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DAMAGED REPUTATIONS (and Sexting)

The Internet doesn’t forget anything.

22

Percent of teen girls who have sent or posted nude/semi-nude photos or videos of themselves

(PC’s n’ Dreams).

40

Percent of teen boys who have posted sexually suggestive messages online

(PC’s n’ Dreams).

1

Seconds it takes to ruin a reputation for years.

How long does it take to heal after something awful goes viral?

It’s terrifying what can happen in just 140 characters – a tweet sent in anger. A semi-nude Snap attached to 100 text messages. Slut pages, revenge porn, Tinder food stamps. All have potentially life-changing consequences. In our experience, parents who are observant, engaged and informed often have children who know how to handle the Internet responsibly.

praying

Ephesians 5:1-3

“Imitate God, therefore, in everything you do, because you are his dear children.  Live a life filled with love, following the example of Christ. He loved us and offered himself as a sacrifice for us, a pleasing aroma to God. Let there be no sexual immorality, impurity, or greed among you. Such sins have no place among God’s people. Obscene stories, foolish talk, and coarse jokes—these are not for you. Instead, let there be thankfulness to God.”

Of course, this is the goal. But, what about when a bad choice is made? Parents must work hard if they want to help their child recover from poor digital choices. This might include hours of time researching the right counselor, and maybe even finding a second counselor when the first one doesn’t work out. As parents, we must remember that any amount of discomfort and embarrassment we initially feel when looking for help will dissipate if we can find healing for our sons and daughters. Read about next steps here.

NEXT STEPS: To stay in front of situations that could damage your child’s reputation, we’ve developed eight strategies for parents that can help create a safer Internet experience for your children. Sign up for our newsletter below  to receive updates (where is says “STAY UP TO DATE”). If you are in an emergency situation where your child is in trouble or is a victim, please call law enforcement immediately.