Whilst we want our teens to make informed and careful decisions about sexting, we also need to recognise that some young people will send sexts and that sometimes things can go wrong. If your teen has sent an intimate photo or video and now wishes they hadn’t, this guide can help them through the next steps to regain some control and support their wellbeing.
Finding out that your teen may be sexting can feel shocking and upsetting. It’s important to remain calm, empathetic and supportive. Here are our top tips for supporting your teen if sexting has gone wrong.
Sending naked or partially naked images of oneself by text (sexting), is a relatively uncommon, but growing, activity among young people. It’s important that teens are fully aware of the potential consequences of sexts before they decide to send one, or worse, feel pressured into doing so. Discuss the realities of sharing images with your teen and agree on some sensible promises, using our suggestions as starting points. There is space to add your own too.
This practical exercise allows young people, alongside a parent or teacher, to weigh up some of the factors that might come into a decision to ‘sext’. We have provided an example of how this exercise might play out and also a blank template which teens can fill in during conversation about sexting. Remember, without sensible and realistic chats, there is no barrier between teens and these impulsive decisions, which they may later regret. Hopefully, these conversations will help teens to realistically evaluate the risks, and see that, whilst there might be some upsides to sexting, the downsides can be serious.
Sending naked or partially naked images by text (sexting) is a fact of life in the digital world. Sometimes young people can face pressure to send inappropriate photos. Discussing how they might respond in this situation is helpful in combating peer pressure and making them feel more prepared. Use this resource to help initiate these useful chats.
Sexting is the sending, receiving or forwarding of sexually explicit images, photographs or images of oneself or others. We have collected 25 interesting facts about sexting that you can use as a springboard for chats with your teen. Which facts do you both find surprising or shocking? What conclusions can you make?