Tuesday, May 8, 2012

SEXting, Cyberbullying, Video Chat...OH MY!!!

I don't know about everyone else, but when I agreed to let Beelay have first, her own gmail account, then a Facebook, a cell phone, iTouch and now a Twitter and Instagram...I swore that I was going to stay all up in her shit.  I was gonna check all of them daily...and then I'd forget and maybe I'd skim through them once a week.  Now reality has sunk in and I'm realizing there isn't enough time in the day for me to spy and snoop on her in EVERY SINGLE avenue.  Then you throw in her sister and I'm screwed!!!  It could be a full time job...just cyber stalking my children!!!

Of course we all want to think that we can trust our children and believe "my kid would NEVER do that" when we hear stories about inappropriate texting, pictures or tweets, but in all reality it could just as easily be my kid, or your kid or the straight A student down the street.  As their parents it's our responsibility to first, explain and make sure it's understood that ANYTHING they post ANYWHERE can be shared!!  It doesn't matter how tight your privacy settings are or if you can trust "Jane" with anything..."she'd NEVER tell anybody my secrets".  If it's not something you'd be comfortable with your "Great-Grandmother" seeing...then don't say it or post it...PERIOD!!

Second; as a mom of daughters, my concerns and responsibilities are different than those of someone raising boys.  I'm always reminding Beelay not to take questionable pictures of herself for any reason.  But who knows for sure what her reaction would be if a boy was giving her attention and asked her to send him a pic, or if he IMs her talking about how nice her "rack" is, or even worse...talking about BJs or S-E-X!!!  We all know the day is coming.  What we don't know is how she's going to handle the situation.  She and I had a talk about it the other day.  Of course she wants to shut me down ASAP!!  "Mom, you know I'm not that girl!!  I'm not a slut!!"  But I'm not so easily satisfied.  Sure it's an awkward conversation, but she better get used to it now...because I'd much rather have these regularly occurring conversations than have to deal with her being raped or having to change a grandchild's diapers.  <---Just typing those words made my blood pressure shoot right through my dirty mind and on to the moon and back!!!

What I want her to do is shut down any boy that talks to her in any derogatory way.  Tell him to STFU, kiss her ass, whatever....I don't care what language she uses as long as she communicates that she won't tolerate being spoken to that way.  The problem is that girls are often starving for male attention and it doesn't matter what kind of attention it is.  And THAT is why I periodically (not nearly often enough) snoop through her texts, tweets, emails, etc.  Rarely do I even find anything worth bringing up to her, so she doesn't even know I've looked.  BUT when I do find that inappropriate conversation, if she hasn't shut him down the way she's been taught...I will follow in the footsteps of one mom I know and I will be calling the boys parents and shed some light on their son's behavior.  It will be up to them how they handle it on their end, but I hope that they explain to him that depending on the content of their conversations, contacting the police are within my rights.  And how harsh her punishment is will depend on how inappropriate the offense is.  Lord help her...I am NOT beyond locking her in her bedroom between now and her 18th birthday.

Unfortunately, there is no way for me to monitor her video chats.  So far the only people she really FaceTime's with are a few of her "girl" friends...which to my pleasant surprise they were quizzing each other on SAT words a couple weeks ago and ME!!  I kid you not, that pain in the ASS child FaceTimed me 8 times last night!!!  Instead of getting off the couch and coming to talk to me upstairs...she FaceTimed me.  Granted it might not have been 8 times if I hadn't declined half of them...but seriously, KNOCK IT OFF!!  We've touched on the appropriate behavior while video chatting though.  I'm just gonna have to hope and pray that when the proposition arises, she makes the right decision.

Now I'm going to DREAM about a nice, cold, tall, STIFF drink and maybe even a cigarette to calm myself after all of the anxiety this post brought to the surface of my life.  Talk to your kids...especially when it's an embarrassing or sticky topic!!  Follow me here and on Facebook at  http://www.facebook.com/gracefuldisaster.

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