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What kind of kids are we raising and leaving for the planet? The ones who get highs in planning the gang-rapes of their own peers, in discussing the anatomy of women and body-shaming them as if it’s a divine responsibility accorded to them?

 It’s high time we talk straight and not sweep the matter under the carpet!

 The lock-down has served us an opportunity on a platter to discuss such sensitive issues with the kids. Kids need education about sex, about relationships, and how to navigate the cyber world responsibly. And if you don’t do it- the cyberporn industry is all set to replace you is your responsibility and that too in the most polluted ways. Just to remind you that cyberporn consumption has increased by 95% during the lockdown period.


 Recent unearthing of ‘Bois Locker Room’ chat on Instagram where school teenagers of Gurugran discussed explicit sex pornography rattled parents of young children across the country. Initial investigations in to the matter revealed that as many as 24 members were part of the Locker Room, including two college students. The administrator of the group, who lived in Noida, is in police custody. The cops have listed down names of four top schools in the national capital, including a prominent one in the heart of Delhi, and questioned their principals and students. Initial interrogation showed majority of the Locker Room boys belonged to rich parents, a few had professional parents. In the chat room boys planned gang rape of their female peers.

Many among arrested have confessed that they genuinely wanted a course on porn literacy in their schools. The course could be designed to reduce sexual and dating violence, something like a leadership program for teenagers. In western countries, porn literacy aims to make students savvier, more critical consumers of porn.

The boys said they were chatting in the Locker Room for long and had even checked out a large number of porn websites in the world, including Pornhub, which is the most popular with 80 million visitors a day. Some of the students told the cops that they got excited by listening to Rihanna’s S&M (Sticks and stones may break my bones, but chains and whips excite me), some regularly watched a sex scene between Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie in Mr. & Mrs. Smith. Cops say these images confound many teenagers about the kinds of sex they want or think they should have. They were confident that their parents never suspected them of doing chats like Locker Room, never suspected them of watching porn. Repeated studies of children and their parents reveal a parental naïveté gap, parents underestimating their kids by as much as 10 times.

LOCKDOWN POSES DANGER Parents please be aware that our kids are as much vulnerable to risks and dangers by being just at home as much as they are in the real world. We are giving too much of technology to our kids these days – and they are legitimately claiming it for the purpose of online education. The threats to the well-being of kids could be amplified in the coming few months as most of our education would continue to be through on-line mode. To be precise, the question here is – are our kids mature enough to handle such enormous amount of online access and behavioural freedom? Kids are spending hours and hours on the internet and do we even know what is happening in their online world? And have we ever talked to our kids about how they can easily get trapped in a web that can devastate their entire life to come?

 As a parent, kindly first educate yourself about cyber safety for kids and keep the channels of communication open with your kids. Talk openly with them about how to keep themselves safe online, and think twice before posting or sharing any personal pictures/videos with the world.


NETIQUETTES:  These are the etiquettes for the netizens (citizens of the world of internet). Talk to them about the responsible use of language, and the parameters of respect and responsibility while social networking! Any abusive / rude language used by them can come in their way any time in the future when they apply for placements or admissions to good universities!

 SEXTING: That’s sexually explicit language used in online texts! Specifically for the parents of the boys- Please sensitize them towards gender issues and make it home that they have no right to body shame or discuss any girls’ looks, figures or complexion etc…!   Girls are not meant for objectification and gratification. Let them build healthy friendships, but very well knowing the limits of decency and politeness.

 DIGITAL FOOTPRINTING: Talk to them that once posted, the material will always continue to be in the cyberspace even if they delete it from all their posts and drives! Cybersecurity experts can retrieve this information any time and police station might be the next place for that teen!

 ONLINE GROOMING: Please warn your kids of the cyber predators- the paedophiles who slowly win the trust of kids by building online friendships and later lure and blackmail them with the threat to leak their chats and all the intimate things they have shared with them. The ransom  for  this kind of blackmailing  could be coercion into sexual activities – either online or in real life, or even the CVV number of your credit card and you may keep wondering where all your money vanished!!

 CYBERBYSTANDERS: Do tell them that once any investigations of cyber-perversion begins, all group members will be questioned even though they might have been just the mute bystanders. Please educate them not be an audience in any such group as their mere presence is reinforcing the perverted behaviour! The monkey will dance if you look at it! Tell them to be a hero by standing up against disrespect and insult to anyone, and exit that perverted group.  

 Build a trusting relationship with your kids that they can confide in you everything without the fear of being tormented by you.  That’s a lot of work to do , but the need of the hour ! Please educate the kids that they have the freedom to act, but are not free to choose the consequences of their actions. They need to learn to reap the fruits of what all they are sowing.

  • Dr. Damanjit Sandhu is psychologist, associate professor in the department of psychology Punjabi University, Patiala. Trained in International Mental Health Research and Applications at Kings College London, she remained President of Association of Mental Health Counselors and co-edited a book “Bullying, Cyberbullying, and Student Well-being in Schools: Comparing European, Australian and Indian Perspectives” published by Cambridge University press.



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  1. Great piece! Absolutely true that very friendly but at the same time parental relationship with kids is of paramount importance. Parents have to keep themselves up to date on how to raise children in this globalized village.

  2. Very informative . I will be really appropriate if you can write more on this and similar subject for the sake of humanity.
    Sukhi Chahal,
    Silicon Valley – USA
    Tweet: @realSukhiChahal

  3. Timely, beautifully articulated and spot on. It should be a must read for every parent and child.
    It boils down to two things : i) use of internet by the kids and ii) parent-child bonding. Now, internet is not for the kids. They should ideally be kept away from it. But this is becoming increasingly impossible as ‘online study’ is the vogue. The only way left is to educate them about responsible use of the internet and to tell them that there are certain read zones where they should never venture into in any case. We should, as you aptly state “educate the kids that they have the freedom to act, but are not free to choose the consequences of their actions.” And there is a price to pay for every misadventure. Once they are fully aware of the the risks involved in the use of internet, they may behave responsibly. Having said that parents must ensure strict monitoring over the use of internet by the children. Many apps, antivirus programs offer parental controls ( parents decide what kind of websites their kids can go to).
    Secondly, there should be a bonding with the kids at a deeper level. Parents should be able to convince their children that: their love is not conditional; that they can come to them no matter what the situation is; that they will understand… Counsellors often report that when they ask the kids ( who fell into some mess knowingly or unknowingly and didn’t tell their parents) as to why they didn’t tell their parents , most of them invariably reply “they wouldn’t understand”!!!

    Thanks for sharing.
    Waiting for many more informative articles from you.

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