F.E.A.S.T's Around The Dinner Table forum

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pheim
Hello, my d just entered a residential facility for AN/restricting/purging...she is much more ill with ED than I had thought or known. She was not allowed to have her phone, so it is sitting at home and what I really want to do is never give it back to her because I fear the influence and damage that's been done by social media.
Not sure if I'm asking for advice...perhaps just encouragement? How do other parents handle ED and phones/social media apps? Seriously thinking I'll not give her phone back until she agrees to delete her accounts and leave it unlocked so that I can monitor. What have other people done?
"Love me when I least deserve it, because that is when I need it the most."
-Swedish proverb
"What's comin' will come and we'll meet it when it does."
-Hagrid
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tina72
Hi pheim,

it is good to know that your d is in IP now and gets help there. Before I answer your question I want to encourage you to care for yourself now and reload your batteries for the next step when she comes home again and to prepare yourself and your home as much as possible.

The phone question is one part of that. It depends a bit on how old your d is (I do not remember at the moment) and how tricky she is with electric stuff (wether she knows how to trick you out with deleting history and such things). Many parents installed safe guards and locked internet access when they are not at home or some apps/websites totally. We have no facebook, no instagram, only whatsapp left. My d is relieved now to not need to post there anything and to be rid of all the social media stress and does not want to use that any more (she is 19). She is aware of the danger of posting photos in internet and uses it in a very adult way.
I would first check her phone and see what she really did with it (also her pc if she has one or the tablet). Maybe it is not that worse and she just googled some low calory recipes. If not, learn how to lock the "bad" sites (use the search button here or learn it at youtube like me 🙂).

We cannot keep them away from everything but we can have a say what they do with smartphones we bought and pay for. No money for ED!
Some parents gave them a cheap phone that can only be used for phoning and text messages and has no internet access. Some locked internet access and made internet only possible at home under supervision. Some locked special sites and apps. It depends on how she uses it what you need to do.
Keep feeding. There is light at the end of the tunnel.
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pheim
Hi Tina! My D is 14 and very savvy with social media; she uses Instagram, FB, Snapchat, prob more. I have allowed this and not supervised as I should have...but that is all going to change starting yesterday. I wish I could look at the history on her phone, but she has it locked and I haven't been able to crack it, though I've tried! I'm going to use your words as my mantra: "No money for ED!" She's going to HATE me when I tell her she gets her phone back only under certain conditions, but at this point I don't care...I just want her to be well again.
"Love me when I least deserve it, because that is when I need it the most."
-Swedish proverb
"What's comin' will come and we'll meet it when it does."
-Hagrid
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tina72
I am sure that you pay for the phone contract so you must have the PIN/PUK in your papers or be able to get it from the company.
Or you can throw away her sim card in the phone and get a new one (tell the company you lost it).
At age 14 you can for sure set all rules how to use it and she will go through the roof anyway so just stand that!
Is the phone off at the moment? Or is it on and just the screen locked?
By the way, I do not know the rules in US but here they must be 16 to be allowed on facebook...so maybe you can stopp some things just to make clear rules are followed and tell the companies she is 14...
Keep feeding. There is light at the end of the tunnel.
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pheim
It's on with the screen locked by a password "pattern." I've thought about bringing it to the service provider and asking if they can unlock it for me, although I like the idea of removing the SIM card and replacing with a new one...starting anew, so to speak.
"Love me when I least deserve it, because that is when I need it the most."
-Swedish proverb
"What's comin' will come and we'll meet it when it does."
-Hagrid
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tina72
It would be interesting to see what she has done with it and I am not sure if it is saved when you take out the sim card.
If it is locked at the screen, can you ask her for the lock code surprisingly when you fake that there was an alert and you want her to tell what is written there? Maybe she tells it to you?
At youtube you find some tips to unlock the screen when you have "forgotten" the password, too. I am no technical freak so cannot help with that. Is a brother/nephew available?
Keep feeding. There is light at the end of the tunnel.
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scaredmom
I would suggest that you demand to get the password from her to keep her safe.Or just take it away altogether and not allow passwords etc.

