If you have a child who has been begging to get a Facebook page, have you checked to see if they've done it already? A mom who forbade her 11-year-old daughter from signing up for the site just went through one heck of an ordeal because the girl did it anyway ... and ended up in the crosshairs of a 23-year-old sex offender! Thank goodness the little girl has a mom who isn't afraid to get her hands dirty when her child's safety is on the line.
According to cops in St. Petersburg, Florida, the mom (whose name has been withheld to protect her child) found out about the pervert sniffing around her daughter online and decided to make sure he couldn't hurt her kid or anyone else's. She set up a trap that included using a photo taken from a Target ad of a model in a bra and pretending to be her daughter.
It worked -- the sex offender sent photos of his erect penis to the mom, thinking she was an 11-year-old girl.
Now cops have arrested a man named Michael Bradley who they say was the adult acting inappropriately with a minor online. He's been charged with eight counts of displaying obscene images to a minor and eight counts of unlawful use of a two-way communication device.
Good for her for having the chutzpah to do something about this creep ... AND good for her for checking up on her kid.
I'm not one of those "go, read your kid's diary" kind of moms. Kids are empowered by trust to be better people.
But -- and this is a BIG but -- trust is earned. If you think your kid might be lying to you about something, be it a Facebook page or brushing their teeth, it's worth following up to see what's really going on. Sometimes you'll be happy to find out they've listened. Other times you'll be stuck cleaning up their messes because that's part of what parents do.
If this mom hadn't followed up, who knows what could have happened to this kid. A 23-year-old man going after an 11-year-old girl is obviously up to no good. Would this burgeoning relationship have stopped at just some explicit photos?
Do you check up on your kids to make sure they're following your rules even after you've said no?
Image via GoodNCrazy/Flickr
Going to baseball games
Riding bike rides in the nice weather
Playing outside after work/school
Going for walks outside