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13 year old daughter and social media(21 Posts)
Hi all, I'm sure this is old news to some but I would really value other people's experience here to help me.
My elder daughter who is 13 was found recently to have sent pictures of herself to a younger boy via Snapchat in July. It came to light after the boy confessed to a teacher. After a very long and supportive conversation daughter said she was relieved to have been 'found out' so she could get her feelings off her chest. We discussed boundaries, safe behaviour etc (the OH was v. supportive and we really worked well as a team) and reassured her that we love her and mistakes happen, it's how we resolve them that matters etc.
Clearly, we removed all social media from her phone and said that after a period of trust building she could have them put back on, as we saw fit. She agreed and said she was glad this had all been removed.
Since then, she has attempted to get SC and Instagram on every device in the house; we have removed them and locked down passwords etc. Again, tears and 'so sorry' from daughter.
Last night I found intimate pictures on my WORK ipad, which she had managed to get into (she opened up a Google +picture account and forgot to sign out and close it down again).
She said that she was not going to send them to anyone, but wanted to look at herself and explore herself and her body.
Again, keeping calm, we discussed safe ways to explore sexuality at her age, and the risks of google clouds being hacked, and the risk of exposure - and of course we discussed female role models and sexuality in this modern internet age.
However, I am completely melting down this afternoon and wondered if anyone has advice on how to cope and to help our daughter? thank you xxx
I'm n9t sure I am going to be much help apart from saying I would come down like a tonne of bricks at this point.
It was on your work ipad. If that came to light you could be facing a disciplinary at the least. It would take some explaining and in this current age you could be looking at an investigation and possible Jon loss with restricted employment opportunities.
This would be followed up (given there is a back story and she isnt listening) with a complete ban on her using any Internet type device or having a phone.
Yes it'll cause murder but she sounds like she needs to have it rammed home just how serious the consequences of her actions could be.
As above really, I'm sorry, what a nightmare
What are the 'safe ways to explore sexuality' at 13 that you discussed with her?
my ds is 12.
He is obsessed with his phone, and would be very upset to have it removed.
BUT something about this does ring right, what I mean is, most kids would be desperate to access their snap chat, talk to their friends, get their phone back, but the first thing she does when she has them is to take naked photos?? That is the bit which seems strange.
I am wondering if there is more to this than she is letting on. Is she being pressurized into this by someone else? Is she struggling generally with body image and accessing the size zero sites? It seems to me that there is more.
Btw, to have images of kids with no clothes is a criminal offense. To send one or to receive one is too, so you need to be sure this isn't happening from any of your devices.
It sounds like she is not busy enough or is craving social contact with peers.What are her relationships like at school and outside with both genders?
I regularly overhear local schoolgirls of her age discussing the pressure from boys at school to send topless pics.These boys can be very manipulative but there are likely to be other factors in her giving in to their demands.Good luck getting to the bottom of all this and it must be very hard
LookAtMeGo: we talked about using information we've given her (eg a very good book on these issues written for young people) and how she should feel able to masturbate and explore her body privately if that is what she is feeling -
Florriesma: we talked and pointed out at great length how this could have affected me -she was shocked at the problems it would have caused. I favour a complete ban - the OH is more reticent.
Steppemum: I agree: i think there is much more going on with body image and size zero than she can articulate at the moment.
I agree there may be something deeper going on here. Have you considered having her see a counsellor?
I think a complete ban is the only way to go here. Firstly for her safety, in case she is being coerced by someone, and secondly because you could have lost your job for having images like that on work equipment, and sending those images to other children is an offence, and she needs to understand how serious this is.
lisa - there are some sites which look at celebs with their make-up off and pre and post airbrushed pictures. It may be worth talking about how fake the images we see are and having a look and some of those??
Just thinking about body image and so on. If she is determined to photograph herself, then it would be better to let her with a non internet device (camera) rather than her misusing your work i-pad.
It really won't hurt to do a complete ban for eg a month. It will get the message across about how serious it is, and it will break the cycle of whatever she is into if she can't access it for a few weeks. Her friends could always call her on the landline
It is such a hard age isn't it? One minute so young and the next jumping ahead of themselves 10 years.
Does oh realise he would also be under suspicion as the adult male in the house, would that alter his opinion on a ban. I agree it couldn't be a permanent ban
Are the school aware of what's going on? Could you enlist their help if they aren't?
Everything VimFuego101 said, basically. This must be so horribly alarming for a parent, OP, hope you're holding up okay.
I think she might still be holding back some information from you OP.
She tried very, very hard to get those pictures onto social media. Why?
Did she send them to someone. Why?
Is someone blackmailing her? Or otherwise influencing her?
Those are the things I would focus on.
This link may help you OP
Does your daughter know it is an offence to send an indecent image of a child/herself? Obviously nobody wants a child to go on a sex offenders register but it has happened in rare cases. Would that deter her? She is incredibly vulnerable to sexual exploitation because she doesn't know where the images of her are, who might get hold of them and use them against her. Keep the lines of communication open OP - keep talking to her
You must seek support and advice from the NSPCC, a child psychologist etc, to get to the bottom of whatever is fuelling the very disturbing behaviour of your daughter. What you've done so far hasn't worked and continuing will probably yield similar results.
This is very serious OP and your OH appears to be at best, clueless.
OP, I wanted you to feel less alone so will share my very similar story to you.
I did the same thing when I was 15. This is more than a decade ago now, so while we had a computer at home, we didn't have smart phones, or at least they were uncommon.
I got involved in forums and chatrooms (equivalent these days would be various apps I suppose). I developed a 'relationship' with a man who was in his late twenties/early thirties. Looking back now, it's sick. At the time, I felt very 'mature'. I was precocious. I took 'sexy' pics of myself (although not explicit), either using the family computer webcam, or in a photobooth and scanned them. I also lied to him, making my life seemed more dramatic than it was.
My parents found out and removed internet and the computer from the house. I just went to an internet cafe instead. Finally, it ran its course. It was just a phase. She is probably thrilled at this new found power she has in the form of her changing body. There are also similarities between me and her in the sense of neither she nor I had our birth fathers around (you mention your 'OH').
It's most probably just a phase. What worries me is how much easier it is these days to transition from the online to real life, as I said, what with apps, etc.
I think it would be irresponsible of you not to put everything on lockdown. Change the WiFi password, remove her phone, physically lock away devices. I was also sent to a psychologist, which helped.
As much as I love aspects of it, I'm sometimes of the conclusion that the internet should never ever have been invented.
Isetan, it is disturbing behaviour to adults but is it what a lot of teens do, therefore to them 'normal'?
I think I would be more concerned by her continued making and sending intimate photos despite your intervention. You say she sent a pic to a younger boy, was it completely unsolicited to him or are they 'friends'? Everything has to be taken into context. If she is in a relationship with the boy as disturbing as it is for you it is different to sending intimate pictures to strangers or people she has little or no relationship to.
I would imagine two main reasons why she would do this :
1 She's being coerced or blackmailed by someone. This would explain her seeming desperation to continue, because she is afraid of what will happen if she stops
2 She has discovered that she can post these pics and receive validation from men/boys about her "hotness" which she may see as giving her worth as a person. This option is more likely if she has low self esteem, and especially if she has ever been teased or bullied about her looks.
I would suggest a therapist, for which you will need to pay privately to get prompt help. Either that person can then support her to tell you she's been coerced, or they can help her to find other ways to validate her self worth.
Of course there may be other reasons but those are the two that occurred to me.
Your dd needs specialist help asap, I agree with contacting the npscc. Your dd could potential be charged with distributing indecent images of a child.
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