Conversations about sex with your children are always going to be uncomfortable and awkward, but they're talks that need to happen, for everyone's sake.
Not so long ago, although still awkward, a parent's conversation with their teenager when it came to the birds and the bees was a relatively straightforward one. In the present day, things aren't quite as simple. Thanks to the internet, children and teenagers are exposed to sex in various different forms in a litany of different ways much earlier in life.
One of those ways, and one you might not have even thought about until this point, is sexting. Teens sending each other explicit messages and pictures is more prevalent than most parents realize. According to a research report published in JAMA Pediatrics, one in four teens have received them, and one in seven have sent them.
Teenagers might see it as just a bit of fun and won't see the harm. You might even be thinking that as well at this point. What you need to consider is that once something is sent, there is no taking it back. Not just photos and videos, but messages too. They might be sending it to a friend or even a boyfriend/girlfriend, but relationships can come to messy ends, especially at that age.
Should that happen, those messages and/or photos might be sent to others, and eventually, the sender could be the butt of a joke for their whole school. There's plenty of precedent too, reports Your Tango. In 2015, a sexting scandal at a high school in Colorado affected literally hundreds of its students. Six years earlier, Jesse Logan committed suicide after her boyfriend shared a nude photo of her with others at school.
What's important here is that you don't panic. Don't finish reading this article, march up to your kids' bedrooms, demand their phones and start frantically scrolling through their messages looking for sexts. Just make sure they know how bad an idea it can be. There are plenty of examples of celebrities' having their personal photos and messages leaked, using people from that world that they admire might help deter them from doing it themselves.