I want to help, but am I just being too nosy?

United States
March 22, 2007 8:17am CST
Here's the situation...My little cousin is 12 or 13 years old and while I'm not really close with her because I am 26 and she is my step mothers niece, I am concerned about her safety online and offline. Now I know 13 year old girls are boy crazy but this girl is taking it a little too far. I try to help her understand that she doesn't need a man to make her happy. She seems a little too eager to want a boyfriend. On MySpace one day I happened to notice that her name for myspace was "I have a Lover" Ok now...what does a 13 y/o know about having or wanting a lover. I know it's possible for girls to be sexually active at this age but she is very immature and I'm pretty sure she's not doing the nasty...yet...Then another instance she had "I Could Be Your Girlfriend" and "I Want a Man to Love Me" as her headings. I explained to my step mother what was going on and she said yea well she's just immature. Ok HELLO PEOPLE I was that 13 year old girl before and this isn't just being immature. She's look for something more than just a 5 minute boyfriend. Her mother doesn't seem to know what's going on and they are just ignoring this girl. I want to be there for her but she's 700 miles away not like I can pick her up from school and have a talk, know what I mean. Well here's to hoping that she doesn't end up like the majority. Do you think I'm putting my nose where it doesn't belong? Any suggestions?
6 people like this
12 responses
@Mamaof2 (574)
• Canada
23 Mar 07
You are not being noisy and are doing the right thing by being concerned. It is only human nature to want to help those that we care about. At 13 years old and acting this way..there is cause for concern. I know what 13 yea olds do at this age and it is something that we want to keep our young children away from if at all possible. Talking to her mother and expresing your concern may be a first step. Tell her what you are worried about and back that up with evidence....for example..her screen names. Is it possible that she is seeking male attention because she is not getting it at home. How is her relationship with her mother...is there a father around. I would follow your instincts and do what you feel is right. If something happened, god forbid, you would feel terribly guilty that you didnt step in. Good Luck.
3 people like this
@AmbiePam (55849)
• United States
23 Mar 07
If you don't so something, who will? Apparently no one. She might become sexually active, which is bad enough at that age, but she could become the victim of a child predator who disguised himself as a caring would be boyfriend. Follow your instincts - it seems they have right so far.
@imsilver (1667)
• Canada
24 Mar 07
"It takes a whole village to raise a child." Don't worry about being nosy or putting your nose where it doesn't belong. Anyone who loves a child has the right and the obligation to everything and anything to keep that child safe. Even long distance.. you can still be there for the girl. Just a daily email to let her know you're thinking of her. And always be free with your advice. Even if she doesn't get it right now.. one day she will.. I'm in the same boat. My niece is 16 going on 30 and I've had issues with pictures and whatnot of hers that I've seen going online. You probably can't stop it from happening but just keep reminding your niece that you love & carry & worry about her. And be there for support if something does go wrong. I think that's the most important thing. Just being there. Even if your miles away, the internet puts you right next door.
1 person likes this
• United States
23 Mar 07
Well, I have been in a similar situation and being a user of MySpace saw some disturbing things going on with a niece. (Who lives about 1500 miles away so I know what you mean about not just sitting down wiht them and having a Coke.) I say if you are on MySpace you just become friends with her so that you are there to discuss things with her in a non judgemental manner. Being open and not being an "it's like this" relative but a friend seems to work sometimes better. Or it did for she and I. Oh and as an aside, my 14 year old has a MySpace, is on my friend's list and I see everything she posts. Every other week her headings change to some other boy or whatever but in the end she is really just all about Fallout Boy and band and things. Just be her friend. BTW, being concerned for your family is not being too nosey. You are a good cousin!
1 person likes this
@lingli_78 (12834)
• Australia
23 Mar 07
no, you are not being nosey at all... she is your cousin anyway and you are just trying to show your concern to her and help her before it is too late... but if her own mum doesn't even care to what you are telling her, i don't know anymore what to say... good luck anyway and i hope you can have a serious conversation with your cousin before she is doing anything wrong that she might regret for her whole life...
