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Instagram makes ‘sexting’ easy and normal: Inspect your child’s ‘selfies'

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Craig Gross, founder of XXXChurch, a non-profit dedicated to prevention and recovery from sex and porn addiction, wants parents to know that if you do not educate your child early about the value of sex, they will learn it the painful way from social media.

Last Thursday WBAL news station reported a disturbing trend in Glen Burnie, Maryland, that involved posting naked and sexually explicit pictures via Instagram to a site called, “Glen Burnie Hoes”, featuring high school and middle school students in Anne Arundel County.

The troubling aspect of this report is two-fold: 1) posting nude pictures of minors is not considered child pornography, and so it is legal, and 2) the children are supplying these photos using the “selfie” feature on their smart phones, otherwise known as “sexting”.

Modern youth have greater access to sexually explicit content via social media and texting, and Gross says they do not realize that there are consequences from casual and exploitive sexual experiences that carry over into their future marriages.

So it is up to parents to prepare children to handle it responsibly.

“Previous generations of parents never really talked about sex. It was more of a taboo subject, until it became a problem,” Gross said. “Your kids are going to witness it in some form or another so plan on talking about it. Early.”

An angry mom in the WBAL report said she had warned her daughter to not do this, and also indicated her daughter complained she was always in her business. “Apparently I was not in her business enough,” the mom is quoted.

Gross’ tips to talk about sex with your child

  1. Calm down and listen to what they already know about the subject of sex. It may not be the right things, but you need to start where they are.
  2. Explain that sex is a good thing at the right time in your life. Just because it is something you shouldn’t do right now, in the manner your peers are doing it, doesn’t mean it is a bad thing.
  3. Gross’s book, Touchy Subjects, goes into detail how to approach meaningful and edifying conversations about sex with your child. The tips include start early and start with the basics (don’t download everything at once) and how to have age-appropriate conversations. The book includes examples of dialogue to help.

On Apr. 27, Life Community Church in Roseville is hosting a symposium with local experts to help parents understand what children are experiencing and how to prepare their children to contend with internet porn and sexting trends. Registration is free:

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