October 15, 2012

Girl Commits Suicide – Use this to talk to kids about porn, predators, bullying

One good way to talk with your kids about the dangers of pornography, sexual predators, social media, bullying, etc. is to use examples from the news. What’s happening right now! I had the opportunity to discuss some of these harms with my 10 year-old little sister after hearing about the tragic story of Amanda Todd this weekend.

This young girl was coerced into showing her breasts on a webcam at age 12 – it ruined her life. Here is the tragic story in her words, posted on September 7th. With a heavy heart, we share that she committed suicide last Wednesday.

If you have children, please sit down with them regularly and talk about the dangers of our Internet age – pornography, sexting, sexual predators, bullying, etc. Please don’t think that this cannot happen to your child. Statistics show that even the “good kids” are doing this. ADDRESS THIS ISSUE NOW AND OFTEN WITH YOUR CHILDREN. Let us know how the conversation goes. Email us grassroots@pornharms.com.

Find some resources for parents here.

MY EXPERIENCE:

I don’t yet have kids, but I do have a 10 year-old little sister. I often think that she’s too young to understand what I’m doing and why. However, after watching Amanda’s video and realizing that this terror started when she was just 12 – I realized that could be my little sister! So, I got on the phone (I’m thousands of miles away) with my parents and my little sister and together we watched the video and then talked about it.

Sure enough, my sweet, innocent little sister knew about pornography and what it was. Here I was thinking that she didn’t NEED that talk yet. This gave us the opportunity to talk about some of the harms and why we need to stay away from it. If we didn’t ask her about this, we would have continued assuming that it hadn’t touched her life yet. Now, we’re able to help her form her opinion about it and better recognize the dangers.

We also talked about bullying. She shared with us that has been teased in the past for being short and that it really bothers her. Then she told us about times when she has seen bullying of other kids at school. I was so happy to hear how she has handled this – she has jumped to stand up for those being bullied. We talked a lot about this and what she can and should do if she witnesses this again in the future. After watching this video, she said that Amanda really just needed a friend and she vowed to be that friend to others who might need it. (I really feel like we can influence how our children treat others and encourage them to be a friend rather than a bully.)

Then we talked about the dangers of the Internet, social media and sexting. She knew exactly what “sexting” was – at age 10! Why? Because she’d heard of other kids doing it.  I was so grateful that we were having this talk now. I explained to her that once the picture was out there, it’s always out there. We also talked about how it is against the law (it’s actually child pornography) if a kid takes a picture of themselves and sends it to others. My sister doesn’t yet have her own social media accounts, but she goes online frequently and many of her friends have Facebook already. We talked about safe communication, what information you can share and about “not talking to strangers” online.

This long talk was so good for our family. I feel like we got to know my little sister much better – we now understand her point of view, her challenges and her experiences. We shared our worries and it really seemed like she understood the points we were trying to convey. We realized that she’s a lot more mature and experienced in the world than we thought and are so glad that we were able to address these issues now before it’s too late.

I hope you’ll take the time to talk about this with your family too!

 

 FIND RESOURCES FOR PARENTS HERE

Further Reading