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Talking to Teens About Sexting

Posted on Feb 14 2013 under Blog Posts

As cell phone and mobile device use grows among teens, the issue of teen sexting continues to rear its ugly head in our communities. Sexting blog post photoParents, you may be in for a rude awakening if you think your teens are NOT sexting. According to a longitudinal study published in July 2012 by the Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine, nearly 28 percent of teens say they’ve sent nude photos of themselves via text or email. Another 57 percent reported being asked to send naked photos. The study also reports that teens who demonstrate sexting behaviors were more likely to engage in dating or sex with girls participating in more “risky sexual behaviors.”

So what can you as a parent do? I believe that success with teen sexting has a lot to do with communication between you and your child. You need to have open communication with your kids and talk to them about the dangers of sexting. It may be a difficult and uncomfortable conversation to have but it is one that needs to happen. Kids want their independence; and I agree that as a parent you cannot be there 24/7. However, remember, you are the parent; you have every right to access your child’s Internet accounts and cell phone to ensure that they are not indulging in any activity that is inappropriate. Your kids will fuss but at the end of the day it is your job to protect them.

If you would like to know more about sexting, check out this blog post Caught Your Kid Sexting, Now What? You will learn about sexting and the practical steps if you suspect that your teen is sexting. You can also listen to our podcast “Back to School Series: Cyber Bullying and Sexting”. Also stay tuned for our upcoming March radio series with topics from school bullying, cyberbullying, sexting and the prevention of youth violence all in support of the National SAVE Youth Violence Prevention Week.

Authored by Mia Brooms
Graduate Student Intern


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