This article that appeared in the New York Times is an important article for parents of teens. File this under, Teens are so naive!" As happens more often than any of us would like to admit, teens show their love for their boy or girlfriends by sharing sexy photos, some showing more skin than you have seen since their baby baths. But with all things teen, romance rarely lasts very long, and even if it does last as long as their high school years, there rarely is a happy ending. And by that I mean a consensual break-up. No, usually break-ups are fraught with drama, drama, and more drama. With one party or the other accusing the other party of some sort of major misdeed. When that happens, revenge is in the air, and with the internet, revenge can be so sweet. Remember all those sexy photos, that had been promised to stay "just between the two of us?" Well all bets are off, and those photos along with personal information shared by the abandoned lover can and do show up in unexpected ways.
Please share and read this story with your teen, especially if he/she has a significant boy/girlfriend. They will fight you tooth and nail, and say: '__________would never do anything like this. He/she loves me too much." And you can say; you know honey, I get how much you trust and love each other now, and that is a wonderful gift you are giving to each other....now. But all bets are off when one of you meets someone else, or gets tired of being in the relationship, or your feelings change. It's hard to know now how powerful those feelings can be when this relationship ends. So I'm just saying, sending each other intimate photos does not equal trust. Not lying to each other, being honest and open that is where true trust comes from.
They will roll their eyes, but this is just another "educational" responsibility you have to teach your teen about safe use of technology.
PS. I will be a Newton North High School tonight participating in a program to help parents teach safe-driving techniques to their teens. It is from 7-9 and is open to the public