Telling an adult about your worries can provide a sense of relief, and it’s important not to go through your thoughts alone. It’s best to talk to an adult you trust. Some might prefer to talk to their parents, while others might prefer to talk to an aunt, a teacher, a pedagogue or a psychologist. See also: Is there a letter I can give to my doctor or another professional.
Here, you can see a draft for a letter to your parents if you feel that it’s too difficult to tell it yourself.
Dear parent og adult
This letter is for you. Maybe you found it by accident. Maybe you’re seeing it because your child has shown it to you.
You are receiving the letter because your child wants to tell you something that is difficult to say. Maybe they are worried about how you will react or think. The best thing you can do for your child is to take the time to read this letter, and afterwards take a moment to collect yourself if you need it. If you need more time before you talk to your child about the letter, maybe calmly tell them that you would like to talk about it, but you will have to wait until, for example, tomorrow evening.
Your child has found this letter on the CTRL website, which is run by Save the Children. CTRL is an information site for young people who are concerned about their sexual thoughts about children.
At Save the Children, we know that some young people who experience sexual thoughts about children find it very difficult to tell their parents. This may be because topics that have anything to do with sex can be embarrassing—and in this case very shameful as well. Many who have these thoughts can be very afraid of their parents’ reaction: 'Will they get angry? Do they think it’s my fault and that I’m a monster? Will they understand? Will they ever be able to see me as their child again?'
If your child tells you that they are experiencing sexual thoughts about children, you may be shocked at first. Your immediate reaction may be to show that you are angry, upset, or maybe even repulsed. But take a deep breath. If your child has worked up the courage to tell you about their troubling thoughts, they need help and support—not rejection.
At Save the Children, we have a lot of knowledge about and experience with people who have sexual thoughts about children. It’s important that you know that you do not automatically harm children, even if you may experience sexual thoughts about them. Your child has most likely visited our website because they are worried and want to feel better—and they don’t want to harm others. You might want to ask specific questions to understand the situation better, like 'is it a specific person you have thoughts about?' or 'Have you acted on your thoughts/feelings?' And most importantly: Remember to tell your child that it isn’t their fault that they have these thoughts.
You may not know how to handle the situation. That’s okay. Initially, it’s only important that you tell your child that it isn’t their fault that they have experienced such thoughts. Also, say that you will help your child to get the support and treatment that they need.
You can find more information about being young and having sexual thoughts about children on our website: ctrl.redbarnet.dk. Here, you can also find information on how your child can get the help they deserve.