Hey Dad, you’re doing your best talking to your children about sex, but some things may seem out of your realm of control.

Sexting may be one of those many things that you struggle to wrap your head around. More often than not, parents aren’t even aware that their children are engaged in sexting.

Daddy’s Digest has consulted several online and offline resources and put together a quick outline of the need to know facts.

1. Sexting or “sex texting” is the sending or receiving of sexually explicit or sexually suggestive images, messages or videos via a cellphone/smartphone over the internet.

2. A sext may include: Nude or seminude pictures and videos; Videos that depict simulated sex or sexual activity; Text or instant messages that propose sex or refer to sex acts.

3. Sexting may be your child’s way of getting attention. It is also often the consequence of a joke, peer pressure or even cyber bullying.

4. It can start earlier than the teen years. Once your child has access to a smartphone, internet and social media, they are capable of engaging in sex texting.

5. Most children fail to understand the implications of their seemingly harmless behavior.

  • They could be at risk of humiliation and embarrassment if the media spreads outside its intended circle
  • The content of the sext could become a source of blackmail, emotional abuse and even physical exploitation
  • Sexting gone wrong could lead to emotional and mental health problems
  • In some countries, if you are under the age of 18 and engage in the exchange of explicit material (even of yourself), you could end up with a child pornography charge and be put on a sex offenders list
  • Reckless behavior online can affect future prospects including university and job opportunities. It is common for colleges and employers to review a candidate's online profile before making an offer

6. Parents must keep an open dialogue going and educate their children on the consequences and implications of their behavior both online and offline. They must be educated on dealing with peer pressure. These conversations must be ongoing and not a consequence of problems in the moment.

7. You need to help your child define a healthy relationship and understand the concept of love.

8. As recommended by New York City licensed Psychotherapist & Mental Health Counselor Jason Eric Ross, it is important for parents to monitor all forms of communication their children have with the world. You need to be aware of everything coming in and going out. Watch the video on Daddy’s Digest for more info.

Reviewed by: Dr. Melanie Schlatter

Date reviewed: 15th November, 2018

Our guide is meant to outline the basic facts. If you are in doubt or worried about your child for any reason, consult with a qualified and certified mental health professional.

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Teaching Your Kids About Consent and Asking for Permission

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