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Old 03-01-2008, 04:50 AM - Thread Starter
 
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i don't think i have ever posted here before, but i have no idea what to do. i had a feeling tonight to check my sons cell phone. he has a "girlfriend", he is almost 14. well i started reading his texts and i found a pic of one of his female friends breasts on it and she was asking him to send her pics of his "package" as she called it. then another girl was texting him asking him what he wanted her to do and he answered back to suck his ****. i about flipped. i texted the two girls back and told them that i would be letting their parents know what types of things they were doing at midnight. one girl appologized and said my son wasn't the victim they were both at fault, which i said was true. the other one taunted me telling me i didn't know her parents or her phone number and to have fun trying to find it out. so what would you do?
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Old 03-01-2008, 02:47 PM
 
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I would have a nonconfrontational, educational discussion with him about responsibility and respect for women and then I would hug him and leave it at that. I also wouldn't have texted the girls back in a threatening manner. I might have let them know that I sometimes use my son's cell phone and they might want to consider that when they were deciding what to text.
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Old 03-01-2008, 04:50 PM
 
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ITA with the PP. And as hard as it is, it's important to understand we cannot control our teens, and the harder we try to, the more alienated we may become from them. Instead, if we can establish good rapport and trust (not specific, but the general trust we have that they will indeed grow up and take personal responsibilty for their behavior...eventually) and in as many instances as possible help them to shoulder the responsibilty for what THEY own, they, and we, will be fine. In the meantime...well, it's been a minute since I was dealing with this particular issue, but I can say that the difference in maturity, at least for my DD rom 14 to 16 has been remarkable, indeed. Girls do tend to mature a bit earlier, and that was certainly what I saw in my two, but still; this won't last forever. I really benefited from the book by Don Dinkmeyer, et al Parent Effectiveness Training -Teens. One of the best parts of the book is a chart that helps families determine who owns a problem. Because teens often feel extremely sensitive about their personal boundaries, it helps enormously if we stay out of the stuff they truly own, and offer choices when we own the problem.
This sounds, unfortunately or not, pretty common. Teens, esp. young teens are often 'trying on' personality, character and lifestyle traits. This doesn't at all predict, necessarily, for disaster later on, KWIM? Not that this is not alarming, I do understand. But it's not deviant or all that unusual amongst teens, at all. I often say I am not sure which is worse, thinking our kids are aliens or knowing they are not!! Anyway, mama, another thing that really helps me a lot is to remember how I felt as a teen. This can help us to have compassion for their struggles. Plus, it can give us insight as to why a situation troubles us. Not so that we accept something that we feel our kids would be best not doing, but just so we are clear about the boundaries and ownership of the problem. HTHs
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Old 03-01-2008, 09:45 PM
 
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What did your son say?
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Old 03-01-2008, 10:05 PM
 
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Old 03-02-2008, 12:45 AM - Thread Starter
 
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He hasn't said much. Other than that I have him go to the 8th grade sunday school class at our UU church that is a sexuality education class and that they are doing sex ed in health class at school and so shouldn't I expect him to be curious

I know both the girls which is why I texted them. I don't feel I threatened them, but let them know I wasn't happy with any of their actions and that their parents were going to be told about it.

Oh yea, I'm going to look for that book too. Sounds good. This teen stuff is scary
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Old 03-03-2008, 07:04 AM
 
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random thoughts (from a mom with a 16yo dsd, 15yo dd, and 12yodd)...

At first, I really wanted to ground your son, take away his cell phone, and somehow berate him into understanding how belittling, how rude, how immature this sort of stuff is.

Then I read a few other threads not related to parenting teens, made a few snacks for the kids, calmed down, read all the replies, and thought:

I really *don't* like the idea that I can't curtail, control, or oversee my teens' behaviors. I think that is a great part of why I am so uncomfortable with so many outings, so much other teen stuff (cell phones, online activity, stuff like that).

I have to give up control...and continue to help her find her own sense of balance...to help her see her own moral and ethical rights and wrongs, and to ensure that she safeguards the rights of others in her own choices.

I do think I'm pretty frank about sex, drugs, hormones, you name it...but I'm really bad at just letting go. I am told numerous times a week that "I've done a great job" w/ the 15yo who is in her first year of PS after being homeschooled...that I've laid a good foundation and she'll make mistakes but she knows right from wrong...

And every time she makes a little slip, I forget all the good things she has done and continues to do.

All this to say, I hear the confusion in parenting a teen. I hear your worries.

