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Should I talk to my sister about my 13 yr old niece?

10 replies

RnB · 11/01/2010 10:44

I'm aware that this is probably nothing, but am feeling uncomfortable about this and think I should mention something to my sister.

Blardy facebook again (I know, I know)...I'm friends with my neice on there (my sister is not) and saw on her wall a post by a young man saying 'Love you gorgeous!x'

Aw...I thought, how sweet. A good friend or maybe a boyfriend or something. Anyway I click on this young man's profile and it is public so I could look at his wall/photos/info etc. His date of birth is there - he's 17.5 yrs.

On the section where it says 'write something about yourself' he has my neices full name written along with a few other things such as 'shindigs' and 'getting on it' . The fact that her name is in there make me think she is very important to him in some way.

The photos of him consist of him with the 'lads' drinking cans of beer/smoking etc. God I sound like such a snob but he doesn't look like the sort of boy my sister would be too delighted about my 13 yr old niece associating with.

Normally this wouldn't really bother me but the fact that he is so much older than her worries me . There may be nothing going on at all, my sister may even know all about him for all I know. I know my sister would want to know about him if there is something going on, but I don't want my niece to feel like I've been spying on her and lose her trust in me.

What would you do? Should I just mind my own business?

What should I do? Should I leave

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RnB · 11/01/2010 10:46


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BigBadMummy · 11/01/2010 10:50

Tough one.

My 15 year old DD says she loves everybody on Faceache, and so do all her friends (a few of them be-friended me too).

I also know that some of her friends drink, smoke, and have done drugs.

I trust my daughter and I know she has not done any of those things and know her stance on drugs and smoking.

It maybe that your niece is the same. That chap is doing nothing wrong and might not be the "sort of person you niece hangs round with" but actually he is just a normal 17 year old. He could be studying for 5 A levels and be about to go to Oxford or Cambridge.

It is hard to tell from a few words written on Faceache.

I know why you are a concerned though, it is a minefield.

It might be worth actually having a quiet word with your niece when you get five minutes. Saying somehting like "ooh X seems like a nice chap". If you say something positive, she might open up.

I would be wary of going to her mum.

BertieBotts · 11/01/2010 10:51

I would just suggest gently to your sister that she should keep an eye on her daughter's FB page. Either by telling here you are concerned about certain comments left on there, or by dropping into conversation an anecdote about an imaginary "friend" whose daughter was using facebook to contact older boys and that it was making her act a lot older than she was.

TBH, she could have looked at the page any time without it being you who said anything, so I don't think this should break your niece's trust in you.

RnB · 11/01/2010 11:05

Thank you for you advice.

BertieBotts my sister isn't friends with my neice on FB so she can't access her page...

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AMumInScotland · 11/01/2010 11:09

Well, it might be totally innocent - he might have a 13yo sister or cousin who your niece knows, for instance, and just being friendly. And smoking and drinking and hanging out with the lads is very normal 17yo boy behaviour, even among the very nice pleasant ones.

But I think it's worth making a comment to your sister, just so she knows about it, and also so that she has a general eye on who her daughter is chatting to online - I'm a bit surprised that she's not got her own account and set herself as a friend so that she can glance at your niece's page from time to time. Even if this boy isn't an issue, the online world is full of people who might be, and she needs to be aware of her duaghters contacts at this sort of age.

aSilverLining · 11/01/2010 11:20

A agree with amum, your sis needs to be keeping an eye on her daughter's computer activity.

Does your sister have a FB page?

I would maybe bring the boy up with your neice as has been suggested, and bring internet concerns in general up with your sister to raise both issues in a roundabout way.

BertieBotts · 11/01/2010 12:44

I would definitely raise the issue of facebook with her then - I would not let a 13 year old have an unmonitored facebook page, her mum should be able to go and look at it periodically - if this means she knows the password, fine. 13 is not old enough to be let unmonitored access to the internet, especially social networking sites.

I do think that teenagers should have privacy, and would never suggest reading a diary etc, but facebook is different, it is an open forum.

DecorHate · 11/01/2010 12:53

We haven't let our dd be on FB yet - are using the argument that she is not 13 yet at the moment! I know lots of girls in her year are on it and clearly there is no parental supervision - some of them have no privacy settings, some have put their DOB as a lot older than they actually are.

If we do let dd have a FB account in the future I will have no qualms about keeping an eye on what is on there. I know from other parents that they view FB as a bit of a problem - all sorts of fallings-out and upsets happening due to what gets written there.

ajandjjmum · 11/01/2010 13:01

I would have a quiet word with your niece, asking in a jokey fashion, who this lad is, and commenting on the fact that he seems pretty fond of her. You can then jokily mention that she needs to remember that 17 year old boys are all after one thing!!! And just see where the conversation goes.

She then knows that you have an eye on her, which is no bad thing.

You might just mention it vaguely in passing to your sister - although if she's anything like me she'll want the details! Perhaps play it as it's better for you to have an 'in' into her Facebook than not, so it's best your sister says/does nothing, as it may get you expelled!

RnB · 12/01/2010 12:01

Thanks to all for your advice. Will let you know what happens!

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