Should parents have a sexting conversation with teen?
Should parents have a conversation?
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Nowadays, when the technology is moving at a great pace, pros and cons of it go hand in hand. In the good old days when social networking or media messaging apps (Snapchat, Instagram etc.) were not much in regulation, being flirtatious or sexting conversations over the text messages were not as harmful as it is now. With the rise of technological perks like sharing media over the social networking apps or messaging apps, teen sexting conversations (that includes pictures or videos of teens) can quickly get an uncontrolled turn and be very dangerous. Now, if you’ve found your teen sexting with someone, you need to take an appropriate and calculative move to deal with the situation but first talk to your teen. Let’s understand more about such a situation and how can you effectively deal with it.
What is teen sexting?
These days, almost every other teen possess a smartphone by the 7th grade. That can be helpful, indeed, but when adolescence hit the teens, they get familiar with lot of psychological, sexual and social development. This is when normal messages can start to turn into sexting conversations.
Now, the thing is what exactly sexting means? Well, sexting is nothing but sharing sexually explicit content (be it images or videos or messages). In simple words, if you send, receive or forward such content by any means like smartphone or over the internet or social media. It is an act of teen sexting. These images or videos can either be naked or partially naked pictures/videos of yourself or someone else.
How teen start to sexting?
Any sort of sexting conversation starts with a solicited request by either of the teen involved in the conversation. Such sexting conversation examples may involve promises of true love or to maintain privacy or even popularity (by sharing private images or videos of someone else with your friends or group). And consequently, most teens’ lives gets shattered as that highly private content goes public leading to heartbreak, cyberbullying and humiliation. On top of that, serious legal repercussions may also follow them home.
How parents start a sexting conversation
Sexting may sound harmless as the teens aren’t actually doing “it” but sharing such messages and pictures is troublesome itself. As there is always a risk of getting the highly compromising pictures or video content regulated broadly. On discovering that your teen is involved in such an instance, may make you furious and you may wish to teach a hard lesson to your teen immediately. Instead, control your anger and have a conversation in the first place. Now, you may wonder how to start a sexting conversation with your teen to enlighten him/her about the risks of doing it. Well, fret not, here are the most suitable methods that can explain you how to start sexting conversation with your teen.
1. Talk about what they think
Stay calm and composed in the first place. Sit with your teen to discuss discretely about the situation and try to “play dumb”. It is, indeed, helpful sometimes to let your teen educate you about the things happening in their life. They may give you some eye-rolling reactions and try to avoid the conversation in the beginning. But after an utterance of a syllable, perhaps, you may get a clear response. Ensure to use empathy while asking questions and calmly listen to their responses. For instance, ask them: What’s matter, what steered them to get involved in such type of conversation? Or, what pressurized you to share such highly compromising content of themselves or someone else?
2. Talk about what happens to images or videos after
Now that you’re educated by your teen on sexting conversations which they are involved in, it’s your turn now to educate them about the consequences of teen sexting conversations. Make some rhetorical remarks like, “Gosh! What if someone else catches a look at it or gets hold of it? It sounds like somebody’s feelings may truly get hurt.” Or something like, “I bet I would feel truly humiliated if someone shares very private content about me to someone else”. These sort of remarks would certainly realize your teen about the aftermaths of such sexting conversations.
Prompt your teen that once an image or video is out in the world, you just can’t revoke it back. People can capture screenshots or hide that explicit content behind firewalls and make use of it as per their wish and for well beyond any intended period.
But in case, your teen has received it, try to make them understand that they should consider it as a secret gift – that is meant for their eyes only and must be deleted thereafter. And must not be stored or shared.
3. Brief about potential legal repercussions
Make your teen understand that getting involved in teen sexting conversations is very serious and can lead to serious legal repercussions or criminal processing.
Capturing or sharing any sort of nude picture or video of a child aged 18 or less with sexual intent is considered child pornography and is illegal. Any sort sharing or receiving of such content is prohibited and can be considered distributing or in possession of child pornography. Therefore, even if a teen sends his or her image or video of themselves to someone else, it can be considered an act of distributing child pornography. Likewise, if your teen holds an image or video of some other teen, it will be considered being in possession of child pornography.
How parents get alert when teen start sexting?
Your teens aren’t actually safe with the explicit content over the internet. Such explicit content may provoke your teens to share or request teen sexting via any social networking or messaging app. Therefore, we’ve brought to you a one stop solution, Famisafe app. This highly efficient app enables you to block any sort of explicit content that intentionally or unintentionally your teens are browsing through. Moreover, with Famisafe, parents have complete control over the smartphones of their teens and can efficiently protect them before they deviate over any wrong/unsafe path.
- Explicit Content Detection: With this powerful tool, parents can create their own alert words list and remotely detect and get alert via SMS of dangerous or explicit content signals over social media apps.
- Suspicious Image Detection: Parents can get alerts when FamiSafe detects suspicious images like nude or topless photos over their teen’s phone gallery.
- App activity & App blocker: Moreover, you can monitor the installed sexting apps or block or restrict any specific apps that you don’t wish your teens to make use of.
With all that comprehensive information on teen sexting conversations, it is now your responsibility (as a responsible parent) to keep your teens safe from any such misdeeds.