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13 yo and iphone/ social media use. help please.

(27 Posts)
PrittyStick Thu 05-Nov-15 09:39:24

i'm a NC regular

my dd is 13.

she is on the iPhone ALL the time when at home, although we have a strict ban for an hour before bed. and no phones in bedrooms. she will go on it for hours and is grumpy as hell if we interrupt or suggest she does something else.

she's obsessed with social media and chatting to her friends. she agonises about what others think and and how they rate her contributions to instagram.

we have recently discovered that she and a boy at school had been sending potentially unsuitable (but not nude) selfies, but have no way to see exactly what pictures contained. however, the thread read in a worrying way. this has had consequences at school (gossip etc).

we have now deleted snapchat, which she actually suggested as she was so mortified about the selfies.

we obviously had a long, frank talk about keeping her safe and she has learned from the experience and assured us that she has never met up with the boy in question outside school. btw i am convinced that she is still very innocent but has got swept along with the current trend for sending pictures.

however, she has now started to say how left out she feels as others are constantly on snap chat.

i feel so strongly that the potential for this whole social media thing to impact on emotional health of teens. dd has ocd and other anxiety issues, so i just feel that she is the worst type of person to be able to handle this.

dd has no interests other than phone, social media, make up and shopping.

this may be 'normal' but it is depressing as hell.

i am tempted to pay (bribe) her an alluring sum of money e.g. £150 to go cold turkey with all social media. is that crazy? i'm just so desperately sad that she's growing up so fast and see the social media as really toxic (unless you are the kind of person that can handle it well).

advice please, as i'm literally losing sleep over this.

PrittyStick Thu 05-Nov-15 09:40:48

'about the potential'

PrittyStick Thu 05-Nov-15 10:07:33


Sallyhasleftthebuilding Thu 05-Nov-15 10:11:41

Her phone is also her music videos, friends, games, etc. Children have to learn to be responsible, they will be egged on, etc. They also need to see that one pic can go through the whole school in minuets.
Deleting social media isnt the answer, restricting it, talking, and being responsible is ...

Cassimin Thu 05-Nov-15 10:12:39

In hindsight I wish I had restricted the use of social media for my daughter. She did really badly in her gcse's. She spent far too much time on her phone and not revising. There is a large age gap between her and her siblings so I didn't have this problem with them.
Put your foot down, I really regret I didn't.

PrittyStick Thu 05-Nov-15 10:18:05

thanks. she is not being responsible, though. and i am talking. its not working though, sally.

any ideas of how to restrict it? we have an 8 o'clock curfew, but if she's been on it for hours and i ask her to put it away, then she says 'its not 8 o'clock yet' as if she can go on it continually from 4 til 8pm!

we have to have some kind of system that dent involve nagging and constant discussion about phone use.

anyone used time lock or simile technology?

PrittyStick Thu 05-Nov-15 10:18:47

cassimin, im so sorry to hear that. i agree we have to sort this out. but HOW?

Sallyhasleftthebuilding Thu 05-Nov-15 10:28:15

You can restrict remotley .... try this

icouldjusteatacroissant Thu 05-Nov-15 10:31:04

it's a nightmare isn't it. I totally sympathise. my DD was groomed at 13 and if I hadn't found out who knows what might have happened. her phone was with the police for 6 months to see if they could do anything.

the trouble is, they're all doing it aren't they. apparently I'm the only parent who imposes restrictions, and I'm so unfair, blah, blah.

if your DD can't self regulate, as mine can't, you have to do it for her

set the WiFi to turn off at 8 or 9. set it not to turn back on until after she has gone to school. I leave the kids WiFi off until homework has been done.

unfortunately, teen brains are not nature

PrittyStick Thu 05-Nov-15 10:32:15

thanks, sally. thats really useful. i will ask dh to try to help get that set up.

just out of interest, what do people think is a reasonable daily time limit for phone use, for a 13 yo?

icouldjusteatacroissant Thu 05-Nov-15 10:34:44

hadn't finished! should read teen brains are not mature enough to process the info from social media. it is so damaging

strict house rules needed, and stick to them. no phones in room overnight is the main one, and you're doing it already

Sallyhasleftthebuilding Thu 05-Nov-15 10:38:34

The thing is, social media is immediate, no good liking a post three hours later, missing the bun fight which gets deleted, this is why they surf for hours. I would give her an hour after school, wind down, then tea, maybe homework or a game, club etc, then an hour before bed, but try for some interaction away from it.

