Sexting may not look as dangerous but it actually can be just as damaging to your kids in the long run!
We know we can’t protect them from everything on the internet. But we know when to intervene if things go bad, especially if it involves sexting. Sexting’s usually where two people exchange sexually explicit content like unsolicited d*** pics, nudes, and commonly — text messages that explain blow-per-blow (ha!) details of what they’d do if they were going to have sex. This doesn’t always mean your kids are always the ones who start it. Sometimes, it’s the person they’re talking to that starts it.
Why’s sexting so dangerous?
Sexting’s dangerous because often, we don’t know who’s on the other side of the screen. We don’t know if they’re good or bad people. We don’t even know if they’re being “groomed” by a pedophile or not. And sometimes, these people that get involved in sexting use the sexts as blackmail. Some people out there get kicks from exploiting your child’s low self-esteem and their lack of knowledge about sex.
Talk to your kids about sex and sexting
We often try to delay the talk about sex but we also know that it’s not going to help anybody. When we talk to our kids about sex, we get to tell them what sex really is and why it can go bad on social media. But our talk shouldn’t be a one-sided lecture. We also want to know what they think sex and sexting are since they might have the wrong idea. While it can be a little awkward to start off, we know that by telling them about sex and sexting, they’ll be more aware of the signs if they’re being forced into it and what to do if they are being forced.
Help them privatize their account
By helping them increase the security on their account, you can help your kids filter out messages from people they don’t know. Facebook has a setting wherein people who are not mutual friends with their friends on Facebook can’t just add them. You can also turn on the setting wherein people just can’t Google their FB profile. By turning those on, you can protect your child from people you don’t know.
Teach your kids how to “curate” their content.
We love posting pictures on our social media to tell people what we’re doing and to stay in the know. But not everyone cares about what you’re doing and just need your photo to make some fake nude out of you or your kids. Teach your kids to post only wholesome content or content that can’t be used badly. By keeping their content wholesome, not only do you make the internet safe for other people but maybe encourage a person or two who’s going through a tough time during the pandemic.
Have your kids use a cartoon/anime character as a profile picture
Okay, we know this sounds weird but hear us out. Using a cartoon or anime character actually gives them an extra shield against predators because there’s an underlying assumption that the only people who do that are 40-year-old slob who lives in their mother’s basement. Either that, or they’ll think it’s a fake account. This helps keep those sexters out of your child’s inbox because they’re not sure anymore if the person they’re sexting is man or woman.
If your child is the sexter, help them understand the consequences of their actions.
We’d love to believe that our kids will always be law-abiding angels. But what if they’re the offender themselves? Sit them down and talk about how their sexting can land them in jail because it can be seen as sexual assault. A dick pic can be interpreted as evidence of sexual assault especially if the person who receives it claims they didn’t ask for it. Explain to them that once they send that photo, they’re consenting to letting everyone see their nude or vagina or penis.
Sexual Curiosity will kill the cat but satisfaction won’t bring it back!
A lot of times, our kids get into sexting because it looks like a less risky form of sexual exploration when in reality it’s just as bad. Granted, it doesn’t any physical contact but social media keeps receipts that can be used as evidence against them. That’s them literally handing their dignity on a silver platter to whoever is the sext partner! This is why we always want to keep our ears and minds open about topics, especially about sex so they don’t look for it somewhere else.