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Davysmom

WWYD? Social Media and crushes

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Are you friends with her parents? Do you know if they are aware of her social media accounts or if they monitor them?

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I'd talk to her parents.

 

I'd tell him to back off, and if he doesn't, tell his parents. Sexual contact with 4 year difference in age can be criminal in certain locales.

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Are you friends with her parents? Do you know if they are aware of her social media accounts or if they monitor them?

I am not. They both work and are never around at practice or games. They do know about the social media, but I don't know if they monitor it. From what I have seen, they are very free range.

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I'd talk to her parents.

 

I'd tell him to back off, and if he doesn't, tell his parents. Sexual contact with 4 year difference in age can be criminal in certain locales.

That is exactly what I have told him. ( even casual contact can put him at risk for accusations. I don't want him to put himself in a bad situation.

Edited by Davysmom
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First....talk to her parents.  You are a concerned adult in her life and it's not out of bounds to mention your concerns to her parents.

 

Second....it's also not out of bounds to state to a student who comes to you and ASKS for advice to tell him straight up "I don't feel that is appropriate" without any being vague at all.  That doesn't mean you have to try to "forbid" this kid from being interested but there's really no reason to be vague either.

 

 

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You said "one of your girls" but you also said "the parents have no idea".  So I'm assuming that this is not your daughter but one of the kids you coach.  I would contact the parents.  This is a parenting decision not a coach decision.  FWIW, I would not let my 12 year old befriend anyone we didn't personally know on social media - esp. opposite gender. 

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He needs to cut off contact. And if you told him and he's not, I'd talk to his parents.

 

What if nude pictures or s-xting occurs? More potential for criminal charges.

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First....talk to her parents. You are a concerned adult in her life and it's not out of bounds to mention your concerns to her parents.

 

Second....it's also not out of bounds to state to a student who comes to you and ASKS for advice to tell him straight up "I don't feel that is appropriate" without any being vague at all. That doesn't mean you have to try to "forbid" this kid from being interested but there's really no reason to be vague either.

That is a great point about being a concerned adult.

 

Edited by Davysmom
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Just be prepared for her parents to not share your concerns and to be annoyed with you for mentioning it. If there is no sexting or truly inappropriate pictures, it may not be high priority to them.

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I would send an email to all team parents telling them that several team members have friended you on social media and while you are excited the kids want to share their lives with you, you cannot be a monitor, so you hope they (the parents) will understand if you don't report any concerning posts/pictures.

If I received that email I would immediately check my child's social media. If it doesn't work, drop all people under 18 (that aren't related to you) from you social media. If you start having to monitor, it will never end.

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You said "one of your girls" but you also said "the parents have no idea". So I'm assuming that this is not your daughter but one of the kids you coach. I would contact the parents. This is a parenting decision not a coach decision. FWIW, I would not let my 12 year old befriend anyone we didn't personally know on social media - esp. opposite gender.

Yes one of the girls on my team. Not my daughter. Thank you!

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He needs to cut off contact. And if you told him and he's not, I'd talk to his parents.

 

What if nude pictures or s-xting occurs? More potential for criminal charges.

Great advice. I am close his parents.

Edited by Davysmom

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I would send an email to all team parents telling them that several team members have friended you on social media and while you are excited the kids want to share their lives with you, you cannot be a monitor, so you hope they (the parents) will understand if you don't report any concerning posts/pictures.

If I received that email I would immediately check my child's social media. If it doesn't work, drop all people under 18 (that aren't related to you) from you social media. If you start having to monitor, it will never end.

That is an excellent approach and would work as an ongoing reminder.

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(((Davysmom)))

 

It sounds like you care a great deal about both of them.

 

I think their parents need to be involved bc the ramifications are so serious bc of the age difference.

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Honestly? I would do four things:

 

1. Tell her parents, and share screen shots of both her posts and the boy's responses. Only do this once. (A far less aggressive version of this would be to tag her mother when responding to one of her daughter's more suggestive photos. Then you'll know Mom has seen it, and can follow up if she chooses - it's really their family's business at that point.)

