12 Yr. Old Daughter- Sneaks and Creates a Facebook-Twice!

Updated on June 28, 2010
S.C. asks from Jacksonville, FL
18 answers

My daughter just turned 12 few months ago. When she was 10 I allowed her to have an email account, which was going fine (I have the password and would check periodically), then I found an email showing she signed up for a website called Meez and her screen name had the word sexy in it!! I freaked out. We had a long conversation about the dangers of internet etc...she was grounded and I banned her from using a computer at all, unless supervised for homework.
I was getting to the point of possibly allowing her to have an email again, when I realized she had a facebook. She at this point had not been allowed back on the computer yet, but when I went into her old email address, there was a confirmation from facebook. When I confronted her she denied it, over and over again, until I showed her the proof. Needless to say i was very upset. She was grounded and I said that after 1 month I would allow her to have email again, but that she needed to wait until she was 13 to have a facebook, as that is what facebook's rules are. I thought we had made very good progress, until last week, when I found out she created a different email address and a facebook!! I do not even know how to begin to punish her. In some ways I feel bad, every single one of her friends has facebook, including those who live out of state, but in my mind it is wrong to allow a young person to lie about their age online. I am at a loss as to what to do now. I feel like if I continue to deny her, she will continue to find a way to do it, behind my back. If I allowed her, at least I would have some sort of way to monitor her activity at least. I am a single mother with 1 child and it can be so overwhelming. What bothers me the most is the lying, I can't stand dishonesty and it makes me really worry about the future of our relationship.... Help!

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So What Happened?

I want to thank all of you for your advice and wonderful insights. As of now, she is still grounded (no computer, friends, phone time or tv) As far as she knows it's indefinite, but I plan to give her 2 more weeks, for a total of 1 month.
I have decided to allow her to have a facebook at the end of the summer (she does not know this), but under the strict parameters, that I have her password, etc.. I have a facebook and so do all of our family members, so she will be well monitored. I came to this decision after much thought, many conversations with other mom's and family members and with your advice.
I know some of you will not agree with me, but I really took to heart those of you that advised on keeping communication honest and open. I would prefer to let her have it with the monitoring going on. It is scary to me to think she may continue to do it, without the guidance of the adults that love her. I thought I might also add, we only have a laptop at our house, she has never been on her facebook from our home. It was at her dad's house, as well as her friend's house, so it was not created or used in our home, which is all the more scary to me. I cannot control what happens outside of our home (though I so wish I could). We have also had and continue to have many more conversations about internet safety.
Thanks again for all of your input, I truly appreciate it.

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answers from Naples on

I would take the computer away until she has proved she can be trusted. The issue I have is not with having a FB account (though personally I am not planning on even letting my kids have email) but rather with the lying, sneaking and disobedience. Explain to her that she has to earn the priviledges back and explain why you have an issue with FB. Once she has proven herself trustworthy and is old enough to have one, perhaps you can allow her to start a FB account with the precautions other moms have mentioned.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Tampa on

My niece let both of her kids have a Facebook account at the ages of 8 and 10. What she did is add them as her friends so she could keep track of what they were doing. They were okay with that and everything has been good. That was a few years ago. But it kept them from sneaking behind her back and she knew everything they were up to. She also made them give her their passwords to their accounts. She is going to use the computer no matter what you do. They have access to them everywhere. You can also put a child block on the computer to keep her from doing different things on it. My girls started using the computer at around 9 and 7 years of age. She just wants to be like her friends. Without a computer she is being isolated from them. Sit down and talk to her about the rules and regulations. Also, tell her how doing one bad thing can lead to another and how she could end up in serious trouble. Talking to her is the best thing you can do. But work it out so she has some computer time. Like I said if you don't let her at home she will do it somewhere else. Better to supervise it then to not know what is going on. It's normal for her to want to be like her friends and to belong..

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answers from Boston on

As you said, kids her age have a FB account. Personally, I don't see the big deal in having one. As long as you monitor it, you are her friend on FB, you know her username/password and can access it anytime you want. If anything, it might give you more insight into her "world". You'll know who her friends are, how they communicate, have greater awareness to interactions with others etc... I know what she did by lying was wrong and you should definitely address your concerns with her about the incident. But you want her to open up to you and not go behind your back. Do explain the importance of not becoming friends w/ people she doesn't know and perhaps monitor who she's friends with and ask how she knows them... When Myspace came out, I opened up a fake account to monitor my young cousins' activities. It gave me greater insight into how they interacted, I began to understand their lingo, and actually felt like I knew them better... They never knew it was me, but I was so concerned for "wierdos" that I felt it was necessary. Best of luck in what you decide. Only you knows whats best for you and for your daughter.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Philadelphia on

Ok, i am probably going to be the minority here...

