Parenting Teens (12-17) Community
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Avatar universal

I've made a horrible mistake

I have a 14 yo daughter.  I started spying on her internet  activity & came across an acct she has on Ask.fm.   For  those of you who aren't familiar, ask.fm is a site on which people can ask you questions anonomously and u answer them. Once u answer, the anonymous. question and your answer are posted on your account for all to see. The problem with that is because questioners are anonymous, lots of the bullying and insults can happen.
I noticed my daughter was getting some pretty cruel questions. For example, why are you so ugly? of course, as a parent I was crushed, which  brings me to my big mistake.
I started posting anonymous things to her like "ur pretty" . I even went so far as posing as a boy   at her school ,  telling her how much I like her, etc.
long story short. She found me out. I don't know what to do. She has not directly said anything to me. I don't think she knows for sure. But I do think she's pretty convinced. I really don't want to make a confession just in case there's any doubt in her mind.  but I'm sure she knows or at least thinks she does.
I feel like one of thoe crazy parents.  I also feel like the trust between us is gone. I'm sure she is humiliated.   Can i ever get her trust back?thoughts?
14 Responses
5914096 tn?1399922587
You need to apologize to your daughter for your behavior, explain the extent of your behavior, and explain your concerns that led to your behavior.  

There is a fine line between keeping your daughter safe and invading her privacy.  It sounds like you did the latter.  If we raise our children correctly, we need to trust in their abilities to make the right choices.  We also need to trust in their abilities to resolve conflicts on their own.  If we attempt to resolve conflicts for our children, they will never learn how to resolve conflicts on their own.
13167 tn?1327197724
I think you need to back out quietly.  "I'm sorry I led you on,  I have a girlfriend" type of thing.  

And then let it go.  Never ever say who you are.  

Avatar universal
But I think she already knows. Do u think I've ruined the relationship? Trust?
13167 tn?1327197724
Did you pose as a specific boy,  or just an anonymous boy with no real identity?  If you posed as one specific boy by name,  that was an enormous mistake.

If you just posed as a boy in general,  not so much danger of it being awful.

She may think it was sweet of you to do,  or she may not really know it was you.  Maybe she thinks it was one of her friends.

I'd still leave it alone.   Unless you posted as a specific boy and then you need to clear things up.
Avatar universal
thank you. No I just posed as an anonymous secret admirer. Nobody specific . but she figured out that it was me and I fear that the relationship is now ruined. She definitely does not think its sweet. But thank you for the suggestion :)
Avatar universal
I think hiding what you did adds to her disappointment in you - its another form of dishonesty - especially if she's figure out that you are in fact hiding from her.  I would come clean and tell her what you did.  I would explain that bullying and cruelty are rampant on the internet, and that no one should be subjected to such nastiness.  Explain to her that you were trying to protect her from this cruelty, but in retrospect, you regret that you violated her privacy.  You just want her to know that she is beautiful and lovable and in no way should she believe what she sees on the internet.  Hopefully she will respect you for your honesty about your "mistake" and you will have an opportunity to discuss the dangers of the internet.
Avatar universal
Here's the problem as I see it. She now thinks that you think she is not pretty enough or a lovable enough to actually get her own boyfriend and have people post that on their own. She thinks her own mother doesn't think she can get those comments in real life. That is the big problem that could last the rest of your life.  Honestly it could change the trajectory of her adulthood. It is so important to feel like you have unconditional love  from your parents and that they think of you as being out in the world as successful people even though that's only in middle or high school  This is why and I don't normally recommend I really think you need to go to counseling together with her and let her know why A mother would do that and hopefully she will understand that it was out of love not out of your viewing her as in capable of attracting that type of attention on her own. It is really important that she understand how and why you did it. I really think a third-party is the only way this is going to possibly happen. Good luck    
Avatar universal
Your heart was in the right place. If you are positive that she knows it's you then definitely discuss it. My 16 year old and I have a great,open relationship. The reason for this is I have always been clear on our relationship boundaries. Mother/child. I let her know I will never be one of those friend mom's. Always being real with her and respecting her opinions on serious situation (to her or teenager in general) has made it easy for her to come to me when something is bothering her or she needs advice. I feel by being honest with her about your actions,and reasoning behind them will only show her how much you love her and want to protect her. While all of us experience some sort of bullying during our school years sometimes they can go way to far. By telling her you were concerned that these comments may be affecting her in a negative manner,and thought you were going to fix these possible insecurities with the opposite maybe she will open up and tell you what is going on. Let her know you are there for her no matter what and there is nothing she could ever say or do that would change the way you love her. Hopefully you'll find an understanding,and confused daughter that can now trust you with her most personal experiences so you no longer need to sneak around. Good luck!
Avatar universal
It will take time to gain trust back, but it will happen, though I believe you should confront the sitiuation as it appears to be causing you some anxiety.  If you can talk with your daughter and make her aware you were trying to do something positive for her, though she will not be happy for a while that you got involved. I think anticipation of a bad result is worse than the end result, which I believe you are going through now. Hope this helps,  it will be ok in the end.
Avatar universal
I dont mean to sound judgemental but this is really ****** up. You shouldnt be spying on your kid's internet activity in the first place unless they've really given you a reason not to trust them. Your child is a person not your property and deserves privacy. Foster trust between the two of you so that she'll tell you these things on her own instead of denying  her basic rights to space and privacy. And if you find that things like this are happening to her just try talking to her like a human being.  Youll have a much healthier relationship with more trust and communication and be better able to help her through problems if you treat her with honesty and respect (and no that is NOT the same thing as trying to be her friend or having no discipline)
Avatar universal
Hi Karen,
know its a long time ago now, but did you ever find a cause or cure for the toe curling?
My daughter is a very similar age and has been struggling on and off with this for the past two years with it having got a lot worse in the past few months.
She gets really distressed about it and I'm fairly sure its brought on by stress as she's been really anxious and stressed for a while. Doctors think she might have Raynauds but we're not totally sure thats what it is.
Any thoughts greatly appreciated!
Avatar universal
I think as any concerned parent, we think and react with our hearts andcwhem we see posts purposely designed to hurt your baby, your first reaction is to proect her the best way you think will help.
In these situations we almost always react and then think about the consequences later.
I would wait for your daughter to approach u about the situation first, unless u can tell that there has been a big change is your relationship, I would then ask her if she had anything she feels she needs to talk to u about ame reassure her that no matter what it is she can trust u to keep the matter between the two of u without any judgement and u love her unconditionally and all u want to do is protect her from the harsh world and to keep her save from people who say mean things only because they have low self esteem and they r jealous of her because she's so beautiful and smart and they wish they were more like her. . And if she does find out it was u pretending to b kids on social media it was because u want her self esteem to grow so she can grow up to be a strong powerful independent woman one day!!!  
Avatar universal
Ok but, how dare you spy on your child like that. Seriously? You're supposed to be the adult here. You, a grown up, impersonated a peer and blatantly lied to your daughter. If anything, this could cause her more trauma than receiving those cruel comments.
At this point, you NEED to come clean and work on salvaging what trust is left. If I was your daughter, I would be completely crushed.
Yes I completely agree with this. I personally think that most of the responses are probably going to be written by parents who r being all sympathetic and stuff, but I am a 14 yr old and I would be devastated if my mum did something like that. It would DEFINITELY hurt more than those comments.
Avatar universal
To be a responsible parent these days you HAVE to watch their activity on electronics closely, but you should never have lied and pretended to be someone else. You should come clean to your daughter and ask her to forgive you for being deceitful. I think it will bring you closer together in the end.
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13167 tn?1327197724
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