Protecting Our Littles – Online Predators

Hello there my favorite people! 

Today, I want to go a little in-depth on a more serious topic and spread awareness as well as educate y’all on something you may/may not know. 

Earlier this year, our oldest daughter was receiving inappropriate communication via Roblox chat. Now, in our house, we already have it set up that mom/dad can take your electronic at any time and review any and all content. We also have time limits set on them, etc. I won’t lie. I got complacent thinking it’s just a kid’s game and I know so many parents that let their kids play on it so it’s got to be fine. 

WRONG!!! Y’all I was so ignorant and naive about it all, but honestly I’m glad I was now because at least I can hopefully prevent others from following the same path. 

Anyways, there’s two ways to message on Roblox. The first is the messages on the game that you can access at any time. I had no clue that there is a SECOND messaging system that is NOT saved so you only know about it if it’s happening right then. Think of something similar to FB where you can read everything in Messenger but let’s just say if you IM someone it won’t save that content. 

This TERRIFIED me. The hole just kept getting deeper though! Not only is there an entirely second form of unsaved messages, there are actual HOUSES/LEVELS that you go on so if you report the person to roblox they are banned from that house/level/etc. but they can go to another one. Think of like a college that doesn’t condone drinking for it’s fraternity or sorority houses and they decide by not having designated “rows” for these people they then have to deal with the members owning multiple houses in the area causing parties to move from one persons house to the next, etc. (Note: I do not condone drinking and driving and I do not believe all fraternities and sororities are heavy drinkers. Calm down Karen, I’m trying to paint a picture for you, so let’s focus on why you’re here please.) 

All 4 of my children were on Roblox for quite some time. I ended up reviewing some of the messages that were saved and I found out that my daughter had an online predator. I was rocked to my core. How? This is a kid’s game! Yes… THIS IS A KID’S GAME!! Optimal ground for those sick and twisted people who prey on our children. Why WOULDN’T they think to use this app?! 

CGI and local PD were both involved in the situation. We tracked down the online predator and he is a mid-aged teenager multiple states away. Since he never set up explicitly in the messages that we can see a meet up time or request/send photos we are kind of just in a monitoring state. We had extremely open dialogue with all 4 of our kids with police present and without to ensure that they know what warning signs to look for and what’s okay behavior online and what’s not. 

During these discussions, we talked about what is okay and not okay to share online. We also explained how easy it is to lie when you’re online so you cannot trust everything you read. For example, our online predator swore he was albino and told our daughter that we wouldn’t let her talk to him because he’s black. Ummm… seriously dude?! This just made me even more mad because our family is an interracial family and some of the closest people to me are black so don’t you dare claim anything of that falsehood. I digress, emotions were high to say the least. We went over the importance of what information they can/cannot give out and explained the seriousness of the matter with their dad being an active duty marine. We have to keep our family safe from predators both online and offline.

We have also removed Roblox. Please make sure you’re protecting your babies. I don’t want any mother to feel that fear of “what if…” You can never be too careful when dealing with the unknowns of online. Reach out to your local PD if you fear something isn’t right. I couldn’t be more blessed with the local police departments help as they have some prior Marines in their department and really bonded with my kids to ensure we are safe while daddy keeps America safe. They’ve come by the house multiple times and introduced themselves to my kiddos. They even showed up with one of their k9s Teeko and consistently reminded the kids that they would be driving by to make sure we are safe. Reach out to your local PD, you never know how much it will effect your kids! My daughter still is elated that “her” police officers came by to tell her happy 10th birthday AND came by to congratulate her on her wrestling tournament.

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