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Talking To Tweens About Sextexting

by T Akery | June 30th, 2011 | Tweens

Sextexting is a growing trend among tweens. Parents are often unaware of exactly what their kids are texting. But in trying to sound grown-up, kids often text things they don’t mean or don’t quite understand. This can led to unintended consequences for your tween. While you can’t guard them against everything, cell phone texting is one area that you do have some control. So before giving them free rein with an unlimited texting plan, it is essential that you lay down the ground rules.

The very first thing is to open up the discussion about sextexting. While your tween may roll their eyes and think that this is going to be another lecture, stand firm on having this discussion prior to giving them a cell phone. There are some very important areas that need to be covered and that you need them to think twice about before sending off a questionably explicit message.

Just like the internet, trying to sound sexually cool has unintended consequences. It may lead individuals to believe certain things about your tweens that aren’t true. Such impressions cannot be easily erased by any measure. It is this twisted belief that could lead to trouble for your tween. Stressing that what they text is as important as what they look like is a crucial point to make with your tween.

Another point to make with your tween is that what they text can’t be permanently erased. It will get spread around and there are no secrets among friends. An inadvertent text or a picture meant for only one will get shared. Even if your tween thinks that it won’t, ask these questions. What if that individual gets mad at you for some reason? What do you think that individual will do to get revenge? What if the guy breaks up with you? The answer is to share the picture or the text with others in an act of sweeping revenge. It is very easy for your tween to lose complete control of a situation over one seemingly minor mistake.

Let them know that because you pay the cell phone bills that you will be checking up on their texting and what people are texting to them. It is not an invasion of privacy. It is an act of protection. They are still kids and still need their parents to step in at times. They need you to keep them from making those huge mistakes that could haunt them through their middle school and high school years. Reinforce the consequences of them stepping over the line. Remember, they do make cell phones that don’t have texting ability.

As a parent, you have to be aware of the inherent dangers of sextexting and the fact that your tweens might be engaged in such activity. Check their text messages regularly and be aware of what they are saying to others. This problem is only growing and your tween can very easily get caught up in the madness.

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