Talking to teens about Sexting


Firstly let’s define sexting:

Sexting is the sending of a sexually revealing image of oneself or an explicit text using a phone, or other device that is connected to the internet. You will have heard about the celebrity photo leaks, most notably the recent Jennifer Lawrence leaks .

And last week we heard about SnapChat pictures being leaked.

Sexting – the new first base


What’s particularly bad about the SnapChat debacle is that most users are teenagers, and so a lot of the “sensitive” material being spread now, was put there by teenagers.

Teenagers who believed that this would never happen.

For the full text of the piece I wrote for click here. You’ll find tips to help you talk about sexting, and why it’s important that you do. You’ll also find some links to what I hope are helpful resources. I’ll just give this one a special mention: That’s Not Cool. Do click on this one, for two reasons:

a: because it really is great for both parents and young people and

b: because the link in the piece is broken!

So here are my main tips which I’m hoping you find helpful. I expand on each of them in the main piece:

1: Familiarise yourself with the technology your child is using.

2: Don’t be afraid to ask what they’re doing online.

3: Use your own social networking sites in their presence.

4: Keep reminding them that what goes online stays online.

5: Ask their opinion on sexting.

6: Insist that they use their social media in a family room where you can keep an eye on things.

7: Know how to check chat logs and history and let them know that you’re doing it.

8: Set and adhere to strict rules about how much time is spent online by everyone,  including you.

9: Talk about sex to your kids.

10: Familiarise yourself with the legal implications of sexting in your jurisdiction.

This may all seem like a lot of hard work and something you might rather avoid. Parenting is the hardest job after all. But if it helps keep your kids safe it’s worth it right?

Good luck with it!


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