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Vietnam parents at a loss to catch their kids watching porn

Tuesday, May 19, 2015, 16:43 GMT+7
Vietnam parents at a loss to catch their kids watching porn

Many parents voiced their escalating worry and were desperate for measures to stop their teenage children from watching porn films at a workshop held Saturday in Hanoi. Organized at the Olympia Schools in Tu Liem District, the workshop was attended by troubled parents of students enrolled in the school system and several other schools. Most participants said they were at a loss how to react properly when learning to their shock that their young children had watched or downloaded obscene images or sex films. A video clip, which was created by a number of high school students in Hanoi and caused quite a stir some time ago, was screened at the beginning of the Saturday meeting. The clip featured middle and high school students being candid that they had watched porn since their sixth or seventh grade while responding to an interview. Most of them expected their parents’ fury when they learned of their act, but that did not stop their curiosity about sex. H., a worried parent of two kids in their fifth and third grades, divulged that she gave her elder child an iPhone 3 for communication and English learning purposes. Some days ago, she was shocked to catch her child watching a porn film in his own room. The finding came as a devastating blow because the child often shies away from kissing scenes while watching films with H. and her husband. Another parent, T., anxiously said that he found porn websites on his child’s computers when looking at the browsing history. Some others revealed they unwittingly surfed the Internet on their digital devices in front of other people when sexually explicit images suddenly popped up, leaving them embarrassed. It turned out someone had got access to sex websites on their handsets before. They later went numb at their children’s confession to browsing this sort of content and indifferent attitude that “all our peers have done the same thing.” The children made an even more startling disclosure that several of their friends had grown fond of gay and lesbian sex movies. A number of parents also expressed their bewilderment at the workshop at how to respond to their underage children’s questions on gender-related issues. They also raised questions as to what extent and when they should educate their children on sex and reproductive health. Christopher McDonald, an educationist with many years of experience in educational management in the U.S., who is now the general principal of the Olympia Schools, underlined that unlike Westerners, Asians tend to be sterner when it comes to gender and porn issues. That may end Asian parents up in immense difficulties when educating and counseling their children on sensitive topics. He explained that when teenagers, particularly males, come of age, they may masturbate. They will watch porn while tossing off, he added. “The act is physically normal but may become an addiction if it veers away from the norm. If parents find it difficult to talk to their children about sexual matters and skip the task, the Internet will do it for them, in its own way,” McDonald elaborated. The expert urged Vietnamese parents not make a fuss about their children watching porn, or drive them to feel guilty about the act. “They should be their children’s best friend and confidant instead,” he advised. Speaking at the workshop, Associate Professor Le Van Hao, stressed that parents should help their children make sensible choices in different situations, instead of keeping around-the-clock guard over or imposing their own will on their children. “Apart from watching porn, children are also prone to other social ills which are well out of families and schools’ reach,” he noted. Assoc. Prof. Hao also suggested that parents set examples by not indulging in such pornographic content to avoid being caught in the act by their children, which might lead to the kids imitating them.

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