Following the smart era we’re now living and the westernization trend we’re witnessing in Egypt, our kids are more exposed to different cultures. Thanks to the Internet, they have access to every possible piece of information. While this has created progress in the learning process and made children pretty tech-savvy, this also has real setbacks and requires a great deal of parental control, as well as the responsibility of planting the idea of accountability in our children.
There are unfortunate incidents of Egyptian school teenage girls getting sexting and/or sending nude photos of themselves to boys. While it is unbearably tough and disappointing for a mom to know that her daughter is involved in similar incidents, we need to learn how to deal with it professionally.
Many teenage girls -worldwide and not only in Egypt- fall for boys and might be an easy prey. Boys use love, trust, and marriage to trick them into sending nudes. The boys promise to delete later and sometimes send similar photos to encourage girls. Sometimes, girls send nudes all by themselves without any incentives. The most decent well-behaved girls could fall for it under the name of love.
We talked to our certified PDE from Positive Discipline Association, Rana Hany, about sex-related topics awareness.
- The first advice is to remain calm to be able to fix it rationally.
- Don’t attack because by doing so or calling her names, your daughter will become defensive and will hide things and lie.
- The mom should directly confront her daughter with what she has heard or seen, in order to address and explain the dangers of her actions and talk some sense into her.
Talking to your daughter, Hany continues, you need to explain the following:
How does that make you feel?
Ask her what she would feel if everyone in her class and strangers come across these photos of hers. She meant to send it to one person, however, she doesn’t know who has her photos now and what they can do with them.
A digital footprint is a thing.
She needs to understand there’s no undo button for whatever is out on the internet. If the photos were uploaded by anyone, then there’s no way back.
You misused the freedom you’ve been granted.
The daughter must understand that she was granted freedom that has been misused, and therefore there will be consequences, such as agreeing to new rules, closer monitoring on the use of electronic devices, and more constraints on Internet access until she learns how to use her freedom logically and responsibly.
Sex Education is very important.
Sex education is very important at this stage because teenagers have access to all information whether it’s from their friends or the Internet, which most probably will be wrong and untrusted. As a mom, you need to step out of your comfort zone and talk to your daughter about sex and marriage, what happens, what is okay and what is forbidden. This requires building trust with your daughter, being friends with her, and being open to talk to her.
What a mom needs to understand
Hany explained that there are factors mothers should consider as:
Sex-related issues are expected at this age.
We all know that the teenage years are the toughest. It’s normal that teens try to satisfy their curiosity regarding the opposite sex. So, you might find that your teenager makes disastrous mistakes, but for them, it’s justified. Thus, guiding and being friends with them is a win-win situation.
Always search for the why.
Instead of trying to fix the results, fix the root cause of the problem. The mom should search for reasons that led her daughter to do it. Either she’s copying her friends, she has a boyfriend who’s pressuring her, or her self-esteem is low. When you know the reason, you can find the solution.
We shouldn’t spy on our children.
I know that this one is tough, but spying on our children and going behind their backs is a big no. Instead of going through their phones, monitor with their knowledge and add boundaries.
Always seek help whenever you can’t handle the situation.
There’s no harm in asking for professional advice, if needed. There are many child phycologists and PDEs who will be happy to help you,