A recent study released by the Journal of Pediatrics affirms that teen girls who are abused or neglected are more likely to arrange for meetings with strangers encountered online. The study incorporated 251 girls ages 14 to 17 and 30 percent reported meeting strangers offline who they encountered online.
According to the report, the study lead author, Dr. Jennie Noll, PhD, a psychologist at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, said: “Maltreatment poses a unique risk for online behavior that may set the stage for harm."
By the same token, "high quality parenting" and parental monitoring helped reduce the association between adolescent risk factors and these online behaviors says the report.
David Lema, a former technology executive consultant and a father of two grown children (a daughter and son), is “the Mike” expressing the Dad’s point of view on the podcast talk show Three Moms and A Mike in Carmichael.
I asked Lema how dads can approach their relationship with daughters, to help them be resilient and less risk adverse to exploitive relationships and circumstances.
“Daughters need to know that they can be independent and strong,” Lema said. “Communicating your confidence in their ability to stand on their own two feet is a state of heart and mind that sustains your messages over time. It is an ongoing conversation.”
According to Lema, the ultimate aim is to help girls think for themselves about who they are, their identity as individuals (interests, talents, aptitudes), and to develop boundaries and set practical goals for themselves.
“Sometimes popular culture portrays women as the weaker sex,” Lema said. “I do not subscribe to this. I believe that women are equally strong, and when we encourage girls to be strong and confident, the predators will pass them over and go for people who appear vulnerable.”
Lema encourages dads to convince their daughters they are just as strong as men. “This is the solid line of defense,” Lema said.
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