So, my daughter is 11 going on 35. I try to have a balance of discipline and passivity. I try and give her the semblance of having her own privacy, all while trying to keep tabs on what she does and who she is becoming. I, apparently, have failed at the task. While talking with her grandmother, I was told that she had a Tumblr account. This is something that I was totally unaware of. I decided to speak with my daughter about this. I explained that if she wanted me to trust her, that she needed to be open and honest with me. I also explained that, when it came to anything online, she MUST ask me FIRST. She sounded like she understood and then the day went off without a hitch.
The next day, I decided that I was going to delete the Tumblr account because she is 11 years old, she has no business sharing anything with anyone at this age, and then the old... BECAUSE I SAID SO reason as well. I invited her to sit next to me while I deleted the account because I needed the login info and password. I also wanted her to see that I meant what I said about the entire situation.
I was surprised when I found that the login information started with putting your email address in. She quickly told me what the address was. I asked if she just made that up or what it a real address.... I was horrified when she told me that it was HER OWN email.
I decided to just continue with deleting the Tumblr account. After I did that, I checked her email and there were MANY things in there that were inappropriate for ANY person... forget the part that she is only 11. I guess I find some comfort in the fact that they were all NEW and none of them had been read.... but I was fuming at this point. (Usually, these are the emails that adults would call SPAM but CHILDREN don't know that there is a folder for things that are unwanted.) After glancing through the unread emails titles... I noticed that she was getting a lot of email from You Tube. I slowly turned my head to her and asked the dumbest question yet.... "Do you have a You Tube account too?"
"Yes. I wanted it."
I will be a good mommy, a good Christian, and a good person if you would just tell me where my lil one has went and if you help me find her... because this punk that is currently cleaning out the closet is NOT my sweet baby.
In Jesus Name,
Moral of the story?
1. Keep your eyes PEELED when the kids are online... even if they seem like they always make the right decision. They are kids... and are bound to succeed at being one.
2. Make sure that when you decide to look deeply into what they have been doing... that there is PLENTY of cleaning to do in the house.
3. Don't ever punish while you are mad.... wait until you think of something REALLY crappy.... then and ONLY THEN do you tell them what the punishment will be.