March 28, 2011

The naked truth

There have been two stories in the past two days on 14 year old girls sending naked pictures to their boyfriends. Reputations were ruined and one girl is actually facing child pornography charges.

So as a parent of a daughter, I am contemplating how I am going to keep my child from making the same mistake.

I can try and keep her from having a cellphone for as long as possible. But once that happens, how much freedom will she have with it?

In my perfect, future world, my child will hand me her phone willingly, since she will have nothing to hide. I will check her texts and see nothing but pictures of friends...with their clothes ON.

Realistically, I know I will need to set ground rules from the beginning. Limit texts and talk times. Monitor their computer use and social media sites. Set up consequences and then follow through with appropriate punishments.

But is that what some parents are not doing? Did the parents of these 14 year old girls just trust them too much? Did they just hand over the cellphone and say "Have fun!" Do they just let their kids stay online for hours without any supervision?

There needs to be conversations. Over and over again. Parents need to give their children the confidence and personal moral code to stand up for and respect themselves.

I want my daughter to laugh in her boyfriend's face if he tries to get her to send him a naked picture of herself. I want her to know that if THAT is what it takes to have someone love you, than you don't want that kind of love.

I know it won't be easy. It will take a lot of talking, patience and prayer. But I'd rather talk for hours on end then be another parent looking down at a naked picture of my child on the internet.

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1 comment:

  1. Another good thing to teach our kids, is that anything you send out into the world, even if it is to just 1 other person, is now OUT IN THE WORLD. You can't take it back. Anyone could see it. My mom always told me never to write down anything I didn't want the whole world to know, because you never know where that piece of paper might end up. It is now so much easier to share everything, as parents, we must educate out children and be sure we are teaching them safe practices. I would be willing to bet, that those girls didn't have a good foundation for making those kinds of choices, and now they are going to pay for it, and so are their parents.