Does you child have access to smartphone? Do they use it to chat?
Do they have an e-mail account?
Do they have a Facebook account, or another site used for Social Medial, such as snapchat, Whatsapp or Instagram?
Any child using technology today for communication is at some risk of being lured a sex offender, at risk of being cyber-bullied, or at risk of falling victim to peer pressure associated with sexting. Whether through sexting or other unwisely used online/interactive communications, teens are taking, sending, and receiving nude pictures and sexual content. But the short-term thrills, often done under social pressure or after a few drinks, are outlived by the potentially damaging consequences.
According to research by NSPCC, around 1 in 7 young people admitted having taken a semi-naked/naked picture of themselves. Over 50% then went on to share the picture with someone else via the internet
So What Is Sexting And What Do You Need To Know?
Sexing is a combination word made up of SEX and TEXTING. In other words, sex texting. Sexting happens by use of electronic device with text and picture messages, video conversations and face time. Other avenues include chat rooms, instant messaging (IM) and e-mail.
Many young people fail to see the long term complications and consequences of clicking send. It’s made worse when those caught doing it are underage teens because it creates allegations and in some cases, charges, of child pornography.
Sexting may seem to be the problem, but it’s more a symptom than the problem. Parents will look at it as “my kid needs to stop sending bad pictures” but the real issue could be any of dysfunctional patterns that could exist within a family, including lack of communication, lack of involvement in kids’ lives, or anger issues.
So What Should We Do?
Communicate –Teens still need guidance and supervision. Talk to them about the dangers of sexting. Explain all the consequences. Make it normal to have regular conversations about anything and everything – relationships, sex education, schoolwork, interests, activities, goals, and spiritual aspects. Teens are more comfortable to communicate with parents when they feel that parents understands them. Be sure your kids know that they can come to you whenever they are in trouble.
Be Involved – Know what your kids are doing.Teens need to know that their parents love them and want to be involved in their lives.Whether it’s having meals together, sitting down for a chat or just asking about their day, parents need to stay involved in kids’ lives everyday. Nikhil Sharma, father of two says. “Our younger daughter stays in different city for her studies, but not a day goes by that I don’t talk with or text her. Also, with the help of Nischint-Parental Control App, I stay more connected to my daughter. I can monitor her phone, track her location..”
Learn – It may be difficult and might take some time and effort but if you are not tech savvy, learn. Stay updated on the technical devices your teen uses. Parents would find out more about their kids if they were more available on different levels.
Teach Tech Responsibility – Teens need to learn responsible behavior regarding technology as anything sent through cell phone, email, or posted online can be saved, shared and viewed by family, friends, enemies and strangers. Set rules before giving them electronic devices. And tell them about the consequences for breaking those rules. If necessary limit their cell phone capabilities. You can block apps and remotely monitor digital activities of your kid with parental control app such as Nischint.