A FALSE REPRESENTATION OF SEXUALITY
If she clicks on a pornographic site, what should I do?
How should you react if you discover your daughter looking at a pornographic website? What will you say to her if she admits to having consulted one? Here's how you can respond.“I'm glad you told me. I would prefer that you didn't see these images. It's too bad there are so many sites like this that give a false view of sexuality. If you have questions about sex, I can suggest some books or websites that are more appropriate for a girl your age and that give accurate information.”
If you catch your daughter on a pornographic website or she tells you about it herself, don't overreact; stay calm.This is an opportunity for you to explain the differ-
ence between pornography and sexuality. Now your daughter will have the information she needs to make the distinction between fact and fiction and correct any false ideas she has about sexuality.If you don't respond, your daughter could believe that these pornographic images are a true representation of sexual relations.She could also be tempted to look for other pornographic sites to find out more. If your daughter tells you about what she has seen,use this opportunity to praise her for coming to you to talk about it. Remember that parents are still the first source of information for children with questions about sex.
Between the ages of 8 and 12, your daughter will con- tinue to have questions about conception, childbirth and adult sexuality. If she stumbles on these types of images,she may be repelled by them or they may awak- en her curiosity. At the very least, these images will give her a false impression of sexuality. She might think that this is the behaviour that she will be expected to per- form or that is awaiting her when she finds a partner.
She's always in chat rooms. Wh
o is she talking to?
Do you remember the hours you spent talking to your friends on the telephone? “Chatting” online is the way young people stay in touch with each other today.Your daughter is no exception - she loves chatting with her friends online. Why is she so absorbed in this activity? Who is she really communicating with? Show your interest in what she is doing and ask her questions: “Who are you chatting with? How old are they? What would you do if the conversation took a direction that made you feel uncomfortable? I would prefer you to “chat” only with your friends, but if you make a new friend online I would like you to let me know. Sometimes adults pretend that they're your age so they can communicate with you. What they talk about may
not be appropriate for someone your age. I would pre- fer that you send e-mails only to your friends.If you real- ly enjoy writing, how about starting a daily journal or writing a short story?”
It's worrying to think that some predatory adults are using the Internet to contact children. You have a right to know who your daughter is corresponding with and to warn her of the dangers of chatting with strangers. By talking about the risks,you can help her develop crit- ical thinking skills and prepare her to deal with unpleas- ant or dangerous situations. Suggest other ways she can express her creativity if she has a genuine interest in writing.
Your daughter loves to chat online. She can spend hours chatting with her friends.It is well known, howev- er, that pedophiles use the Internet to solicit children. It is estimated that 89% of sexual solicitation of children is done in chat rooms.These adults can quickly steer inno- cent conversations towards sexual matters, using terms that are inappropriate for children,and explaining them in a way that suits their purposes.Be vigilant,as the goal of some of these predators is to meet your daughter in person.