Despite how prevalent it has become in high school and even middle school, adults are still trying to figure out how to address sexting among our tweens and teens. Laws vary from state to state, and disciplinary action varies from school to school. Some school administrators are even wondering: should we be talking about it in sex ed class?
If your school is very forward-thinking, this may already be happening. Sexting is more than just a bad decision or a poor judgment call – it’s a health issue. Real-life sexual activity is often accompanied by sexting. Kids who send nude or suggestive pictures of themselves are 17 times more likely to be active.
Our kids live in a world where sexting is a part of the dating and relationship landscape. Have you ever asked your child if they feel that way? Has anyone ever pressured them to send a nude or suggestive picture of themselves? Do they know anyone who has?
Whether or not it’s a subject in your child’s health class at school, sexting should definitely be a subject in your household. In school the teacher might give a 15-minute lecture on sexting while the kids listen, but effective discussions at home will be short but frequent and you’ll do far more listening than talking.
Nobody can argue that it’s a parent’s main responsibility to educate their kids about sexting, but do you think the schools should have a role in it, too? Is sexting part of your child’s school curriculum? Do you think it should be?
Tim Woda is a passionate advocate for protecting children from today’s scariest digital dangers – cyberbullying, sexting and online predators. He is the co-founder of uKnow.com, developers of uKnowKids.