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DD 14 lying about Snapchat use - WWYD?

(22 Posts)
mozzrules Wed 18-Jan-17 09:27:50

In short, I had banned DD from using Snapchat as I don't think it's appropriate for someone of her age to be chatting up unknown boys online. Before Christmas I found she had lied to me and started using it without permission. We had a chat and agreed (I thought!) that she would come off it for a month and then we would talk again and she would explain to me why she should be allowed to use it and I would consider.

Last night I had to borrow her iPad to do something for her schoolwork. I got a bit suspicious because she spent ages doing stuff before handing it over. Turned out she had created a new Snapchat account the day after we last talked, and has loads of screenshots of chats with different teenage boys. I don't like that but my main issue is the blatant lying to my face when I thought we had reached an agreement.

She is out tonight so am planning to talk tomorrow evening and want to get it right. It feels like the reasonable/ explaining approach isn't working. My plan is to confiscate all devices for the weekend (she is going to her dad's but he will support me) and then for the next week make her hand in phone etc. when she gets home from school.

Is this too harsh? Any other ideas for dealing with this?

There's lots more detail but I don't want to make this so long no one reads it!

Floofborksnootandboop Wed 18-Jan-17 14:24:06

Is it just snapchat you've banned her from? Or every social media?

It's much easier for strangers to get hold of her on Facebook or Instagram than it will snapchat. Usually you need their username to find them on snapchat, you find anyone and everyone on facebook.

WannaBe Wed 18-Jan-17 14:28:35

Rather than banning its use you need to have a discussion about boundaries.

I understand the desire to ban Snapchat as the messages disappear so there's no way of keeping a log or whatever, however the reality is that at fourteen this is a social network for many kids, and if you ban it you will to an extent be isolating her from something her friends all have.

Who are these boys she is messaging? Are they boys she knows or strangers? And what kind of messages is she sending them? IME snapchat is largely full of inane drivel which makes me feel old when I think how awful it really is, but if she's e.g. Sending pictures of herself or talking about meeting up then serious conversations need to be had about why it's so important for her to maintain boundaries when using any kind of social media.

Isadora2007 Wed 18-Jan-17 14:37:45

Snapchat is the main way my dd(16) communicates with all her friends. She hasn't used it to send inappropriate photos of herself. How insulting to your dd to suggest that's what you think she will be doing.

I'm not sure why you didn't just sit down right from the start and talk about it than make a knee jerk reaction that was unfair.
Let her reinstall it but make a point about her honesty in future and how she should really talk to you if she feels you are being unfair. And that you will listen. Not set a date in a months time to listen.

SleepingCitySidewalk Wed 18-Jan-17 14:49:28

All my teens use Snapchat. They use it to message their mates (even some of the opposite sex!). Just like everything else like whatsapp, normal texts etc.

They have friends with parents who see texting their mates as "chatting up unknown boys online" and I think it says more about the parents tbh. These parents never get told^ anything^ by their dc.

Our DC have access to all this technology. Like it or not. The best thing you can do is teach them the tools to use it (no strangers, everything can be screenshotted, even on SC, no nude photos, who to report to if something upsetting, etc) and be approachable.

SleepingCitySidewalk Wed 18-Jan-17 14:52:46

Oh and we have the rule that I won't snoop on their devices, but I can ask for them to be handed over instantly upon request). I also have filters etc set by restrictions using a PIN code to access it. Lots of stuff is shared e.g. Music accounts, and we have a family whatsapp group.

I get a lot of the important teenage info shared with me via the medium of text and I'm fine with that. Although the endless drama and photos of their dinner secretly bore me a little wink

mozzrules Wed 18-Jan-17 15:02:51

Thanks for the replies.

I haven't banned her from other social media just Snapchat. The difference is exactly as Wannabe says that I can't check anything so I don't know what is happening. She is using it to message her friends, but also to message boys she doesn't know. I haven't seen anything which I think would endanger her but some of it is inappropriate e.g. conversations re sex and drugs with the topics introduced by these boys.

Isadora I didn't say anything about inappropriate photos so that's your suggestion not mine.

I did talk about it right at the start. I explained exactly why I wasn't happy with her using it. She said she understood - then started using it anyway.
Once I found out she was using it and had lied about using it it we talked again and had exactly the conversation you describe about honesty.

At that point I said she had to stop using it for a month, as a punishment for the lying, and then we would talk about using it again. She has - now for the second time - lied about using it and done so behind my back.

Right now, it's not really about Snapchat, which I am prepared to see as a necessary evil, but about the lying and blatant disregard for my rules. I want her to understand that this is not OK and that behaving like this has consequences.

