Sexting is the act of sending and/or receiving explicit pictures, texts, or videos via apps or cellular devices. Teens are more likely to fall prey to the negative repercussions of sexting if not addressed promptly.
How Can Sexting Affect Teens’ Lives?
Sexting can lead to awful effects that can negatively impact a child mentally and physically. Common problems sexting can cause for teens include:
- Sext Might Go Viral
According to a survey, 25% of teens reportedly forwarded a sext that they received. So your child’s private picture or video can end up in a total stranger’s inbox, leaving them to do whatever they want with it.
- Your Teen May Become a Victim of Bullying
Your teen’s sext going viral can consequently lead to bullying. It makes them vulnerable to negative remarks about their reputation, body, etc.
- May Lead To Sextortion
Sextortion is blackmailing or threatening someone using their nudes or other forms of private content. It can cause teens to indulge in risky behavior against their will, causing severe mental distress.
- May Lead To Emotional Disturbance
All the bullying and blackmailing caused by sexts going viral can lead to severe emotional disturbances in teens. They can lose their friends and face social isolation, worsening their emotional state.
How to Talk to Your Child about the Risks of Sexting?
As parents, it is your responsibility to talk to your kids about sexting and warn them about its negative impacts and sometimes you need to understand teenage slang to decipher what they talk about in their chats.
Here are some tips:
- Approach the topic as soon as possible. Don’t wait for your child to be involved in sexting to have the conversation.
- Be specific! Tell your teens exactly what sexting entails so they know what to look out for.
- Include legal warnings about how sexting is criminal in certain states. Also, tell them about legal solutions to sextortion or cyberbullying.
- Reassure them and tell them they should come to you if they feel like they’re a victim of cyberbullying.
What Can Parents Do to Keep Their Teens Safe?
Here are steps that you can actively take to protect your kids:
- Limit their screen time;
- Be wary of the kind of friends they have and who they’re dating;
- Block their access to explicit content on the web;
- Set up parental control software like mSpy on their devices for monitoring;
- Build trust and open communication.
Monitoring Apps to Prevent Sexting
Parental control options on smart devices allow you to control several things on your child’s device. You can use one of the best monitoring apps on the market, such as mSpy to monitor your child’s activities more closely. Using mSpy, you can tap into your child’s phone usage, the messages and media they’re sending or receiving, their contacts, and more. It includes screen time, web content, privacy settings, and apps.
With technology becoming more accessible to teens, their falling prey to the horrors of sexting is sadly more common than we think. Warning our children and taking active steps to prevent them from sexting can help us protect them while allowing them the privacy they deserve.