A new survey has found that as many as 30 percent of 14 to 24-year olds have either sent or received sexually explicit text messages. Pediatrician Dr. Marilyn Maxwell of Saint Louis University School of Medicine offers some parenting advice for talking to children about appropriate and safe cellular phone and internet use.
"It’s important that you let your children know where you stand, what your values are and what you expect of them," said Maxwell. "Your children are going to make their own decisions, but if you’ve been clear about your expectations and reasoning, there’s a good chance they’ll listen."
Maxwell says fathers should educate themselves about the technology their kids are using in order to have a better grasp on what their kids are using them for. This can include everything from getting a Facebook page to sending tweets via Twitter.
And, before they give their children a cell phone or access to the internet, parents should go over what’s appropriate and what’s not. Keeping the family computer in a common area like a kitchen or living room can help monitor how kids are using it as well.
Parents should also get to know their kids’ friends and their parents, according to Maxwell. Encourage your children to invite friends over as a good way to stay on top of who’s who in their social circle.