1 person likes this
@catcai (1057)
• Philippines
23 Mar 07
NO I don’t think your being nosy, besides you are just concerned. Have you talked to the child about this? Because if this isn't resolved in the soonest possible time, I'm afraid this might lead to a dangerous situation. Well if you can't reach the girl or her family personally, try reaching out to her through her blogs or myspace or email her and ask her what’s the real deal. Maybe you could give her advices as well, since the mother obviously is not that seriously concerned about this matter. Act as her confidant, get as much information as you can from her and try to reason out with her, maybe she would listen to what you have to say. This is indeed serious and the child is now already 13 yrs old and already has the risk of getting pregnant. I wish you well in this, and I pray that your cousin listens to you before It's too late.
1 person likes this
• Australia
22 Mar 07
Its a hard situation and I know where you are coming from but sadly i dont think anything you do will change the situation,Kids nowadays mtend to think they know everything and they learn from there own mistakes.I am a very strict mum so I would have put a stop the internet usage a long time ago and i have a 9 year old and 13 year old and whenever they are online I tend to do the ironing or something near them so I can keep an eye on them.Personally I think its her mum that needs to do something and soon,she needs to address the situation and put some sort of control on the internet usage and maybe use one of those programs to control what can be used on the computer.You are too far away to be the one to keep an eye on her,however being older than your cousin I would try and talk to her as much as you can and build some sort of relationship with her because if something does happen she wont want her close freinds or immediate family to talk to ,she will want someone she can trust and who is older so try and let that be you.Good on you for being concerned and pointing it out though because in this changing world so many people tend to let things go or ignore vital signs that end up with devastating results.There are a lot of nasties out there.
1 person likes this
• United States
22 Mar 07
Wow. You are kind of caught between a rock and a hard spot. Your stepmother should be a little more concerned. Have her sit and watch an episode or to of "Dateline: To Catch a Preditor", maybe that will open her eyes to what goes on on the internet. Internet preditors prey on girls like your cousin, that are seeking attention from boys/men at an early age. They will lie and say anything to get them away from their home and harm them. Please intervene in any way you can. Talk to the girl, she probably won't listen though. Teen girls at that age are very stubborn, and see nothing wrong with it. Myspace is huge and notorious for illicit internet participation. They have internet monitoring devices and parental lockouts that your stepmom could use on the computer if she would be willing to do it. It sounds like she simply doesn't care though, which makes it harder for you to help. This young woman is headed for trouble and fast. I don't know what else to suggest. I wish I had more. I will think on it though and maybe something else will come to me.
1 person likes this
• Canada
22 Mar 07
You are not being too nosey at all. I think you are being concerned. You need to keep talking to her family, and bringing them proof of what is going on, until they listen. Who else in her family that you know, has a computer, and can watch what is going on?
1 person likes this
• India
22 Mar 07
You are not nosy but genuinely worried for that small girl .. although she is really not a close relative u want to make sure she doesnt fall for wrong company .. i have a plan .. what if you too become a member of that site with some boy name .. and get to talk to her .. get in touch with her like you were a boy her age .. check how she converses with him (thats you ) .. this will give u an idea how far shez really pulling all this .. then maybe you can talk to her mum about the whole thing . since u are far away the mum can do something sittin there .. and MOST IMPORTANT .. that girl your niece shud never know it was u in disguise of that boy or she will never forgive u .. keep me posted !! Good luck !
1 person likes this
@Darkwing (21586)
22 Mar 07
I can understand your concern, but sometimes kids do this kind of thing as a prank? They like to know they can wind men and boys up with their comments? At the age of thirteen, I would think and certainly hope that this is the case. Maybe you should chat with her online... get her to join a group forum but only whilst you're there, so you can ascertain as to whether she's fooling about or seriously erring. A little bit of supervision wouldn't do her any harm, anyway. It just has to be controlled and certainly no physical meeting with anybody she meets online. Good luck with this and Brightest Blessings.
22 Mar 07
I understand your concern and no I don't think you are just being nosey. If it were me I think I would contact her mother by myself. Ok it may end up in you being told to mind your own business etc. I personally would prefer to know that I had tried to do right by the girl, than find in a years time she is pregnant or worse and I did nothing. I hope that has helped a little. Good luck.