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17 year old daughter with online boyfriend.

(40 Posts)
dechecho Thu 04-Feb-16 11:46:16

I've just discovered that my daughter who has just turned 17 has an "online boyfriend" who she spends an awful lot of time texting him, facetiming etc.

It came to light because we saw a phone number that we didn't recognise coming up a lot on her itemised phone bill (we pay for the phone contract). My husband (who is very protective) phoned the number and asked who it was. The guy wouldn't say but my husband panicked because he thought it sounded like a much older man, not a teenager.

The reason we are worried is that when she was 14 we discovered she had been "sexting" very explicitly with an older American teenager and maybe other guys as well. At that time we took steps to steps to stop it, but when she was 16 we decided we could trust her and let her have an iphone.

We've told my daughter what we've discovered and she promises that the guy is only 16 and that she isn't doing anything wrong. However my husband at the moment is very angry with her and has taken away her phone and ipad.

I don't really know how to move forward from here and would love to hear people's opinions.

Should we just accept that as she is 17 now it's up to her who she talks to and what they talk about? It just seems weird to us, I wish she would get a "real" boyfriend (as far as I know she has never had one despite being attractive).

I'm also worried that it's affecting her A level studies, her grades so far aren't as good as they were when she was doing GCSEs, and she rarely does any homework in the evenings.

Lastly, when I asked her what the guy's name was, she didn't want to say at first but she did eventually and it was obviously an Asian Muslim name. Please don't think I'm a racist or a bigot but I live in a rural part of the country which is 99% white and all I really know about Muslims is what I see on the news, which is usually bad. It makes the whole thing seem even stranger as they're two people who would probably have nothing to do with each other in real life. Would a Muslim boy ever date a non-Muslim? Or have I got that wrong?

Any advice would be greatly appreciated!

Louboutin37 Thu 04-Feb-16 14:16:13

My first boyfriend aged 15 was asian, I'm white british by heritage. I think you'll find most people in this day and age don't see a colour when they view other people, just the person that's there.

dechecho Thu 04-Feb-16 14:35:40

Hmmm I'm not so sure. It wasn't really the colour of his skin I was talking about anyway, more his religion.

specialsubject Thu 04-Feb-16 14:48:29

doesn't matter if he is purple with yellow spots - is she taking the sensible precautions for online 'relationships'? (no such thing!). Or is she spewing out all her details and yours, sending pornographic photos which will be plastered all over the internet and similar sillinesses?

only way to find out is to ask. How does she know he is 16? Has she met him?

as she has form for this, be careful.

dechecho Thu 04-Feb-16 14:49:46

Also it was a minor concern, I probably shouldn't have mentioned it.

MsMims Thu 04-Feb-16 14:52:56

I really hope you don't judge a whole religion based on the actions of very, very few on the news. I also live in a rural 99% white area and it is no excuse.

Yes Muslims can be with non-Muslims, they can marry Christians or Jewish people too. Dating is technically forbidden but lots of young Muslim people do.

MiddleClassProblem Thu 04-Feb-16 14:58:24

Maybe say she can have her iPad back if you can FaceTime him together and have a chat/ask some questions. Then you can see if he's 16 or not. Find out where he's from etc.

A name doesn't mean he's of any religion but if he is Muslim it depends on his family's level if they would approve of an out of faith relationship. Many Muslims have relationships out of their own faith.
Don't condemn him if it is religion. The terrorist stuff is nothing to do with Islam and actual contradicts the religion. It's like when extremist "Christians" beat someone up for being gay.

dechecho Thu 04-Feb-16 15:06:58

No she hasn't met him specialsubject - he lives at the other end of the country. She says she knows he is only 16 as she does facetime with him (its like a video call). But she does have a habit of getting into scrapes with boys on the internet, she was talking to a young guy in Pakistan before, and when we stopped her talking to him he threatened to kill himself! I felt terribly guilty as we just ignored him, but what could we do?

specialsubject Thu 04-Feb-16 15:21:14

he's not a boyfriend. He's a pen pal. I know skype can be faked and recorded, not sure about facetime.

he SAYS he lives at the other end of the country...

(sorry to be so cynical, but anyone can be anyone online)

I agree - time for a virtual tea party by joining in the facetime calls. And yes, a bit more a real world life, not in pursuit of a boyfriend but of real-world socialising.

ParochialE9 Thu 04-Feb-16 15:56:18

Not really understanding the relevance of the boy being Muslim here - would the situation be any more ok if he was white British??

Theendispie Thu 04-Feb-16 17:41:46

No one is going to be thrilled their child has met someone over the internet because it means they haven't had the chance to meet them face to face and get that gut feeling many of us experience when actually meeting people in RL.

As to the Asian aspect, he may be from a liberal minded family and it's fine for him to date or he may be dating behind his parents back and if they are very strict it could bring a world of crap to your doorstep.

Regardless of this actual lad it sounds as if she has broken your trust in the past so I can see why the situation is making you fretful.

Louboutin37 Fri 05-Feb-16 08:23:25

There's different grades of Muslims just as there are different grades of Christians and Catholics. My ex was Muslim, it's actually a very peaceful, decent life philosophy on the whole. Could teach a few so called white religious people a thing or two.