 

2. Tell the boy you think he should leave her alone, and then stop giving the children dating advice.

 

3. Unfriend the children on social media; leave future monitoring to their parents.

 

4. Stop thinking they're all too "sweet" to get into serious trouble.

 

 

 

Edited by Tibbie Dunbar
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Great advice. I am close his parents. That is what I worry about. He is not going to hurt her, but he is a teen boy who can't see past the moment sometimes. He could really get in trouble if she were to push the envelope.

 

Or she could really get in trouble if he were to push it...

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While I'm usually pretty conservative in this area, I tend to agree with your daughter. The boy is doing, has done nothing wrong. I don't particularly see any red flags from the discussions you've had with him. If he wants to ask her out, her parents can handle it the way they see fit. I don't think it's your place to tell the boy to cut off contact since you have no evidence of anything inappropriate between them, unless I missed something??

 

I would let her parents know that you are concerned with some of her social media postings in case they are unaware.

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Just be prepared for her parents to not share your concerns and to be annoyed with you for mentioning it. If there is no sexting or truly inappropriate pictures, it may not be high priority to them.

That is very possible. My daughter says they haven't done anything wrong. And she is right - that we know of nothing has happened, but I can see the potential for a very big problem.

 

 

Thank you for this!

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So she doesn't like him and has posted nothing you consider "inappropriate" and they have never met, but people are concerned about statutory rape?

 

I think it's great that as a coach you have this concern and care for the kids you're coaching. I think it's great that a coach would want to talk to her girls about safety beyond their actual practice and competition time. However, you need to tread very lightly. Neither of these children have done something particularly wrong. It's pretty normal for kids to want to look older than they are. That is so human. And they aren't doing anything wrong by talking to each other, commenting on each other's posts, etc.

 

Since you say she doesn't like him, I think the fact that he is "thinking" about dating her seems less threatening. It takes two people to date. But I also think it's great that you've warned him about her age and that he knows you're aware of the situation, and that learning that Information made him feel weird.

 

Honestly since you're looking at the things she posts, I think what I might do is just to respond myself. Can you just post comments like, "Great photos! You look older than 12 in this photo," or " I remember feeling that way myself at 12 years old." In addition to broadcasting her actual age, it also lets her know do you have an eye on this.

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I also want to say....you are ALSO a concerned adult in the boy's life.   It's not out of bounds to talk to the boy's parent's either.  The fact that he's a boy doesn't change that he's also still a minor. 

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(((Davysmom)))

 

It sounds like you care a great deal about both of them.

 

I think their parents need to be involved bc the ramifications are so serious bc of the age difference.

 

I do. This young man is basically part of our family. We are very close.

This is a long term coaching relationship too.

 

And I am concerned that he doesn't see why this is a bad idea!

 

Honestly? I would do four things:

 

1. Tell her parents, and share screen shots of both her posts and the boy's responses. Only do this once.

 

2. Tell the boy you think he should leave her alone, and then stop giving the children dating advice.

 

3. Unfriend the children on social media; leave future monitoring to their parents.

 

4. Stop thinking they're all too "sweet" to get into serious trouble.

 

I am only friends with her not him. We use social media to communicate for the team. It is not personal accounts.

 

I do think they could get into serious trouble that is why I am concerned. No matter who sweet they both are things can go wrong very quickly. At this point, they are both very innocent. He hasn't so much as asked a girl out or told a girl he likes her.

 

Or she could really get in trouble if he were to push it...

Very true.

Edited by Davysmom
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So she doesn't like him and has posted nothing you consider "inappropriate" and they have never met, but people are concerned about statutory rape?

 

I think it's great that as a coach you have this concern and care for the kids you're coaching. I think it's great that a coach would want to talk to her girls about safety beyond their actual practice and competition time. However, you need to tread very lightly. Neither of these children have done something particularly wrong. It's pretty normal for kids to want to look older than they are. That is so human. And they aren't doing anything wrong by talking to each other, commenting on each other's posts, etc.

 

Since you say she doesn't like him, I think the fact that he is "thinking" about dating her seems less threatening. It takes two people to date. But I also think it's great that you've warned him about her age and that he knows you're aware of the situation, and that learning that Information made him feel weird.

 

Honestly since you're looking at the things she posts, I think what I might do is just to respond myself. Can you just post comments like, "Great photos! You look older than 12 in this photo," or " I remember feeling that way myself at 12 years old." In addition to broadcasting her actual age, it also lets her know do you have an eye on this.

 

Great idea.

