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When you read the stories in the news about teens getting caught sexting, do you blame the parents? Should parents monitor their children's cell phones?

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Absolutely not. The only way parents can be remotely blamed is because they don't prevent sexting.They dont follow up on their kids. I currently don't have a cell phone for reasons of "misuse", if you will. I was harassed by my boyfriend for nude or dirty photos. I remember telling him that i didn't have a camera phone. I remember giving every excuse in the book. I finally caved in because I didn't realize how much he was using me. He clearly didn't care at all about me but I was too foolish to see that. I do now and I'm sharing my input because I want moms to understand their teens and prevent what has happened to me.
Cell phones actually seem to be a root cause of many teenage issues these days...sexting, texting and driving, poor grammar and punctuation...if you are interested in reading more about some of these issues and ways parents can help to keep their teens safe, check out: http://allstateteendriver.com/ - This site is sponsored by Allstate Insurance but strictly relates to what I mentioned above and not to the sale of their insurance or policies.

Alexisj
-advocate for Allstate
It is somewhat like saying if we take away all guns, there will be fewer murders. No. There is always another way to murder, and there is always another way to be an exhibitionist. I think Bree Min had it right. This is about how teens feel about themselves and how much tpower they want to feel, how much they want to be liked or accepted. What I would say is that music videos are an enormous influence. I used to be in the music industry (many years ago) and I worked at a major label. My job was to go out and listen to new artists and bands. I went to many night clubs and concerts. There is were some outrageous acts, but nothing compared to what I sat down and viewed on MTV. (I write about and mentor young people and like to keep up to date with what they are seeing) I am not a prude, but my jaw dropped. I came away thinking how in the world can teens have a sense of inner boundaries and/or respect for personal privacy when the message in these extremely porn oriented videos tells them the exact opposite. Lyrics to songs, too, have become blatantly graphic. We cannot take away the Ipod. We cannot monitor all of TV. We cannot turn off the car radio. We, as parents, (and my son is now 23) have to be engaged with what our kids are listening to and viewing, and talk to them about it. I write about this all the time. Ask THEM wat they think about a song or a video. Ask THEM what THEY think is raunchy? Why or why not? Ask THEM what they think about sexting? What would they do if they weren't hired because of nude pixs? How would they feel if their own kids saw those pix? What if we, their MOM decided to become a cougar and date someone not that much older than they are? iAnd what value do they place on their bodies? Lots and lots of what if that were YOU, what would YOU do in that situation, how do YOU feel about this?We parents can get a lot of our 2 cents in, if we listen and then share thoughts with our teens. They need to hear themselves explain themselves. We would be surprised at how much our teens just do without ever really explaining why? And once they do, they are very inconsistent. They also need to hear our philosophy. For more of what I write about this go to my website: www.MomOpinionMatters.com and click on Book On-Line: Chapter 5-Philosophy vs Rules.
Bree, i am so happy for you that you came to the realization you did. Those ahah moments are turning points in very positive directions. You will be great!
If you feel the need to monitor your childs phone then they don't need it. I have a 14 year old and a 13 year old. The 14 year old has good grades,is into sports and has a cell to keep in touch. She has no problem with giving me her phone.The 13 year would never get a phone.Why? Her actions tell me she doesn't need one.She is boy crazy and doesn't get along well with others(girls).And her grades are poor.She has to earn a phone by showing she can be trusted,raising her grades,controlling her tongue. and her attitude.
We live with our children ,it is our job to know them ,protect them,and watch over them.

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