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12 year old daughter / unmonitored internet access

  • 16-07-2022 7:01am
    Registered Users Posts: 2,977 ✭✭✭ minikin

    I just found out yesterday my daughter has a TikTok account, using her full name - she contacted me yesterday as she had received a permanent ban. I asked her if I could see some of the videos she had uploaded - they seemed innocuous enough - just herself and some friends dancing… but then I noticed the soundtrack: references to ‘dumb n*****s, f*****g, and s*****g d**k’!

    Now I know I’m an older parent, as is her mam - whom she lives 95% of the time with - but since when is this acceptable?

    I understand she is getting a new phone later today, I’ve asked in the past for google family to be set up and offered to co-admin it but this was refused by her mother who sees it as me trying to interfere in their lives. I mentioned yesterday that I’d like there to be full time monitoring of what she’s exposed to… was shot down in flames.

    I’m absolutely disgusted at what I’ve seen and the potential longterm reputational harm attaching to it (this stuff never goes away once uploaded) never mind the potential for contact from adults on an unmoderated adult platform.

    Any tips / advice for a powerless dad?


  • Registered Users Posts: 921 ✭✭✭ Baybay

    There are genres of music where language such as you’ve mentioned is usual. The lyrics have been around a while & many people buy, stream & otherwise enjoy the accompanying music. I’m not sure how exactly her access could be blocked as it’s very commonplace although some broadcasters use beeps & blurs in certain circumstances.

    Maybe explain to her why you’re shocked at the lyrics, why you find them disrespectful or unsuitable for her to listen to or to use & find out about her interest in the music.

    Is the language content of the backing track to which they are dancing the reason why your daughter received a permanent ban?

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,977 ✭✭✭ minikin

    Thanks for response, I understand her last video was of them (herself and friend) pretending to drink wine and referring to themselves as bad bitches. I understand the backing tracks are selected on TikTok and you shoot the video to play under it.

    I suspect some other parent of a friend of hers might have seen what they were up to and reported account as they’re clearly not old enough to be on TikTok and the messages they’re parroting are completely unacceptable / mysoginistic.

    We were raised to have respect for ourselves… what the feck is going on in society that this self-degradation is considered empowering for young women???

    She is the loveliest kid imaginable, breaking my heart to see her being led like a lamb to the slaughter because her mother is too busy / careless / blind to the harm this online world can do.

  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Home & Garden Moderators, Recreation & Hobbies Moderators, Social & Fun Moderators Posts: 21,556 CMod ✭✭✭✭ Pawwed Rig

    Realistically without your ex on board nothing will change here. You need a coordinated approach so unless you can have a united front your child will keep at it

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,977 ✭✭✭ minikin

    Thanks P, yeah it’s a tough situation, I appealed for a joint approach on it yesterday without any joy.

    How far to push the issue in order to protect the young’un? Stuff like this makes me think my years of diplomacy are being thrown back in my face.

    I’m now a parent who can be ignored and unheeded.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 2,977 ✭✭✭ minikin

    Thanks gzoladz, very helpful post.

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,377 ✭✭✭ SuperBowserWorld

    Yep, it's a minefield that we've created and allow our kids to run in.

    It's **** nuts that parents think unrestricted internet access for kids is ok. And it's a tidal wave, suddenly your kid is strange if they don't have a smart phone etc etc etc

    I think as a culture and society we have failed hard here.

    And **** the people who think it causes no harm. Hopefully their kids don't get anorexia or other severe mental health issues or attack or rape someone and record it some social network for likes. Also, don't get lost down some porn rabbit hole and end up totally confused about what's a normal relationship and what's not. It goes on and on. New craziness being created each day.

    The government doesn't care as long as the money comes in from those fucked up internet companies.

  • Registered Users Posts: 7,774 ✭✭✭ 893bet

    Important point is she is still the loveliest kid imaginable. Of the right example has been set I think she will be ok.

    What ate her friends like? Seem like good kids?

    The example her peers set will influence her far more than anything she sees online.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,977 ✭✭✭ minikin

    They seem pretty good by all reports, her best friend moved back to Poland earlier this year so that was tough and probably led to allowing her free reign to her phone (to take her mind off things) - it’s just tough to see happen as I see both her and her mam have become extremely indoorsy and screeny. (Pre-existed Covid) On the 24hrs I get her every two weeks we bring her out walking and talking which she seems to love.

    I don’t know if this thread is more about me losing influence or the dangers of the internet but it comes from a place of genuine concern about the situation.

    I would suggest she watch that documentary but I’d be told “don’t tell me what to watch, I’ve to do everything here” (her own choice to go it alone)

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  • Registered Users Posts: 507 ✭✭✭ freddie1970

    I just discovered my own 12 year old singing that song as well on tick tok ...I also found out he was looking at porn i felt sick ...

    My ex got him a new phone i told her to give it to me first ill set it up with google and restrictions and no she gave it straight to him ..

    His eating habits are also destroyed he eats takeaways and chocolate and rubbish all the time ...she also gave him a revolut card with a few hundred on it disaster ..

