Your Teen Has No Control Over Who Their Friends Share Their Messages With Even When They Are Promised to Keep Them a Secret
It is possible that your messages and photos can be shared and sent to other people without your knowledge, which could lead to possible public humiliation if those photos show up with your name attached them in the search engines. Teach your child that if they receive an illicit message or video to immediately show you, so that you can help ensure that it is permanently deleted. Hopefully, this is enough to keep your child honest.
Random Monitoring and Parental Controls Can Help Deter Your Teen From Participating in Sexting
Monitoring your child’s cell phone and computer activity can help you determine if your child is participating in sexting. Conduct these checks randomly so that they don’t know when you are planning on checking up on them and this prevents them from having a chance to delete any thing before hand. Most teenagers feel as random monitoring is an invasion of their privacy but it is your job as a parent to know what they are doing with their cell phone or internet, after all these accounts are probably linked to your name. Parents you don’t have to read their text messages to figure out if they are participating in sexting; however, browsing their photo and video library on their phone or computer might be sufficient.
Also, most cell phone companies offer parental controls which can help limit how many texts they can send, limit who they can talk to on the phone or via text, limit access to the Internet on their phone, and set restricted hours. If you don’t have this option, the best thing that you can do is limit access to their cell phone at night by putting their charger in your room. Also, you can purchase parental control software for the computer. Parental control software can also lock your computer down and limit your teenagers activities depending on how strict that you set the software. Many parents find that random phone, social media, and Internet checks are often enough to keep your child honest.
Why Are Teenagers Sexting?
If your teenager is participating in sexting, you should dig deeper to figure out the real reason that they are participating in this type of harmful behavior. Most teenagers who participate in sexting are more likely to engage in other harmful behaviors such as drug use, addiction to pornography, binge drinking, and sexual activity. Talk to your teenager about sexting before it becomes an issue, since most teens think sexting is pretty safe and harmless activity. A survey done by Harris Interactive, asked 655 teenagers who ranged from the age of 13 to 18 about their online and cell phone activity, focusing on bullying and sexting. About 20% of teenagers are participating in sexting, 9% of those teenagers admitted to sending illicit photos and 17% admitted to receiving a sexual message, photo, or video according to the Harris Interactive survey. These statics are alarming and if parents don’t talk to their teenager about the dangers of sexting, these statics are likely to rise. So what are some reasons why your teenager participate in sexting with their friends or significant other?
- Self esteem issues
- Peer Pressure
- Being bullied
- Feel grown up
- Expression of showing their significant other another form of affection
- Sexual favors
- Feel as it is safer than having a sexual relationship
Your teenager might make up excuses for their behavior in attempt to cover up their actions when they are confronted. It is important that your teenager is aware of the dangers that are involved in sexting. You may need to seek guidance from a licensed counselor, psychologist or psychiatrist to help you determine the real problem. Parents don’t blame yourself if your teenager is participating in this type of inappropriate behavior, sexting is fairly new and is the new thing that teenagers are experimenting with. It is important to keep an open line of communication with your teenager so that they feel safe coming to you and discussing their problems.
Have you ever heard of sexting before?