i told d upfront I would take her phone anytime I wanted and she had no say. If it has to be private, then maybe they are hiding things. She  really did not put up a fuss. I think she was a bit relieved tbh.
yes they are born now with technology on their genes.
i told her I had to keep her safe and she agreed for the most part.


you say too that you don’t want to give it back to her and that is a very viable option and you can let her know those are the rules, not forever but for the foreseeable future.
You can let her know that when you feel she can handle it that you and her will go through the phone and delete triggering apps etc...

it It is hard and others have done it so many different ways. You know her best and what would work.
XXX
Food+more food+time+love+good professional help+ATDT+no exercise+ state not just weight+/- the "right" medicine= healing---> recovery(--->life without ED)
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tina72
scaredmom wrote:
I would suggest that you demand to get the password from her


Maybe that is a good idea to do it directly, if you tell her she has two options, to tell you the password and save all her contacts or to make you destroy the sim card and get a new one she will probably decide to tell you the password.
Keep feeding. There is light at the end of the tunnel.
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debra18
We get emails of all the websites my daughter goes to on the computer. Is that possible on a phone too?
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Jojo2271
My 14 d is going to IP at end of this week. Phones worry me... But if they doesn't have them how do they keep in touch with friends?
I fear the phone being used for covert messages between in patients to egg each other on... 
I had my older daughter look through my younger d's Instagram account. Apparently if you are a follower you can see what the person has followed or looked at.
My d has looked at recovery stories nothing else 
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Jojo2271
Could you insist on being a fb friend etc
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pheim
I follow her on Instagram and am friends with her on FB...she follows 1,500 accounts on Insta alone!! I've been prowling through all of her Insta people but so many are private accounts, so can't discern much of anything.
Thinking I'll bring her phone with me when I visit and ask her to unlock it. If she refuses, then I'll replace the sim card and return with conditions, ie: her phone is MY phone, no locked screens, and minimal apps installed only after discussion and my approval.
"Love me when I least deserve it, because that is when I need it the most."
-Swedish proverb
"What's comin' will come and we'll meet it when it does."
-Hagrid
Quote
scaredmom
That is a good plan, pheim!
It establishes that you are in charge and will keep her safe!
XXX
Food+more food+time+love+good professional help+ATDT+no exercise+ state not just weight+/- the "right" medicine= healing---> recovery(--->life without ED)
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pheim
Thank you all! I know I have to make changes re: my parenting style, it helps to have encouragement!
"Love me when I least deserve it, because that is when I need it the most."
-Swedish proverb
"What's comin' will come and we'll meet it when it does."
-Hagrid
Quote
tp7
Pheim,

   We had the same issue with our 13 year old D. She's very media and tech savvy and she was following several models on Instagram, which we didn't find helpful.  She has an iPhone which allows restrictions, but she somehow would always find a way to disable them (which we never figured out how).  In the end we took all social media accounts away permanently except for Instagram, which I have on my own phone and she has to ask me for permission to check her Instagram account under my supervision, with 5 minutes max allowed per day.  On her phone we got rid of all the social media apps and also disabled the App Store.  This prevented her from downloading any more apps.

Finally, we installed a software called Qustodio on her phone and laptop.  It's been a life saver.  Not only can we enable and disable apps directly from our phone, but we can also see what her Google searches are. Our D was always obsessively searching for calorie information on Google, so while we couldn't stop it she now knows that we constantly check her searches and will take her phone away the second she searches up anything related to ED.

