Internet Safety/safety for kids


Is there anyone this can be reported to that will actually do something? In the meantime is there anything the parents can do for the safety of their daughter?

The situation:  I have friends living in a relatively small town in CO (population about 80,000). The daughter is 11. The mother was out of town for national guard training. When she returned the daughter had cut off all her hair, almost to the scalp. The mother found out her daughter had made a new friend through social media. The friend is supposedly a 15 year old girl living in a city of about 3.5 million in another state. Apparently the friend convinced the girl that she (the girl) is actually a boy in a girl's body, and she needed to cut her hair off.

The mother is distraught, has no idea how to deal with this. She did have a brief conversation with a police detective who told her there was nothing they could do because no crime has been committed. The father is a "wants to be the kid's friend" at all costs type of guy. He said he didn't see anything wrong or unusual about a girl that age basically shaving her head, so he didn't question her about it.

So: What do the parents do to keep their daughter safe?

Thanks for your help,

Jo Anne

Dear Ms. Jo Anne,

Based on what you've written about your friend and her daughter cutting off all her hair, unfortunately there is little that can be done given no crime has been committed. As for creative parenting strategies, there are plenty, but a Q & A site like AllExperts is not the place to be listing. When it comes to behavioral issues in children, offline professional help is the 1st step. The mother could certainly drag her in to meet with a therapist for 1-2 sessions to determine if the child is at risk for doing far worse things other than cutting her hair off. If the mother and father are divorced and father is as you write "wants to be the kid's friend at all costs type of guy", then mom needs to find a grown adult to help mentor the child.

An uncle, coworker, close friend or someone from the child's school is an option. The key would be for mom to locate an adult the child likes and would possibly open up too. The question you ask is shared by 1000's of single moms across the country. The key for your friend and finding a trusted adult who can help in the child rearing since father is spending time being his daughter's friend instead of her father. Good luck an be sure to constantly encourage your friend so she does not become discouraged by her daughters adolescent antics.  

Dr. Nuccitelli  

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Dr. Michael Nuccitelli


Cyber bullying, cyber stalking, cybercrime, cyber terrorism, online sexual predators, child predators, Internet safety, psychopathology, criminal & forensic psychology and cyber psychology. I cannot answer questions on the technological aspects of Information and Communicatons Technology.


Dr. Michael Nuccitelli is a New York State licensed psychologist and certified forensic consultant. He completed his doctoral degree in clinical psychology in 1994 from the Adler School of Professional Psychology in Chicago, Illinois. In 1997, Dr. Nuccitelli became a licensed psychologist in New York State (License # 013009.) In 2006, he received the Certified Forensic Consultant designation from the American College of Forensic Examiners (Identification # 103110.) Dr. Nuccitelli has developed a theoretical construct, iPredator, which encapsulates all online users who use Information and Communications Technology to abuse, harm, steal from or disparage other online users. His theory of iPredator is recognized by the American College of Forensic Examiners International.

American College of Forensic Examiners International

The Forensic Examiner

Dr. Nuccitelli is a New York State Licensed Psychologist and certified forensic consultant.

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