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sensible Instagram (and other social media) boundaries for 13 year old dd?

(11 Posts)
ninja Wed 25-May-16 12:38:40

My relatively (so I thought) DD1 (13) has been on Instagram for a couple of years.

At first she was always quite proud that she kept it pretty private, didn't let anyone follow her who she didn't know etc. In fact she got a bit bored of it and didn't use it for ages.

I've recently found that she's started another account on there which is linked to fangirl stuff. She posts about Harry Potter, Doctor Who, Supernatural etc! However, ... she follows and is followed by a LOT of people that she doesn't know. I looked through last night and it all seems pretty harmless. I also found out a couple of more worrying things

1) she's given her phone number to some people she doesn't know and has spoken to them (about fangirl stuff). I've told her that she must not do this and if people try to contact her she should speak to me or her Dad.

2) She's offered to edit people's fan-fiction - so they've sent her files via e-mail. I've only just found this so haven't spoken to her about it yet. I will need to talk to her about computer viruses as well as the obvious don't give details to strangers

3) She's got involved as an admin on a small Instagram LGBT site and has posted a relatively personal video on youtube which is linked to there. It doesn't give her full name, where she lives, but does publish her Instagram name. I was alerted to this by the parents of a friend who she sent the link to.

I found this last night and I haven't spoken to her yet. I've e-mailed her Dad as I would hope we could have a joint approach on this (although by past attempts to talk about matters of welfare I'm not hopeful).

I also wonder at 13 what is the norm? I've seen a lot written about younger children but it seems to accept that teenagers will chat to strangers online.

I also want to be careful for a couple of reasons. Firstly she was a really unhappy girl at primary, not helped by the separation of me and her Dad but also friendships etc. She's a lot more settled at secondary but her behaviour can be quite difficult.

Secondly, her Dad favours her massively over her sister and indulges her. He keeps telling her that she can go to live with just him when she's 14 (it's 50/50 contact at the moment) - I've found out the full extent of this from his ex. I'm the one who checks that homework is done, doctors stuff, tries to instil healthy eating habits (she's overweight), insists that I know the password to her phone ... If I come down on her like a ton of bricks I risk losing her and then she'll have no-one checking these things.

Sorry it's so long and any advice welcome!

Oddsocksgalore Wed 25-May-16 19:04:35

Instagram, Facebook and the like are not places for a 13 year old child.

ninja Wed 25-May-16 21:58:19

I don't think that most 13 year olds would agree! 13 is the age limit on these things and she has a phone which can access so I'm not going to be able to ban her. I just need to be very clear about boundaries.

Oddsocksgalore Wed 25-May-16 22:20:48

if she has an iPhone change the ID and delete apps on her phone, she won't be able to download them.

HandyWoman Wed 25-May-16 22:27:46

I think the best guidance on this is that banning them isn't the way forward. But talking openly about boundaries and risk and referring kids back to their safety lessons (all kids have them) plus monitoring activity is the way forwards. Point out is and isn't acceptable and get her to implement boundaries and you monitor. You can't do anything about her Dad. Try not to think about that. You'll be the bad guy but although they may rail against it kids know ultimately who is looking out for them.

ninja Wed 25-May-16 22:33:04

oddsocks it's pointless, her Dad will just allow her to access and I'll have no chance of keeping an eye on what she's doing!

Thanks HandyWoman I have been speaking to her and as I say she's a normally sensible girl who believes she's acting in a sensible manner. She says her Dad has spoken to her too so he must be worried!

I'm not kidding when I say I need to step carefully or I'll lose her - that's a real risk. It doesn't mean I don't have boundaries, but I do have to carefully pick my battles.

I have been monitoring and I don't see any sign of her doing anything inappropriate apart from what I've mentioned - but that's enough.

I guess I wondered if most 13 year olds had 'friends' online who they don't know etc

Oddsocksgalore Wed 25-May-16 22:38:21

Does her dad know that she has given her phone number to strangers?

Unlikely that he will support you if he's telling her she can live with him at some point.

Does your daughter know about online danger?

IslaSinga Wed 25-May-16 22:45:08

I don't allow my almost13 year old to have Instagram or Facebook for these reasons. You said you Dd's had it for a couple of years, which is definitely too young. She doesn't seem to have a good idea about Internet safety - are there any courses you could do help with this?

SavoyCabbage Wed 25-May-16 22:47:50

I don't think it's 'more worrying'. I think it's really very worrying and giving people you don't know your phone number and your email address and then speaking to them on the phone is the reason dc shouldn't have social media.

Not that I know the answer and it's all so difficult to navigate.

Some twelve year old girl in Wales changed the email,address on her Instagram to my email address recently so I had access to her account. What you could see was very normal stuff. Photos of her pets and selfies of her and her best friend. In an attempt to find Her to give her the account back, I went into the messages and it was horrifying. Loads of messages about how she should kill herself and that everyone hated her. She didn't know who they were from. I couldn't sleep after reading them and they weren't about me. And I'm not twelve.

newworldnow Wed 25-May-16 23:00:31

You have to do the right thing. No 13 year old should be on social media. You are neglecting your duty as a safeguarding parent to allow her. She's too young to set boundries for herself that is why you are her parent.
You need to explain this to her in a friendly caring way.
Do not be cowed by what the dad would do.
13 is not really a teenager is it? Effectively she is in control if you allow her to carry on because you fear she will go to her dads. Be strong.

ninja Wed 25-May-16 23:15:09

Clearly I am worried hence posting here and she's been told that passing on her details is an absolute No.

All her age group here are on Instagram though and I'd rather teach her responsible use rather than banning her. A ban is pretty pointless when I can't monitor what she does at her Dad's. Maybe that can be a threat though.

I'll ask around other parents. Maybe I can contact the school and see exactly what has been said there.

She does know about online danger, I think she's just excited that there are lots of people out there that are geeky like her!

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