Nude selfies – what parents and caregivers need to know
Teenagers need to be made aware of the risks that come with sharing nude photographs of themselves. In addition to this, it is crucial for parents to get involved in their children’s lives in order to guide and protect them. Parents need to provide their children with the advice they need in order to make good and healthy decisions.
Teenagers share nude selfies of themselves for many different reasons. Some of these include:
- To feel sexy
- To be flirtatious
- To build relationships
- Seeking affirmation
- Doing it as a joke
- Pressured into doing it
What parents can do to help
It is important for parents to find out why their children engage in these activities. More often than not children who send nude pictures of themselves experience negative consequences soon after, such as anxiety and embarrassment (when their pictures are sent to other individuals).
Parents need to be calm and supportive when responding to these photographs. Research suggests “angry, blaming or indigent parental responses are more likely to lead to negative outcomes”. You must sit down with your child and speak to them politely about the consequences of sending or uploading nude photographs of themselves.
“Any sort of photo, video, or message that shows someone doing or saying something embarrassing or offensive can be damaging to a reputation. But this is especially true if there’s nudity, sex, or sexually suggestive content involved”
Teenagers’ battle to grasp what consequences their actions will have as their ideas about privacy, decision-making skills and judgement are still being formed. Parents need to teach their children to take responsibility for their actions. It is important to note that even if their child’s intentions are fun and harmless the effects could not be.
Have open conversations with your children and explain to them that once a message is sent it can’t be undone and it runs the risk of being sent to 10 or more people.