By FnF Correspondent | PUBLISHED: 19, Aug 2019, 16:57 pm IST | UPDATED: 26, Aug 2019, 10:06 am IST
Studies show that sexting is indeed on the rise among teenagers all over the world. In fact, a study published in JAMA this year notes, "...sexting is associated with various sexual behaviors and mental health risk factors; moving forward, education campaigns should focus on providing youth with comprehensive information about sexting and digital citizenship." Needless to say, teens can unwittingly land in trouble, thanks to the risks posed by sexting. So, you need to apprise your teenage kids of the hidden dangers before any incident threatens to turn their lives upside down:
The Talk If you have been delaying talking about relationship and sex with your children, do it now! Do make sexting a crucial part of such a discussion. If you feel uncomfortable discussing this issue with your son or daughter, take help of counsellors in school. Ask them how best to broach the topic.
Peer pressure Tell your kids that peer pressure can be bad if it makes them do things they might regret later. Sometimes, they may feel pressured by their peers to send sexually explicit messages or images. Tell your kids that even if they are sworn to secrecy by their friends, if any such thing is demanded of them, they should inform you immediately.
Tech reality Make your kids understand how mobile technology works with regard to sending and receiving messages. Let them know that if they send any such texts, acting on an impulse, there's no way he or she can control it. Once sent, the message cannot be retrieved and it can easily fall into wrong hands.
Be a friend Be gentle, allow your kids enough time to open up to you. Explain to them, as a friend, how what may seem to be a 'fun' text or image can get revealed to a whole host of strangers or even people they know.