Sep. 17, 2019
You're a great parent, you bought your son or daughter a SmartPhone, tablet, portable computer. Your kids now think you're the most exceptional parent in the world. Stop. Breathe. Now think about what you just did? That new device allows 7.8 billion people into your child's world and your home.
One of my kids sitting at the dinner table, at the age of 9 asked me if they could ask a question without getting into trouble. I believe in allowing my children, who are all older now, a little room so that they would feel comfortable asking questions. I replied, "Sure," go ahead. I should have never taken that spoonful of soup. "Dad, what is a dildo?" Yep, the soup flew right out of my mouth. My child was in an "internet social area" with classmates, on an all kids site, all pre-teens, and someone invited in a stranger. Who was it? How old were they? Who asked them to join? I never found out.
From that point on I warned my kids the house Wi-Fi network would be monitored and once in a while I would demonstrate the fact to them. When one of my kids clicked on a link on a legitimate site, that took them to one that wasn't, they immediately reported it to me. I told them it was okay and that the site was hacked. We notified the site owner, and I thanked my child for letting me know.
From that moment on I asked my children to talk to me if they see or hear something wrong online. Luckily the lines of communication are open. Years later, my child received inappropriate messages from a classmate, including sexual innuendo. I texted the young child back identifying that I was the dad, and wanted to know if they would like me to talk to their parents? A quick apology and they disappeared, politely told never to call or text again. Ever!
The following are recent cases regarding children and adults who took pictures and videos of themselves and others using a phone. In one example, the owners of the smartphones were never aware that their accounts had been hacked and first discovered it when the police contacted them.
As you see from the above legal cases in the USA if your under-age child takes a nude selfie and sends it to a friend they will be arrested and charged with distribution of child pornography and they will be added to the sex registry. Because the phone is in the parent's name, the parent may be charged just as parents of a drunk driver can. Just because some lawyer hasn't connected the dots yet, trust me someone will, and it's not worth the risk.
If you suspect that your child is doing something wrong, deal with it immediately. I have heard numerous stories where pre-teens have taken selfies and shared them, kids as young as 11 or 12. In one case, an unpopular student, no one had shared with, was collecting all of their classmates' photos, saving them for the future, nearly all the children in that class were on their phone. Not one of the kids had shared their pictures with the individual, yet this child had nearly everyone's photos.
Visitor Comments: [COMMENTS CLOSED] Note: Pages are moderated.
My friends College daughter, allowed her boyfriend to take a picture of her going into the shower, when she tried breaking up he threatened to send it to all their friends. Only with police intervention was the threat averted. Think!
OB1 [Sep. 19, 2019]
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The inference from your article is that people and their personal photos are not safe, and no matter the person's age, taking them is the risk, you are absolutely correct. People don't stop and think anymore.
iToast! [Sep. 18, 2019]
My daughter told me the other day that kids in her class where sharing nudes, I did not take it serious enough. I realize now that was a mistake.
Rocky [Sep. 18, 2019]