PrittyStick Thu 05-Nov-15 10:41:27

icould. thanks so much. you are spot on. dd can't self regulate. and we are the only one with rules. blah, blah, blah.

she was so mortified when we found out about her sending (cleavage) photos. and yet when she spoke to her friends, she then decided WE were the bad guys for reading her messages as none of their parents would ever read theirs . it beggars belief!

one main issue is that she is potentially home alone from 4 till 6pm on 3 days per week. how can i turn off the internet if she needs it for homework?

PrittyStick Thu 05-Nov-15 10:43:13

sally, really, 2 hours a night?

Sadik Thu 05-Nov-15 10:57:24

We've got ScreenTime as an app on dd's tablet, with an agreement that she'll self regulate to an average of no more than 3 hours per day, and that if she isn't able to stick to it then we'll turn on the actual limiter on the app.

It does result in a lot of moaning and grumping - but I look at it very much as if she wanted to go out to parties /stay out late - I might let her go but eg insist on a text every so often or to pick her up at 10.30, that sort of thing.

Sadik Thu 05-Nov-15 10:58:49

Should say that in practice she's on it more at the weekends, as she does clubs a couple of days after school and has homework.

If she wants to use a screen for homework that doesn't 'count' towards her screentime, she can use my computer in a shared space.

icouldjusteatacroissant Thu 05-Nov-15 10:59:55

we're with EE, and log in to set WiFi restrictions. have a look at your setup. for now, unplug the router at 8 and lock it away.

legalalien Thu 05-Nov-15 11:09:48

You (or she) might be interested to read this

Google Essena O'Neill, think there was an article in the Guardian about her in the last couple od days - popular Australian instagram identity who at 18 has realised she has wasted the last five years of her life on social media. She's a bit OTT but might make the point to yoyr DD?

MuddhaOfSuburbia Thu 05-Nov-15 11:10:20

I'm loitering here for tips

nothing helpful to add

I have 12yo twins who have just discovered instagram and would be on it all day given the opportunity

as far as I can see it's not bringing much to their lives- just a sense of left-outness (!) and a desperation to keep up with everyone

PrittyStick Thu 05-Nov-15 11:52:01

legalalien, that article has actually made me cry. thank you so much for sharing it.

PrittyStick Thu 05-Nov-15 11:52:44

thank you to sadik and icloud, also.

legalalien Thu 05-Nov-15 12:03:24

You can also see her youtube video at

Inevitably people are accusing her of doing this as a publicity stunt but I think she may be genuine.

icouldjusteatacroissant Thu 05-Nov-15 13:04:36

I've just read the article alien. it's all a bit recent, but I would be sooo disappointed if she's not genuine.

I will forward the link to DD, she won't appreciate it atm, but a little bit might resonate with her. she's another one completely obsessed with getting likes.

CambridgeBlue Sat 07-Nov-15 09:24:33

OP I started reading this and thought I was reading my own post, I had an almost identical thread in AIBU this week. My 13 year old DD is exactly the same. We have similar rules to you - no screens an hour before bed, all switched off overnight etc - but every other minute she seems to be calling, texting, Facetiming, Instagramming and I just don't think it's a good idea.

I'm delighted she's got friends - I know how hard being a teen can be - but like you some of the content of their messages is not ideal (yes I do check them from time to time, I know not everyone agrees with this but at 13 I think it's reasonable). I've seen mild bullying, a lot of sex related stuff and bragging and don't get me started on the sending photos for rates - nothing inappropriate so far but I just hate the idea of asking others to judge your pic and needing likes and approval to feel good sad

It's a nightmare trying to keep track of it all too - so many ways to keep in contact and for others to get at you, I find it all so intrusive. DD wants Snapchat now and I know most of her crowd have it but to me it's just one step too far not having any record of what's sent, and I can't see why she needs it with all the other stuff.

I said on the other thread that I want our home to be a safe welcoming place away from all the crap of the outside world. I know that's impractical and unrealistic but there's no chance of even anything close to that with bloody phones and social media angry.

I don't know what the answer is OP. I am sorry you're having to deal with this too, but relieved to know that other parents worry too, sometimes I feel like the only one - none of DD's mates seem to have any restrictions on their phone/social media, many of their accounts are easily visible and I think DD thinks I'm really unreasonable for insisting on knowing her passwords and setting any kind of limits.

rainbowstardrops Sat 07-Nov-15 10:12:23

I don't know what the answer is either unfortunately.
My DS is 15 and constantly messaging. We also have a deadline of 9pm on school nights and no tec in his bedroom.
Lots and lots of moaning re how unreasonable I am/friends parents aren't like me blah blah blah.
I think he's definitely grumpier when he's been staring at his screen for hours on end.

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