Teenage Problems/Daughter Sexting Advice?
I am a single widower father of two childrens and I need some advice on how to proceed next. So about a weeks back I found that my 14yr old daughter was sexting with another boy from school. The messages were very sexually explicit in nature and coming from both of them. At that moment I did confront her about the texting and also explain to her the consequences of sexting. I took away his phone and suspended all text messages services on the phone at that moment. I also send a message to the boy just to alert him that I do monitor all texting and internet trafic on phones and computers. Also I did ask her if she has sent any naked pictures of hers, but she only said that she send some but not naked or in underwear.
She was only left with the ipod and I do have time limits and web filtering for the wifi. She was able to install an app so she can text from the iPod (that was not wise of me not taking also the iPod away). So a week later I did find out that the texting continue, not only the boy was asking for naked pictures of hers, he was trying to send her a picture of his pennis, because the ipod will not receive the picture he decided to show her the picture at school the next day, which he did. At this point I took everything no iPod and no internet.
I will like to contact the parents of the boy directly and have a conversation with them as to what our children have been texting. But I don't know were they live or phone number. I need to take more time to know her friends better, I do know I did fail that part.
The other option is to get the school involve. He show her the picture at school during lunch time. But my worries is I don't know what the school policy is (I looked at the student handbook and the only policy about sexting they have is it involves bullying) and don't know what actions they will take. The explicit texting was both ways.
Some advice will be welcome. I plan to call the school and see what are their policies in this situations.
Hi there Reynaldo,
Thank you for taking the time to write to me and I hope that I can help.
Firstly, let me say that I think that you have approached this completely the right way and by identifying the problem and trying to remove the source, you have done your best to try and stop it from reoccuring but there is only so much that you can control and can be aware of.
I think that the fact that you have spoken to your daughter about the issue and the fact that it is not only illegal what she and this boy are doing but it can also jeopardize her schooling shows that you have attempted to be reasonable before you took any actions and therefore there is no excuse why this behavior should have continued. That said, if she has stopped sending the messages but is still receiving them, then I do think that this is cause for action and there are a few things that you can do.
One of the first things that you might want to do is consider getting her to change her cell number and explain to her that she can only give the number out to people that you have met. This means that this guy will not have her new number and if he does continue to send her messages to this new number, you can build up a case against him for harassment at which point the Police can get involved.
The other thing to do is to do what you were going to and review the school's policy on sexting and then approach them to explain that your daughter has been receiving messages that are explicit and is there anything that they can do. The school may be able to identify the student and speak to him directly to warn him that this is a serious matter. They may even decide to contact the Police and ask them to get involved just to warn him that what he is doing is breaking the law and if it continues then there are real implications and it is not just harmless fun. The school may also want to speak to your daughter about her part in it and although she will not like it and it may be embarrassing, this should act as a strong enough deterrent to stop her from doing it in the future.
Failing all of these options, you can put her on a gadget ban and remove her cell and her ipod and computer (if she has one) and explain to her that she needs to prove to you that she is mature enough to have these things and that she can be trusted with them. Agree that you will be monitoring her text messages and her online activity to make sure that these kinds of things do not keep happening. Your daugther may not like this and see this as a lack of freedom but ultimately, you are doing it to protect her and to stop her from getting in to trouble.
These are some of the options available to you and I hope that it provides some kind of direction and reassurance that you are doing the right thing.
I hope that helps.