The sexting phenomenon is causing havoc across the world and sharing explicit photos has become easier than using a calculator. So how do parents broach the subject with their kids and what are the dos and don’ts?

If you are a parent who recently watched J’aime Private Schoolgirl and thought it was outrageously exaggerated and far from the truth, you are in most cases mistaken. Chris Lilly pretty much nailed the high school experience for many teenage girls.
Aptly included in the story-line was the sexting scandal where J’aime was sent a “dick pic” not once but twice throughout the series.

After the first pic is received the girls delve into a debate at school on what is the appropriate reply –  with a “tit pic” perhaps?

This discussion I imagine has and will occur many times in school’s now that smart phones are practically handed to children when they receive their first bottle.

Is is amazing the things that teenagers will keep from their parents.

By high-school, girls and boys are in the know when it comes to photos, filters and hashtags.

Sexting is a trend that exploits the impulsive nature of most teenagers and therefore many will par-take in sending photos of various body parts to get a reaction.

Sexting can be a harmless, activity of consenting adults but when children at high schools pick up their phones without thinking, trouble can ensue.

That is why I am providing you with two lists.

The first is how to talk to your children about sexting and the second is a brief guide on sexting dos and don’ts.

Both lists have their place –  you want to make your children aware of the risks and all those consenting adults out there need to know how to protect themselves.

Talking to your children about sexting

1. Are they mature enough?

Firstly you need to access the maturity of your child and ask yourself do they need a cell phone for safety reasons or are you just giving it to them so they fit in? Communicating with a phone is a responsibility some children aren’t ready for.

2. The Talk

Don’t start babbling about sexting if you haven’t had ‘The Talk” yet. If you child doesn’t know about the birds and the bees shouldn’t be on your priorities list yet.

3. Research

Make sure you know what you’re talking about and the risks texting involves. Look up the laws in your area about sexting and what the potential consequences could be. In Australia sexting is banned for anyone under 18.

4. Before you hit send.

Remind your children that once they hit send, that’s it! The photo is in cyber space and the recipient could pass it on to any number of friends. It could end up all over the internet with just the click of a button

5. Peer pressure

Let your kids know that peer pressure may factor in to deciding to send an explicit photo. Make sure you tell them they can stop the cycle by not sending messages and deleting any inappropriate photos they receive.

6. In extreme cases

If you want your child to stop texting or even just avoid temptation you can block their ability to send picture messages by contacting your service provider.

Uncomfortable talking to your child about this content then go to .They have plenty of resources to help you educate your child and games so kids can learn while they play.

Let’s move on to sexting etiquette follow these tips and you are likely to avoid any embarrassment or trouble from flirtatious messaging.

Sexting – the dos and don’ts

1. Always know the person you are sexting, it is best to have met them in person.

2. Don text something that you wouldn’t show or say to the person if they were in the same room as you.

3.if you are sending an explicit photo, don’t show anything that identifies who you are . If your face is in a racy photo and it ends up online you will regret ever hitting send.

4. Don’t sext someone while your drunk, inhibitions are a good thing when it comes to deciding to sext.

5. Delete sexts and try and get your significant other to do the same for you.

6. Everyone does not have the same morals as you, just because you would never dream of showing anyone or forwarding a photo doesn’t mean other will not.

What are your thoughts about sexting?