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I believe my answer will depend and how close of a friendship we have. If the
friendship is so close like if she was my sister I would be more direct about the
situation. However if the friendship isnt that close I would take the situation more
carefully. Regardless of the situation I would ask her, what she thinks is the
motivation that provoked her daughter to do this type of behavior. I would ask what
she thinks about it and as a mother what are the boundaries at home. If she knows
her daughters activities I would counsel her to talk with her daughter more than a
mother and daughter talk, as a friends and at a more mature level. Explain how
dangerous sexting is even a felony that can result in years behind bars.
Regardless of how common sexting is or how abnormal and unexpected we should
we consider it, it is against the law and presents criminal justice authorities with the
problem of how to police teens who send and receive sext messages (Strong &
Cohen, The Marriage and Family Experience 12 th ed. Chapter six, Understanding
Sex and Sexualities pg.194/195)
Family communication and a good relationship between mother and daughter
would be the key to let the young girl understand how important she is and how
much her self-esteem can be affected. And how tragic the consequences can be if
her pictures are going to go farther than she intends them to go. Becoming her
daughters best friend will help to change her attitude, get some rules established
and make sure the rules are followed precisely. Taking her phone away under certain
conditions may help. As well as giving her examples and consequences that others
have suffered as a result of inappropriate pictures. Regardless of how much these
pictures are showing Punishment is a more vexing matter. Simply stated, sexting
is a crime, and in many states, those who send sexually suggestive photos of
someone under the age of 18 can be arrested and charged with distributing child
pornography even if the images are of oneself and the exchanges is consensual.
(Strong & Cohen, The Marriages and Family Experience 12 th ed. Chapter six,
Understanding Sex and Sexuality pg. 195).
How easy our children can get in dangerous situation or activities depending on
what type of friends they have or pressures they feel as teenagers can make a
dramatic life change and can affect the rest of their lives for good or bad. There is
cases that have been reported and caught by the police and the results are so
intense that those involved in these circumstances have deprived themselves of
opportunities of higher education, jobs and a better life. Another serious
consequence is becoming addicted to drugs or alcohol with an uncertain future. The
other consequences will depend and who they are sharing this sexting material
with. If it is with somebody that they know or someone online. One case that I
personally remember is a 12 year old girl that got a message from a friend. This
friend had a connection with an older man that was addicted to pornography. He
started stalking the little girl and kidnapped her and killed her.
Strong B, & Cohen, T.F. (2014) The Marriage and Family Experience. Intimate
Relationship in Changing Society. (12th ed.)Belmont C.A. Wadsworth