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04 Dec 2012

Blackberry and tween daughter
Hi Doc,

My daughter is 12 - in my wisdom, after alot of begging, I bought her a Blackberry (this was a few months back). I brought her phone into work with me today, in order to check up on what she is doing on it, and discovered some stuff that has me very worried, and very dissapointed in my daughter!
She has contacts on BBM of people she does not personally know, one of these being a " boy"  (or could even be a 50 yr old man fronting) whom she is having some sort of cell relationship with - he asks her things like " have yu had phone sex before?"  " I''ve been thinking of you in the shower"  etc.

I am confiscating the phone, intend to have it wiped clean and I will take it over, and my daughter can have my old Nokia.

As a single mom, I''m not sure how far to take the punishment for this - any suggestions?

Thanks.
Answer 285 views
Expert
CyberShrink
cybershrink

01 Jan 0001

Personally, I'm happy with kids having a basic cell-phone for emergencies, but have yet to be convinced that they need ( as opposed to want ) elaborate versions like Blackberries and I-phone. The old Nokia sounds safer.
But folks, NEVER EVER give such tools to a child without a long discussion about proper and improper ways to use it, precautions to take, and a binding agreement that Mom can access the phone at any time to check that it's being used properly.
I'm surprised the phone companies havent come up with better systems of protective software such as is available for computer browsers, both the block children accessing nasty sites, and to record what they do access.
Right, now, shouldn't your emphasis be on helping your child understand why this was wrong and risky, and enabling her to exercise better judgment in future ? Yes, a swap to a more limited phone makes sense. But talk through what sort of horrible person it was who was pretending you be someone else, who was trying to lure her into doing bad and dangerous things, and why it is so important for you to protect her from that,
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