Its not something that most parents what to think about and really its kind of embarrassing but unfortunately in this day and age you need to talk to your teen about the internet and discuss cyber bullying and sexting with them. Our teenagers have a totally different playground to play in nowadays. With all the different messaging platforms we have today its far too easy for innocent friendships to turn in to something more serious in no time at all.
Take a look at this Modern day Romeo and Juliet video from the The National Crime Agency For an quick interpretation of how this can evolve.
Things that were said before we had phones and the internet became became word of mouth, now they are in black and white, repeated and can also be used as bullying or evidence.
What was “she said this” or “he said that” is now plain to see by other children , teachers , police or even predators.
Photos are spread from child to child and to and from site to site, once these pictures are on someone else’s phones they can become public media! Years ago they would of been ripped up or not even developed in the first place.
Will our poor teenagers ever develop normal relationships and or will they subconsciously do something that can never be erased and stay with them for ever? We as parents need to be aware of the consequences and educate our children for their own protection.
I did a bit of research on how to broach the subject without my son getting embarrassed, and came across this video takes a good look at what can happen when an image goes viral and the subsequent consequences. It aimed directly at teenagers who also experience peer pressure to be liked and fit in.
It offers practical advise and info for parents and children without it being embarrassing.
Exploitation helping teens exposed to sexting and cyber bullying.
Arm yourself with as much information before you talk to your teen about the internet and discuss cyber bullying and sexting, So you can help them and encourage them to talk, remember they are your child and still a child, we as parents are there to protect them.
Below are some useful sites for you and your teenager,
Take a good look at Think you know its a great site set up by the child exploitation and child protection centre. With advise for all age groups.
You can also find lots of help and advise at NSPCC
And if your child feels they need to speak to someone else they can always speak to someone at Childline
Hope this helps xx