I do think it's appropriate to notify the parents of the girls. I'd want to know if my kid was talking, typing, texting like that. I would want the chance to honestly talk with her about what it means to put a picture of your breasts on someone else's hard drive. The internet is a very permanent, yet very fluid place. Had your son been the type to post those nude pics to a MySpace page or something similar, she'd still be facing their reality in ten years, when she's in college or looking for a job.

Sex education is not the equivalent of sexual exploitation or sexual adventurousness. Aside from that, your son is in EIGHTH grade. This is just not permissable.

I agree we can't own our teens or control everything they do or think...but we can certainly make boundaries. I would still take his cell phone away for a while. Irresponsible use equals loss of priveleges in our house. JMO.

Good luck, mama.

love, penelope

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Old 03-03-2008, 10:12 AM
 
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I do think I'm pretty frank about sex, drugs, hormones, you name it...but I'm really bad at just letting go. I am told numerous times a week that "I've done a great job" w/ the 15yo who is in her first year of PS after being homeschooled...that I've laid a good foundation and she'll make mistakes but she knows right from wrong...

And every time she makes a little slip, I forget all the good things she has done and continues to do.
wow, Penelope, this is ringing very true for me. It's my 13 son who just started school in January after only hs'd. This stuff is seriously difficult.
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Old 03-03-2008, 03:04 PM - Thread Starter
 
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we do have very open conversations about sex. alot of my friends can't believe the things he tells me. his friends can't believe the things he tells me, but his friends also talk to me. i have agreed with his friends, boys/girls, that i would not repeat anything told to me unless i think its something serious or harmful to them. they are very open with me. its so hard to know what is the "right" thing to do. i don't want to destroy his trust in me, but he has put my trust with him in question. i have taken the cell phone, again. i took it away about a month ago because he ran the bill up using the internet so we had that blocked off his phone. its a hard line between parenting them and letting them make their own mistakes to learn from. and to think i have 2 more coming up behind him
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Old 03-03-2008, 04:14 PM
 
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I worry about the girls, about the pictures ending up spread around. I worry about the wanton risk in all their behaviors (son's too).

Sex happened early with all my friends (14 and no later than 16). This was the 1980s. But it was, almost exclusively, within the confines of a relationship. They slept with their boyfriends or girlfriends. I actually think it was a good thing (the sex), good in the sense that it was healthy or at least not particularly harmful (the occasional abortion notwithstanding).

It does seem different now. I think you really really need to talk to your son about respect for sex. A hard sell in a world gone, aparently, unmoored when it comes to sex.

Good luck
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Old 03-03-2008, 10:06 PM - Thread Starter
 
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The pics have not gone anywhere. I have the phone. But they could have had they been sent to the wrong person.

I tried to get in contact with the school today to see if they could put me in contact with the parents but so far no luck. I can only hope if I can't find the parents that something worse doesn't happen from this.

I have talked to my son and will continue to talk with him.
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Old 03-03-2008, 10:11 PM
 
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I think it's a huge violation of privacy to talk to the girls' parents about this.

You've already let the girls know that you check his cell phone and they can't count on anything from the phone being truly private. You're talking to your son. I honestly don't see what good would come of talking to the other parents.

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Old 03-03-2008, 11:23 PM
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As the parent of a girl, I'd want to know if my daughter was texting pics of her boobs to other people.
I'd appreciate you trying to find me and let me know so I can talk to her myself about not doing that kind of thing.
My Ds is just 14 and has his own cell phone now too, after checking his pics all he's done is take pics of the logo on his shoe I'm glad for that.
I don't think you did the wrong thing, teens need to now when we dissaprove of what they are doing and you let them know that. If you did or said nothing they can take that as a sign of approval and go on to do other things you may not like or approve of.
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Old 03-03-2008, 11:29 PM - Thread Starter
 
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There are alot of things the kids tell me that I keep to myself. But this is something I feel the girls parents need to be aware of. Having a girl, I would also want to know if she was doing or saying things like this. Given she is only 6 I hope I have a while
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Old 03-04-2008, 05:04 AM
 
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I think it's a huge violation of privacy to talk to the girls' parents about this.

You've already let the girls know that you check his cell phone and they can't count on anything from the phone being truly private. You're talking to your son. I honestly don't see what good would come of talking to the other parents.
You wouldn't want to know if your daughters were sending pictures of their breasts to boys?

