In the original Dear Social Media, this MoM will not compete with you I had no clue this would be a series with SnapChat next on the list. Senior Hija was given permission to use SnapChat in March. This mother just couldn’t appreciate the adult like interactions and it got the cut in May. I thought I put my foot down. I was proud to be regulating on this about to be a teenager. Then, I got my feelings hurt.
My big girl explored other avenues of getting her fix for the app. After I shut her down, she was still downloading the app and erasing it on my IPad. Restrictions enabled on her cell phone just peeked her interest to continue on the unrestricted Ipad. Restrictions and expressed expectations regarding social media should have been enough but were not. Now, I am pissed and a lot more disappointed! Meanwhile, she is unbothered. I should expect that she will take a detour from our open avenues at times. Just not now! I am trying to trust a budding pre-teen but my patience is about to give in.
Senior Hija got her whole entire mind, body, and soul swallowed
Let’s back it up. When she had permission, she was on group messages and snapping pictures all the time. Snapping everything from her location to wardrobe to the food on her plate. I think one problem was, besides all the technicalities of how this app works, she was friends with girls from her dance group who were older than her. That poses a problem for girls at her developmental stage of maturity and decision-making abilities. Older girls bring a different flair and make big bright eyes go wild on a preteen.
She was also in Co-Ed chats with kids her age from her school. Everyone seemed ok to share pictures of themselves and other people. The content of these pictures and context of conversation had my head all messed up. Why is anyone sharing a picture of their body parts at this age and amongst the peanut gallery? I am super afraid of child pornography that circulates on the web and I would hate my child to be inadvertently associated with such a crime. I could not control what other people were sharing and talking about so I had to remove her from the equation and not feel bad about it.
Thot’n & Bop’n on SnapChat Messenger was normal behavior since the messages would disappear into the air after 24 hours. My child and I were not going to be apart of it.
Breadcrumbs leading to SnapChat
After I banned her from using SnapChat in May, she was super sad for a moment. She told me she wanted to maintain her “streaks”. I still don’t know what that means and why it’s even a “thing” but I was not back pedaling on my decision. Later on, she told me she could have a friend log in to her account on their phone and manage her streaks for her. I am not sure what part of NO she did not understand, but it became clear to me that my daughter was having withdrawals. So, I sat her down and explained that at no point during 6th grade would she be using SnapChat on her phone or any other electronic device. In my mind, I was hoping SnapChat fades away so we do not have to revisit it but I don’t see this going away anytime soon.
Senior Hija even offered to fix the settings on the messenger so messages would not disappear. I was over it and not interested in putting any more time into the idea.
At some point, she stopped talking to me about SnapChat and again, my naive ass thought, “She is taking this better than I expected”. *Sigh* All her friends remained on SnapChat. They came over to visit and slumber using the app, and she hung out with them while they used the app at their home. So, why did I not think she was smart enough to be creative!? Maybe because I have a new baby at home, I’m taking classes, back to work and dealing with a majorly jealous middle child? A lot can get by when you have a growing family, and these children surely will take advantage of it. I am learning from the other side of the fence.
Traps get to Yap’n for SnapChat
Fast forward to this week – she asked if she could use the Ipad a few days ago for school and I agreed. Like I said earlier, I have been putting restrictions and bedtimes on the phone. I was not thinking she was still trying to gain access to Snapchat in August. It has been months since I limited her social media use. The next day I went on my laptop to log in to my email and her email automatically logs in. What do I see? Stacks of email messages letting her know that “Hey, you might wanna know your username has been logged into SnapChat” from various locations including my damn Ipad! I.Was.Hot!!! She claims she downloaded the app and let her friends use her phone. But there was no denying it this time
On occasion, I would ask her if she was still accessing SnapChat and she would say no. Or, she would say she downloaded the app for her friends to use on her phone when they did not have their phone. But there was no denying it this time. She was using Snapchat under a different user name. No beats were missed since May.
Nope. I do not beat my child. But sometimes, she makes me wish I had the thickest, most wet leather belt to go across her narrow ass!!!!
So, Dear SnapChat and Parents…
We will continue to fight this good fight. Restrictions remain on the phone she does not have access to. She does not have access to my iPad and she has monitored use of my laptop for school work. I do not want to clamp down on this child but she gives me no choice. And, I will not feel bad about it. Privilege has shown her she can have and do anything she wants. But I am her mother and the same way I have given her privilege, I will take it away. In trying to give her what I think I did not have as a child, I gave her privilege instead. Privilege is not the source of my parenting. I am showing up and showing out differently in 2017.
Does this sound like something you are going through or have overcome? Please share your experience, tips and success stories!