Talking to kids about sexting and explicit photos

Watch Video: Talking to kids about sexting and explicit photos by Mary Kay Hoal, ...
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Talking to kids about sexting and explicit photos

If you find out that your child has sent a naked photo or has sext to another person, you immediately need to talk to your teen about the consequences. The consequences include a ruined reputation. Often times, the child or teen that is living in the moment and sends such a text message or an email, really thinks that only one person is going to see the image. Unfortunately, that's not the case. The photos usually go viral. In fact, 44 percent of High Schoolers report seeing a naked image of their classmate. The other thing that you need to talk to your child or teen about is that there are some pretty severe consequences because the laws trail way behind technology, and the pace of technology. Your child can be found guilty of distribution of child pornography. Your child can be charged with a felony or misdemeanor. Kids have served probation and have served jail time, unfortunately. There is a very tragic cause of a young 18 year old named Phillip Albert. He was dating a 16 year old when he was 18. She chose to send him a naked photo. He was mad when they broke up, so he forwarded the photo on. Phillip is now a registered sex offender until the age of 43. It's critically important that you are talking to your teens about why it's not okay to send sexting images. Of course, a ruined reputation, but they can, literally, ruin the rest of their life. If you want to be proactive and make sure your teen does not engage in such behavior, not only do you need to have a conversation with your kids about the responsible use of technology and what those requirements are; but you can choose to use monitoring software that will alert you to any concerning content or images that your child chooses to share.

Watch Video: Talking to kids about sexting and explicit photos by Mary Kay Hoal, ...


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Mary Kay Hoal

Family Internet Safety Expert

Mary Kay Hoal is a nationally recognized expert on children’s online safety. She is the founder and president of Yoursphere Media Inc., which focuses on the family and publishes the kids’ social network Mary Kay also offers parents Internet-safety information and tips at She has been profiled on CNN, Fox & Friends, FOX Business, E!, Lifetime TV, ABC News Now, and The Reader's Digest. Mary Kay is also part of the "Web Avenger" team for ABC's 20/20.

In 2012, Mary Kay founded The Yoursphere Media Foundation and Coalition for Internet Safety Education and Reform (FCISER), which is dedicated to creating a network of community educators that provide children, their parents, schools and communities, with the necessary skills, knowledge and tools they need to have a positive and safer digital experience.

Mary Kay has also been published on sites such as, Yahoo! Shine and ABC News where she's able to reach millions of parents. 


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