Let’s be real for a minute. If you have a daughter, there is a 10 percent chance she’ll be asked for a nude image online by the time she is 12. That number will skyrocket to 50 percent by the time she is 16. While the frequency of this request is much higher for girls, it is also clearly something our sons will face too.
We can make the assumption that as our kids grow up, someone somewhere online will ask them for nude or semi-nude pictures online. Are your confident that your child will answer this request correctly? If you haven’t talked with them specifically about this, don’t be so sure they will make the right decision.
We recently talked out preparing your kids if they receive an explicit message, but there is another aspect we need to address: how your child responds when someone asks them to become the creator of the explicit content. You need to talk to your child about a few key topics before they are active on any digital device:
- Your child needs to know what is appropriate to send to another person online. This includes topics such as personal information, images, and videos.
- Your child needs to know what is appropriate to say about other people online. While this deals less with sexting and more with cyberbullying, it is still critical to discuss with your child.
- Your child needs to know at what point they should reach out to you when they encounter something unusual online.
Just by having a conversation on these three topics, you can prevent many of the dangers that exist. Just remember, this is something you should be doing before they have online access of any type. If you don’t think they are mature enough for this conversation, they shouldn’t have access to messaging apps or any sites with user generated content (including social networks).