    Because of the mess he has been ordered to live with me but i know have a chilld that is difficult ..I tried telling her and point out issues in her parenting and wouldnt listen to me ..In the end i had to get tulsa involved and now he has to stay with me

  • Registered Users Posts: 7,539 ✭✭✭ Flinty997

    Good tip on the education piece documentary. I think that's key.

  • Registered Users Posts: 507 ✭✭✭ freddie1970

    Im going to get the young fella to watch this week

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,386 ✭✭✭ olestoepoke

    Parenting can often be one of the toughest jobs there is. I have a 12year old and we gave him a phone last year and a Revolut card, phone is set up with family google, he does chores during the week to get a small amount of money on his card at the weekend. Walks the dog every evening, empties the bins and a few other handy chores.

    Regarding the porn, I think they will watch it regardless of what I do, I cannot control how his friends parents set up their kids phones. He hangs around with his soccer team so there are around 10 of them from the village. It's like being 12 or 13 years ago and finding your older brothers skin mags under his mattress.

    Post edited by olestoepoke on

  • Registered Users Posts: 7,539 ✭✭✭ Flinty997

    The focus on image on social media is also a problem. I see kids kids become very image conscious once they get a smart phone. It's not copying their peers it's copying those clowns on social media. They start living through their phone.

  • Registered Users Posts: 334 ✭✭ Xidu

    My 12 ur old teen has the same thing. They all have the whole class. All on TikTok’s talk about who’s hot. And I was shocked once when I saw the tex conversation with her friend. A lot of words I wouldn’t used in my life.

    so I had a very harsh conversation with her. And insisted to take her phone away after 10pm.

    another thing is they would call each other n chat about nonsense all night until like 1am and won’t go to sleep.

    I am exhausted. Back to my teen days I only had books.

  • Registered Users Posts: 12,003 ✭✭✭✭ Dial Hard

    I think you're conflating two different issues here - unrestricted access to the internet/social media, which is definitely not ideal, and the music on her TikTok, which I think you're overreacting to. I was a MASSIVE gangsta rap fan at that age, but I grew into a perfectly well-adjusted woman with no acquired issues around violence, sex or misogyny.

    The phone thing is the real concern here, but as others have said, without your ex on board, you're likely just shouting into the void. As a very part-time parent, there's also a good chance you'll be told to mind your own business (as your ex sees it). Could you look to increase your access at all?

  • Registered Users Posts: 7,539 ✭✭✭ Flinty997

    For me it's dumb phones until they are older and smart phones only on my network which is filtered.

    It's not perfect and can be circumvented by another kid with a data plan. I've tried two different kid firewalls with mixed success.

    But the education piece is important. How you want to be treated is how you treat others. Do nothing you aren't happy to see on youtube or the news. Never take compromised photo. Don't talk to people you don't know. Etc etc.

  • Registered Users Posts: 7,539 ✭✭✭ Flinty997

    The music thing is a different issue.

    But theres education there too. They need to be told what is culturally and socially appropriate. There is a reason there is filter on music apps.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,850 ✭✭✭ KaneToad

    Lots of songs from other eras are highly sexualised but we never realised because we don't really pay attention.

    Chain reaction - Diana Ross (BeeGees)

    You make me tremble when your hand moves lower

    You taste a little then you swallow slower

    Nature has a way of yielding treasure

    Pleasure made for you, oh

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  • Registered Users Posts: 3,734 ✭✭✭ jackboy

    We had a psychiatrist in at work giving a speech. He said that the day you give your child a smartphone their mental health is permanently damaged. This is true for adults also but more damaging for children.

    Education by parents or teachers can’t work because children are extremely effectively educated (behaviour modification) by their smartphones for hours each day. There is nothing a parent or teacher can achieve in a periodic chat to counter that.

  • Registered Users Posts: 7,539 ✭✭✭ Flinty997

    Yes but kids and young teens for the most part didn't have access to them. Unless they listened to their older siblings music. Hence songs being banned etc.

  • Registered Users Posts: 12,003 ✭✭✭✭ Dial Hard

    Concerns about what music is doing to young folk has been around since Jerry Lee Lewis first jumped on his piano. See also death metal, punk, etc. The list is endless. Beyond, as you said, educating her about what's culturally and socially appropriate, I really wouldn't be clutching my pearls about what music she's listening to.

    One of my absolute favourite songs when I was that age was Tupac's "Hit Em Up". The lyrics are absolutely appalling but I just thought it was a massively catchy tune.

    I still love 90s hip-hop and R&B but would be very aware of what lyrics I sing/rap along to these days, which is where the education piece you mentioned comes in for the likes of the OP's daughter who might not realise that it's not appropriate for white people to use the N word, even when singing along with a song they like.

  • Registered Users Posts: 7,539 ✭✭✭ Flinty997

    Like I said though most people wouldn't have ready access to most of that music on main stream media until the internet. Even MTV had a watershed and age restrictions.