While being parents you always praise the advancement of cellphone technology, you must also be aware of the dangers of sexting that might put you in great concern if you have teenagers at home. If you have a hint that your kid may be involved in the act, you must also realize that it is not a crime that he or she is involved in. Actually, teenagers often engage in sexting. They see it as an innovative and experimental activity. It helps them to explore their body and that of the others. Something which they have never experienced earlier.
Is it really that serious?
The concern of the parents is obvious. The act of sexting involves legal implications, health concerns, and mental changes. These might be detrimental for the child’s healthy development. The immediate drawback of sexting is that it might create a strong ramification among the sender of the message as well as his or her peer group. This is especially the case when the image concerns nudity or other sexually explicit materials.
Sexting also causes distracted attention and diminished concentration. This ultimately hampers the academic life of a child. Although some countries also lay strong legal actions against the act, the invasion into one’s private life by virtue of sexting, whether your kid is directly involved or not, might have a lasting impact on him or her.
Why teenagers engage in sexting?
In most cases, teenagers are aware of the adverse impact of their online reputation or the negative consequences of sexting. Certain extensive researches reveal some of the predominant factors that lead to sexting among children.
One of the vital reasons is the pressure of the peer group and the sense of inferiority complex as a result.
Issues of self-esteem among friends and the urge to gain value among friends often instigate teenagers to involve in sexting.
A sheer romantic gesture, as a consequence of school-level crush or infatuation, is also the cause for the act.
The urge of sexual exploration is another chief factor behind the same.
A grown-up feeling or a sense of rebellion among teenagers also prompt them to engage in sexting.
There are times when teenagers get involved in sexting much to their innocence as a mere sexual favor in return of any other service they might have received from someone.
The dangers of sexting
Sexting can be so serious that those involved in the same can invite charges of child pornography brought against them. Further, they can face probation and have their names enlisted permanently in the list of sex offenders. Thus, children involved in the act either directly or indirectly can often land themselves behind the bars. The humiliation and embarrassment received by any of the partners involved in sexting can also be so strong that it can make them suicidal.
What can be done?
There is no reason to think that your teenage kid can never get involved in sexting as the act never indicates any sure shot factors behind the same. Therefore, instead of arguing the integrity of your child, it is essential to know the measures to prevent it.
One of the most important ways of preventing your teen child from indulging into the act is by means of education. Create a non-threatening ambiance for your child and talk openly about the subject. In the process, inform him or her about the stern legal consequences concerning the act and the mental and physical impacts of sexting too. Educate him or her about the importance of digital privacy and online reputation.
Talk to them:
Discourage him or her against the circulation of any sexually explicit message he or she might have received. If you find that your kid is already involved in the act, talk to his or her school authorities, peer groups and any reputed child psychologist to handle the case skillfully.
Be a role model:
Set up a healthy atmosphere at home where the kid feels connected with every member of the family and never left out.
Limit cellphone use:
Limit the use of cellphones during teenage years. Keep the leash within your control by monitoring the cellphone of your child regularly. If the matter is serious enough, it won’t be bad if you do so in absence of his or her knowledge.
If you discover your teenagers engage in sexting, do not panic. Never adopt physical or verbal abuse as that would make the matter worse. Handle the situation as tactfully as you can. Following the above-mentioned points would definitely help you in easing out the situation.