The first few days of the new "regime" were difficult as she had meltdowns.  But we decided that these apps were doing more harm than good.  She did accept this in the end and it has been very helpful to have much more control over the information that she's accessing.
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Mamaroo
This is not so easy to solve. I would ask her for her password and if none were forthcoming then turn her smart phone into a dumb phone. My d has a dumb phone, but has instagram and other social media sites to chat with her friends. I'm not sure that taking away the sim card would help as she accesses these sites on her tablet (she needs it to do school work), which doesn't have a sim card. TP7's solution I think is the best way if you want to go high tech. You could also limit her time on the sites so that she only uses it for chatting with friends. Our children are on the guest network wifi, which I can switch on and off from my phone without effecting the main wifi. Works quite well, but it is a manual solution. 
D became obsessed with exercise at age 9 and started eating 'healthy' at age 9.5. Restricting couple of months later. IP for 2 weeks at age 10. Slowly refed for months on Ensures alone, followed by swap over with food at a snails pace. WR after a year at age 11 in March 2017. View my recipes on my YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCKLW6A6sDO3ZDq8npNm8_ww
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tina72
pheim wrote:
Thinking I'll bring her phone with me when I visit and ask her to unlock it. If she refuses, then I'll replace the sim card and return with conditions, ie: her phone is MY phone, no locked screens, and minimal apps installed only after discussion and my approval.


Good plan! Yes, we need to change our parenting for some time x but remember it will not be forever. We were very liberal parents before and went to army style parents with almost everything for some time x and now 2 years after recovery we are army style parents only with food and health questions and back to liberal parenting in all other cases. Next goal is to be liberal with eating in some time in future but that will take years I know.
Keep feeding. There is light at the end of the tunnel.
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tina72
Jojo2271 wrote:
My 14 d is going to IP at end of this week. Phones worry me... But if they doesn't have them how do they keep in touch with friends?
I fear the phone being used for covert messages between in patients to egg each other on... 
I had my older daughter look through my younger d's Instagram account. Apparently if you are a follower you can see what the person has followed or looked at.
My d has looked at recovery stories nothing else 


Normally they have rules for phone use in IP. Often smartphones are not allowed because they can take pictures with it. A normal simple phone that can only phone and send sms is often allowed. If you buy such a phone she can stay in contact with her friends and you can talk to her at the days you cannot visit.
Even looking at recovery stories can be triggering. Be careful with that. Recovery stories normally start with a detailed explaination of the way down the rabbit hole...often it is kind of receipe how to lose weight.
Keep feeding. There is light at the end of the tunnel.
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Foodsupport_AUS
You cannot just change a SIM card to get access to a phone. It doesn't work that way. If you take out a SIM card and put in a new one the phone still has the same password because the password is for the phone and not the SIM card. That is why if you use another country SIM card to travel you phone still works the same. 

