Family Lives Responds To Snapchat: Sexting tool, or the next Instagram?

As more and more children continually engage in online activity it’s important that families discuss the potentially life-changing impact of engaging in sexting.

“The number one point to reinforce is that your child could be breaking the law and may find themselves on the sex offenders register. Something that will impact greatly on future life-opportunities and choices. As ThinkUKnow state: ‘If a teenager were to have in their possession an indecent image of another minor, they would technically be in possession of an indecent image of a child, which is an offence under the Protection of Children Act 1978 and the Criminal Justice Act 1988’.

A 2011 Family Lives survey of 800 parents and 600 children found that 67% of parents felt they were best placed to talk to their children about sexting. Only 57% of dad’s however were prepared to discuss the issue compared to 75% of mums. Dad’s came up short once again with only 40% prepared to talk about general sexual activity and online pornography compared to 50% of mum’s.

Our sexting survey also found:

54% of parents had not heard of the term ‘sexting’ and only 44% felt confident to discuss the issue with their children.

20% of children interviewed said they had experience of being shown rude pictures on a mobile phone.

17% of parents interviewed felt pressured into discussing sexting when their child was at a younger age than they would have liked.

Expectations about talking about sexting from our survey’s findings appears from our 2011 survey to be mum’s responsibility. But where possible, resident and non-resident fathers also have a role to play in educating both themselves and their children about the dangers of sexting. As new streams of social media channels flood into the family home, Family Lives encourages ALL parents to have conversations with their children about the consequences of inappropriate messaging. Parents can contact Family Lives and equip themselves with support and information on how to talk to their kids about engaging in risky behaviour.”

Jeremy Todd, Family Lives Chief Executive

Click here for a guide to sexting advice for parents