I let my daughter have a facebook at 12. I have her email and password and i go on frequently. (she also had to friend her dad and i) I set the privacy myself so that no one but friends can see anything on her site. Like you said, they all have one... and i wanted to be sure that i could monitor it. What if they went to the local library and set up a sneaky one? They always try to be a step ahead of us... we need to be a step ahead of them.

Facebook can be a safe place for friends and family. There is bad things in everything in life. Just make sure you are connected to her on facebook and constantly monitoring her....everything should be ok.

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answers from Houston on

i think you should take the compter away indefinitely.........thats scary, the lying, the screen name. Its red flags all over. When the internet was in its infancy my friends were meeting up with boys they met online and they were about 14-16, and it was late 90's.

bottom line, shes proven herself untrustworthy to have internet access that is social. its better to have a pissed off kid than one in danger.

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answers from Atlanta on

Create a password to log onto the computer. Then she won't be able to log on, If she has a cell with internet cancel it. if you want to monitor her activity when she gets a phone call listen on the other line, check the itemized cell phone bill. Don't feel bad about facebook do you think the mother that created a fake account because this girl ( her neighbor) was picking on her daughter she (mom) then posed as a boy, then told the girl he didn't like her, the little girl killed herself. Or the kids that posted that their parents would be away and 100 kids showed up and trashed the house. I promise you giving her access to the internet will not help her lying, letting her have facebook won't make you feel better. If you want to make sure she doesn't have a facebook you create an account and search her name , search her "friends profiles for her pic or name " then contact facebook to cancel it regardless of the age 13 rule you tell them she's 12 even if she's 15. With all of these looney's you don't know what she's posting or who knows your business.

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answers from San Antonio on

You are doing well, mama. Get some parental monitoring software and block FB all together. She might just check her page at school, but you can always hunt for her name and see if she comes up.

As for punishment, I would say absolutely no private, non-school computer time for the next six months. Harsh, I know, but she lied to you and deceived you and it IS dangerous. I had a friend who was taken by a couple she met on FB as he was entering her SAT prep course. They took her out of state and thank God she was found, but not for two weeks. You are right to protect her. You should also contact the local police dept. and see if there is someone you can visit there who works in the internet safety issues who can talk to her directly. At this age it is so hard to convince kids that you have their best interest at heart and know what you are talking about.

Good luck.

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answers from San Diego on

Tracey made a good point, my daughter had a my space at 13, and we closely monitored it, we have always parental control, put unfortunatly they cann sometimes gom tom their friends house and use a computer where there is no parent control or even the computers at the library. She needs to prove to you she can use it resposibly in order to use one at all, also i would take some times and print out all the horror stories of young girls her age murdered by someone on the internet I know that sounds trastic, but I showed my daughter all the news reports of your girls being manipulated by sex offenders on the internet. I know she listened because she used to share with me things her friends wrote to her or other family members, now she is 21 and has a facebook account, and I no longer worry about her in that area. If your daughter is likely to be deceitful she will find away around any punishment and or restrictions you put in place, make her painfully aware of the dangers that come with using the internet. And tell her why you feel the way you do, don't tell her no because I said so, communicate always to her, it will be the trust between you both. Hope this helps. J.

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answers from Tampa on

Growing up, the kids whose parents restricted their privileges tended to sneak around and do bad things. There is nothing wrong with Facebook as long as you monitor it. I'm sure there are some guidelines you can find on the Web. Others have left good ideas here. Make sure she doesn't accept friend requests from anyone she doesn't know. Is it possible to have the account set up with your email address? That way you could see what's going on--particularly any private messages that are being sent.

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answers from Pocatello on

I would take away computer privledges away and delent all her email accounts...your child lied and has proven they can not be trusted...

On a side note:

if the rule is no one under 13 can have a facebook account...then NO one under 13 should have a facebook account...period...and anyone who lets their kids have a face book account any younger and lie about their ages is only teaching them that is okay to lie in the future...

Parents lets set the example.....i for one will NOT allow my daughter to have a myspace or facebook account until i think they are responsible enough to handle one. And i would never let them have one any younger than the rules for the website allows... there are too many things bad going on with the internet these days and unless we set a good example then they wont learn either.

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answers from Seattle on

What we do with our 8yo is that when he breaks a punishment the punishment (essentially) triples the first 2 times, and then added punishments get tacked on.

So say he's on an electronics ban for a week. He "sneaks" and it gets upped to a month. He sneaks again and it gets bumped to 3 months. He sneaks yet again and he's GROUNDED for a week in addition to the 3 month electronics ban. Sneaks again and he's grounded for a month.

