Take time to watch this Ted Talk of Monica Lewinsky discussing her experience of public shaming in 1998. If you think it’s appropriate, we would encourage you to watch this with your teen children and discuss her experience and how it is relevant to the topic of sexting and the experience of young people today.
Points to consider.
The importance of empathy. Discuss with your child how important empathy is when it comes to sexting. Perhaps discuss your own thoughts around this:
Were you empathetic towards Monica Lewinsky in 1998?
How do you feel now after watching this clip?
Are young people in your child’s world empathetic towards others who may have become victim of a sexting scandal?
Are adults empathetic towards young people who may have become victim of a sexting scandal?
Discuss some examples of how empathy can be shown towards a young person who is involved in a sexting scandal.
“I’ve seen some very dark days in my life. It was the compassion and empathy from my family, friends, professionals and sometimes even strangers that saved me. Even empathy from one person can make a difference.”
Discuss the perspective of the victim.
Discuss what it must have felt like to be Monica Lewinski after the news of her affair became public. Consider how this relates to a young person who has had a nude image of themselves circulated. How does this affect them immediately, in the short-term and in the long-term? How could sending a nude pic become a dangerous situation for someone that you know?
Discuss the perspective of a perpetrator.
Why do people sometimes say hateful things about other people online?
Why do they do this?
Why do people sometimes circulate private images of another person?
What are the consequences of this?
Discuss the perspective of the bystander.
What is the responsibility of someone who receives a nude image of someone that wasn’t intended for them?
What should that person do with that image?
How could they respond to the person who sent the image?
How could they respond to the person who is photographed in the image? Discuss the opportunity to show kindness to someone who is in a difficult situation.
Is kindness always appropriate?
This exercise is not about educating your child. This is an opportunity to build a line of communication between you and your child. Take time to hear their opinion and consider your own perspective carefully. Guide them towards a perspective of empathy and towards an understanding of the consequences that can sometimes be involved when it comes to sexting.
There is so much confusion for young people when it comes to obtaining information on love, sex, dating and intimacy. A clip posted by Roosh V has recently received some negative attention for his extreme misogynistic views. While we watched the short youtube clip there was a temptation to laugh.. is this real? It almost seems fictional! Amongst his 36 points on ‘what’s wrong with American women’ are the following;
They are fat.
They don’t know how to cook.
They wear flip flops even when they aren’t at the beach.
They acquire pets, instead of putting in the work to land a quality man.
They make lame excuses for not putting effort into their appearance.
They rarely wear high heels.
Of course, this is no laughing matter and yes- people like this really do exist!!! The extremity of his opinions feature just one of the many confusing and damaging messages that can be bombarding young people every single day. We believe that every young person deserves and desperately craves healthy conversations around the topics of sex, dating and relationships. Unfortunately in the void of such conversations we see young people finding misleading and damaging information.
Over the next few weeks, we will provide some basic points of discussion that you as parents can be having with your children around these very important topics. If we, as parents aren’t taking bold and deliberate steps in the sexual and relationship mentoring of our children, unfortunately, others will take our place.
Long gone are the days of Porn being something we needed to search for and dig up. No more buying magazines in a stealth way from the corner shop, it’s all changed and you’ll be shocked to see some of the statistics around this consumption. Who knew adult websites are responsible for 4.41 percent of all desktop visits in the internet worldwide (in Feb 2015)? Read and learn and be informed.
If you have an angry boy under your roof, chances are he’s screaming out for some quality time. The way to get the anger out is to press in with time. Boys will be boys and boys need to know they matter, they are heard and that someone is proud of them.
The Australian has said that sadly, studies have shown that Australian fathers spend less than 10 minutes a week of “quality time” with their sons. Read on to discover how you can take the anger out of your home/family life.
Today many teen boys can be very confused about what manhood is all about. What does it mean to be a man? Is it an age you turn? Is it a club that you join? Are there achievements that determine your manhood?
One thing that we can confidently say is that teen boys bodies will change as they go through puberty. Physiologically, they will make the transition into physical manhood without effort – but is that all that manhood is all about?
When I look around society today, I see many examples of what I call the Peter Pan Man. Just like Peter Pan lived in Never Neverland (a land where you never have to grow up) we have boys who don’t really grow up. So often in our society the examples of manhood that are given to our young men are men that are proving their manhood through drinking, sexual conquest, aggression and pornography. Is there any question why there is so much confusion around manhood?
In my work with young men, I often ask them to stop and think about what attributes differentiate men from boys. Their answers tend to include the attributes of respect, self- control and responsibility. Personally, I don’t believe real men are disrespectful to women, the Peter Pan man might be, but not real men. I don’t believe real men express violence toward those they love. Boys may not know how to control their anger, but men should. I don’t believe real men will blame other people for their own poor choices. Instead, they will take responsibility for their actions.
There is a deep desire in boys to become real men and for this to happen we must continue to discuss the attributes of true manhood with the young men in our lives. We must take every opportunity to place right and real examples of men in front of the boys/young men around us. The Peter Pan examples that our society has to offer must not replace the important examples that fathers, brothers, clergy, teachers, grandfathers, coaches and other greats in our society have to offer. The hearts and minds of the young people in our world depend on this.