The only person who has an issue with his religion is you by the sounds of it. The rest of the modern world generally aren't bothered.

firesidechat Fri 05-Feb-16 08:34:35

Unfortunately op your second to last paragraph has probably wrecked this thread for you. I hope that wasn't deliberate.

I live in a place with a mixed population, but nothing like London or Birmingham for instance. I haven't knowingly met a Muslim, but I sure as hell don't think they are all bomb vest wearing fanatics. You must know that.

Taking your post at face value I can see why you would be worried. That is an unfortunate history of dangerous online behaviour from your daughter and I would be worried too. She needs protecting from herself obviously.

lincolnshirelassy Fri 05-Feb-16 09:07:49

What you see on the news is not about Muslims, it is about terrorists. They are two completely separate things. If you're judging Muslims in this way by the sane yardstick all Germans circa 1940 must be Nazis. If you don't know about Islam educate yourself rather than coming out with daft, bigoted statements.

aginghippy Fri 05-Feb-16 10:18:27

The problem isn't the online boyfriend so much as the way she feels the need to keep the whole thing a secret. If she has done nothing wrong, why hide it? That would worry me. That and the worry about her online behaviour affecting her A level studies.

IIWY I would arrange for the three of you to sit down and discuss it all calmly. At 17 she is almost an adult. What works for a 14 year old won't get you very far with a 17 year old. IMO you will get a better result if you treat her like an adult. Tell her what your concerns are. Agree what to do going forward.

JustDanceAddict Fri 05-Feb-16 11:06:40

I would definitely get her to FaceTime him with you in the room and see for yourself that he's who he says he is. As for the 'Muslim' thing, you are obviously not really 'with it', living in WASP country, but perhaps he is contacting girls online in secret as his parents are religious and wouldn't want him to be with a non-Muslim girl. That is the only relevance the Muslim thing has here really. Also, ask if he can get his mum/dad into the room, then if he's funny about it, you have your answer re their approval.

ParochialE9 Fri 05-Feb-16 13:35:19

My DDs boyfriend is from a Sikh background but is as British as she is. The sort of lazy, ignorant casual rasicm shown by the OP makes me sad, and it seems DDs bf has to deal with stuff like this all the time.

OurBlanche Fri 05-Feb-16 13:42:43

Given the media coverage and Prime Ministers insistance on vigilance against 'Radicalisation' I don't think that OP can be blamed for being worried about the apparent ethnicity of her DDs online beau.

Add to that her DDs history of being unwise in her online contact then OP really does have a problem.

Maybe this isn't the right place to ask for help though. Given that the first slew of responses focusses on 'lazy, ignorant casual racism' and ignores the history that OP also gave I am a tad ashamed. Ashamed that other women are so quick to leap to judgement that they entirely miss the real danger this young woman is putting herself in, that and her mother's obvious and wholly natural anxiety.

OurBlanche Fri 05-Feb-16 13:43:38

Oh, and I meant to shout Godwin , too!

bigTillyMint Fri 05-Feb-16 13:53:06

I agree with special. He is NOT a boyfriend. He is someone she is skyping.

Not sure about the relevance of his skin colour/cultural background, I would be more concerned that she seems to be conducting all her "relationships" over the internet rather than in RL. Does she get any opportunities to meet and spend time with real boys of her own age?

Iggi999 Fri 05-Feb-16 13:58:30

Why does she have access to FaceTime etc when she has such a poor history with it?
She shouldn't get handed any devices until she's down some homework either, of she's at A level stage she'll have work to do every day.
I could not throw my hands up over this.

lincolnshirelassy Fri 05-Feb-16 16:45:06

blanche it is not about other women being judgemental, it is about fighting casual racism. I too am ashamed, ashamed that people mention a person's skin colour and religion when it has zero relevance to the problem they are posting about, then drag out the tired old 'but I'm not racist' line. The only people who ever need to mention that they are racist are those that are, in fact, just a little bit racist.

I live in a hugely multicultural area, loads of friends of all different cultures and I hate to hear this bigoted crap dressed up as a genuine concern about cultural values. White British families have a diverse range of beliefs and values, (good and bad) it is simply ignorant to think British Asians do not.

lincolnshirelassy Fri 05-Feb-16 16:47:07

And incidentally, the OP's approach to the boyfriend should be the same regardless of skin colour, if you have concerns about his character or motives talk to your daughter and make steps to get to know him.

ParochialE9 Fri 05-Feb-16 17:18:37

Totally agree with lincolnshirelassy - obviously the OP has a problem with her daughters online activity but lost my sympathy with her totally unnecessary racist comment. And as for this "Given the media coverage and Prime Ministers insistance on vigilance against 'Radicalisation' I don't think that OP can be blamed for being worried about the apparent ethnicity of her DDs online beau" is this for real?? You wouldn't assume the boy to be a neo-nazi if he was white so why assume he's a radical terrorist sympathiser because he's got a brown face and a muslim name?

usual Fri 05-Feb-16 17:23:27

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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