Post # 1
I Catfished My Kid is a TV show that TLC did awhile back. They brought in a social media expert to show two sets of parents just how much good all of their discussing, warning, and threatening about their kids’ online behavior really got through.
If you have a kid, plan to have a kid, are related to a kid, were once a kid, or smiled and waved at a kid in line at the supermarket, you absolutely must see this show. You can watch via TLC. I am very disappointed that they only made one episode.
This is different from Nev Shulman’s Catfish, the movie, which is very good, too, but, it features adults. Also lacking is the gut punch of I Catfished My Kid. Nev also does the Catfish TV show on MTV 2.
If any of you have seen it, let’s hear your impressions. If you haven’t yet seen it, please do, and come back to share your thoughts and feelings.
Post # 2
I haven’t seen the show but the premise sounds very invasive on the parents side. Parents who would do something like that clearly don’t have any normal boundaries.
I feel like that would teach the kids that they can’t trust their parents just as much as online profiles. Good luck to parents like that who want to maintain an open relationship with their child through teenage years. I know I would feel pretty violated if my parents posed as someone my age and were part of what I thought were private conversations.
EDIT: I just watched a trailer for this. It looks awful for the girl. Can a girl of like 12/13 really consent to this being broadcast on TV? I personally don’t agree with that. The girl is clearly humiliated, this will be even worse when her peers find this footage.
I have to say for someone who is very vocal about emotional abuse and in particular emotional abuse from parents I am surprised that you enjoyed something like this. I imagine the reason they only made one episode is because it went down like a lead balloon.
Post # 3
I haven’t seen it, but I’m interested.
I was a total idiot as a kid about the internet. This was in the days of AOL, so parents really weren’t as educated about what was going on. I don’t remember ever getting a talk about internet safety. My middle school friends and I used to go into chatrooms and pretend to be older (asl? Anyone remember that?). We’d chat up older men (or people claiming to be) and it did often get a bit risque. We never sent real photos or names or anything like that, but we were still dumb.
That’s where it ended for me, but I had a couple friends develop “relationships” with particular guys. They would video chat and even talk on the phone and send pictures back and forth. I think the guys were high school age by their pictures (if they were even real pictures). Nothing bad ever happened to them, thankfully.
That was in the age of pretty limited social media, I can’t even imagine nowadays…
Post # 4
If my parent had done this to me, I would feel utterly betrayed and would learn I couldn’t trust my parents due to underhanded toldya-so shit like this. If you want your kids to talk to you about anything significant, this is not the way.
Post # 5
I think this sounds incredibly invasive. That’s probably why there was only one episode. It also sounds creepy. The parents are sending flirty messages to their kids in the hopes of teaching them a lesson? That just sounds…wrong. Good boundaries, mutual respect and open communication will get you a lot farther than this kind of stuff. If my parents did this to me, I would shut down. I’d never trust them again or tell them anything about my personal life. That is a much more dangerous situation to be in. That’s too big of a violation of trust. Too much of a betrayal. It’s cruel to catfish in general. It’s even worse if it is your mom.
ETA: By the time I hit middle school, schools had already discovered cyber stranger danger and started implementing programs to teach us how to use the internet safely. It’s more or less second nature to me. Protecting oneself online was just part of internet literacy. I think most people don’t need these kinds of scare tactics today.
Post # 6
Catfishing is actually a very cruel tactic. It can be very humiliating and painful for the person being catfished. On top of creating trust issues once they find out their own parents were the ones behind it. I get the premise of the show and the motivation behind it, but I’m not sure what sort of responsible parent would do something so potentially psychologically damaging to their child.
Post # 7
The child privacy advocates ought to actually watch the show. Observe just how little it took to lure kids into extremely dangerous situations.
The entire point of the show was that these were kids who “knew better”, whose parents had taught them all about Internet dangers. The parents thought had they had inoculated their children.
My kid being unhappy with me over ‘boundaries’ for keeping her from a predator? Priceless.
Post # 8
This is gross.
eta: holy background batman.
Not trying to be cruel here, but maybe you are not in the best position to be giving advice regarding raising children.
Post # 9
I’m all for monitoring children’s online activity. I don’t think children are necessarily entitled to privacy. But catfishing them?? How is doing something completely deceptive and manipulative setting a good example for your kids? You think this is how well-adjusted kids are made? This is not boundary-setting, it’s just cruel.
Post # 10
wineosaur : Exactly, young children should definitely have their online activity monitored. The way to deal with internet security is make it clear that as the parent pays for their phone bill they can monitor whatever conversations they want to and so don’t say anything online or over text that you don’t want to say to your parent. Coupled with sitting down and having an open and trusting conversation about the uncomfortable truths about the internet and the dangers. Catfishing them though? You have to be a psycho parent to do that. How can you really think that level of manipulation and humiliation will have positive results?
This reminds me of a UK tv show called Sun Sex and Suspicious Parents, where the parents sneak along on their kids first holiday with their friends and watch from a far with cameras to see what their kid gets up to when they are on their own. It isn’t quite as creepy and invasive though as those kids were 17/18 and had at least consented to being filmed, they just didn’t know their parents would be there in real time, this one is another level.
Post # 11
What a wonderful way to teach kids not to trust their parents!
Post # 12
That’s disgusting. Very invasive and boundary crossing. Your kid will never trust you again.
My mom read my diary at 16… where i was writing about being Bi, before I was ready to come out that is when the trust broke.
Post # 13
sassy411 : When I was a teen, I didn’t trust my parents. They didn’t earn it. They were too harsh with me. I suspected they read my diary or my texts. They didn’t keep secrets. They didn’t have open communication. So I didn’t talk to them. I took better precautions. Teens are always better at out-maneuvering parents when it comes to technology. When I was in dangerous situations (not my fault), I had no one to turn to. I didn’t trust my parents because they didn’t respect my privacy or work to develop trust. I was alone which made it so much easier to take advantage of me. If my parents had developed healthy boundaries and open lines of communication, my teens years would have looked very different. We might even have a better relationship now that I am an adult.
It’s fine to protect your kids. It’s fine to have rules and boundaries. All of those things are healthy. But this crosses such a horrible line. This alienates your kids. Betraying trust endangers kids so much more. Parents who bulldoze their kids and forget that kids are people end up with kids who have so much baggage as adults. They end up with kids who don’t have a safe place and find themselves making risky choices. Sometimes they just cut you off when they grow up. Sometimes the parents are fueling their selfish need to control instead of truly protecting their children. I suspect the parents who did this were more interested in control.
And of course, the kids caved easy. It’s reality tv. They were probably told to by the producers for the drama.
Post # 14
There are less troubling ways to monitor your child’s online activity. I have a 15 year old and have controls and tracking on her phone and other devices. But the cat fishing thing is icky to me. Parents do need to be more aware though. A couple years ago a girl from our local middle school got lured/kidnapped by an adult male a couple states away. It made a big impression on my daughter as far as only talking to people you actually know in real life. I don’t think I’d enjoy this show.
Post # 15
sassy411 : I feel the reason this show didn’t go past episode one is very obvious: it’s creepy, disturbing, and gross.
I get the idea behind this, but that doesn’t make it right or acceptable. I’m actually kind of shocked that you’re advocating this sort of thing.