READER REPORT:

The internet isn't 'raising' my son

GRACE MILLER
Last updated 05:30 10/02/2014

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With the world awash with sexual imagery, videos, YouTube, Snapchat and so forth, the topic of teen sex is such a mine field.

I am lucky to have a relationship with my son that's open and honest; he and I talk while doing the dishes so there's no eyeballing or staring when he's telling me what's troubling him.

Driving is another good place to chat with him, I've found.

Age-appropriate talks have served me well, and one of the cleverest tags has stuck with my son from an ad campaign: "Wrap it in latex, or she'll get your paychecks!"

His steady girlfriend can come stay, when they're over 16.

We talk about self-respect and self-esteem, who has it, and what they do when they don't have it.

There are five words my son will never utter to his girlfriend, or any woman. These are: "only if you want to". He understands the body's desire sometimes over-rides common sense, and that these five words are coercive in the extreme, masquerading as consent.

We talk of consent, what it means, and what it means when someone changes their mind. It means he gets dressed and leaves.

It's been a tiptoe through the minefield, but if I won't talk to him, who will? The internet isn't raising my son, nor is it going to warp his perception of what real women and men get up to.

Above all? Safe. Sane. Consensual.


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