needed to monitor their children's internet usage.

londoner01 Tue 07-Jun-11 10:03:16

I reported it all to the head, she was very concerned and pleased I had let her know. She said she woulnt tell the girls parents I was the person who rasied the concern. DD doesnt know I reported it all but I spoke to her and she seemed more upset she 'missed out' on all the facebook action! Ive explained to her she can have facebook when she starts her new school, but will have a private profile. She says she thinks its all attention seeking because the girl apparently 'does it' (the self harm) with another girl but I told her to be understanding, not pass any comments or judgement and recognise even if they are doing it 'just for attention' there is something wrong that they need to go to such extremes to get attention. Was impressed by DDs maturity by the end of it..She actually said 'Im glad I dont have facebook, it means Im not involved in the fights and people dont think what theyre writing on there'

unfortunately year 6 are off on their holiday to wales this morning so no action can be taken until next week except monitoring them while theyre away.
The head is fab, shes very professional but on top of things and knows each child. She didnt divulge unneccessary details, just listened, took it all in and explained the seriousness and that they would certainly be dealing with it.
Also told me my DD had accidently called her 24(ish) year old male form teacher 'dad' today!!!..

Hassled Tue 07-Jun-11 10:08:06

Well done for talking to the Head - and your DD sounds lovely.
FB and young kids does worry the hell out of me - DS2 is older (12) and the rule is that DH and I have to be his FB friends, so he is a bit wary of what he writes there. But when I look at his friend's pages I'm often like this shock.

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