Just when you think you have it all under control, the bad people of the world come up with one more. I am about ready to lock my kids up in my nice, safe, cozy, house and keep them safe from all the boogymen out there. But, wait! They are coming through our power lines…through wires…they are like rodents that squeeze their way through cracks in the walls. We can’t stop them.
Sextortion…really? Kids are being blackmailed…for real! When I was a kid I don’t think I even knew what the word blackmail really meant. I remember hearing it on TV shows now and then, but in real life, forget it. Well, in this ever-changing world that we now live in, kids have to worry about being blackmailed. Take a deep breath.
We already know to teach our kids the dangers of sexting, how it can come back to haunt you, how it is more serious than they think, how it will never go away, how it is a real criminal offense. Now, to go one step further. We need to teach them the blackmailing aspect of it all.
Predators, yes PREDATORS, are using these sexting images to blackmail kids. The thought of this sends chills down my spine. It makes me feel sick to my stomach. Real life predators are really making their way INTO our houses, INTO the lives of our kids!
Statistics say that most of the time these blackmailing schemes are coming from sexual predators, not just those mean friends (those too, but mostly predators). They are blackmailing kids with these pictures. Telling them they will show their parents or spread the picture further unless….
Unless they PERFORM SEXUAL ACTS or take more pictures of themselves for them! (Stomach acting up now)
These predators know how nieve kids are. Kids are afraid of getting in trouble. They made a mistake and now don’t know what to do. They are stuck, embarrassed, and afraid to tell someone.
So since this has been plaguing my mind since I first heard about it, I did a little research. What do we do?
- First and foremost we need to continue to teach our kids the consequences of sexting. We need to be downright brutally and graphically honest. No candy coating. We need to keep reminding them. Kids have the tendency to forget quickly. Remember playing Truth or Dare? Well, word is Truth or Dare is a little more daring these days. It involves the online community and sexting. Be aware. Know what is out there. Don’t be a nieve parent.
- Kids will be kids unfortunately. They might make a mistake. We want them to know that they can come to us and tell us if they did make mistake like this. Of course we don’t want to encourage them to make the mistake, but we do want to encourage them to tell us if they did. Experts say if they come to you and tell you about someone blackmailing them with something like this, first make sure they are safe. Suicide is huge these days with these exact types of issues. Then…call the police.
- We also want our kids to know that some secrets that are okay to tell. If a friend tells them something like this, it is okay to tell you. Many times kids are more comfortable going to their friends rather than their parents. Teach your kids that sure your friend may be mad for a little while, but they will be safe and that is what matters in the long run.
Ugh…so much to think about as our kids grow! I really didn’t imagine it to be this difficult or confusing. I think a lot of it has to do with the fact that we just can’t relate to the majority of the stuff that our kids are dealing with these days.
How about you? How do you relate to our new world that our kids are growing up in?