Mommy Mayhem · School Talk

British Police Officer Shares a Story and Calls on Parents to Help Buck the Dangerous—and Often Illegal—Trend of Kids Sharing Nude Photos

I can remember like it was yesterday. A mom friend and I were chatting by the concession stand at an evening baseball game and she began to describe to me how common it had become for girls her daughter’s age—9th grade— to send sexually suggestive and even nude pictures to boys via text, Instagram, and Snapchat. I must confess that while I had read about this phenomenon and seen it on the occasional newscast, I was naive about how ubiquitous the practice was. I wasn’t “in the know” at all yet in any personal way because my boys were still young and my oldest didn’t even have a cell phone yet.

Fast forward to life now as the mom of two middle schoolers and I feel an important responsibility to be part of the solution. I have had more than a few conversations about the topic with my middle school aged son and I certainly hit on a lot of what this police officer from England advises—I also realized that I could do better. So tonight, I used this Twitter thread with my own sons and read it word for word. (I did make a few adjustments to the British English, changing “mates” to friends and “offence” to “against the law.”) It seems to me that if are to stop this harmful and potentially incriminating trend, parents of boys and girls need to see ourselves as partners. And educators, coaches, and others who mentor adolescents have a hugely important role to play as well.

I’m grateful that this 14 year veteran Yorkshire police officer, Sally Baines, took the time and initiative to share her experience, concerns, and advice on Twitter to help protect children around the world and to provide guidance to parents on how they too must be part of the work.

What do you think?

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