Inappropriate Texts(3 Posts)
Am a single parent. DD is 13yrs, very happy at school, very sociable although not much sign of any academic work getting done.
She has a good relationship with her Dad (my exh) and sees him regularly.
On Sunday I was aware that she was using the BBM on her mobile a lot and for some reason I checked her mob when she went to bed. I found porn photos and dirty texts from a boy of a similar age. From what I could see DD hadn't encouraged but hadn't tried to prevent him sending them either
We spoke the next morning and her mob is currently confiscated. I am not too sure what to do now. Does anyone have any experience or thoughts regarding this? From talking to her, she is aware that the texts are inappropriate but isn't really bothered about them either. She is also annoyed (embarrassed that I've told her Dad) and is refusing to talk to him about it.
I work as a youth worker (actually just down the road in Chester) and have found incidents like this increasingly common amongst young people. From talking with young people i believe one productive approach is to ask them what are the motives behind someone sending these messages. For example suggesting your DD ask herself "why did he send them? What was his aim? Was he trying to shock me, attract me, encourage me to make some for him, was it very clumsy flirting or something else". I have seen all of the above reasons given by young people.
I think young people are starting to build up thick skins online, the world throws sexual images and content at young people constantly. This is not a justification for what happens but it may also explain her attitude of not appearing bothered by the texts/images. If she knows the boy well she may see it is harmless banter, him trying to promote a reaction. Not as something aggressive or dangerous. Her perception of the incident can be influenced by a number of things.
I would encourage you to think about confiscating her mobile. Did she do something wrong? Is it a clear expectation that she should tell you every time she encounters anything rude online? She may feel like she is being punished for something she didn't do. If it is confiscated to protect her will you be giving it back or is this a permanent ban from phones? I'm not sure that is enforceable in the long run.
I would suggest its also worth double checking with her that she is aware of internet safety, does she know the basics like not giving out personal details online. Double checking she knows that someone may be pretending to be a similar age. She may be fully aware of these topics but it is worth double checking. CEOP has some great resources.
Finally I would also suggest speaking to the school (maybe once things have calmed down) to ask what they have in place in regards to online safety, sexting and sexual content/porn. Schools should be covering these topics to back up the messages of safety you can deliver at home.
Absolutely fabulous advice. Thank you. You echo a lot of the conclusions that I have come to. In the past few days I have also found that she has been building up a relationship with "someone" in a teenage chat room. I am totally convinced that this person is an adult male. I am horrified by what might have happened if I hadn't snooped but realise that I can't police her every movement.
I am and will constantly make sure that she is aware of the dangers that she is putting herself in. I realise that her reaction to the texts is that they are acceptable banter. I've left her in no doubt that I don't share her view and hope that she will think twice in future. We've talked about the chatroom and she is aware that she has been very lucky.
I can only hope that by talking sensibly and firmly to her that she will think twice in future.
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