Are your children sending nude pictures to friends? That's a troubling question. But don't think it couldn't happen. I recently received this message from a listener:
I caught my 12-year-old daughter sending a picture of herself naked to her boyfriend. She used her cell phone. I guess I should have talked to her sooner. But how do I do it now? I am so confused. And I feel like a bad parent.â
This kind of behavior really isn't anything new. Kids, especially teens, have always had the urge to show off. And they've always found ways to be irresponsible with the latest technology. Sexting is just the latest example.
But today's technology magnifies the consequences of their actions. Camera-equipped cell phones and raging hormones are a risky mix. And it's something worth talking to your kids about.
It doesn't have to be an awkward conversation. You simply need to explain the dangers of sexting. Chances are they don't grasp how quickly things get out of hand.
Cell phones allow kids to share photos at the touch of a button. It's lightning fast and completely insecure. Once a photo leaves their phones, they can't take it back. And they can't control where it goes next.
They trust the recipients. That usually means boyfriend or girlfriend. They assume their pictures will not be shared with others. But can they be certain? Of course not.