By Lisa Bondarenko – Mind Heart Body
Warning in advance. This isn’t going to be a feel good post…
I had a conversation last week with an authority department over a completely different subject to what I am about to speak of. In discussion we were talking all things social media and the issues and impact that are surrounding especially adolescent girls. I was made aware that in Adelaide alone, there is a whole team who manage online cyber bullying and pedophiles – my skin was crawling. Regular house arrests, drug raids, and worse still, homes they walk into with floor to ceilings covered in photos that have been downloaded from Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat. I felt sick.
The truth is, I don’t want to know whose faces are on those walls, but Mums and Dads, I beg you to start monitoring and discussing this very issue with your kids. I get told way too often, “Lisa you don’t understand, it’s just this generation, you can’t stop it!” That’s like saying these sick, evil creatures “can’t stop it either!” It’s not good enough. Would you want your child’s face or body to be on the wall of a sicko?!
This generation don’t know a life without technology, it’s inevitable that they will be on it but we as parents are required to parent and protect them. With the rise of pornography as the fastest growing addiction in our country we need to realise that our kids are walking into a jungle that you and I did not. Every photo they put on Facebook or Snapchat or Instagram can be downloaded by anyone. Privacy settings are more important now than ever.
This generation are all about LIKES and comments on social media, that’s where they get their self-esteem boost. I see photos and think, why are you posting yourself looking so sexual at 15? AND why are we liking them instead of telling them to have the confidence to stand against the trend of “duck pouting” poses and respecting their bodies as something sacred and beautiful?
I know it’s difficult raising (especially) teens, but parenting every age group has its challenges. This is not going away. In fact, I fear it will only get worse.
The next time you have an argument with your teenager over social media, boundaries, curfews or self-respecting their bodies — don’t back down, love them more, push through it and if you think it’s all too hard, remember those walls.