 

She doesn't "like" him but she loves the attention if that makes sense. She would likely date him if he asked just because she wants someone to date. And he is a catch.

 

Edited by Davysmom

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I really, really hate to say this...I've just been around a long time so I'll go ahead and say it, though...

 

you might not know the whole story about one or both of them. As far as you know, she's innocent. As far as you know, he's never kissed a girl. But there's an awful lot of excitement going on between these two...I hope they haven't met IRL or done anything over Skype or sent nude pics, but you don't know that they haven't. And you don't know for sure that neither has a history.

 

I think unsinkable is barking up the right tree about making SURE he knows about statutory rape laws. Someone needs to tell him why he must not chase a 12yo child. It's wrong, and it's risky. Someone needs to tell her not to pursue relationships with boys who are four years older when she's only 12, and what can happen.

 

It's kind of like how we go ahead and teach sex ed to fifth graders who still think the other sex is yucky (as far as we know). Because when they change their mind on that, they're not going to tell us beforehand, usually. So they need the information as if they're going to think, or desire, or do stuff that we have NO idea is on their mind.

 

This is what experience with young people gets you. You become very matter-of-fact and cynical, even though you still love them and believe/hope the best for them. Tell them the real facts of life and don't assume they're innocent children.

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While I'm usually pretty conservative in this area, I tend to agree with your daughter. The boy is doing, has done nothing wrong. I don't particularly see any red flags from the discussions you've had with him. If he wants to ask her out, her parents can handle it the way they see fit. I don't think it's your place to tell the boy to cut off contact since you have no evidence of anything inappropriate between them, unless I missed something??

 

I would let her parents know that you are concerned with some of her social media postings in case they are unaware.

 

You are exactly correct! You make some great points.

 

My only concern is that her parents might not ever know. We have a couple relationships going on among team members that parents are unaware of. I am not involved in those because they are not "my kids" and I am not close to those parents. But we have had a few meetings about PDA and other such behaviors before and after practice and during travel to and from events. There are several relationships being kept secret. We have added a section in our team agreements about PDA and such not being allowed to happen at the gym or on buses.

 

 

Edited by Davysmom

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I really, really hate to say this...I've just been around a long time so I'll go ahead and say it, though...

 

you might not know the whole story about one or both of them. As far as you know, she's innocent. As far as you know, he's never kissed a girl. But there's an awful lot of excitement going on between these two...I hope they haven't met IRL or done anything over Skype or sent nude pics, but you don't know that they haven't. And you don't know for sure that neither has a history.

 

I think unsinkable is barking up the right tree about making SURE he knows about statutory rape laws. Someone needs to tell him why he must not chase a 12yo child. It's wrong, and it's risky. Someone needs to tell her not to pursue relationships with boys who are four years older when she's only 12, and what can happen.

 

It's kind of like how we go ahead and teach sex ed to fifth graders who still think the other sex is yucky (as far as we know). Because when they change their mind on that, they're not going to tell us beforehand, usually. So they need the information as if they're going to think, or desire, or do stuff that we have NO idea is on their mind.

 

This is what experience with young people gets you. You become very matter-of-fact and cynical, even though you still love them and believe/hope the best for them. Tell them the real facts of life and don't assume they're innocent children.

 

You are right! I definitely don't know her whole story. I have known him his whole life, but I have no idea what he does in the privacy of his room or in his mind. And there is no telling what they have exchanged personally.

 

I have worked with teens a long time. I have adult kids, but this situation really is bothering me.

 

Thank you for sharing that!

Edited by Davysmom
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I was just thinking -- are you sure the 12yo is as sweet and innocent as you think she is? Could she be the type who can put on a good show for adults but be completely different at other times?

 

I only ask because I just thought of a girl I knew from when I was a teenager. She had her parents and teachers convinced that she was as pure as the driven snow... but she wasn't.

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I was just thinking -- are you sure the 12yo is as sweet and innocent as you think she is? Could she be the type who can put on a good show for adults but be completely different at other times?

 

I only ask because I just thought of a girl I knew from when I was a teenager. She had her parents and teachers convinced that she was as pure as the driven snow... but she wasn't.

 

No, you are right. My dd says she is a good kid. She is close to my daughter, and my daughter thinks she is very innocent. But truly there is no telling what she has or is doing.