It is an invasion of privacy but it is for their own good. If they were just sending normal pictures then that would be different but these are young girls sending nude pictures. They obviously do not know about self respect. I fear for them, if they are 13 or 14 and already doing this stuff, where are they going to be years down the line? All these kids need to learn about self respect.
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Old 03-04-2008, 02:01 PM
 
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It is a little disturbing to see/hear kids this young acting so sexual but I wanted to post that when I was a young teen I hung out with older and "rougher" kids. So I lied all the time about what I was doing- ie I told my "friends" I was having sex, doing drugs, skipping school, sneaking out. Meanwhile I was doing my homework and raising my little brother and sister. That bravado or display of maturity is sometimes so artificial. I guess the context is that your son may just be "playing a game" a bit dangerous one as time goes on, because eventually you have to act on those statements and thats when it gets way more complicated.
I feel sorry for boys sometimes, with aggresive teenage girls, they don't seem to have the out that girls have and it has got to be hard to sort of stay out of reach when everything in our culture tells them to go for it sexually. It makes me nervous.
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Old 03-04-2008, 03:25 PM
 
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I just think we all need to be careful about assuming how other parents will react to information like that. While we may be thoughtful and have a problem-solving mentality with our teens, other parents can be verbally and physically abusive, or at least shaming and demeaning. There are many cases I can imagine where it would be best to just not tell the girls' parents. Of course *I'd* want to know, so I can see that pov. When I've "told on" one of my kids' friends - only once that I know of - the parent was a good friend whose parenting style I'd seen in action for many years.
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Old 03-09-2008, 06:45 AM
 
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wow, Penelope, this is ringing very true for me. It's my 13 son who just started school in January after only hs'd. This stuff is seriously difficult.
In a way, I'm glad I'm not the only one seeing this face of the teen years. In another way, I am so sorry anyone has to go through this sort of thing.

As far as the posts about telling the parents of the girls...IMHO, they gave up their right to privacy when they sent pictures of their private body parts to a cell phone, which could have been lost, stolen, its contents uploaded and spread around the internet...

Much better that the parents and girls in question have honest discussion about these sorts of things now, while the threat is very minimal, than have these girls posting pictures of themselves doing embarrassing things to Facebook or MySpace.

I understand the concern about parental rage, but I do think the submitter's prior knowledge of and friendship with these kids are helping her decide to inform their parents of their behavior.

love, penelope

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Old 03-12-2008, 09:40 PM
 
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Heather, how did it all go? Just wondering and still checking the thread.

love, penelope

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Old 03-12-2008, 11:19 PM
 
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I'd be concerned that he could be considered in possession of child pornography - even though the girl took the picture of herself and sent it.
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Old 03-13-2008, 12:46 AM
 
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As far as the posts about telling the parents of the girls...IMHO, they gave up their right to privacy when they sent pictures of their private body parts to a cell phone, which could have been lost, stolen, its contents uploaded and spread around the internet...

Much better that the parents and girls in question have honest discussion about these sorts of things now, while the threat is very minimal, than have these girls posting pictures of themselves doing embarrassing things to Facebook or MySpace.
Seriously. These girls need to understand that once they engage in this sort of electronic distribution, "privacy" goes right out the window.
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Old 03-13-2008, 01:48 AM
 
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I'd be concerned that he could be considered in possession of child pornography - even though the girl took the picture of herself and sent it.
This is a *really* good point. Wasn't there a case recently where TWO teens, in a consensual relationship, were both charged with possession of child pornography for taking nude pics of themselves and sending them to each other?

Scary.

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Old 03-13-2008, 12:49 PM
 
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Parent of an almost pre-teen here, really, really following this thread. I am not there yet, so perhaps I'll feel differently, but for now, I would absolutely want to know if my child sent explicit pictures to someone else. This enters the realm of safety for me, because it's unclear where exactly those pics could end up, for what purpose, etc. I think we need to remember that teens are KIDS...they can't be expected to fully know or act in accordance with what the ramifications of their actions might be. They are learning, and we are teaching them. I just don't see the boundary violations here. I think it's actually pretty smart to make kids aware that some of their actions can have consequences far beyond what they might imagine in the moment. Makes you yearn for the days when we all passed "notes" to one another with our adolescent yearnings!
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Old 03-13-2008, 08:01 PM
 
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OhDang wrote:
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these are young girls sending nude pictures. They obviously do not know about self respect.
Did it ever occur to you that a girl might share pictures of her body BECAUSE of self-respect, because she thinks she is beautiful and wants to share her beauty with people who will appreciate it?

