@jdbzaI really feel for you and the situation you are in. Your niece is lucky to have you in her life and to have you love her so much. I pray that the journey ahead will give you courage and strength. Regarding the mobile phone, it's new territory for many parents and I think most kids are left to their own devices here (no pun intended). There are people now working with schools to build awareness of cyber security and protection strategies for students and parents. I attended a presentation given by an ex-copper at my daughter's school on this. Here's a breakdown of some of the points he put forward for parents to consider: Have a no phone access time frame (similar to the basket at meal times except extended) - maybe between 8:30pm and 8:30am? Get all the passwords to her accounts and have her sit with you as you monitor and go through what she's posting or commenting on Check her browsing history - to monitor what she's looking at across different sites Find out what avenues you can both explore to get more knowledge about cyber security - I've included a couple links here but you'll need to check them to see if they are fit for purpose https://securitybaron.com/blog/social-media-cyber-security/ https://tinyurl.com/ybxlgmxt For some, the above may be somewhat extreme, but I think if she knows she's being monitored she may start to consider what she's posting and why - is it a cry for help? I wanted to finish off with something I learnt being a parent in this technology age... I hate mobiles and would happily give mine up tomorrow, but the reality is I couldn't get on with what I need to do without them - necessary evil. Instead of resisting, I started to look at how I could use it to connect with my daughter more. It started with facebook messaging - I found she would tell me things via messenger that she might not tell me face to face. Even when we were in the same house at the same time. We could 'have fun' send links and be girly silly or share things. Her to me and me to her. Then snap chat came out and although it took me a while, I eventually got it and found that I could connect with her in a whole new way, using video and filters. I even encouraged my fiance to get it so he could communicate and connect with his daughter (she doesn't see him often). Both girls have been responsive to our embrace of the technology (especially when the parents of the other kids are not). They may send a silly photo or use acronyms or new language I have no idea about - but that gives us a talking point and a way in. I am often heard asking my daughter what litt means or bae or all the other stuff they seem to come up with :) Given how much pressures and struggles your family has endured this may be an element of fun that could be introduced in conjunction with positive role modelling of phone use. I even heard some families set up group chats - so everyone in the family can communicate with each other. I'm not an expert by any means ....The point I hope I'm making here is that maybe the technology could be used to open a door of communication and connection. An opportunity for you to see another side of her, that is a real expression of how she's feeling or what she's going through at a given point in time. It's a conversation starter about the posts she's making and the responses she's looking to create...... Perhaps it's a chance for you to get to know her on another level? For what it's worth I hope that this has helped.
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