Chachi, you obviously know your child better than I, but, I would respectfully suggest, that you…
Allene Swienckowski

Thank you for your kind words and support. Raising children right takes a village — even an online one. :)

We did have a pretty lengthy talk after I posted the article. She’s 13, so just kind of at the edge of these topics really becoming relevant to her. Insomuch as I had hoped we’d never have to address them (yes, I wish for a faerie tale land), I did feel that this situation made it far more appropriate for her.

We have talked about sexual assault before. For example, I’ve made it clear a million times over that if anyone was to make her uncomfortable, it needs to be addressed to myself or her counselor. She has a friend who is in foster care after being viciously attacked by her mother’s boyfriend, so I had to explain that to her…though not as bluntly as I could have, I suppose. I’ve also made sure that she knew that if someone did harm her and pulled off one of those “Your mother wouldn’t love you” or “Tell anyone and I’ll ______” stints, I needed to know immediately. She knows my love is unwavering and that I can go “B.A.M.F.” mode in two seconds flat.

The part I’m kicking myself in the butt for the most is that she failed to mention the contact because “it’s not real.” Those were her words. “It’s online, it’s not real…right?” Since I assumed that she would really heed my warnings about unknown people contacting her, I didn’t even think to explain that to her. We talked about not bullying people online or hiding behind anonymity, but it was in regards to how she communicates with classmates. So that’s a thing I had to explain on the fly! :\

Your knowledge and willfulness to share your own parenting experiences with me is something I won’t take for granted. I promise.

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