Is your teen "sexting"?

Is your teen "sexting"?

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - You might not want to think about it but your teen, or a teen you know, might be sexting.

WBTV Cyber Expert, and CEO of Fortalice Solutions Theresa Payton, a 2012 study in the Journal of Pediatrics indicates sexting is a new norm among young adults.  She also points to a study by The National Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy ("Teenage Sexting Statistics." GuardChild. April 14, 2014) which shows nearly 40% of all teens have posted or sent sexually suggestive messages.

Payton offers some advice on how to have a like uncomfortable but important talk with your tween or teen.  Her advice follows:

1.  SAFE ZONE:  teach your kids to talk to you about these issues and promise them you will not over react.

2.  HELPING THEM IF THEY MAKE A MISTAKE:  do you know what you would do if your child did send a nude photo to someone and now it's making the rounds?

3.  REHEARSAL:  They are going to ask.  Work through some options on how they want to handle or canned responses.

Examples:  Humor:  send nude chicks or puppies; Morality:  my parents won't let me do that!; Ignore:  Just ignore and tell them in person that you are flattered but you don't do these.

4.  SEXTORTION:  It's real.  It hurts.  Often laws and law enforcement cannot offer much to the victims.

5.  LEGAL ISSUES:  The distribution of nude photos of someone under 18 is the illegal.  The parties involved could be charged with exploitation of a minor and possession of pornography.  This can result in fines, jail time and having to be registered as a sex offender.

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