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Old 08-22-2013, 09:26 AM   #1
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Default advice please

I have a daughter who will be 15 in Oct. This morning, I found messages and pictures (on her cell phone) of a suggestive manner. I don't know what to do! My husband will flip out when I tell him. We have raised our children in a Christian home and we have talked to our kids about internet safety, etc. It seems to just go in one ear and out the other. I remember being a teen. I thought my parents didn't know anything. Now the shoe is on the other foot. Any advice would be appreciated.
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Old 08-22-2013, 12:24 PM   #2
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This will probably go against every "how to parent" therapist and only you know what "gets" to your kid, but you have two great opportunities here.
1. Call her on it and slightly embarrass her. That age kid is immune to scolding and preaching. There's nothing that speaks to a teenager worse than embarrassment.
2. Keep it between you and her and make sure she knows it. This is a huge opportunity to connect. I'm a big believer in being a parent first (see #1, but you're at the age when dad is the bad guy and mom turns into a friend.

Know you aren't alone, some kids are just more sneaky than others. They're all talking/thinking about that stuff now anyway.

If it gets worse, spring back to mom role and strip everything she loves until you trust her- phone, laptop, all but 5 sets of clothes, makeup, bedroom door, etc.

I have the best kid a parent could ask for (college sophomore, turns 18 tomorrow), but I almost strangled her during her sophomore year of hs

PS- the social media rule of my house was that I had every password. If she changed it and didn't tell me, she lost it til her 18th birthday. She can change her passwords tomorrow
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Old 08-22-2013, 02:40 PM   #3
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Tracey,
Thank you for taking the time to reply. I've been thinking about this situation all day. Your suggestions were along the same lines of what I had in mind. My daughter knows my role as a parent is my first priority. We have a good relationship but I know she doesn't tell me everything. She does share some of her struggles, worries, thoughts, etc. with me. We'll take this one day at a time.

Your daughter sounds like a wonderful young lady. I hope she has a very happy birthday. Thank you again for your advice.
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Old 08-28-2013, 11:49 AM   #4
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Default I hope this turns out!!

I sure hope you are able to connect with your daughter - that situation is one that I dread as I have a 5 year old who is going on 29.

BTW...how do you call her on it and slightly embarass her?

My 7 yr old son was told to show his ***** on the bus last year - which he did (to my dismay). When I asked him if showing everyone his johnson made him feel good he immediately cried (of course I felt bad) but the message there was to not do anything that others tell you if it makes you feel bad about yourself.

I know I am probably not helping but just wanted to wish you luck on the conversation!!
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Old 09-05-2013, 07:00 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Morning Glory68 View Post
I have a daughter who will be 15 in Oct. This morning, I found messages and pictures (on her cell phone) of a suggestive manner. I don't know what to do! My husband will flip out when I tell him. We have raised our children in a Christian home and we have talked to our kids about internet safety, etc. It seems to just go in one ear and out the other. I remember being a teen. I thought my parents didn't know anything. Now the shoe is on the other foot. Any advice would be appreciated.

The world today is constantly attacking our children and it is beyond difficult for parents. Young girls especially need to know their full worth and value. I have grown children and grandchildren (one girl 23, three boys 15, 8 & 6); I do my best to instill in them how much God loves them and God has a special destiny just for them and that makes them extremely valuable and important.

Also please have a conversation with your husband so the two of you can talk it out, come to a mutual decision and be unified with your plan for your daughter. My Sicilian dad always made it clear that he loved me too much to allow me to 'grow up crooked'. Dad enjoyed gardening and showed me how he would tie up trees and plants in order that they would grow straight and so if I felt 'tied up' it was because he wanted me to grow straight... have never forgotten his words to this day. Btw, used them on my children and grandchildren.
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Old 10-19-2013, 01:33 PM   #6
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My stepdaughters are 13 and 15 and were not raised religiously. However, there are some very good non-religious reasons why it is not wise for a teenager to have sexually suggestive or even off-color things texted to them or used on other social media and most of it is about privacy and the fact that this stuff will follow you for the rest of your life. (You can never really delete it.) It can affect both future educational and employment opportunities. Should your child need a government security clearance, that could be a problem depending on what they find. (I am sure they snoop your social media for that sort of government clearance these days, even if they say otherwise.) Some schools even snoop on their students. (I don't condone that, but they do and it can and does mean unpleasant things for some kids.) A friend of one of the girls even had a smart phone bricked because the sketchy thing she received from a friend (and opened) turned out to be some awful virus that killed the whole machine. And yes, her parents made her pay for a new phone herself. (which I approve of wholeheartedly)

My 15 year old stepdaughter decided to close her FB account after much thought about all of this. It was entirely her own decision and she actually surprised my DH when she did that. She emails and has text messaging on her phone, but she greatly values her privacy. My 13 year old stepdaughter will (and has) actually marched up to classmates at school and chewed them out for posting inappropriate things to her FB page. I think they're kind of afraid of her now, LOL.

I would never try to minimize the importance of religion for those of you that are religious, but having both secular and nonsecular arguments in favor of avoiding sketchy things on social media might be more convincing to your kid. Remember that teenagers are in a time of their brain development where they tend to question, well, just about everything. We all know that is totally normal and of course it doesn't mean that they're going to turn from their faith; they're just skeptical about most things. I think it's related to the natural growth of the pre-frontal cortex of our brains and all of that is usually finished by our mid-20s. Meantime, it's up to us to help them understand why avoiding certain behavior will benefit them in the long run - and be responsible adults and intervene if they're not seeing it themselves.
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