This post is extremely difficult to write, but I feel it’s important to share.
My tween was caught speaking to someone on her phone (a rarity). When questioned who she was speaking with, she lied. I let it go for a day and then I took her phone and went through it.
My checking her phone is nothing new. However, this time, I found out she had downloaded Snapchat. She is not allowed to download apps without permission. While I had her phone, she received a message. I will not go into details, however, the message was obviously from an adult and was extremely inappropriate.
I probably should have saved the information, but I deleted everything off her phone. I went through her call log, but there wasn’t much there. I had a breakdown. My trust in my daughter was shattered. What’s more is her safety had been threatened and she didn’t even know it.
After I composed myself, I had called a friend so she could be my sounding board but also to ask for some help. I am truly blessed to have people in my life that I can trust my daughter with. Her family is going to help me by allowing my daughter to hang out at their house during the work-week. It’s more about her being in a safe environment; which gives me peace of mind.
Later, my daughter and I had a long discussion. We had “the talk” years ago. However, this conversation was more about how her actions put her at risk. What a predator was, how they act, how they draw kids in and what happens if they were to actually able to get a hold of her.
We have had discussions about not posting any personal information or pictures. How to not give out personal information to people in the mall. How not go to with girls who may approach her at the mall (should I not be with her).
Our discussion included the dangers and how human trafficking is a real thing. My world was shattered. You think you are keeping your kids safe and to find out, a predator, violated that realm of safety.
She kept calling herself stupid. She was crying an apologizing. At no time, did I yell. I explained, she broke established rules and this is what resulted. We don’t make rules just to have rules, but to protect her. She wasn’t stupid, just young. We are trying to protect her, but there are people who would harm her and cause her pain.
Her phone is no longer in per possession and I don’t know when/if she will have it returned. For now, it’s at least a month; maybe more. She has been given the house phone to use. She is not allowed to use the internet without an adult present. She rarely uses the computer alone, but I added that restriction; just in case.
No matter how overbearing your kids think you are. If they complain you are invading their privacy, DO IT ANYWAY! No one is immune to these predators. Our children’s safety is paramount.