Posted by: Desperate mom | 2011-04-28

Help with 13 year old

I discovered today that my 13 year old daughter had set up her own twitter account and was tweeting some very vulgar sexual things and using disgusting language too.We have never given her free reign online- always checking up on her,limiting time spent online etc.I can only assume she went to twitter because she had to be friends with my husband and I on Facebook as a condition to use it.I am shocked on many levels- the language,sex talk...we dont speak like that at home.We are involved,loving parents who go out of our way to talk and listen to our children.I immediately de-activated the account as well as her email and FB account too.But where to from here?I am sick with worry that this is the start of something more serious.
Did I do the right do I punish her(surely there have to be consequences)?
Ironically,she is a very good student at school and her marks are higher than ever before.As teenagers go,she is also a very happy girl most of the time too.That is why this has hit me from out of the blue.
Any comments,advice will be welcome.

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Our expert says:
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Given what you discovered you were right to disconnect the twitter account and I think the loss of FB as well is a consequence in itself. What I would now suggest is that she recogises that she will need to earn your trust back and that that will not be a quick thing. From there perhaps allow her back onto FB with the condition of you and her Dad as friends so you can monitor what is happening.

At 13 her sexuality is emerging, but she will still very much need parental boundaries. I would suggest you speak with her in an understanding way that she is developing and this includes sexually, but as with everything her actions will carry consequeces, and it is important to speak with her about some of the dangers involved in sex talk and where it can lead. She also has no real knowledge of who she is speaking to - the person may well be an adult rather than someone of her own age. Overall, it is about normalising her emerging sexuality but acknowledging the age-appropriate boundaries where this is concerned; and that as her parents you have the right to decide what she does or does not engage in.

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