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Urban Legends?

My daughter has been receiving forwards of various Urban Legends on her phone (ie. "a girl took a picture of herself and there was a man in the background, then she disappeared - no one has heard from her since. If you don't forward this to 10 people in the next 5 minutes, you could be taken too.") We have talked about how these are NOT real, she has told anyone who has forwarded these to NOT send them to her again, and she knows that if she sees a fwd on her phone to just delete it w/out reading.
BUT - these are "freaking her out." My previously stable, independent daughter is afraid to go to sleep at night. In the evenings, she follows me around like a shadow and she cries EVERY night when it's time to go to her room.
Any ideas of how to make her comfortable and secure again? Its affecting her sleep (and mine). I have threatened loss of phone privileges, but I'm not sure that's a good course of action.

 
jj.mominmd

Asked by jj.mominmd at 11:51 AM on Oct. 15, 2009 in Tweens (9-12)

Level 1 (3 Credits)
This question is closed.
Answers (5)
  • Oh Man, that's a tough one! I would try to reassure her that these type of stories were going around when we were kids and they aren't any different than watching a scary movie.

    But, my 13yo son was scared for weeks just from watching the commercial for the movie about the man who calls and says he is in the house. They are very impressionable at this age and their immagintations can run wild.

    I think you just need to give her time. Don't get upset at her when she is scared, just do what you need to do to make sure she feels safe and she will get over it in time.
    christyg

    Answer by christyg at 11:59 AM on Oct. 15, 2009

  • If she is not old enough to understand that this stuff is not real then she is not old enough to have a phone/email address. Take them away!! what on Earth does a child under the age of 16 and driving need a phone for any way? geeze.
    Anonymous

    Answer by Anonymous at 12:14 PM on Oct. 15, 2009

  • Maybe look up the stories on snopes.com . They do an excellent job of describing the origins of an urban legend, the variations, etc. I took an urban legend class in college- the main gist of most of them is to scare people into the being safer.
    dawpea

    Answer by dawpea at 1:08 PM on Oct. 15, 2009

  • Then she's way too young to have a phone.
    Anonymous

    Answer by Anonymous at 9:33 PM on Oct. 15, 2009

  • I agree about her being too young for a phone if this stuff is freaking her out. I would take some time and do snopes.com and maybe some other urban legend sites to show her that people are just being mean and trying to scare others.

    I wonder if this sort of thing is fairly wide spread. My 5th grader's class is doing a segment on urban legends right now. Unlike your dd, mine lives for scary stuff like that. She thinks they are fun and stupid all at once. Once again proving how diverse kids can be.
    balagan_imma

    Answer by balagan_imma at 12:34 AM on Oct. 16, 2009

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