July 31, 2017

{Is She Insane?}

Ugh. I really wish that I could make Dawn understand that she is not the exception to everything. That she's not invisible and that even though she doesn't know anyone who has had something bad happen to them, doesn't mean she has nothing to worry about.

I always thought I had done a good job of getting the message to my kids that people online could not be who they say they are. That they should never give out personal information, especially not our address or their full names. I thought that I had expressed to them that the danger is real the days and it's more likely that the person they're talking to is catfishing them than not.

Apparently I was wrong.

I have struggled with Dawn adding random guys online to her Facebook for a long time. I think kids today believe the more friends you have, the more popular you are. It doesn't matter if you have actually met the people you're adding or not. I usually go through her friends and delete anyone that doesn't currently go to school with her (unless I know them personally). We have stressed to her that there's no reason for her to have guys on her friends list that are states, countries, or even towns away. That it's more dangerous than she knows. But she still does it, and I still log on to her profile every now and then and delete/block them.

Now, I know I've told people that I'm that mom that is on top of what their kids are doing online. And I am. I have an app on my phone that lets me see who they're texting and when. I can also lock them out of their phones for thirty minutes at a time.

They are not allowed to have apps that allow them to chat with people that I can't see. I allowed her to have snap chat for a little while but deleted it when I realized she was using it to be sneaky with her friends and adding people she didn't actually know. But they're not allowed to whatsapp or anything like that. And since I have all the passwords for their emails and such, I can see if they sign up for anything new. Which is how I caught Dawn signing up for multiple accounts on movie star planet at D's grandmas when she knew she wasn't supposed to be on there period.

Because I monitor what they're doing online and get notifications about who they're talking to and such, I learned a week ago that Dawn was using her phone when she wasn't supposed to (she has to get her chores done before she can get on it, and she can't be on all day because she gets serious attitude). I took the phone and the kindle she just got. She was pretty pissed about it, but rules are rules.

A couple days later Owen brought to my attention some chats on the PS4 messages between her and some guy. Upon reading them I learned that even though she wasn't supposed to be on there without permission, she was logging on when I was asleep and chatting with him. A few of the chats becoming questionable and then finally she tried to talk him into sending her things in the actual mail 😲.

Yes, I almost had a heart attack at that point.

The only thing that stopped her from giving out our address was that he told her his parents wouldn't allow him to do that. I was floored. I feel like I have hammered into them that it's so unsafe to do that and I was floored that she would actually attempt it.

I ended up blocking the guy (who claims to be in the UK) and blocking his other profile also.

Of course it didn't end there, she ended up sneaking back on to talk to him again after I blocked him.

So now, I have to take the two controllers into my bedroom at night so she had no ability to work the PS4 in Owens room.

Now I'm so insanely paranoid about letting the kids leave the yard. I used to allow them to play in the lot behind our house (visible from my kitchen) and sometimes walk up a couple blocks to the church to use their playground equipment. But after seeing that did that, how do I know she didn't tell someone her address on some other app before she got her phone taken away? Or that she didn't use her friends phone to do it or something? I'm scared to death that she will give out our personal information and something will happen.

And what kills me the most is that she has no regard for her little brother when it comes to this whole thing. How does she know this guy is actually fourteen and not someone looking for little boys to kidnap? She doesn't! And maybe I'm just too paranoid and watch too many lifetime movies. But I don't want to be that mom on the news looking for her kid ya know? All because her fifteen year old daughter was giving away personal information to random guys on the internet.

At this point, her phone is gone. I turned it off and I'm getting rid of it. Her kindle she will probably get back eventually, as long as I don't catch her on the PS4 again, but it's just for reading now. She won't have access to the app store or anything but books. Which is kind of sad because she's fifteen and she should be old enough for me to give her something like that and know she's being responsible.

But now I don't trust her. *Sigh*

Parenting teenage girls is effing hard you guys.


-Kristin