7 Ways Parents Can Ensure Cell Phone Safety

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7 Ways Parents Can Ensure Cell Phone Safety [EXPERT]
Before you hand your child a cell phone, be aware of the consequences.

Consequences for teen sexting involve legal and psychological concerns.  Legally, a child can be arrested and charged with possession and distribution of child pornography and exploitation and they can be labeled as a sex offender for the rest of their lives.  The teens surveyed knew of these consequences and chose to send the images anyway. This is consistent with teen attitudes that "it won't happen to me" which propels teens to engaged in all kinds of risky behaviors.  Psychological consequences include feeling depression, shame and anxiety by the person whose picture was distributed throughout a community. There have been several documented teen suicides linked to sexting image distribution in recent years. 10 Signs Your Teenager Is Depressed

Here are four misconceptions when it comes to kids and cellphones:

1. Kids and cell phones are safe 100 % of the time. Kids are, in fact, getting hurt physically and psychologically by cell phone use. There are GPS utilizing apps that help teens connect in real time and predators are using this technology to target vulnerable kids. One Company Skout, recently shut down its teen site to protect kids from predators who gained access to the kids by their app. Other predators access kids by developing a relationship with them over many months by text, chat, phone building trust then ask for nude pictures and the kids do it. Kids and sexting, what you need to know.

2. Children who have not hit puberty yet, won’t be interested in sexuality. Other kids may be interested and will show your child sexually inappropriate material; I've heard of this happening in first and second grade. There is a multitude of ways kids are exposed to sexual material, just look at the magazine covers while waiting to pay for your groceries. It is also normal for a child to be curious about sexuality from the first time they explored their body as babies.

3. Children will tell their parents when they are uncomfortable with sexual behavior.  I have listened to many stories of adults who have kept their childhood sexual abuse a secret for decades. Many of their parents told them as kids they wanted to know if anyone touches them inappropriately. As children, they didn’t feel able to tell anyone for many reasons.

4.You think your child will never use a phone inapproriately. Curiosity alone is a great temptation and it only takes one sexually stimulating image to be forever burned into your youngsters mind or one nude picture to be spread virally with in a community.

Article contributed by
Advanced Member

Teresa Maples

Counselor/Therapist

Teresa Maples MS, LMHC, CSAT, CMAT

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Location: Gig Harbor, WA
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Specialties: Couples/Marital Issues, Infidelity / Affair Recovery, Sex Addiction
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