I feel as if the 'being reasonable and discussing and explaining' hasn't worked. At the same time I don't want to drive her completely underground by being unreasonable or too strict.

Atticmatic Wed 18-Jan-17 15:03:46

I tried banning it for my 13 year old DD and the result was exactly as in the OP. I tried tha banning devices and confiscation too. In the end we sat down, agreed boundaries and she seems to be ok with it.

I do spot checks where I ask her to open the odd 'snap' in front of me but not very often.

I was worried but tbh she could be deleting emails or texts with pics attached and chatting to randoms that way. With Snapchat she seems happy just talking shite to people at school.

mozzrules Wed 18-Jan-17 15:23:49

They have friends with parents who see texting their mates as "chatting up unknown boys online" and I think it says more about the parents tbh. These parents never get told^ anything^ by their dc.
SleepingCity not sure that the snide comments are all that helpful tbh. I don't have any problems with DD texting friends of either sex. These are 100% definitely not boys that she knows. They are in fact strangers, which you yourself say you ban.

t875 Wed 18-Jan-17 15:41:37

I dont mind DD having snap chat, not overly keen on it but I would feel uncomfortable if she was setting up seperate chats and also chatting with teenage boys, are these boys in her class/year or older boys?

JustAnotherPoster00 Wed 18-Jan-17 15:42:23

First off OP id turn the wifi off for the next 2 weeks and tell her why, if she cant be trusted.

mozzrules Wed 18-Jan-17 15:54:11

They are not boys she knows. I don't know enough about Snapchat to know how she is finding them or they are finding her. As far as I can see they are complete strangers who live in different parts of the country. They list themselves as being around the same age 13, 14, 15. I know this because she had taken screenshots of profiles and some chats and saved them (and then deleted them) from her iPad. I will talk to her about it and try to find out more about who they are and how she has found them, but I want to be clear in my head about what I want to say before I do that.

t875 Wed 18-Jan-17 16:07:00

Im with the other poster i would tell her she is blocked from it until she can be trusted. I dont like Snap chat and if my dd was doing this it definitely would be gone.

You no doubt will anyway but check what info she has given over.
good luck for the chat, let us know

Dollyparton3 Wed 18-Jan-17 18:23:05

If she is messaging people she doesn't appear to know it could be that she is communicating her Snapchat ID through another site. I.e a lot of teenagers post "SC - dollyparton3" for example at the top of their Instagram or twitter page. Then anyone can contact them.

We've been through several rounds of this and the best thing we could do was to leave well alone and make it clear what the boundaries are.

Unfortunately chat about sex and drugs is rife for teenagers but half of them don't know what they're talking about (they do it to appear grown up) and the others couldn't get hold of drugs or get near a girl if their life depended on it.

I get the burning desire to protect her online, it's natural but in most cases, snapchatters are no more a present danger than half the idiots I spoke to online dating years ago. They'd never meet in real life and it's all teenage experimentation.

At 14 it's incredibly hard to police social media as most teenagers see it as their life blood and a right, not a privilege. But how you handle the presence of it with her is crucial.

mozzrules Wed 18-Jan-17 18:39:48

Thanks t875. Good tip Dolly I hadn't thought of that re the SC ID being used elsewhere. I do agree with you in general that there's no actual danger. I think it's more that if we have made an agreement then I think she should stick to it rather than go ahead anyway, lie through her teeth and assume I don't know enough about it to find out.

I think there's going to have to be some punishment but also some more talking - she does usually tell me stuff so this feels out of character, but maybe she is just getting older and things are changing...

Dollyparton3 Wed 18-Jan-17 20:35:10

I agree that the deliberate betrayal needs a consequence. Consequences after all are the only way we've managed to separate our issues with a teenage girl prioritising her need to be on social media against our "safety online" advice and choosing where to pick our battles. in our case it was very clear, every time you don't do what we ask you lose a month's allowance. We're now allowance free until June of this year.

However, outside of that you need to take the defiance as a wake up call. Check on all social media sites for her profile, assume that she will be doing more than just defying your wishes on snapchat and see if there are any other ways she might be running rings around you. We did that and uncovered a secret instagram account and a twitter account where she was sharing content from sites we weren't comfortable that she was seeing when she was 14. As a consequence of that we enforced strict rules on online time and an amnesty where we could look at her device whenever we wanted.

