Sexting & Inappropriate Images
MMGuardian will alert parents of potentially harmful situations based on the content of their child’s monitored messages. This page provides recommended actions for the alert type indicated above.
Children are exposed to sexual material at younger and younger ages thanks to technology. While sexual education and understanding is healthy and important, parents need to be sure they are having the tough conversations and fully educating their children on the consequences of irresponsible behavior. A child may think sending or receiving an exposed pictures of themselves or others isn’t a big deal anymore, but it can have serious consequences including being permanently labeled as a sexual offender or being posted on the internet for anyone to see forever.
1. Preemptive Education
This applies to all concerning subjects, but with sexting especially, children need to be aware of what could happen. For many, their brains are not yet developed to think critically in the long term, so it’s up to parents to make sure their child is able to make the smartest decisions by knowing all of the potential outcomes of risky behavior. In most cases, once something is done, it’s done.
Legal consequences can vary from state to state, so be sure you are fully up to date on your state’s laws, and it’s not a bad idea to provide some examples for your child of others who made poor decisions and ended up paying the price.
2. Open Discussions
It can be an uncomfortable subject, but since most communication for children is done digitally, many are less shy about saying inappropriate things, even if they are shyer normally. As the parent, it’s important to acknowledge if you notice this behavior and to make the situation as comfortable as possible for your child to open up about it to you. If they sense judgement and strong disapproval, they will shut down and won’t be open to your advice and warnings.