If teens are children becoming adults then we can anticipate the formation of being sexual. You are sexual at the core of your personhood. A healthy sexuality is key to a healthy adult. If you are unhealthy, unsure, unprotected or vulnerable in these areas you will run the risk of emotional, relational, and intra-psychic wounding.

It is no wonder that in this vulnerable exploration period of life sexual experimentation is so prevalent. Teens need safe coaching relationships in order to guide them through these challenges.

Be honest about sexting

Sometimes Parents are Not the Ones...

Often parents do not feel they are the ones to take this on. Not because of incompetence but because they are too close to the child.

Many parents would never want to enter the battleground of teaching their teen to play the piano or to drive. Likewise, there are some issues that both the teen and parents feel are best left to a trusting professional, one who can facilitate these critical but delicate and highly personal topics.

At Bayridge our adolescent therapists focus on teen issues and are experienced at walking teens and parents through the challenges of sexual issues such as ‘sexting’.
Sexting refers to sending a text message with sexually explicit content or a sexually explicit picture, including naked pictures or pictures of people kissing or engaging in other sexual acts.

Explain to your child how they might experience sexting. Share how people feel brave when they are communicating electronically and will say things they would never say in person. This puts sexual pressure on teens to be comfortable speaking about things they would normally have boundaries around.

Even if sexting seems to be the norm among your teen's peer group, explain to them the emotional consequences of sexting. Sexting can be uncomfortable for the sender — especially if he or she is pressured into it — as well as the receiver.

The possible long-term impact of sexting matters too. A picture or message meant for one person can be forwarded to an entire contact list at any time — and once it's in circulation, there's no way to control it. A photo or message could resurface years later, potentially causing great embarrassment or even problems with work or school.

Make sure your teen understands that the possession of sexually explicit images of a minor is considered a crime. The consequences could be serious, including a police record, suspension from school or legal action.

Bottom line: If you wouldn't be comfortable sharing the photo or message with the entire world, don't send it.

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