Is my Tween Video-Chatting with Strangers???

tyres4

I didn’t post a lot lately, being engaged in my new parents site, http://www.parents-space.com .

It’s coming up nicely I think! 60 Contributors already.

The variety of contributors results in discussing many topics, some are fairly new to me. I bet that I’m not alone here.

A naive parent I am,  a species that cannot survive for long in the 21 century.

Listen to this:

My Tween (12 – should I say “Teen”?) was standing near my computer when I was editing posts in Parents- Space.com, and suddenly asked me – “mommy, how do you know Omegle”?  She noticed the icon in Andrea’s post:

http://www.parents-space.com/internet-safety/omegle-com-parents-beware-do-you-know-who-your-kids-are-chatting-with/

Now please believe me:  You definitely DO NOT wish your kids to know “Omegle”.

This is Andrea http://andreamcdanielphotography.com/blog/ and I am so glad to have her contributing to Parents-Space.com.

If not for her, I would have never known about Omegle. My tween however, she does. She knows Omegle so well, she recognized the logo immediately.  But guess what, now I know she knows.

She said she didn’t use it. A friend showed it to her.

Do I believe her?? She recognized the logo in an instant, and named it without hesitation.

While considering my reaction (do I faint now, or do I wait?) I’m getting a call from a peer’s mom.

She’s been told that some kids were video chatting, and this stranger informed them the size of his penis. The problem was that he measured it in inches, while in my country we use centimeters. Problem, isn’t it???

Having no idea how to convert inches, the tweens checked with their parents what the inches stood for… I’m not joking, actually just thinking about it makes me want to cry.

Should we  download  a conversion app to our children’s cells? You can never know when they’ll need it!

Anyway, if you can’t beat them, join them; We created a “worried moms” WhatsApp group since yesterday, beeping endlessly; just like my daughter’s.

Now that I scared the hell out of you, I will move to the tyres garden I designed with my other kids.  It’s relaxing, it’s not dangerous, and note this: when they are painting, they are not online.

My little ones, they still have a year or two before they start video chatting with strangers.

tyres5

Sorry, I’m so proud of myself I need to show you another one:

tyres3

OK, last one: 

tyres6

These are my 5 and 9 painting (no cell phones yet)

The dog is half blind, not helpful at all.

tyres kids

While we’re at it, that’s my 5 working on wind chimes. Instructions here.

wind chimes1

Off to a meeting with the parents of the tween’s peers, to plan defence strategies.

Never let them get ahead of you (technology speaking, at least).

Last: This is actually 2 posts combined together isn’t it? It suddenly struck me that I shouldn’t split it.

It doesn’t matter what kind of parents we are; however it is we educate them while we still have some influence, we’re losing control at 12.

Sorry, folks!

If you wish to stay connected to parents-space.com, please join our FB (here) or Twitter (here).

All posts are Facebooked and Twitted, so you will be informed of every new Omegle.   

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24 Comments

Filed under Teens & Tweens

24 responses to “Is my Tween Video-Chatting with Strangers???

  1. In my opinion, you can never be too safe or too careful about what your kids are involved in. After raising two teenage daughters (who, with the grace of God, have never given me too much to worry about and have grown to become successful young adults) I am a firm believer in parental ‘snooping’. Many people may disagree with me, but I felt it was my job to know (nearly) everything they were up to. They didn’t always like me and that was okay. I did my job and they appreciate me (now). 🙂

  2. Wow, thank you for making me happy that my kids are all grown up! It gets scarier out there every day….As a fifth grade teacher, I can tell you that the topic of safety on line comes up at least once a week in my classroom. Between FaceTime, Skype, texting and all of the other “instant access” apps out there, kids need to be constantly monitored. Our school advises no computers in kids rooms, and that part of saying “good night” to mom and dad is to turn over all the electronics (iPad, iPod, laptop, smartphone, etc) before you go to sleep.
    Yeesh, what a world!

  3. Yikes, my oldest is 11, and I guess this is in my future, but yuck! I believe in protecting my kids, but I’ve also tried to get them to talk to me in case things come up. I want them to be able to ask me for help with things. I hope it’s enough.

  4. My boys are only 4 and 5 years old, so thankfully I have a few years before all of that scary stuff starts happening. My goal is to stay as up-to-date as I can throughout these years so I’ll be on par with them when they’re older!!

  5. We don’t have kids, but I have friends who do, and it’s mind-boggling to me, regarding the dangers that are out there. I wish you luck! Ellie

  6. I’m 25 years old. My parents did everything to try to keep me from talking to strangers. I hate to say that it never worked growing up. I would go into chat rooms, and I would talk to people. I was 13 years old, pretending to be 20 something, and had an online “relationship” with a guy for close to a year. I personally ended it, when he kept insisting on us to finally meet. I admitted my lies, and he stopped talking to me. Yes, not everyone is like that though. Some our predators. The dangers aren’t new, there is just more access to it, with smart phones, and internet being available EVERYWHERE.

