Young and foolish, 12-year old Shevaun Pennington found a friend online and decided that what he had to offer was more exciting than the boys in school.
She joins a long line of other children who have met people in chat rooms or over e-mail and been persuaded to turn an online friendship into a real-world one, with consequences that will terrify any parent.
The findings are from the third annual survey Cox and NCMEC have fielded to help parents realize the potential dangers of the Internet.Monitoring every e-mail, sitting in on every chat and checking web access logs is not the way, certainly for the over-10s.While there are significant benefits to being online and to using the resources available on the net, the balance between these benefits and the dangers needs to be better understood, and a new understanding is required.The Internet predators are out there and your kids are willingly chatting with them.It seems that there is another dangerous trend that teenagers are participating in called Sexting. Research by Cox Communications Inc., in partnership with the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children ® (NCMEC) and TV host and children’s advocate John Walsh reveals that more parents are talking to their children about the potential dangers of the Internet.I was a latecomer to counselling, having previously considered therapy a largely American pursuit. By the time I reached that landmark age, without children and in a marriage that was beginning to lose its fairytale glow, my daily life was beginning to feel not unlike a soap opera.