 

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I just read our state laws on the link unsinkable posted. They are tough!! I am sharing that with him.

 

Edited by Davysmom
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At 12yo I think her parents need to take a look at her social media.  I would contact the parents and tell them point blank that you are concerned because older boys are mistaking her on social media for being older and more mature.

 

I also think it's a good idea to have a general discussion with the girls about social media.  There may be some materials available for this purpose available online or from a resource your organization uses.

 

Personally I don't think a 12yo should be sending photos without prior permission from their parents.  I understand this family may have decided to do things differently, and that's their right.

 

I agree with you making sure the boy(s) are aware of the dangers of playing with fire.  That can have serious lifelong effects.

 

Another note - it's good that you know this is going on, but some organizations have rules against teachers etc. "friending" students.  I am not sure how to handle that in this case.  I would definitely not post anything the youngsters could see, unless it was pure information e.g. "practice Thursday at 6pm."

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Just chiming back here to say that while I appreciate the adults (coaches and other mentors) in my kids' lives, they are not the parents.  And I am very clear about setting boundaries that keep them from acting like parents to my kids.  You know about the situation and of course have the right to give advice when they come to you, but as I said before, this is a parenting issue.  Ultimately once you've let them know what is going on, then it is their responsibility.to act or not act.  For that reason I think the advice to let parents in general know that you are not responsible for monitoring kids' interactions is a sound one. 

 

I do wonder though that if something happens as a result of a page set up by the sporting organization and you knew about it, if the courts might not hold the leaders in that organization responsible as well.  And for that reason, I would keep copies of any correspondence with the parents so that it can be established that you did tell them what was going on.  Yes, this is a CYA thing but necessary in this world. 

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I know you have good intentions, but I feel like you are way too involved. Mention your concerns to their parents and drop it. I would not be monitoring the social media of kids who aren't my own.

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She doesn't "like" him but she loves the attention if that makes sense. She would likely date him if he asked just because she wants someone to date. And he is a catch

Makes perfect sense to me, because I was exactly like this when I was young. I had NO IDEA the fire I was playing with, and it would have been a good thing if someone would have given me a clue (although I am sure I would have rejected that person's correction). It is a good, good thing that there was no social media when I was that age, because I craved the attention, too. I liked to think guys were "after" me, even if I didn't care at all about the guy in particular. In my later teens, I (very foolishly) chose guys based almost wntirely on how persistently they pursued me; there were very few guys I went out with because I genuinely liked that guy. (Actually, most of the guys I actually liked were out of reach for me, either because they already had a girlfriend, or because they hung out with a top-tier crowd I wasn't privy to.) honestly? My mom would not have been much help because I think she also got a vicarious thrill from thinking guys were "after" her daughters, even though she did not actually hope for pairing up, KWIM?

 

Are you close enough with the girl that you could share with her your concern that she doesn't know the fire she's playing with? Ultimately, though you may care especially about this boy, there is a bigger concern IMO, even if the boy you care about does nothing at all to pursue the girl. The girl may attract...douchebaggy guys, shall we say. Ask me how I know...

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I would inform the parents of each kiddo you're concerned about and then stop friending students on social media.  I mean, I would unfriend anyone I was coaching, teaching, mentoring, etc.  Even if I was extremely close to them.

 

 

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I would inform the parents of each kiddo you're concerned about and then stop friending students on social media. I mean, I would unfriend anyone I was coaching, teaching, mentoring, etc. Even if I was extremely close to them.

This. Blurring the lines can make kids begin treating authority figures like peers. Additionally, once the line is blurred some parents get uncomfortable, others get way too relaxed and will have an expectation that you become the default babysitter of their kids online. Either way, you lose.

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I would inform the parents of each kiddo you're concerned about and then stop friending students on social media. I mean, I would unfriend anyone I was coaching, teaching, mentoring, etc. Even if I was extremely close to them.

This. Via email so you have a "paper trail" if necessary.

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At 12yo I think her parents need to take a look at her social media.  I would contact the parents and tell them point blank that you are concerned because older boys are mistaking her on social media for being older and more mature.

 

I also think it's a good idea to have a general discussion with the girls about social media.  There may be some materials available for this purpose available online or from a resource your organization uses.