    I am not proud of what I’ve done, BUT I can warn you, if you make your teen feel shut out, and that you aren’t listening to them, then you are pushing them away. And something worse could happen. I am a successful adult. I have two college degrees. I’ve never done drugs, or abused alcohol. I never struggled with whether I have an STD or a surprise pregnancy because I haven’t had physical sex. But I’ve sent naked pictures to strangers in my younger years.

    Most teens who do that, struggle with image. They don’t feel “wanted”. They don’t feel “desired”. Most of my life I struggled with that, until I found my own confidence. Help your child be confident. Tell them they are beautiful. Have your husband tell them they are beautiful or handsome. Help them feel like they belong, because most likely, they are chatting with strangers because its 1. exciting, 2. rebellious, and 3. wanted/desired (negatively).

    My parents know what I did when I was younger, and they weren’t happy to hear about it, and I was one of those special cases were I didn’t get kidnapped. My life hasn’t always been perfect, and it still isn’t. I hope you can seek what is best for your children.

    http://25yrsandcounting.wordpress.com/
    H. Christensen

  7. :O I am awed. Thank you for sharing.

  8. This is scary! I’m still in the clear for at least the next couple of years but I’m sure by then it will be even crazier. Times like this make me miss the gold old days before all this technology (and this is coming from a social media geek lol) but to think my kids will one day have access to this all is crazy! Good reaction though. Definitely don’t faint, don’t cause a scene. Be open with them, hopefully they stay open with you. At least that’s what we try in our household…though we aren’t parents of Tweens……yet.

    http://thisbrownqueen.wordpress.com

  9. This is good information. Thanks for the awareness. We must stick together. This all goes to show (in my opinion) that the most important foundation of parenting is…Involvement. Stay involved in your kids life and provide lots of love and respect. This is how you can stay close enough to see what is going on in their lives and open the doors for them to actually tell you (for the most part).

  10. jamieaaron03

    I think the problem is simple, phones, computers, the Internet, they are not for kids to play with, they are not toys. 12 year olds should be riding bikes and reading comic books.

  11. I didn’t know about Omegle either; glad I do now.

    Are you looking for contributors for Parents Space? Sorry to use your comment box to ask, but I didn’t see a contact address. Please email me at adambarr1@gmail.com if you are interested.

    You can have a look at some of my parenting-themed blog posts at http://brainsplatterkeyboard.wordpress.com/tag/parenting/

    Thanks.

    Adam Barr

  12. My kiddo is five … I have a few years … hopefully. Ahh, I don’t know what I would do. BUT the tires garden is enviable! I wonder if I can fit one on a balcony …

  13. When asked by others on how best to protect their children, I use one word..Vigilance. No better defense in the world. Great post!

  14. Oh honey, 12 is a tricky age and yes, you are right to be suspicious of what she knows about. Mine started using Myspace about that time and it eventually got so bad,(she had her own computer in her room and we discovered was on it at night after everyone else went to bed) we wound up taking the computer away completely. That is about the time I started noticing her lying as well. And I told her I wouldn’t write about her-HA!

    • LOL if I stop writing about my eldest I don’t have a lot to write about 🙂
      Sometimes I feel I’m taking this too hard, I dont see a lot of parents around me getting crazy. Just a moment ago I was telling another mom about this, and the reaction was “aha…”, then subject changed. Am I crazy?

  15. I guess there’s a couple things to address here… First, the tire garden is gorgeous. I love it! Second, how does a 12 year old not understand how to convert cm to inches and back again? This confuses me. Finally, children need to be taught Internet safety long before they are set free to use it as they please. One of my proudest moments of Internet awareness is when my daughter (12) had a friend who addressed her by her real name in the chat room area of an online game, so she simply didn’t respond, and the next day when she saw her in person, she clearly told her to not ever use her real name in an online venue again.Computers stay in public places in our home (even for the adults) and we have a no electronics in bed rule (yes, for adults too!). As parents who want to instill good online habits in our children, we must practice what we preach.

    • Thanks for liking the garden 🙂
      We live in Israel; using cms, the kids didnt learn about inches at school yet, so I guess some do and others don’t know how to convert.
      Computers are not interesting anymore, its all at the cell phones; browsing, chatting, photos etc. We tried to prevent her from getting a cell, it got to the point that she was so totally and completely different than her peers that it actually started to get stressful for her and we got her one.

  16. My son just turned 13 and I said he could finally have a Facebook account. God, why did I ever say that?! It’s so scary to think our children will be on the web, too. So scary!

    I nominated you for a WordPress Family Blog Award
    http://mashedpotatoesblog.wordpress.com/2013/05/12/another-sweet-honor-wordpress-family-award/

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