Modern teens sent and receive over 3 000 text every month. But not all conversations are innocent. A lot of teens engage in sexting which means sending sexually provocative text messages. The reasons for it may be hormones raging or simple curiosity to try a forbidden fruit. Today, every parent should know about teenage sexting. This phenomenon affects many kids and has devastating consequences. Deterring your child from sexting and explaining the seriousness of this issue can protect your kid from bitter consequences in future.
What is sexting?
It is the process of sharing and receiving sexually explicit content (images, videos) via smartphones. Sexting is an issue which should be taken very seriously. There are two main issues connected with teenage sexting:
- Kids who send sexually explicit messages can`t be sure that they will not be shared with the others.
- Sexting is illegal and may be considered as child pornography. So it may lead to criminal charges for both parents and kids;
The statistics on teenage sexting is alarming:
- over 20% of teens send nude or partly nude photos;
- 57% are asked to send nude photos;
- 80% of sexters are under 16 years old;
- 11% of girls from 13-16 have been involved in sexting;
What are the reasons for sexting?
There are different reasons why teens get drawn into sexting. Some teens do it just for fun. But mostly, sexting is common for teens who are in relationships. The statistics says, around 70% of teens sent sexually explicit content to their girlfriend or boyfriend.
Teenage sexing is a devastating phenomenon, which in some cases can lead to suicide precedents. All the world was horrified by the story of a teen girl from Ohio, who committed suicide after sending a naked photo to her boyfriend. After separating with her boyfriend, her naked photo was quickly spread all over the school. She was bullied in real life and online and when she couldn`t stand it anymore, she took her own life.
How to stop sexting? (guide for teens)
If you are a teen and received sexually explicit photo or video don`t be scared. Follow these steps to put an end to sexting and reduce the damage it may bring to your future.
Here are 5 things every child should do when it comes to sexting:
- Remember about the consequences
Sharing and receiving sexually explicit photos or videos may be considered as child pornography. If you got any sexts:
- Never forward, download or screenshot an image. Any of the mentioned actions can lead to felony child`s pornography and getting into a big trouble.
- If you received a sexually explicit text or a photo, inform your parents about it.
- Think twice before sending a photo
When you send a photo or a video to the other person you can`t be sure that this person will not share it with others. Before sending anything online consider this:
- Everything you share online is not private, it is always in a public view.
- Don`t share things that you don`t want to be seen by your parents, friends, relatives.
- Never fall into pressure to send sexually explicit messages even if you care about this person. Ignore all inappropriate requests or block such person.
- Instantly delete all inappropriate messages
In case you got a sext, delete it immediately. It can keep you from getting into a legal trouble.
- Ask a person to stop sexting
The easiest way to stop sexting is to inform a sender that such communication is embarrassing and not appropriate for you. It is entirely possible that a sender doesn`t understand that such behavior may be offensive to you.
- Block a sexter
Social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, WhatsApp, Snapchat has a feature for blocking the other user. It is quite helpful if the person is very intrusive and still try to contact you. Blocking the sexter is the way to protect yourself from seeing unwanted messages and media files and from the temptation to answer them.
How to Prevent Teens from Sexting? (guide for parents)
If you are a parent and you find out that your child is involved in sexting this guide is for you.
For parents, it can be difficult to prevent sexting, as it usually takes place in private. That`s why it is important to explain the consequences of sexting and where it can lead to in advance. It can help you to protect yourself and your child from this issue in future. To be strict and prohibit digital media usage is not the way to prevent teens from sexting. Instead of prohibiting, educate your kids about sexting and explain why this issue is dangerous.
Here is the list of top 5 things to prevent sexting in your family:
- Build an open communication
It is important to maintain an open line of communication with your child. Get involved in your teen`s life. It can help you build mutual understanding, find common grounds and identify whether your child is involved in sexting. You may open communication by spending evenings together, watching movies and baking cookies. Try to find common grounds with your child. For example, father and son can have the same interests in sport and cars and mother and daughter can be interested in cooking or going out dancing.
- Talk about sexting
Speak in a roundabout way. You may talk about school or friends and then move straight to the point. For example: Did you hear about recent sexting scandal? Broach the subject carefully to the reasons why sexting is bad and where it can lead to.
- Set limits
Establish the limits for the phone usage. For example, prohibit it during school and bed time. It can protect your child from time-wasting and getting involved into sexting. Don`t give a smartphone to a child if you have doubts that your child can use it wisely. In this case, give a simple phone without modern features, only with the possibility to call and text.
- Monitor devices
To be completely sure your child is safe online choose a parental monitoring software. The best option is Kidgy, your low-cost cyber nanny. With its help you can track:
– all incoming and outgoing calls;
– all sent and received messages;
– view installed apps and block hazardous ones (Snapchat, Facebook, WhatsApp);
– moderate the Internet usage;
– view GPS location and use the other features.
- Raise awareness
Keeping open and friendly communication with a child is not enough. It is important to have a conversation with other parents and school authorities about sexting. What`s more, explain that sexting is illegal and may simply destroy a kid`s life. As a parent it is your duty to protect your child from facing harsh consequences both offline and online.
Parents should think in advance how to prevent teens from sexting. In most cases, kids keep their problems to themselves, hiding things their parents may disapprove. That`s why the best way to prevent teens from sexting is to use parental monitoring app. In this case Kidgy parental control may help. Kidgy will help you keep track of your kid`s online activity, all texts, calls, location and apps.