 

Personally I don't think a 12yo should be sending photos without prior permission from their parents.  I understand this family may have decided to do things differently, and that's their right.

 

I agree with you making sure the boy(s) are aware of the dangers of playing with fire.  That can have serious lifelong effects.

 

Another note - it's good that you know this is going on, but some organizations have rules against teachers etc. "friending" students.  I am not sure how to handle that in this case.  I would definitely not post anything the youngsters could see, unless it was pure information e.g. "practice Thursday at 6pm."

 

We are planning to have a general discussion especially when they post in anything that represents the team.

 

I am not "personal" friends with them on social media. These are team accounts. Our organization and teams are on many of  the social media platforms for advertising and information sharing. We use different ones for different things. Some of our girls run some of the social media. The teams are all separate. We each have our own Facebook page for example. On some platforms, I can see their pages and on some I can't.

 

I am not on any social media with him. I only see what he shows me personally which isn't much. He usually just tells me about it if it something he wants to share.  

 

When they girls are away, they often post photos of the events.

 

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Just chiming back here to say that while I appreciate the adults (coaches and other mentors) in my kids' lives, they are not the parents.  And I am very clear about setting boundaries that keep them from acting like parents to my kids.  You know about the situation and of course have the right to give advice when they come to you, but as I said before, this is a parenting issue.  Ultimately once you've let them know what is going on, then it is their responsibility.to act or not act.  For that reason I think the advice to let parents in general know that you are not responsible for monitoring kids' interactions is a sound one. 

 

I do wonder though that if something happens as a result of a page set up by the sporting organization and you knew about it, if the courts might not hold the leaders in that organization responsible as well.  And for that reason, I would keep copies of any correspondence with the parents so that it can be established that you did tell them what was going on.  Yes, this is a CYA thing but necessary in this world. 

 

I agree. I don't want to act like their parents. But I also don't want to overlook something that could be helpful to a parent or turn a simple situation into a mess because I over reacted.

 

I just wasn't sure if I should say anything or not.

 

The separate teams don't interact together over social media. But that is a really good point.

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I would notify the parents (ETA - both sets of parents).  Even just in e-mail, I'd keep it unemotional and brief. 

 

And then I would make it a practice not to friend kids I work with on social media.  ETA - if you aren't "friended" I would change how team accounts work so they don't mix the social part of social media with team informational stuff and I wasn't seeing personal stuff.

Edited by WoolySocks

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I agree. I don't want to act like their parents. But I also don't want to overlook something that could be helpful to a parent or turn a simple situation into a mess because I over reacted.

 

I just wasn't sure if I should say anything or not.

 

The separate teams don't interact together over social media. But that is a really good point.

As a parent (of either of those kids,) I would want to know.

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I know you have good intentions, but I feel like you are way too involved. Mention your concerns to their parents and drop it. I would not be monitoring the social media of kids who aren't my own.

I don't monitor them. The girls have done some things together, and they have shared photos. I was not with them, but they wanted me to see them. So I was looking at the photos they shared while they were gone. But on some of the platforms they were mixed into their personal photos. I am not regularly checking up on them. This girls posts so much. I don't want to track it, but when I am on, I often see a lot. It will pop up in a feed or on a story when I am looking at other things.

 

I am not on any social media with him. But I am very involved. Like I mentioned, he is like family. We all (parents and kids) talk openly together about pretty much anything they want to talk about. Many of these conversations happen with his parents. This one hasn't come up with his parents present.

 

Makes perfect sense to me, because I was exactly like this when I was young. I had NO IDEA the fire I was playing with, and it would have been a good thing if someone would have given me a clue (although I am sure I would have rejected that person's correction). It is a good, good thing that there was no social media when I was that age, because I craved the attention, too. I liked to think guys were "after" me, even if I didn't care at all about the guy in particular. In my later teens, I (very foolishly) chose guys based almost wntirely on how persistently they pursued me; there were very few guys I went out with because I genuinely liked that guy. (Actually, most of the guys I actually liked were out of reach for me, either because they already had a girlfriend, or because they hung out with a top-tier crowd I wasn't privy to.) honestly? My mom would not have been much help because I think she also got a vicarious thrill from thinking guys were "after" her daughters, even though she did not actually hope for pairing up, KWIM?

