We all know how popular cell phones are with teens these days. How many times a day do you see teens either chatting or texting their friends? It can seem endless, right?
But with the advances in technology come certain threats or issues that can plague teens. In the case of cell phones, the biggest challenge is sexting and Aurelia offers parents some tips for helping their teens to avoid this dangerous trap.
Sexting is a term that describes when teens take texting messages to their friends one step further by sending revealing – or even nude – photos of themselves to other kids. Sometimes these are sent as a way to start a relationship but other times these images can be manipulated on the computer and sent around schools as a way to ostracize or make fun of a student.
Think it’s just girls sending these photos, in hopes of landing a boyfriend? Think again! Studies show 21 percent of teen girls and 18 percent of teen boys have electronically sent, or posted online, nude or semi-nude images of themselves.
So what can parents do?
Most importantly, talk to your children.
- Discuss the dangers of having these photos online anywhere because once they are posted, they never actually disappear.
- Know your child’s friends, both online and offline.
- Talk about the consequences of sexting. Many states consider sexting a form of child pornography, which can lead to being labeled a sex offender.
If you need help talking to your teen but don’t know where to start, check out our special report, Real Life Guidance to Understanding Your Teen.