My parents raised me to feel joy and pride in my body and sexuality. Then, when I was a teenager and they found out I was having sex, they jumped straight to the conclusion that I was deeply troubled and had no self-respect! Because I trusted and respected my parents, I worried over the issue for a couple of years, scrutinizing my every move and praying for guidance...but I could find no evidence that my sexual activity was motivated by anything but loving my body and the things it could feel, being excited by boys' bodies and making them feel good, and exploring this new way of connecting with another person. The only damage to my self-esteem came from feeling judged and insulted by my beloved parents.

So please don't jump to conclusions about these girls.

The serious issues here, IMO, are:

1. the use of electronic technology to transfer these photos, which could lead to their misuse. Your son and his friends need firm guidance about why this is such a bad idea. Taking away the cell phone is appropriate.

2. the possibility that your son is uncomfortable being pressured by these girls to show them his private parts. You should talk with him about his right to privacy and how to say no.

Sorry you had this shocking experience! It's bad enough having someone's breasts pop up on your screen without warning when it's some random porn-spam person; it must've been really weird to realize they were the breasts of someone you know and think of as a kid!

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Old 03-20-2008, 10:27 PM
 
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I'd be concerned that he could be considered in possession of child pornography - even though the girl took the picture of herself and sent it.
You are right to be concerned. This IS child pornography in the eyes of the law. I personally know a case where a 17 year-old boy recieved a nude picture from a female friend (also 17 years old). He was charged and convicted of "sexual exploitation of minor".

And for the record, if my kid were sending pictures like that I would want to know so that I could beat some sense into them
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Old 03-22-2008, 08:15 PM
 
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To me the natural consequence is if you can't use electronics responsibly you will not have them.

I'd take away the cell phone and consider moving his pc into a family area or if that is not possible lock out myspace and other sites that promote this kind of exchange. Heck, if my employer can do it, I'm sure a parent can.

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Old 03-24-2008, 09:02 AM
 
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I am most curious if you found these girls or not. Also I think I would tell my son that if these girls are so wiiling to promote their bodies for free, it stands to reason they have been there before with other guys. Just a thought to communicate to our boys.
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Old 03-24-2008, 09:43 AM
 
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i don't think i have ever posted here before, but i have no idea what to do. i had a feeling tonight to check my sons cell phone. he has a "girlfriend", he is almost 14. well i started reading his texts and i found a pic of one of his female friends breasts on it and she was asking him to send her pics of his "package" as she called it. then another girl was texting him asking him what he wanted her to do and he answered back to suck his ****. i about flipped. i texted the two girls back and told them that i would be letting their parents know what types of things they were doing at midnight. one girl appologized and said my son wasn't the victim they were both at fault, which i said was true. the other one taunted me telling me i didn't know her parents or her phone number and to have fun trying to find it out. so what would you do?
I would have talked to my son first and then tried to find out who the girls were and their parents. I don't think I would have taken the approach that you took. That could be a good way to get your son to really dislike you and go do something behind your back just out of spite. Unless you want to be a grandma in the next year or two I'd have more communication with him, or better yet, take his phone away. Does a 14 yr old really need a phone?

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I am most curious if you found these girls or not. Also I think I would tell my son that if these girls are so wiiling to promote their bodies for free, it stands to reason they have been there before with other guys. Just a thought to communicate to our boys.
That would be like talking to a brick wall in most instances! Don't you remember being a teenager? They could care less at that age who has done what sexually. The hormones are working in them too much to care.

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Old 03-24-2008, 10:08 AM
 
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I am most curious if you found these girls or not. Also I think I would tell my son that if these girls are so wiiling to promote their bodies for free, it stands to reason they have been there before with other guys. Just a thought to communicate to our boys.
I think that's an incredibly sexist way of thinking to pass on to your son. I will be telling my son to be very critical of that kind of attitude. So what if they've been there before with other guys? They're teenagers, and teens experiment sexually. What does it say about the boys who are 'promoting their bodies for free'?

OP, I would not contact the girls' parents if I were you. You have no way of knowing what kind of reaction they will have. Sex is such a volatile issue for parents of teens, especially teen girls. Your son will feel horrible if they get into huge trouble because he got caught.

I think that taking his cellphone away for now is totally reasonable, but it's important to keep the lines of communication open now, not to do things that will close them.
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Old 03-24-2008, 09:59 PM
 
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Well if it was me personally, I would let him keep the cell phone but cancel the text and picture services. If anything it should save you 10 bucks and give you piece of mind that it won't happen again. And he'll still have the phone for communication/emergency needs.
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