 

Are you close enough with the girl that you could share with her your concern that she doesn't know the fire she's playing with? Ultimately, though you may care especially about this boy, there is a bigger concern IMO, even if the boy you care about does nothing at all to pursue the girl. The girl may attract...douchebaggy guys, shall we say. Ask me how I know...

 

 

thank you for sharing this. This is what I have seen a few times. And it a really tough thing. Girls really sometimes assume the best. And some boys don't have the best in mind! This boy is a good kid, but not all boys out there are.

 

I don't think I am close enough, but my daughter is. My daughter and I talk a lot about this. She has no desire for a boyfriend just to have a boyfriend. She has turned down some really great guys. She is single, but not for lack of opportunities. She just doesn't see any reason to date for the sake of dating. She is waiting until she makes a mutal connection with a guy that based on more than oh he is cute!

 

She is also a leader on the team. So it would be very appropriate for her to talk to her. I have talked at length to my dd about my concerns with this, and she brushed me off until tonight. Haha. Once she saw that he could go do jail, she changed her tune about me keeping my mouth shut and not saying anything. 

 

This girls loves and looks up to my dd. So I think she will at least listen to her. 

 

And I see many moms who get excited when boys show interest in their girls. It is so frustrating to me when they are so young to see moms encourage it so strongly.

 

 

I would inform the parents of each kiddo you're concerned about and then stop friending students on social media.  I mean, I would unfriend anyone I was coaching, teaching, mentoring, etc.  Even if I was extremely close to them.

I am not personal friends just over the team social medias. So there is very much a separation.

Edited by Davysmom

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This. Blurring the lines can make kids begin treating authority figures like peers. Additionally, once the line is blurred some parents get uncomfortable, others get way too relaxed and will have an expectation that you become the default babysitter of their kids online. Either way, you lose.

That is very true. So far we really haven't had any issues with that. But every season brings new challenges and parents.

 

This. Via email so you have a "paper trail" if necessary.

This for the one mom. I have to tell the other in person. We just don't email, and we are too good of friends. I will do that in person. She will handle it well. She is a seasoned mama.

 

I think you have to tell the parents.  You should tell them ALL the concerns you have that you have shared with us.  

Thanks!

 

I would notify the parents (ETA - both sets of parents).  Even just in e-mail, I'd keep it unemotional and brief. 

 

And then I would make it a practice not to friend kids I work with on social media.  ETA - if you aren't "friended" I would change how team accounts work so they don't mix the social part of social media with team informational stuff and I wasn't seeing personal stuff.

With some platforms, you really can't separate them. But I will have the girls post their photos they want to share separately. That will help with that.

 

As a parent (of either of those kids,) I would want to know.

Thanks!

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Thank you so much for the feedback.

So I will talk to parents. Not sure what I will say exactly, but I will work on that next. I will be deleting soon.

I didn't tell my dd about this thread. But I showed her the statutory rape info. She was floored. She finally understands that part of my concern. She wants to talk to him about being careful. They are best friends. So I am letting her take the lead there. He very much respects and listens to her.

 

Edited by Davysmom
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No, you are right. My dd says she is a good kid. She is close to my daughter, and my daughter thinks she is very innocent. But truly there is no telling what she has or is doing.

 

Her behavior suggests otherwise though. Not that she has done things she shouldn't have, but I think the types of pictures she's posting with the (mildly) suggestive texts says she's at least been exposed to things I (IMHO) wouldn't want my 12 year old being exposed to. The fact that she is seeking the attention of boys is problematic.

 

Someone upthread suggested pointing out to the boy that he will not be able to date her soon. When he turns 18 she will be 14. He'd have to wait until she was 18 and he was 22.

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Her behavior suggests otherwise though. Not that she has done things she shouldn't have, but I think the types of pictures she's posting with the (mildly) suggestive texts says she's at least been exposed to things I (IMHO) wouldn't want my 12 year old being exposed to. The fact that she is seeking the attention of boys is problematic.

 

Someone upthread suggested pointing out to the boy that he will not be able to date her soon. When he turns 18 she will be 14. He'd have to wait until she was 18 and he was 22.

That is a good point. I sort of figured she was copying what is out there with her posts. But I have no idea what goes on at home.

 

 

Yep, 6 years from now he could date her. He will be off doing other things by then.

Edited by Davysmom

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