how to deal with sexting?(4 Posts)
I have just found out that ds(14) is sending extremely graphic texts to a girl (also 14) and encouraging her to send him explicit photos of herself. I should say that the texts the girl sends back are very graphic too so this is not one-way traffic...
The reason I know this is that I looked at his texts (I know, I know ... but he'd run up a largish bill sending picture messages - he hadn't realised they weren't part of his deal - and I wanted to check what the hell he was doing on the phone which is in my name ...)
This girl is not his girlfriend - she was going out with one of his best friends, although was sending ds loads of texts while she was going out with X and ds' friendship with X has now cooled dramatically - I suspect a connection. Ds has told me this girl is not particularly pretty (i.e. he doesn't fancy her) and he doesn't seem to like her especially (has been quite derogatory about her in the past) and as far as I can see has actually only met her once or twice, if that. I think the reason that he's using her to send the texts to is that she seems to have a bit of an 'easy' reputation, and the lack of respect this shows towards her is one of the things I'm finding hardest to deal with about all this.
How on earth do I deal with this? It will open a complete can of worms if I tell him I've looked at his texts and he would be mortified if he knew I'd read them (they are really tawdry porn). I know sexting is very common among teenagers, but I am not having him put me in the position of having indecent images of children on a phone which is in my name and which I'm paying for.
Arrrgghhhh .... what do I do? <tears hair out>
(have name changed)
You need to talk with him about it. Technically speaking both he and the girl could be charged with distributing (her) and possessing (him) child pornography.
The only other thing that I could think of doing would be to alert the school's child protection co-ordinator anonymously and say you have concerns that this is going on with Year 9/10s in the school, and you are hoping that the seriousness could be addressed via school information - but that's not dealing with the issue directly, and as you say the phone is in your name.
I don't see a way round this without telling him you've read his texts. In view of what you found that should be the least of his worries. I would sit him down and calmly tell him what you've seen and give him the lecture of his life on respect for girls and the perils of sending indecent material on phones (or the internet). Scare him a bit and hopefully that will be enough to make sure he thinks very carefully about doing anything like this again.
Perhaps for future reference you could make it clear to him that you will reserve the right to occasionally check his phone since it's in your name.
I wouldn't tell the school as that could lead to serious trouble for him. If you know the girl I might speak to her myself, depending what response you get from DS.
Go on youtube and look for CEOP videos and sit him down to watch them - they are showing them in yrs 6-11 at school but he may not have seen them yet.
There is nothing wrong with you looking at his phone - privacy can't extend to illegal behaviour
here's the 'Exposed' CEOP video which covers posting pictures online
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