In a Wall Street Journal article, “Blame parents, not kids, for sexting,” Leonard Sax exonerates teenage girls for sexting, teenage boys for pressuring girls to expose themselves, teenagers who post the photos and kids who harass and abuse the exposed girls. He gives them a free pass because, “They’re just kids.” He blames only incompetent parents.
This is nonsense.
- It’s based on the idea that he can point the finger at only one party in a whole situation, and then, having affixed guilt and shame, tell them how to straighten out. There’s much more blame to go around and it depends on each individual situation.
- I blame boys who harass and bully the girls into exposing themselves. I blame girls who relent and expose themselves. I blame boys and girls who post these photos. I blame kids who pile on and harass and abuse the exposed girl. Does Dr. Sax really think that 11-12 year-olds don’t know the consequences of sexting? Does he really think this kind of pressuring and exposure is new, even though the technology to expose wider and faster and forever is new? Does he really think kids don’t have free will and knowledge about the possible consequences?
- I blame parents who don’t educate their kids on the dangers of sexting or of posting photos that can open someone up to attack. I blame parents who have allowed their kids to think that because someone didn’t intend to do something stupid or wrong, it doesn’t count.
Obviously, I think that each party bears the burden of doing better.
Statistics don’t really matter. What’s important is what you are doing or not doing in your individual family. Are you giving in to every demand of your children? Are you not monitoring and imposing consequences? Do you think your kids will be damaged if they don’t keep up socially or sexually with the other kids?
To kids, I say, “When are you going to transition from feeling tested to please other kids and to fit in, to testing other kids and deciding who you want to keep in your world?” Do you think you can control everything on a phone or in cyberspace?
These kind of mistakes and exposures have been around as long as we have recorded history. This is nothing new.
The best way to stop sexting, posting and sharing, and to help your family deal with bullying is to hire Dr. Ben for personalized coaching and consulting so you can:
- Develop the strength, courage, will and determination to be and to act your best resolutely, diligently and effectively.
- Develop a plan and master the skills necessary to create the bully-free life your spirit has always hungered for.
Since all tactics depend on the situation, call me at 1-877-8Bullies for expert coaching by phone or Skype.