Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Was she told?

You know, we are going to keep reading stories like this over and over and over. Those readers that have been around here a while know how I feel about these situations where a child (yes 13 is a CHILD) is put in danger. But then I stop and think- (after saying what a prickly pervert the guy is to be seeking a 13 year-old girl) did anyone educate this girl on the dangers out there? Did anyone tell her it was NOT okay to be talking to grown men on the internet? Did anyone tell her to stop trying to grow up so fast?
I hate the fact that MySpace has become a forum for people just looking to "hook up" (I've seen a couple of profiles and-ewwwww.)
So while we are arresting the men (good) and scolding the owners/people who run MySpace (ehhh) what are we doing to the kids? At thirteen, I really think she already knew what she was getting herself into. At thirteen, she was talking to a "guy" that she was interested in, and skipped school. At thirteen she must have agreed to go somewhere with this man, but unfortunately her thoughts were probably "Oh he really likes me."
Please, please, please if you have children (ESPECIALLY YOUNG GIRLS) educate them, let them know what is going on. I know we want to keep thinking our kids are our babies and 'they would never do such a thing', but let's be realistic, okay? Kids are growing up waaaaay too fast these days...let's at least try to make it just a little safer for them by educating them on what really goes on...
When I was a freshman in high school our computer class assignment on the first day of school was to open an e-mail account. We started going into chat rooms behind our teacher's back, and a girl from my class- 14 years old- met a guy she thought 'was really cool'. She was kidnapped and raped. She told him exactly where she lived, where she went to school, where she went after school. No one had told us not to do that. If someone had...well, it might not have happened.


Erin-erin-bo-berin said...

I hate to hear stories like yours. I was innocent and 14 when I was raped, unfortunately by someone I knew (a friend of a friend), who's now behind bars (he's raped and murdered other teenage girls) where he belongs. I'm convinced that the best way to teach girls how they should expect a man to treat them is by example. My husband takes each of our girls out on Daddy/Daughter Dates. He learned from HIS Daddy!
We also keep the computer in the family room, where we all spend the hours we are not sleeping. I teeter back and forth between wanting to protect my daughters and not wanting to 'shelter' them too much. It's such a scary world we live in! Thanks for posting about this!

rhonda said...

That is a horrible story, and My Space is a scary place.

When my kids are older, I will most definitely have the "Internet Nanny", because I just don't trust the sickos out there.

sweatpantsmom said...

And the obvious question - where are the parents of that 13-year old?

We have a computer that our girls use, but it's in the kitchen, right in the open where we can always see what's going on. And they have limited access, only to sites we've programmed in. Absolutely no MySpace.

JayMonster said...

sweatpantsmom brings up the all important question.

First of all you are not supposed to be less that 14 year old and using MySpace.

The software and the social site, is not the problem per se (granted it gives these sickos a place to start, but they will seek out regardless of where, Online, at the arcade, the mall, etc.).

The problem is parents that don't seem to "have the time" to be parents. And I don't only mean "lecturing" your kids. It means being aware of what is out there and how to safeguard. Just saying, "That Internet thing is dangerous" only makes you look like an idiot and your child will igore you. You need to be able to speak intelligently in order for you to be able to convey information in a manner that makes sense to them.

Until there are fewer of those, "I'll never understand that online thing" parents, the problem will continue to be one.

I spoke at a local PTA meeting to educate parents, and afterwards, I was amazed at the glazed stares and stupid comments I heard from parents, that couldn't be bothered to try to "get it" because they would, "never understand the whole thing."

Diana said...

I think i will end up saving these articles and showing them to my son (and if i ever have a daughter) because, you're right, it starts at home. My mother talked to me, but I had to learn it by seeing it firsthand (per se) with the girl in my school. Internet was just starting to get popular (god that makes me feel old) and my mother didn't think my teacher would be stupid enough not to give us rules.
So yes, it starts with the parents.
And I for one, know for sure I'm going to talk to my kid about all this stuff so he knows what's out there. It's scary business.