What makes a child feel secure inside, that nothing can disrupt their sense of self? This is a complex question of which the answer can fill books, but I can tell you from my own personal experience that one (and I mean one!) of the answers is as follows:
Imagine that there are “pipes” between the parent and the child, pipes of communication and action, of giving and taking. When a parent gives or communications to the child, that is the flow of the pipe going from parent to child. When the child does something, (hopefully) for the parent or communicates with the parent and the parent understands what the child is saying, that is the flow of the pipe going from child to parent. So the flow of the pipe is dependent on who is doing what at any given time.
For a healthy relationship between the parent and the child, the flow of the pipes need to go BOTH ways, not just from one to the other. For example, you might think that a child needs love, and so you shower love on the child. You give and give and give to the child in the hope that they feel loved and happy. That would be the (one-way) flow of the pipe going from parent to child.
This is all very good, but if there is too much of a one-way flow, then the results can be unhealthy. One possibility is that the child can get the wrong ideas about giving and taking, and become spoiled. Another possibility is that the child feels trapped in a receiving end, and frustrated that he or she cannot communicate to anyone, and the result of that frustration is the child misbehaves. Plus others.
To properly balance out the relationship between the parent and the child, the child also needs to feel that whatever he or she gives back or does for you is acknowledged and appreciated. That means the child needs to be able to do things for the parent, in which the parent shows his or her appreciation. Or the child communicates with the parent, and the parent shows understanding of what the child said.
The child needs to feel that the pipes allow for a two way flow, not just one way. And with rare exceptions, that two-way flow should be constant. Not just “occasionally” whenever the parent feels like it.
This pipeline example can explain why the internet is so appealing if not addictive for children. Precisely because the internet allows for a total freedom for the child, and more than that, the nature of online activity allows for a two-way flow of the pipes of relationships and interaction. The child’s desire for this two-way flow is what allows pedophiles and pornographers to exploit the vulnerabilities of children.
Part of the blame for a child’s susceptibility to the dark forces of the internet is because they are so naive, but another part of the blame can come from the fact that the child hungers for this two-way flow of the pipes of relationships.