A poll if I may?

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I still remember, that one day when my daughter and I were playing the board game “Life”. She was roughly 8 at the time, My little lady loved the game for the fun of driving a plastic car around and watching how one situation happens after another. But, every so often she would come to a point in the game where you can sue another player for damages for $5000. Or, was it less? Anyways, My daughter not once ever sued me and asked to skip the part. Nor did I on her, I didn’t want to spoil her image of how beautiful the world was yet and she had such a beautiful face of pride on her towards me.

Now at her age of 12. She had entered the world of Facebook, I was skeptical at first but she agreed to give me her password and keep me in the loop about everything. Then one day on a routine check, I found out about this boy she had taken an interest to. A boy from school and her age, who says he took a punch for her. Then, romeo’d her way into her heart, he seemed like just another typical boy. Until I started seeing him hinting to my daughter about inappropriate acts of making out and hiding in corners, I intervened immediately via my own Facebook account, Told the boy that was the last message he would be sending her. But, that just made him tell my daughter that she should take his side against me. Long story short though, I spoke with the boy’s mother and that was the end of that. Or so I thought, he snuck onto his Facebook once in a while still to further stir the pot. I had no choice now, I couldn’t very well stop him from going on Facebook completely so my ex and I had to take away her iPod access. It was the only way to protect her from him, It’s unnerving that a 12 year old could have this mindset. Now, I got some negative comments before for checking my 12 year old daughter’s Facebook for concern for her safety. I hated having to take away her beautiful smile, but I couldn’t very well stand aside as she was being preyed on by another child who is treating her all the wrong lessons. So, I’d like to ask, If I may for your opinion, I hope you don’t mind? thank you so much in advance πŸ™‚

 

 

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53 responses »

  1. Your first responsibility is to protect your child. I remember an incident with my then 15 yr old daughter and an older college age boy. I told her to break it off. She snuck around instead. I told him to break it off. Same thing. So, I called him and threatened to charge him with statuatory rape. End of story. My daughter either never learned about it or got over it quickly. It was truly because my job was to protect her. You did the right thing

    • Thank you Pamela..! I needed that, I dread to see what will happen at 15 If I hadn’t done what I did, I’ll actually be visiting her grade 7 classroom to see this boy myself after the Christmas holidays. He spat at my daughter’s best friend in the face, just because she was trying warn my daughter about him. Amazing what kids are capable of these days huh? 😦

  2. I see things like Facebook as privileges, not rights. In this case, monitoring a privilege which left unmonitored could result in harm, monitoring could be seen as the fee for the privilege.

    I still have a few years before access is even a question!

    • That’s the way I see it too, I even told her that if she wanted to use her Facebook that she had to agree to give me her password, I suppose that’s an agreement isn’t it? thank you for coming by Deborah πŸ™‚

    • Too many things that slip by the cracks, too many sigh. I miss the days, when all we had was a rotary phone and the only concern my parents had was my not doing my homework 😦

  3. I have no kids but in our family, children’s facebook it open to us. We just have to keep on giving guidance to the younger generation. Make sure that daughter understands the perils of being young. Hope she will remain open to you and her mom. Good luck, Andy.

  4. Well done Andy, couldn’t agree more! With both my children all device passwords must be given to me, then when they wanted to join facebook the rule was anyone they wanted to friend would have to friend me also. Initially the eldest wasn’t happy with this rule because… I’d see everything he was writing… my response, exactly! But as I explained, if you can’t say it to my face then you sure as heck aren’t going to put it in writing!

  5. I think you did the right thing, Andy. I couldn’t imagine what you are going through as I am not a parent, but I know either way it’s going to be stressful. Have you sat down and asked your daughter why she likes him? Why him? This way you can at least hear her side so she may not be so compelled to immediately go against your word and sneak around to get to him. Being a parent must be hard since you’re torn about their safety as well as their happiness.
    Just wondering, is there a guidance counselor at her school you guys can talk to? Just a suggestion as it could help mediate communication.
    Good luck, Andy! Let me know how it goes!

    • Hi Christina! Yeah, I sat down with her to discuss why she likes him so much. She sticks with the fact that he had defended her when another boy gave her a hard time, yet based on her words she never actually saw it. Just took his word for it, As she said this though I asked her how she knows then if he was telling the truth. Quite something isn’t it? that children are experiencing what it is to have a silver tongue.

      I do believe there’s a guidance counsellor at the elementary school, will be looking into it soon as school starts again. πŸ™‚ thank you!

  6. You did the right thing…absolutely right thing !! You know that is why I hate face book the most….I am sure your daughter will understand what you are doing for her after some more years…. Keep telling her that yo are doing everything to protect her ! Much love to her and you too πŸ™‚ xx

    • Thank you Lala, I kind of dislike how it will take so long before she realizes the reasons I did what I do now. But, Here’s hoping she will come around and realize that. *Crossing fingers* πŸ˜€ xx

  7. My friend allowed her 2 daughters access to fb once they started high school. She kept a check on them. When she saw how much time it took up from their school work and such, she took it away from them until they turned 18. The oldest is now 18. It’s so tough in this day and age to raise kids. My heart goes out to you. Hugs.