As yet, we've had the total electronics ban (no tv, computer, phone) for 3 months + 1 week of grounding (no play dates, sports, anything = nada) once. And 2 month long electronics bans in the past 2 years (as yet, he hasn't been able to resist sneaking that first week... but he sure as heck resists for the next 3 weeks). He's also had several 36 hour bans (the first "your behavior is unacceptable surrounding _____". Essentially every 6 months or so he pushes a boundary in a big way. And the rules kick in. Over the past 2 years his self control is improving. AKA last year he was banned for a total of 4 months plus several 36 hour suspensions. This year we've had only 2 36 hour suspensions, and a 1 month ban.

Now he's 3 years younger... but the increasing punishments at least, appear to be working.

I would be worried about allowing her access after sneaking twice. Seems to show that all she has to do is sneak enough, and eventually the restriction gets lifted.

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answers from Seattle on

S., you are perfectly reasonable and even if you weren't once you have made that decision to have her wait until 13, you have to stick to it! This is such an important age, the last years you have to really drive home what your values are and the you mean what you say and will stick to it.
This is not about punishment, but discipline. What are her most cherished privileges? She needs to loose them and work very hard to earn them back. She has disobeyed a reasonable rule TWICE and been dishonest about it, so whatever you do, it needs to hit home with her.
Good luck!



answers from Tampa on

Take the computer out of the house.
best, k



answers from Tulsa on

First things first: she lied and she should have consequences....

I always lie about my grandkids ages on FB, why in the world would I want to announce to the world that they are children....

I use their mothers birth year and their own birthdays. they love to play the games and I know everyone of their contacts/friends personally or the person is a friend of mine that has vouched for the person they are recommending. I also hav them hidden by way of security settings. A random person cannot type in their name and they come up. They have to be a friend of a friend at this time. My choice.

FB has repeatedly said the 13 yr, thing is a very good guideline due to maturity. Our solution is that the family computers are in the main area of the house. At a Conference talk recently a speaker recommended that the family computer is in a family area. They also suggested placing a picture that represents Christ, I have a huge family portrait of the kids above our monitors, and that way they have Christ watching over them. Our computers are in the family room where most activity is.

No one is on the computer without everyone in the house knowing where they are surfing. But to tell you the facts, she can access FB from any friends house or even a cell phone. I recommend moving the computer to a family area and letting her have the account with her acknowledgement that you have access and check it frequently.



answers from Tampa on

It it interesting to see the adversarial relationships we set up with our kids displayed here.

Kids just want to be heard and trusted. Taking away stuff never "teaches" them a lesson, it only teaches them how to be innovative in ways to avoid punishment (think back to when you were a kid). It also teaches them how not to tell you things for fear of reprisal.

I see nothing wrong with her having a FB account and you friending her and/or having her login info. Tell her about the dangers and concerns about privacy (I personally think facebook is a terrible invasion of privacy, but I am in the monority these days and it is how kids do things, ain't no stopping it now as they say).

Examine what your real concern is - if it's some bad guy friending her you will be able to see that, or if it's that she's sharing information she shouldn't, just talk to her about why she shouldn't say "3 week bahama vacation starting tomorrow!" She should be able to understand your concerns, even though kids do have an "it won't happen to me" attitude (again, think back, you had it too).

Work together, not at odds with each other, to find a solution you both can live with.



answers from Portland on

I hope you'll read the book How to Talk So Kids Will Listen, and Listen So Kids Will Talk. The authors have a long history of leading parenting workshops, and teach parents how their children can propose their own solutions to all sorts of classic problems, including attitude, responsibility and trust issues.

I have been using these very effective techniques with my grandson, who's now 4.5. I expect communication will become even more important as he approaches puberty. This is a great set of tools for all of us who care about the welfare of young persons!



answers from Anchorage on

I would not see a problem with her having one (with you as a friend and with access), but you still have to address the fact that she disobeyed you. I would ground her from all electronics including the phone and tv and make her stay at home for at least one week (no friends). Let her know that at the end of this you will allow her to set up face book and will help her set her privacy settings, but she has to understand that is was wrong to do so behind your back and that there has to be consequences. On line can be a dangerous world, she has to understand that, and that that is why you need to have some control over her on line activities.



answers from Miami on

It's one thing to be allowed access for homework; but betraying/disobeying your ground rules for internet interaction is wrong.
Do what you can to cancel her accounts, make her accountable for her decision to "go behind your back". Depending on the computer you have, you can disconnect the mouse, the monitor, etc...and she can reconnect to get homework done.
Too bad too many parents think their kids are safe; but so many are not. Even adults have to be careful (you can explain that to your child) by scammers and hackers....
Take care, S.

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