We've seen so many awful stories about teens and sexting. From the merely embarrassing to the tragic, all parents can agree that preventing your child from sending sexually explicit texts and photos is beyond important.
Since 22% of young girls and 18% of young boys ages 13 to 19 say they have sent nude or semi-nude photos of themselves electronically, preventing sexting will require cooperation with parents, peers, and schools.
A text researching group, Predicto, has strong suggestions for working with your community to protect your children from themselves.
- Check your school's cell phone policies. Speak with their teachers about what they are doing to limit text use and find ways you can work together to combat the issue if it becomes a serious problem.
- Talk to your kids about the dangers of sexting. Find out who they are chatting with and look at the cell phone bill to see what time of day they are texting the most.
- Encourage good academic behavior. Find out when their exams are, offer help with studying, etc.
- Make them work for it. If texting during school gets out of control and you see a spike in your bill, ask your child to get a part-time job to cover their text message cell phone plan.
- Don't text them when they are in class. Occasionally you may need to get in touch with your child during school hours, so find out when your child has breaks in between classes or what time they take lunch and use that time to send texts.
- Petition your cell phone provider to limit cell phone text message service during school hours.
Are you worried about sexting and your kids?
Image via dmjarvey/Flickr