If that negotiation fails, learn how to change your wifi password at the drop of a hat. all you need to do is be sure of your online login to your provider's website. Then you DS can keep surfing happily and DD is scuppered. (works best if they are on a pay as you go deal so that they can't defy you and go over their limits)

Sounds harsh but its about sending a message that we're not all crusty olds who have no idea. We are in charge and we're doing this to keep you safe, so by all means necessary we will be listened to!

mozzrules Wed 18-Jan-17 22:42:10

Thanks Dolly this is very helpful. Clearly you have experience of this and my instinct was also leading me in the same direction.

We already have the rule that I can look at devices whenever I choose but I just haven't been doing that much recently (as I trusted her!). Obviously that needs to change. I have had a good look at her phone this evening and can't see anything else. It does seem as if it is just the Snapchat. Best to nip it in the bud if possible though.

She got home late tonight and there's no point tackling this when we're both tired. I'll talk to her tomorrow and see what she is prepared to tell me. Then definitely severe limits to online time for next week or so and we'll take it from there.

britainteascones Thu 19-Jan-17 18:38:00

So you don't know how people are getting her Snapchat ID but you're 100 percent certain they are not boys she knows? She's in secondary school with tons of young people and friends you have not met, it's almost impossible to get the snapchat ID of a random stranger you do not know because to add someone on snapchat you have to know their username. Which means she is either getting these boys she does not know from another source, to then add onto snapchat, or these boys are simply boys you have not met from her school as there really is no way of seeing the location of people on snapchat.

mozzrules Thu 19-Jan-17 20:14:43

britain there are no boys at her school, which is part of the reason why I was so sure! Also, she does talk to me a lot so even if I haven't met her friends I have heard their names. It was also puzzling me how she was finding them or they were finding her but having had the big chat with her I now know the answer - she was on Yellow, which is a kind of dating app and uses Snapchat.

I honestly never would have believed she would have done anything like that, as we have talked so many times about the dangers of talking to strangers online. Anyway, we've now got to the bottom of it, had a big chat and hopefully will have more honesty moving forward - although I will also be less trusting.

She has had all of her devices taken away for two weeks and understands that that is the consequence of her lying to me. She was much more upset at herself than angry with me, which I hope is a good sign.

Thanks for your help everyone.

Polly53 Thu 26-Jan-17 12:54:06

I am afraid their desire to fit in, be attractive and popular on line and try out flirtatious teenage behaviour is often stronger than listening to mum. We have experienced similar issues with our daughter's use of snapchat, whatsapp, instagram and facebook. We've done the whole talking to thing, explaining the dangers and making agreements. After many trials of different strategies including setting up parental settings and monitoring strategies, confiscation of the phone and ipad, changing passwords, checking accounts, deleting accounts, watching educational videos together on the dangers, reading news articles about these issues we have eventually (over a period of 2 years) reached a compromise. She has been tempted to talk to strangers she doesn't know and she has engaged in conversations I don't like or approve of. At worst these conversations could have been some form of on-line grooming or they could just be flirtatious teenage behaviour. I am trying to get her to understand that she should protect her on-line identity and reputation and not do risky things. I frequently remind her about the ground rules for on-line behaviour. She now only has a facebook and a snapchat account. If I find anything else she loses the phone for a week. She has to accept I can check them at any time, or ask about them at any time. I do talk to her regularly about who she is messaging. We review her friends lists together. If I see anything that worries me we now talk about it. Sometimes she goes off in the huff and shouts at me but that is no different a reaction than when she is asked to tidy up her room and doesn't want to! My priority is her safety and trying to teach her to take responsibility for her own safety on line. It is so easy for an impulsive child who wants to fit in to do and say things on line he/she may later regret. Many teenagers have been tempted to do so, it doesn't make them bad people or you a bad parent. Teenagers will be curious, push boundaries and make mistakes. As a parent you are definitely doing the right thing to take this seriously.

Oblomov17 Thu 26-Jan-17 13:19:32

I agree that the lying and defiance needs a consequence.
But the banning snapchat is totally unreasonable.
She's at a girls school (I was too, but I was younger, then moved from private and went to the local comp) and she wants to mix with boys. This is totally reasonable. ds1(13) uses snapchat and all other media to chat to boys and girls in his year. I see this as totally normal.

catted Mon 30-Jan-17 07:04:00

By going through her snapchats, you're betraying her privacy and have lost her trust for a long time. Sure, the lying is bad, but by prohibiting snapchat, you're just going to push her to go behind your back. She won't stop using it, she's a teenager. You should definitely deal with her lying, but let her have snapchat. You just have to trust that you raised her well enough that she won't get into trouble.

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