Do your kids know what to do if they open their phone to find that someone has sent them a sext message?
Forwarding nude or suggestive pictures – whether it’s meant to be sexy, funny, or mean – has become a pastime of middle and high school kids. How do you keep your kids safe if a sext appears on their phone?
Keeping a sext – even if your child didn’t ask for it or know that it was coming, even if he or she plan to delete it later – is a huge mistake. If the person in the picture is a minor, your child could be slapped with child pornography charges.
Forwarding a sext is an even bigger mistake. Not only does it open up the person in the image to further humiliation, but it exposes your child to the double charge of possessing and distributing child pornography.
Want to keep your kids safe from scary charges like these? Tell them that the best thing to do with a sext is to hit “delete” immediately. Don’t show a friend, just get rid of it.
Of course I like to be in the know so I would want my kids to tell me after the fact. But the most important thing is to delete it – both for their sake and for the sake of the subject of the sext.
When we give our kids technology that makes sexting possible, I think supervision is really important (Note I didn’t say spying on your kids by reading their text messages while they sleep). For most parents, I would suggest investing in a Parental Intelligence System. The best ones in the market will allow you to monitor text messages in addition to social networks. Naturally I would recommend uKnowKids.com to any parent who may be looking for a smart tool to augment their parenting efforts.