Talk about sexting with your child before it’s too late
Maintain an open and honest conversation with your child from early on. Approach the subject of pornography or sexting before it happens.
You’ve released your child into the dangerous deep end of the internet by giving them their first smartphone (hopefully not before the age of 13). We don’t want to be the fear-monger on the corner of the street, but unfortunately your child will most likely be exposed to pornography and sexting. So, what can you do to prepare them?
The most important thing is to maintain an open and honest conversation with your child from early on. Never wait for the issue to arise, if you approach the subject of pornography or sexting before it happens it means they will be more comfortable to approach you and they won’t have the fear of judgement when it happens. Ask about what apps and social media they use, download them on your phone and get a feel for what it’s about. We have a guide to the most popular apps on our blog that gives an overview of apps and the risks associated with them. Another outstanding resource is Common Sense Media, they have comprehensive guides with reviews (from teens and parents) on almost every app and website under the sun.
Put guards and safety nets in place. You particularly want to stop them from coming across pornography as it can be greatly detrimental to your child’s developing brain. Internet Matters has step by step instructions to put filters on almost all routers, search engines, devices and even gaming consoles. These features may not stop the onslaught everywhere, but it can at least make sure they’re protected at home. Make sure your child’s school is educating them on good digital citizenship. We also recommend, “Selfies, Sexts and Smartphones” to all teens who have a smartphone. It is the ultimate guide of everything they need to know to use their devices and social media safely. Good luck to you and your child in navigating the digital landscape.
~ Emma Sadleir (Social Media Lawyer)
You can also go to the Digital Law Co site for a comprehensive guide of what to do if it happens to you.