Busy Mom is asking about tweeners using myspace. Just last week I quizzed Sarah about myspace, xanga and facebook. She admitted having friends with accounts but denied having one herself. The rule in our house is that you don't sign up for anything without permission. She does have an instant messenger account that we allowed her to have. Last year after a sleepover, we found one of her friends had been using very provocative IM names and talking to strangers. Doug went to tell the girl's mother and the mother just laughed it off as nothing to worry about. This year a different tweener friend has a xanga account. The girl has her full name and birthdate listed. This time I asked Sarah to advise her friend to remove her last name and year of birth. The info hasn't been changed but she hasn't blogged since she learned out that I found her blog either. All I succeeded in doing was chasing her to a new site.

8 thoughts on “113865202250941127

  1. You shouldn’t have given up on the first girl’s mom. Young girls using IM provocatively is influencing your girl whether you like it or not, so it’s not just in the friend’s best interest but in your daughter’s. And I firmly believe all parents have a duty to help watch out for all kids, not just our own – the girl’s mom needs to understand the danger of what she’s doing and if she laughs it off, try again. And again. And show her an article or two about online predators until she gets it.

    Too many parents hold fast to the “their my kids and I know what’s best for them.” Well, guess what, we see more and more that no, ma’am, you may not know what’s best for your kids. They’re the ones staying out drinking, driving drunk, having promiscuous sex, mothering and fathering unwanted babies, doing drugs and failing school while the moms and dads are watching “Desparate Housewives”, filing their nails and playing golf.

    Good for you, Cathy, for seeing the dangers and being a good mom. Now, more please.

  2. Danger, Will Robinson.

    What’s the motivation behind posting real info on these sites? Is it just thoughtlessness or is there something behind it? I’m not sure you could get a straight answer out of Sara’s friend (or that Sara would know) but I’m curious.

    I’d think a more anonymous posting mode would appeal more to kids. It would be marginally safer, too.

  3. Unfortunately, after the way the IM girl’s mom reacted we had to cut off most activities with the other girl. The other girl has since moved away.

  4. My tween and preteen each have a xanga. I have strict rules… I know the passwords on the accounts, I subscribe to the blogs so I always understand what is going on and I have the ability to edit what I think is inappropriate.. like last names, etc.

    I am hoping that it encourages them to write something and gives me some insite into the inner workings of their little minds..

  5. I think it would be VERY helpful if Sarah blogged. It would help her be in touch with her own feelings and I’d love to know what she’s thinking. I just want it done without identifying info. The myspace and facebook stuff is less blog and more of a meeting place.

  6. Gotcha. Too bad, an opportunity lost (for them).. Maybe they’ll meet up with another mom who can give them some helpful advice..

  7. My 8 year old told me that her friend had a login on myspace. THEY’RE 8!!! I told her it was an unacceptable site and I don’t want her on it. All sites must be approved by me no matter what their friends are doing.

    I took the opportunity to explain that people are not always what they seem. I need to find a site she can create as her own but I’m thinking maybe blogger and keeping it private. I don’t know. She needs a place to express herself. Right now she’s using just Microsoft Word and would like to branch out. I just need to help her do that safely.

  8. And there are products working against us:
    Girls’ encrypted USB stick locks parents out of diary and MSN Messenger

    The ThoughtSafe is an encrypted USB memory stick with its own version of MSN Messenger: it’s marketed to young girls who want to keep a private diary and prevent their parents or others from spying on or controlling their IM activity.

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