DS (11) Nasty group chat
summerallyear · 03/01/2021 09:00
Recently looked at DS's phone and noticed he has a text message group chat with his friends from school. I didn't really think much of it considering I have a group chat with my friends. However, as I browsed through the text history, it just kept getting more and more inappropriate. They frequently use foul and occasionally send pictures of scantily clad women. One boy even sent a short, almost-pornographic video clip. How would I even deal with a situation like this?? Do I make him LEAVE the group chat? Giving them smart phones at that age is a terrible idea. I have no idea why my DH decided to get him an iphone. It's not like I can put parental settings on it.
ScrapThatThen · 03/01/2021 09:19
Why can’t you put parental controls on it, or share a login so you can see the messages, or insist your fingerprint is on it so you can monitor with his knowledge? He’s 11. These group chats at this age are a nightmare and older siblings often add to them or mess around with language and pornography - you can also presume that other parents will see what your son writes and that all sorts of other adults will be able to contact your son which isn’t safe.
SnuggyBuggy · 03/01/2021 09:22
Someone should be monitoring from the sidelines at their age. Do you know the other parents? Could you all agree to start a new group and have someone ccd in?
Oblomov20 · 03/01/2021 09:22
Definitely talk to him about this. I'd probably get him to leave: "my mum had a look at our chat and she isn't impressed so I have to leave".
That will let them know that an adult has seen it. They'll probably brick themselves.
summerallyear · 03/01/2021 09:24
I'm a bit unfamiliar with how iOS works in general, but I'll definitely look into adding some control measures.
schoolsarenotsafe · 03/01/2021 09:29
For iphone you can add 'screen time' limits as well as other safety measures to ensure appropriate viewing only. I use this for my teens until they finish age 16/17. 'Screen time' limits are used to reduce time allowed on the phone and turns it off at night (I also have the phone handed to me at turn off time).
I would have a very serious chat with your son about anything that is written being there forever. I would either contact the parents or school of the other kids and hope they will deal with it.
AliMonkey · 03/01/2021 09:44
Rule in our house is that for as long as we buy the phone and pay for the phone plan we have to know their passwords and have the right to look at their phone. This basically means that when they first got phones (age 11) we looked regularly but now would only do it if had concerns - I recently checked DS13’s phone as he was being very secretive and it turned out that he had got himself into a difficult situation and I was able to help him navigate out of it.
We are quite clear that if we find them involved in inappropriate conversations then we will make them leave and ultimately would take their phone off them.
At that age it is vital that you give them appropriate settings. So on iPhone set up Family Sharing if you or DH have an iPhone so they eg need your permission to download apps; set content/privacy settings (found under Settings / Screentime) to block age inappropriate content - it won’t block everything but would at least stop them eg visiting porn sites or watching 15+ films.
ChateauMargaux · 03/01/2021 09:57
There was some inappropriate language and behaviour going on in a year 7 chat which my son was on. Parents got involved. The parents all know each other vaguely and it was suggested that every parent have a look and see what their children had been saying. It was broached in a way that no one child was singled out as the 'grass' and as far as I can tell, it was effective with some kids pulling away from or leaving the chat. Others have probably taken this behaviour elsewhere but we can only ever be several steps behind this.
ScrapThatThen · 03/01/2021 12:41
Is it WhatsApp? Technically that's 16+ so reasonable to block him from having that or any other social media until 13
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