As others have said there are generally rules around home, and if you have concerns that she has been posting on social media/ or sourcing other info and it is likely to have had a deleterious effect on her ED then requiring her to give a password and access is reasonable before she can ever get her phone back. For many it is part of their illness. At the same time your D is likely to need access to the internet as her recovery progresses, so learning safe ways to negotiate this, is important. We can't stop them doing harm to themselves all the time but ultimately many will stop accessing because they realise it makes them feel bad. 
D diagnosed restrictive AN June 2010 age 13.5. Weight restored July 2012. Relapse and now clawing our way back. Treatment: multiple hospitalisations and individual and family therapy.
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tina72
I have no experiences with this technical stuff, does it help to take the battery pack out for some time x to be able to get in with PIN/PUK?
Keep feeding. There is light at the end of the tunnel.
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pheim
Tina72, thanks for the head's up re: recovery stories, as I've wondered about this and will try to keep them off her radar to prevent stalling or relapse in the future. I do believe her phone + social media + outside influences (certain friends? not sure yet but suspicious...) have all contributed to her illness. I have her phone now and will ask her to remove the lock and sit with me while we "dumb it down" together, in the name of protection from ED. If tension/anger/conflict arises while we do this, I'll put her phone away and come back to it when emotions are less fraught (this is going to be a biggie). Tp7, I'm gonna look into Qustodio as well. Thank you all for the tips, I'll be coming back to this thread in the future I'm sure.
"Love me when I least deserve it, because that is when I need it the most."
-Swedish proverb
"What's comin' will come and we'll meet it when it does."
-Hagrid
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tina72
Come back whenever you need, and if you "just" need to vent or talk to someone here you are welcome. We are here.
Keep feeding. There is light at the end of the tunnel.
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MargieMom
For when you decide to give her the phone back (don’t be in a hurry! I think you are right about all the negative influences of social media — our s’s and d’s are the experimental generation and suffering mightily for it.):  We use Circle at home and Circle Go to cover when d is off our Wi-Fi. Not perfect, there are loopholes we are trying to close, but typically works well. I love being able to turn my d’s apps like Insta off and on with the touch of a button from my phone. At my d’s residential facility, no phones allowed until you level up. I was distressed to learn that when they do get to use their phone, social media is allowed, including posting. But they said they can go through the phone apps, like you are planning to do, during a therapy session with my d, so that could be positive.  At the moment though, I don’t see any leveling up happening (sadly).
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Jojo2271
I feel so naive.. I thought it was good my d had looked at a couple of recovery stories. 
I am finding this switch to not believing her about stuff so hard. I just can't do it. 
We are Liberal parents and older teen d breezed through adolescence. Told me everything and even her friends used to come and talk to me... 
I naturally am trusting and optomistic.. So need tips on becoming more authoritarian please!!!!
My d goes to IP on Wednesday were they are allowed phones, but staff have to have access and they discuss as a daily thing what girls and boys have looked at etc. 
I know many on here would say that is too lax but this IP unit is a great fit for my d and she really seems to have engaged and clicked with team there. We have also heard lots of success stories so hopeful. 
But I am going to get tech savvy at home now, insist on password to phone and look at installing blocks or ways we can turn apps off
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tina72
Jojo2271 wrote:
I feel so naive.. I thought it was good my d had looked at a couple of recovery stories. 
I am finding this switch to not believing her about stuff so hard. I just can't do it. 
We are Liberal parents and older teen d breezed through adolescence. Told me everything and even her friends used to come and talk to me... 
I naturally am trusting and optomistic.. So need tips on becoming more authoritarian please!!!!
My d goes to IP on Wednesday were they are allowed phones, but staff have to have access and they discuss as a daily thing what girls and boys have looked at etc. 
I know many on here would say that is too lax but this IP unit is a great fit for my d and she really seems to have engaged and clicked with team there. We have also heard lots of success stories so hopeful. 
But I am going to get tech savvy at home now, insist on password to phone and look at installing blocks or ways we can turn apps off


We all were naive about what the disease can force them to do. My d never ever lyed to us before. We were open and liberal and discussed nearly everything with her since she could talk (and she started to talk before she could sit and walk). I also had a hard time to get that she does not tell me everything and that I need to ask very straight to get a honest answer. If I would have asked "what was for dinner at your friends house?" she would have said "there was pizza" and that does not mean she ate one single piece of it. I had to ask "what did you eat exactly at your friends house?" then she would tell me the truth. It was strange and scary, she was a different and unfamiliar person then. It helped me to seperate my d inside from the ED and what ED made her say and do. It helped me to remember that my d is still inside and after some weeks we regularly saw some blimps of her now and then and that helped too.
You can go back to liberal parenting with all other issues very soon. But to be liberal with an ED is a deadly mistake. We are totally normal and liberal with our d today but if she refuses a meal (which does not happen because she knows that) we would be back to army rules within a minute. It is necessary for a long time.

Can you install some security software on her smartphone and some tracking software so you could see what sites she has visited and block some sites?
I would not rely on the team there to be honest. Too many people and too many kids, mistakes are forseeable there...
Keep feeding. There is light at the end of the tunnel.
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