The Tween has a friend (I'll call her Nelly to protect her) who signed up for a Facebook account when she was 10 years old. The mom rationalized to me that it was because she was tired of Nelly logging into her own account to play games, and she didn't want her daughter to see inappropriate things. Nelly's mom helped her set up her account and suggested me as a friend for her daughter. Not smart! The posts on my personal page are geared to a more mature audience since my friends are exactly that - mature. Because I wanted to be front and center when this stupid fucking idea backfired, I accepted the friend request and immediately assigned Nelly to a list that would never see my status updates. Eventually another girl in our little group of friends talked her mom into letting her join Facebook. And that little girl also sent me a friend request. Another child accepted and added to the special list with Nelly. How do you think this went over in my house? The Tween repeatedly asked me if she could have an account "because all of my friends do!" Uhm...hell to the fuck no!
Nelly is now about to turn 12. I've watched her online activities for almost 2 years now. It started out innocent enough. Over the last 6 months I've seen her behavior change. She apparently has figured out how to add people to her own special lists because her mom isn't seeing her status updates, which tend to be very suggestive in nature. Nelly has added over 200 friends. Many of which appear to be older. These may be friends of her parent's, just like me, but if so her interactions with them are inappropriate. Also, I often see that Nelly has liked pages with names and content that compete with my own "Bitch" is a Lifestyle. I see her sharing their photos and commenting on adult humor. Granted, those page admins should have set age restrictions as I have done in the Lifestyle, but the ultimate responsibility falls to Nelly's parents. Where the hell are they? Why aren't they monitoring what their child is doing? Even if they don't see her status updates, they can still see her activity. Are you slightly curious as to how Nelly lists her education in her "About" section? She apparently attends the "University of Sexy".
Guess who started talking to my Tween about sexual things? You bet...Nelly. I found the texts on my daughter's phone. When I told the mother, she laughed it off and then said it wasn't as bad as I made it sound. She also tried to deflect fault on me for “snooping” on my kid. Oh hell no! Bitch, the fucking texts are right there in the incoming messages on my daughter's phone! Just because your kid was smart enough to delete her messages doesn't mean it didn't happen!
For those of you that are going to get self-righteous and say that parents shouldn't "spy" on their children and shouldn't invade their privacy, turn your ass around right now and leave. I don't want to fucking hear it. Parents are meant to guide their children, to protect them and to make sure they're not being introduced to things that take away their childhood innocence. Parents aren't meant to be their kid's best friend. And parents sure as hell shouldn't introduce their child to an environment without monitoring them.
You can bet your ass I know what my kids are doing. I'm raising them and I'm going to make sure they follow my rules. Most importantly, I'm going to make sure I protect them and their innocence as much as I can.
Parents, pull your head out of your asses. Watch your kids. Make sure you know what they are up to. Don't jump into the running for the shitty parent award. You're going to hear it from me the instant your shitty parenting starts affecting my family.