Recently social media erupted in outrage over the leaked chats from an Instagram group of adolescent boys called ‘Bois Locker Room’. The group consisted of students from elite schools and police arrested the chat administrator and a juvenile. You can read the details of the case here.
This case is an eye-opener for many parents who were blissfully unaware as to what their child was indulging into. In hindsight, it is easy to say what went wrong. But what about preventive measures? What parents can do to protect their children from such exposure?
Here are 6 steps parents can take:
#1 Be Open
Talk openly with your child. This is even more important for pre-teens and teens who tend to hide their true feelings from parents. The key to being open is to be non-judgmental. As parents, we tend to be over-protective of our child, which they may resent as being judged all the time. There is an urgent need for open conversations and until that is done, we should not be surprised if we see a rise in incidents such as the Bois Locker Room.
#2 Focus on EQ
While parents invest a lot of time, energy, and money in building their child’s IQ, they must also equally invest to develop their emotional intelligence. Actively mentor your child on the importance of equal, healthy, and respectful relationships for their own happiness and mental well-being. Help your child to be self-motivated to achieve their goals, to be aware of their own abilities or lack of them, to identify and manage their own emotions. Teach them to be good communicators in general.
#3 Develop Relationship Skills
Constantly tell (and show) children how important family and friends are and how to maintain bonds. In addition to this, parents should consciously guide children on how to manage personal relationships which they will eventually be exposed to as they grow. Discussions on love, romance, and relationships should be encouraged in the family. If parents don’t talk about this, children will seek information from other sources which will most likely be unsafe.
#4 Educate Your Child About Consent
Even when parents provide sex education to children, most of them don’t discuss sexuality and consensual sex, limiting it to just biological explanations. Explain the meaning and importance of choice and consent in a relationship to both boys and girls. They should also be taught to have a healthy respect for the opposite sex.
#5 Regulate Social Media Usage
Social Media management for children is now an essential parenting skill. Parents need to have a talk with their teens and set boundaries and rules for safe social media usage. Our handy guide on Social Media lays down 3 Golden Rules for the parents, which are very easy to follow and can keep your child safe. Download our Social Media Guide here.
#6 Ensure disciplined and safe phone usage
There are plenty of harmful and unsafe apps out there. Many of them are full of sexual content and present a distorted picture of sexuality and intimacy. Parents need to ensure that their pre-teens and teens do not spend an inordinate amount of time on their phones and stay away from unsafe apps. Thankfully, now parents have the technology to ensure this with Qubit’s phones. Learn more about how Qubit’s phones can help parents here.
These are tough times. Parents need to stay vigilant and proactive. The reward will be raising children you will be proud of. Remember, it’s easier to raise good kids than repair broken men. Comments and thoughts are welcome as always.