I had a few online friends that I liked to play games with, and my parents found out when they searched my phone.
I had a few online friends that I liked to play games with and my parents found out when they searched my phone. I was very careful not to give out personal info but my parents are still angry and won’t let me talk to them anymore. They have also introduced a bunch of unnecessary new rules around devices. They’re even talking about not letting me go to a summer camp next year in case I try to meet someone from online even though I would never do that.
Welcome to Ask Pat, and thank you for contacting us with your question.
You have told us that you liked to play games with your online friends and your parents became angry when they found out and will no longer let you speak to them anymore. You also mentioned that they have now introduced new rules around using devices and you feel this is unnecessary as you’re always careful not to share personal information online and you would never meet up with someone you met online.
It sounds like you have a lot of knowledge around keeping yourself safe online and what’s appropriate to do in terms of not sharing personal information or meeting up with a stranger. It also sounds like your parents really care about you and your safety, but it is upsetting when people in our lives get angry with us. It can be frustrating when parents enforce new rules and boundaries that you don’t feel are necessary.
We wonder if your parents understand as much as you do about online safety. We also wonder if your parents understand how much you know about online safety, and if this is something you could talk to them about? Maybe you could suggest they find out more about safe internet use for young people – they could find this information on https://www.ispcc.ie/a-parents-guide-to-discussing-online-safety-with-children/ and https://www.ispcc.ie/the-importance-of-talking-about-online-safety/
Sometimes when people don’t fully understand something or feel worried about someone they care about, they can react with anger, and this can make it difficult to talk about something. I’m wondering if you could chat openly with your parents and come up with some rules in your home that you are all comfortable with for the future. Perhaps when they have more information about online safety, this is something you could negotiate together.
If you would like to talk more about this or any other problem, you can always contact Childline. The Childline team would really love to listen to you. You are welcome to talk to us by phone on 1800 66 66 66, by text to 50101, or through out web chat on www.childline.ie. Childline is here for you anytime; we are available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
Thanks for getting in touch with us today and if you ever want to Ask Pat anything, please just leave us a message. We are here to listen and offer you information and support.