February 2015

OMG Mom and Dad!

Take a deep breath… your teen might be Sexting. 

According to the 2014 Union County Youth Risk Behavior Survey, of 7th, 9th and 11th grade students; 18.5% report being asked to send a Sext and 10.5% said they had sent a Sext.

It’s highly likely that your teen knows what a Sext is, but do you? Sexting usually involves sending sexually explicit content; images or text, via mobile messaging.

Teens may not realize the social backlash as well as potential criminal implications if messages or photos are shared. Also, apps like Snapchat, may give the false impression that the image will disappear, but a smart phone screenshot can be taken of the photo, saved and further distributed.

As parents talk to your children often about the responsibilities of having a phone, how to handle a request to send a Sext and what to do if they receive one.

  • Remind your child they are worth more than degrading themselves for someone else’s enjoyment.

  • Explain again that a piece of content can live forever in cyberspace.

  • Consider setting up a contract with your child so they understand their phone will be monitored.

  • Help your teen know be safe and drug-free.

Talk with your kids. What you say matters.

*Wallace, Kelly, “Chances Are, Your Teen Has Sexted”, CNN, Jan. 2, 2015.