Is your teenager looking at sexually explicit photos on their cell phone?
By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
5/2/2014 (2 years ago)
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)
Where there are teenagers, there are Smartphones. And where there are Smartphones - there are photos of teenagers in nude - or lewd positions. Some of these wind up in the wrong hands and become tools of blackmail. What at first seemed to be "naughty fun" begins to cause undue psychological stress - leading up to thoughts of suicide - or suicide. How can you make sure that your teenager isn't taking part in high-tech harassment?
If your teenager prefers texting over talking -- it may be time for an intervention.
LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The Pew Research and American Life Project's "Teens and Technology 2013" has found that most U.S. teens own a cell phone and about half of those cells are in fact Smartphones.
Considering the gateway these Smartphones can lead to, should you buy your teenager one? You must first know the product and make sure your teen is ready for it.
Ask yourself, "is my teen ready to navigate the internet, download apps, stream or upload music/movies, use social networking sites, visit chat rooms, upload videos, or share "selfies?" Make sure your teenager is emotionally mature before making the commitment.
It's always wise to have a verbal "contract" before you gift your teen with the phone. Tell your teenager that they only own the cell phone if you purchased it. The phone you give them is more of a loan than a gift. If the phone is misused you can take it back at any time.
You must always approve any apps before they are downloaded. Additionally, make sure that you have all passwords to all accounts.
Make sure they observe the proper rules of conduct on the phone. "Things that can't be said to someone's face shouldn't be shared electronically," psychologist Raychelle Cassada Lohmann, M.S., L.P.C. says. "The phone is not a method to being unkind, hurtful or deceptive to another person; rather, it is a mode of communication and information."
Lohmann says that above all else, "Don't forget to 'talk.' Teens use texting, snapchatting, instagramming and other abbreviated forms of communication a lot. However, they still need to have face-to-face interaction. Face-to-face or verbal communication is essential in how we relate to one another and it's a great check and balance with what is and is not acceptable with peers. If electronic communication oversteps the speaking to another person, then an intervention needs to be considered."
Most importantly, "risqué photos of any sort that display sexually graphic material will NOT be permitted. The consequences of sexting and getting publically caught will far exceed those at home. Sexting can have detrimental effects on your teen's life. Any sexual photo your teen receives needs to be deleted immediately. Equally, your teen should never share sexual photos of his or herself or others. In many states sexting with a minor is an illegal activity."
One other thing: Make it clear to your teenager, new driver license in hand, NEVER texts or talks while driving.
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