Sexting happens in schools every single day. Remember: your kids are naturally curious. They’re searching for new types of relationships and seeking adventure in the relationships. Many teens believe sharing intimate details of their lives or intimate pictures of themselves can strengthen those relationships.
And once one of those pictures is shared, your child loses control over it. Pictures can bounce across their school in a matter of minutes – from one person to ten people, to the whole school.
What can you do?
- First, recognize your children will form all sorts of relationships – online and offline.Talk to them about what healthy relationships are. Talk to them about boundaries. Remind them the person they’re talking to online may not be who they say they are.
- Second, remind them they should never accept gifts – even of nominal value – from anyone they meet online. That should be an immediate red flag. And if someone, (even a friend), asks for a provocative picture, they should tell you or another trusted adult.
- Third, remind them that they can come talk to you when they think a relationship is moving in a strange direction. If they’re not comfortable talking with you, help them identify another trusted adult (an aunt or uncle, coach, counselor).