Friday, November 19, 2010

Protecting Our Children

Having more than one computer in our home has been the norm for more than 5 years now. With most of our children in school and being teenagers, we use them for homework, for keeping in touch with family and friends who live far away, and we understood that there would be threats. Over the years, we've allowed access to Facebook and YouTube, the normal fun sites we ALL use. We're careful to keep tabs on the history, the downloads and the chat features except for gmail chat and Facebook chat have been blocked. We have a fairly strong net nanny, is what I'm saying.

Let me tell you something.  THIS IS NOT ENOUGH. We have been attacked by someone over the internet. Thankfully, the child this person has attacked is our 18 year old. This only makes it slightly easier, but no less heart wrenching.  We now have 1 computer, and it is in our bedroom.

Thankfully...THANKFULLY...our daughter is the one who came to us. But not before this person had sent a plane ticket and a shuttle last weekend to our home to pick her up. No. I'm not kidding. This has also been going on since the summer. It is disgusting and we can't stop our adult children from doing whatever they want to do, but we're letting her blame us for this "save". She's using us as the reason she can't be with him. Good. If that makes it easier for her to stay away, then awesome. He doesn't know that we also know he told her 2 days ago that he's already mailed her a cell phone so they can sneak around until they can get her to him. This man is over the age of 30. He's almost my husband's age. He is scary.

All and all, she came to us. She told us. She daily has conversations with us, and we are so so proud of her.

People. FACEBOOK. FACEBOOK right in front of our FACES. She's 18, so she can have a profile, but just know that these sick people will pretend to not even know that what they're doing is wrong. Please, watch everything that happens to your kids. Parents who have kids at college?  The same goes for you!  Watch who they talk to. Watch them for signs that they're not feeling happy about themselves, or watch for symptoms of guilt. Tiffany finally came to us because she didn't know how to get out of something that she got herself into this summer. We support her, and continue to stand strong WITH  her.

In the mean time, please, use these resources we've found helpful over the last month:

Please, please know that these individuals don't always seem terrible, they may not ever mention sex and they may not even want to believe that THEY ARE SICK. They become addicted to your children, and they prey on their emotional insecurities. Tiffany needed someone to "call her" and "check on her" and "visit with her" while she was a teenager, and while she adores Mike, and she says that the reason she came to us is because she knows that Mike and I love her, she's been missing a certain parent for a long time. This sick person filled that spot the that the other parent has neglected to fill for years on end now.

Thank heaven she came to us. We will continue to support her and to get her daily help. She is free to do what she pleases, but we will be here for all of her decisions no matter what they are.

Protect your kids. Talk to your kids. Make sure your kids feel safe talking to you.  Mostly, just love your kids. Love them no matter what.


Sarah said...

Holy freak!! I don't even know what to say. So glad she came to you guys! Love you!

Carla said...

Alli, Wow. Let me first start by saying, I really do owe you an apology. You and your family have been weighing so heavily in my mind and on my heart lately. Several times I have been prompted to call or write and I haven't... I am so sorry for this. I have kept you in my prayers and didn't even know why. 2 days ago, Tiff was really weighing on my mind while I was cleaning. I was remembering her as a little girl and the couple of times I watched her for you. My heart is going out to you. In my realm of fears as a mom, this is one of my big ones. I want to raise trusting kids who trust no one, what a dilemma! Thanks so much for the reminder. While I watch Rachel like a hawk, I have eased way up on Kylie because of her age. This will definitely be the topic for our next FHE. Thank you for the reminder. You are Mike are amazing parents. You are one of a handful of incredible parents where I can actually feel the eternal love that you have for your children over the web. You are such an example to me and to all. Know that I love you with all of my heart. Your family and Tiffany, too. In my heart she will always be the little girl who curled up on my lap, along with Kylie, watched The Little Mermaid and ate cookies with me one Friday evening. I know she has no idea who I am, but tell her I love her. ♥ She is stronger than she thinks and so brave for going to you and Mike. What a blessing! Hugs to you all.