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David Akiva
David Akiva, BA, MA,
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 167
Experience:  Counselor; Behavioral Consultant
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My 13 year old has a new friend. Right after meeting the friend,

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My 13 year old has a new friend. Right after meeting the friend, she quit her long time sport. A few days later, I found out she joined a dating site on the internet (I have spyware).She did this with the friend at the house. She was grounded from the computer. Then a week later she slept at another new friend's house (the best friend of this new girl - and yes, I did insist upon meeting the parents first). I was upset because they were out until 10 pm playing ding dong ditch (ringing bells and running). The next morning (she stayed home without friends) my husband I discovered her door locked at 6:30 am. We woke her and took her computer. On the computer I discovered that she had made 3 fake facebook accounts and she and these 2 girls were on all night friending people - including sexual comments. All 3 kids dowloaded pictures of emo girls (well, the original friend played a boy). When I confronted her , she admitted it -I asked if there was more than one. No, she swore. Oh yeah - after I reminded her there was another. I called one of the girls' mothers and told her about the fake pictures, but the orignial friend's mom couldn't be reached.
Girl 2's mom, on the phone, freaked out and thanked me - but she didn't send girl 1 home - and girl one (faking as the boy) continued again the next night. How do I know? because my daughter had a third fb account I found later and saw girl1's fake account posting all night.
I told my daughter she can't see this friend anymore unless I talk to the mother first. Girl 1 called and told me that her mom knows about it and doesn't care (I wouldn't be surprised if that were true!) I told my daughter that's it - she can't see her unless the mom comes over and talks - and then only under MY roof (and not until she's ungrounded).
My daughter is angry and wants to be allowed to see her friends. I know I'm right but I guess I need some more guidance. I should probably find a counselor for her to talk to, but she doesn't want to and Im not sure counseling is helpful when the person if forced.
Thoughts?

Duddy :

Welcome, I am a professional counselor, behavioral-consultant and relationship expert.

Duddy :

I'd like to ask a few questions to better understand your situation. Can we chat for a few minutes?

Duddy :

I notice you're offline right now so I'll check back later for your response.

Customer:

Hi I'm back now.

Customer:

And my response is yes, we can chat. I will be here until about 4 and then out until around 7:30. :)

Customer:

hi

Duddy :

so what would you say is the most important problem or challenge with your daughter's behavior right now?

Duddy :

Just disabling the pay button.....

Customer:

I would say I'm confused if I should push her back into her sport which was her number one love - but maybe that was just my love (I did love watching her). I wonder if her quitting suddenly was based on the need to be with a new friend. I wonder if what she did with facebook and the dating site are symptoms of her looking to be accepted. I should tell you she's tiny - 66 pounds at 13 adopted from China. she just started looking her age. I want to be sure our relationship stays strong while I parent her correctly.

Customer:

don't worry - I'll pay you. :)

Duddy :

Thank you for the info (and payment promise) lol....

Customer:

LOL

Customer:

So wrong for someone not to pay - I'm sure that happens to you from time to time. I'm a teacher - professional to professional

Duddy :

I've worked as treatment program developer and program psychotherapist with all kinds of kids. I've also worked as a school board behavior consultant. I've really studied the evidence-based parenting literature and helped people apply it.

Duddy :

From what I can tell it's very important to provide structure where there is risk.

Customer:

wow - you sound perfect. so hard to find a good counselor to speak to.

Duddy :

The internet is a problem. I think that kids need to be supervised when on it. The delayed effect from spyware is not good enough unless it's real time so that you can intervene with in a few seconds.

Customer:

Okay - that makes sense. You're right - I found out, but the damage is still done

Duddy :

Same with visiting friends. There must be adult supervision where there is potential risk in my view.

Duddy :

So it's about prevention now and helping her make more healthy behavior choices.

Customer:

how do i monitor when i go to bed though? Of course I can take the laptop..

Customer:

should I let her see the friend even though the friend's mom knows nothing about the facebook incident and says her mom won't care anyway? this friend is on strike 3 as my husband says - things keep happening.

Duddy :

I'd take the computer with you and put it in your in a drawer. The risk is to high for negative peer and media influence, particularly when you've seen the behavior already.

Customer:

there are other computers in the house - one that can''t be taken (remember the old fashioned ones that aren't laptops?:)

Customer:

it does have spyware

Duddy :

When it comes to parental supervision or adult supervision, I think that it needs to be concrete and continuous. Unsupervised time in the community is high risk. Supervised pro-social activities are best. And yes it's better if she really enjoys them and you can help her enjoy activities through increased and creative parental involvement.

Customer:

so should i push her back into her sport? And continuous is impossible with a sleepover...

Duddy :

I would take the power cords or in some other way disable the computers when you are not able to supervise. That's just my opinion based on experience working with similar behaviors.

Customer:

oh good idea!

Duddy :

I would not push her into anything if she doesn't want to be there, although sometimes a nudge can help get the positive behavioral momentum going. It really depends on the situation.

Duddy :

If it's a healthy, pro social, supervised activity, I would want to learn more about what gets in the way of her enjoyment of it.

Customer:

thank you Duddy. I will wait for her to ask about her friend again and then say yes with complete monitoring.

Customer:

How do I pay you?

Duddy :

You just press the green button at sign out.

Customer:

Okay will do. Thanks so much. Have a nice day.

Duddy :

Glad to have helped.

Duddy :

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