Do you know if your child is sexting? How should you handle it? Here's all you need to know about sexting.
Does your tween or younger child have a phone? Then you probably should be worried about them using their phone for sexting.
Most parents would probably be pretty skeptical and doubt that their seemingly innocent child could even know what the word sexting means, let alone do it.
However, it’s better to be safe than sorry. Learn more about sexting and how it can affect your child if she is doing it, and what you can do to prevent it — before it’s too late!
What is sexting?
Sexting is when you exchange sexually explicit text or images through mobile picture messages, the Internet or with the use of a webcam. Young people also call it cybersex or a nudie.
How common is sexting?
A survey done in the US by the Pediatrics Journal (the official journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics) proves that kids as young as 12 are involved in sexting.
According to the survey 22% of a total of 410 7th grade students (12- to 14-year-olds) surveyed, had participated in sexting. 17% had only sent texts and the remaining 5% had sent texts and pictures.
Ok, let’s take a step back.
We grew up in a time where selfies, Facebook, cyber bullying and sexting didn’t exist. Mobile phones were not considered as “cool” as they are now and the chances of any of us getting our own mobile phone back then were pretty slim anyway.
Needless to say, so much has changed in the last 20 years and, at times, it is scary how technologically savvy our kids are. If you hand them a tablet or an iPad they seem to automatically know how it works.
Digital technology is great. It is the future and it is wonderful that our kids are just wired to know how to use it.
But, like everything else, if it’s not used responsibly and is in the wrong hands, technology can be disastrous.
What’s wrong with sexting?
If you catch your child sexting and they throw this question at you, here’s what you need to explain to them.
Well, for starters, it is illegal — especially when a picture is sent and said picture features a young child.
It is also important to know that pictures that are shared via the Internet, posted on social media and sent through text messages are permanent and can be shared with a limitless number of people.
Once these pictures are shared, the receiver, the person in the picture and the sender could potentially face cyber bullying and receive unwanted attention.
As a result, it could cause tremendous emotional distress to these kids and their families.
Even if you are certain your child is not sexting, show him or her this short video as a precaution about sharing detrimental pictures with others.
Click on next to find out how can you prevent your child from sexting.