What would YOU do…

…if you found out a number of your (underage) child’s school friends had social media accounts?

And that they lied about their ages… adding up to seven or eight years to their age. 

At least one has used a false name as well. 

Plus various parents, adults (related) and other children in the same vein are added as friends… so by default, are supporting this child’s actions.

Some of the “about me” statistics are listed as married, completed school and attending the local university.  At least one describes herself as: “I AM ACTIVE SKINNY LOVABLE INTERESTING FUNNY FUN TO BE AROUNG” (sic).

Perhaps I’m the only parent with concerns here?  That our children are openly lying about their identities.  Opening themselves up for possible trouble… trouble I hope they avoid.  Now and in the future.  I hope not.  This is my 10 year old’s third attempt to fit in with her “friends”.  Her account will be deleted.  It was found by accident tonight.  Started last Thursday whilst staying with her dad.  He trusted her.  I will email him with possible ideas we could unite to make sure this does not occur again.

She does (now) understand how serious this is.  I’ve made it crystal clear where I stand on this topic.  There were tears.  Asking that her friends not “get into trouble”.  She went to bed without her dinner by her own choice.  I didn’t yell.  I didn’t threaten.  I told her how it made me feel that she has chosen to do this again.

Her punishment?  She has a few days to think about it.  I want her to speak to her friends about being cyber-safe.  I want her to approach her school principal about consequences of these actions as well as the school guidance officer.  Plus she has lost at least a week of privileges.  Her father will be a little more severe with his words, I’m sure. 

So, I’m at a loss.  

What would YOU do?


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Jess (10 years ago)

Its a hard one.
A lot of it I think comes down to just trying to keep an open relationship. My daughter is 8 and some of her friends have Facebook accounts but she understands she can’t have one. But then we haven’t got to the point of the peer group having more influence than me yet, so I’m thankful for that.
It’s such a tricky time these tween years. I think you have done the right thing, and hopefully just by continuing to talk to her, you will get though.

    CJ (10 years ago)

    I’m trying! The punishment side of it (which I’m loathe to ever use…) is merely to do with her disobeying my requests to set up further accounts. Otherwise it’s not that she’s in trouble as such. The school is now aware of the situation and we shall be working together to find ways to further educate the students on the dangers.
    I’ll continue to talk to her and live in hope! x

Mandy (10 years ago)

You can’t imagine how appropriate this post is right now C :P We’re currently counting down the hours until Miss 12 becomes Miss 13 – her biggest excitement about this is getting Facebook. Yep…..we insisted that she wait until she was *actually* 13. LOL. So tomorrow….we’re releasing her onto an unsuspecting social network *giggle* With strict privacy controls, of course ;)

Veronica @ Mixed Gems (10 years ago)

I would take the same stance as you, however, my eldest isn’t quite 3 so I’ve a long way to go yet. My nephews have been on FB for some time and hubby refused to “friend” them until they turn 13. The eldest did last year. The next will in May this year. It sounds like you managed it really well. The thing is, the challenges and concerns with social media don’t stop once they turn 13. Getting the school involved sounds like a great idea. It is such an important issue.

Misha - The Bling Buoy (10 years ago)

Hmmm… that’s a tough one and as my kids are still young so I haven’t encountered that yet and therefore don’t feel that I can offer much advice. But you know your child and seem to have a good relationship with her so just keep going as you have been. Keep talking. Keep listening. You’re doing a great job by the sounds of it!

CJ (10 years ago)

Thanks everyone, it’s great know my gut feeling on this step in parenting is supported by so many others. My eldest has had an account for ages but he’s completely different in that he refuses to add anyone he doesn’t know due to his ASD so this is all very new to me.
I sure hope we can change how our children are able to access the internet before your children get to this stressful stage!

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