How can we Communicate with our Children so they Listen and Take Heed

The Sky drama, Save Me – written and directed by Lennie James, has blown my mind.

An amazingly, powerful, drama about a young girl who has been groomed online for 9months by someone she believed was her estranged father, Nelson Rowe, also played by Lennie James.

13 year old Jody, leaves a video recording for her mother, Claire, and step father, Barry, letting them know where she is going, and sets out to spend one week with her father.

Obviously, her real father, was none the wiser, until police are breaking through his door to arrest him for her abduction. Not only had he not seen his daughter since she was 3years old but the abducters knew him, hated him and wanted to teach him a lesson. They gathered information through his drink infused ramblings in his local pub to establish an online relationship with his daughter.

As adults, we know we have to be careful; where, when, how and with whom, we share our personal information. We know our accounts can be hacked, money defrauded and, as in this case, our identify stolen. If this happens to us, we feel exposed and vulnerable. Our boundaries have not only been crossed but violated in such a personal and fundamental way. In this case, the ramifications of Nellie’s ramblings, and treatment of the regulars in the pub, proves to be life threatening.

Jody trusted and shared her personal information online, with someone who turned out to be a perfect stranger. Aside from being young, impressionable and naive, her desire to get to know her estranged father, was her biggest vulnerability.

As parents,
1) Do you know how your child/teen is vulnerable to being groomed and exploited?

2) Would you recognise the signs of grooming or exploitation?

3) What action do you take to protect them?

4) How can you build up trust so you are the first port of call when they need help, support and a listening ear?

5) How can you educate them to be prepared for life, to protect themselves and make decisions and choices that mean they have more chance of being and staying safe?

Do not believe your religion, social status or stable family background is enough to prevent your child from being exploited.

Unless, you speak and communicate with your children, in a way and language they understand, they will continue to be vulnerable to those whose only goal, is to use, abuse and take advantage of them, in ways that we could never imagine in our worst nightmares.

If you want help to learn how to communicate with your child in a language they understand, to protect them by modelling how to set clear boundaries that helps them to demand respect in their own relationships, give us a call to find out how we can help.