We know that tweens and teens like to take risks and push boundaries, and they’ll make mistakes, but I think our job as parents is to arm them with as much information and knowledge as we can and then hope that if a situation arises they will make the right choice.
We also know that many kids won’t take the time to consider possible outcomes in the heat of the moment. Maybe the solution is to teach them to stop and think before publishing anything online – whether it’s a text or photograph or blog post or Facebook update. They have to understand that even if they’re sending a photo to a person they trust, once they hit the “send” button the image is out of their control. And once the image is gone it is irretrievable – possibly forever – and the fallout could be catastrophic. It’s important to remind them to never let anyone pressure them into doing something that makes them feel uncomfortable, that they could potentially regret in the future.
Bullying has been in the headlines more than ever lately, and it seems that social media always plays a part in it. We should also take the time to talk about what a teen should do if confronted with someone else’s salacious photo.
How’s this for a little something you can text to your teen right now:
If U receive a photo or a msg, pls T.H.I.N.K. before fwding. Is it True, Helpful, Inspiring, Necessary, Kind? If not, DGT! Trash it.