Talking to Kids about Sexting

Jun 18, 2015

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Children and teenagers are becoming involved in sexting at an early age. According to a recent survey, almost 20 percent of teenagers have received a sext. That percentage increases as these teenagers get older. 20 percent of 16-year-old teenagers and 30 percent of 17 year olds have received a sext.

Sexting involves the sending and receiving of sexual text messages or pictures between people. More and more teenagers are becoming involved in sexting because they feel it is a safe way to express their sexuality. They feel that there is no danger from sexting because you can’t get pregnant or get sexually transmitted diseases. Parents should become informed about the dangers of sexting and learn to communicate with their children those dangers.

Although many parents do not feel a need to talk with their children about sexting, statistics prove otherwise. Parents may use discernment about how much their child actually needs to know, but it is necessary to have some discussion. The following information can be used as tips and guidelines for conversations.

Discuss consequences. About a quarter of teen girls and one-third of teen boys have received a nude photo from someone that was originally intended for someone else. Parents should communicate to their children that once they have sent a nude photo, they no longer have any control over what happens to that photo. That photo can be sent to other people and it could end up for hundreds of people to see.

Discuss the News. Teens that sext can also get in trouble with the law. Nude photos of teenagers sent to others is considered child pornography. If a child is found with nude photos of other teenagers, they could be arrested. There are many news stories of children getting in trouble with the law for possessing child pornography because of a sext they received from another teenager. These news stories can be good conversation starters to talk with your children about sexting.

Every child is different. Some will respond positively to talks about sexting and other difficult topics. Other children may be a little more difficult to talk to about these topics. There is not just one way to talk with children about topics such as sexting and pornography. Ultimately, parents know their children best and can determine which approach to take to talk to their children about sexting.

For other tips, visit Net Nanny’s Learning Center.