Posted by: Lou | 2012-12-04

Blackberry and tween daughter

Hi Doc,

My daughter is 12 - in my wisdom, after alot of begging, I bought her a Blackberry (this was a few months back). I brought her phone into work with me today, in order to check up on what she is doing on it, and discovered some stuff that has me very worried, and very dissapointed in my daughter!
She has contacts on BBM of people she does not personally know, one of these being a " boy"  (or could even be a 50 yr old man fronting) whom she is having some sort of cell relationship with - he asks her things like " have yu had phone sex before?"  " I''ve been thinking of you in the shower"  etc.

I am confiscating the phone, intend to have it wiped clean and I will take it over, and my daughter can have my old Nokia.

As a single mom, I''m not sure how far to take the punishment for this - any suggestions?


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Our expert says:
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Personally, I'm happy with kids having a basic cell-phone for emergencies, but have yet to be convinced that they need ( as opposed to want ) elaborate versions like Blackberries and I-phone. The old Nokia sounds safer.
But folks, NEVER EVER give such tools to a child without a long discussion about proper and improper ways to use it, precautions to take, and a binding agreement that Mom can access the phone at any time to check that it's being used properly.
I'm surprised the phone companies havent come up with better systems of protective software such as is available for computer browsers, both the block children accessing nasty sites, and to record what they do access.
Right, now, shouldn't your emphasis be on helping your child understand why this was wrong and risky, and enabling her to exercise better judgment in future ? Yes, a swap to a more limited phone makes sense. But talk through what sort of horrible person it was who was pretending you be someone else, who was trying to lure her into doing bad and dangerous things, and why it is so important for you to protect her from that,

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Our users say:
Posted by: Lou | 2012-12-04

Thank you all for the advice.
I did give my daughter the whole big talk thing about her contacts only being people she knows, about predators on the web, about ugly talk and what is ok and not ok blah blah blah. All to no avail it seems!!!
I found pics she had taken of herself - not naked or bad, but posing in way that suggests she is alot older than 12 !(Pouting, with a tummy exposing top, showing lots of skin). All of this is a bit too much for this mom! I assume those are the pics she sends off to her BBM buddies.... no wonder she has older kids (men) striking up weird friendships, It stops now!!

Reply to Lou
Posted by: 40''ish | 2012-12-04

Im confiscating both my teenagers phones tonight. They have no idea when to use them. The phones are so we can get hold of them or that they can contact us. They are on these phones 24/7 you see them they are on them but try and get hold of them? then the battery is flat or they didnt see your message etc.

I am sick to death of this fight. I am also not giving it back until 25 Dec and they can hate me as much as they want to I just don''t care.

They have like 600 contacts on there its absolutely ridiculous. They should only EVER have people they know. But you see they broadcast things like " add 48451 she is sexy"  or he is awesum etc and they just add add add.

I am also giving each a cheap phone and NO airtime they can send us please call me''s.

Reply to 40''ish
Posted by: Leila | 2012-12-04

Good advice from CS.

Reply to Leila
Posted by: Leila | 2012-12-04

If you can have a proper conversation with her then all the better. Explain to her the dangers of such communication. My suggestion would be that after having the phone cleaned out give it to her again , she might be more competent this time. Give her good advice and listen to her as well. Be on the lookout all the time, however. But if you think even this is not safe enough you may give her the other phone.

Reply to Leila

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