    • oof, That’s the other course of action I’m going towards. If she can’t show me that she’ll be responsible enough to manage her time online, then she will have to wait until she finishes high school. :S

      • hmmmm…not sure why you would have drawn criticism before either Andy…she is your child and if you don’t look out for her who will??? She is only 12, far to young to make decisions on her own…

      • That’s the way I see it too, I guess some people just didn’t see how much fear there is in a parent’s heart when you can’t see who’s on the other side of that screen 😦

      • Because I was sneaky when I was younger but it was only through phone calls when I was her age. I guess my mother listened to the calls on the other line, anyway. Haha! But this one, you were right to intervene. πŸ™‚

      • Yep. My young nephew and nieces have Facebook accounts but my cousin has access to them. I’m not sure about her 12 year-old though. There should be one whole chapter dedicated to Social Media in parenting books now.

      • That’s the thing about social media and the new trend, it totally blows everything we ever learned about parenting out of the water. New dangers and new ways for kids to get into trouble 😦

  8. Oh Andy, you had me worried here, reading this – opening yourself up to a lot of criticism, for don’t (some) people like to criticise OTHERS’ parenting!! But I’m glad to see that the wordpress community remains mature and positive.

    I had a discussion with Daniel recently, asking what he thought of a mother in Canberra (Australia) who noticed an online bully encourage others in her daughter’s school to call her daughter a bitch, & she copied that message back to the boy’s parents on Facebook. I asked Daniel did he think that a good action as a parent? He said no because no.1, the girl needed to learn how to deal with it (but ask mum for advice/talk about it with mum), no.2, getting a rise out of the girl’s mother would please the bully “because she’s getting to bully the mum AND the daughter now” and no.3, the girl needs to face the other girl in the playground and confront her because, Daniel said, “it’s so easy online but then when you talk to people face to face, most of the time they’re not like that”.

    Then there was a comment by a reader who said “Are 12 year olds allowed on Facebook?” and that brought me to try and remember when I let Daniel Facebook. I remember being very nervous about it, worried about it. And yes, I do think it’s okay to check her account. I understand your motive, I support your motive, though ideally personally I would hope your child would come to you with concerns like what you write above – I’d really hope for that. I’m not sure, myself, a 12yo should be exposed to online forums (that’s another thing Daniel & me talked about – just because of this news article!), as I think it’s best they be out with friends/sport rather than indoors dealing with ‘likes’ and ‘unlikes’ and ‘look-at-me’ photos. That’s just me. I reckon if she’s online at 12, yep, I’d definitely be checking it.

    This was a brave post, Andy. Good on you.

    • Thank you Noeleen πŸ™‚ I considered it for sometime, whether or not to write this post. But, It was constantly on my mind and thus I felt I needed to put it out here. In my case, my beautiful 12 year old had already created her facebook account before I had known about it. As did the majority of kids in her school, seems facebook forgot to do something about securing age restrictions. Thank you for your support on this and your experience, It’s given me something to think about. πŸ™‚

  9. I think you were right to intervene. O think it’s good that your daughter gave you the access too. Then it’s not as much sneaking around as to check it out for her safety.

  10. Awww,Andy That must have been a hard situation to be in…but let me tell you this from a teenager perspective as I’m 18, We do think that we know everything about this big bad world but we don’t. It was very right for you to intervene. She maybe mad at you for the time being but believe me it was for her own good. And she will realize that eventually as well. Just give her time.

    Plus if it makes you feel better, considering now how the world has turned, I wouldn’t even let my child use facebook till he or she is at least 18. Lol. So just remember you are the good guy here. Don’t doubt yourself πŸ™‚

    • Thank you..! Life used to be so much different, heck back when I was a kid we had only rotary phones and cell phones were afforded only by the rich. Huge bricks, we used to call them! big motorola phones :O

  11. This topic is a little controversial I guess. But since she had willingly given you her password, there shouldn’t be any problem with checking in on her online activity (since she is already aware you have access).
    Safety is definitely a key issue, especially for young & impressionable girls. You’re a good dad for being proactively concerned πŸ™‚

  12. Sadly, I got to this post way to late lol! As you know, I’m a little behind. But I don’t see why having your daughters passwords is bad. She’s still a child and still living under your roof, until she becomes an adult, you have the right to protect her and have access to passwords. I didn’t open up my facebook account until I got older, but kids can be mean and scary, and when I have a child I’d do the same as you did. It’s hard keeping your kids from starting up social accounts, so might as well keep an eye on what’s being said. I can’t believe 12 year old boys are talking like that! I don’t have any kids, so it’s hard for me to say too much more on this, but I know you’re doing the right thing. Later in life your daughter will thank you, my parents were extremely protective and I didn’t understand it until later. I thank them now for the shelter they gave me. Good luck Andy!!

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