Parental Denial: Yes, Your Child Has Seen Pornography

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Absolute Denial: “No not my child! My son doesn’t look at porn online.” “My daughter would never send a naked picture of herself.”

Very recently a young teenage girl was lured into a meeting with a college man on the messaging app Kik and she was killed. This tragic event has spurned a barrage of news articles and blogs about the dangers of the app Kik and what parents need to know. While these blogs and news articles are helpful, they are a little late.

Moment of honesty. Sometimes I get really upset at parents. Truly, I don’t get angry at parents, I get upset at denial. Kik is not new. Other messaging apps like Kik are not new. Those of us who work in the field and deal with cybersex issues have been talking about Kik and other messaging apps for a really long time. If you read a newspaper or see any online news, you know that these types of apps are all over the news. I find it hard to believe that parents don’t know that these things exist. Unfortunately, many parents are stuck in DENIAL.

Denial is a concept with which anyone who works with addiction or knows an addict is familiar. Addiction author Terrance Gorski identifies 12 types of denial (http://www.tgorski.com/clin_mod/dmc/denial_checklist.htm). An addict in denial won’t admit they have a problem, to themselves or others. Denial is not just a problem of addiction. I see Parental Denial frequently in the work that we do with sex addiction and cybersex issues.

So what do I mean by parental denial. Parental denial is a place that many parents, even aware parents, live when they think about their child’s engagement in cybersex or use of online pornography. I have encountered countless smart, aware, on-top-of-things parents, who categorically deny that their child has seen online pornography, sent a sext, received a sext, or engaged in some type of sexual activity on an app. Because of this denial, parents don’t talk to their children about their digital media use.

When their child gets into the therapy room, we find out that, yes, in fact, they have seen pornography online. Sometimes they are looking at it A LOT. Most of the time we find out that they have been sent a sexual message, though they may not have sent one back. They message all the time on a number of apps, so many in fact, that it is hard for someone over about 16 to keep up. These parents think that because they have smart, responsible, and kind children, these children would not engage in anything related to cybersex. Facts are facts. These may be great, wonderful teens but they are still teens. Teens are subject to peer pressure and the desire to fit in. The teenage brain is not yet fully developed, leaving them at the mercy of impulsiveness and often poor decision making skills.

Wouldn’t it be better if we all worked from the assumption that all teens have been or will be exposed to sexual material in the digital world. That way, it should become a PRIORITY to talk to your children about sex, sexuality and cybersex. If you are open with your child and talk about these issues, you are engaging in the best kind of prevention there is. Openness. Honesty. Acknowledging sexuality as a part of humanness that does not need to be shamed and can be discussed openly.

It upsets me to think of how many parents have become aware of their child’s cybersex engagement through law enforcement or school officials, particularly when it is avoidable. . If parents engage in open discussion with their children, the number of children exposed to scandal, legal charges or even physical harm will surely decrease.

To learn more about talking to your child about cybersex, please go to The New Age of Sex Education.

A Parent’s Report Card: The Pew Report on Parents, Teens and Digital Monitoring

Father And Son Using Laptop At Home

Father And Son Using Laptop At Home

Yesterday, the Pew Research Center published a report entitled “Parents, Teens and Digital Monitoring”. This survey assessed how parents are managing their parental roles around their child’s use of digital media. I prefer to call it a parental report card.

How do Parent’s Monitor Behavior?

The abundance of monitoring apps and filtering software might make you think that there are a lot of parents using these monitoring options. The survey determined that 39% of parents used some type of parental control to filter or monitor their teen’s online activity. A more hands on approach appears to be more common, with 69% of parents checking their teens’ social media profile. Parents of younger teens are more active in monitoring or policing their child’s behavior. This finding is consistent with other published research.

In total, 84% of parents are monitoring their teen’s behavior in some fashion. This leaves 16% of online teens using the web, social media and apps completely unmonitored.

Social Media

Social media use is an integral part of teen life. Parents know this. Even though 60% of parents do monitor their child’s social media use, considerably less are active social media participants with their children. Though the report tells us that 72% of parents use Facebook themselves, only 44% of those parents are friends with their teen. Only 9% of parents follow their child on twitter (other social media sites were not specifically quantified).

I find myself somewhat concerned about this finding. Several years ago I worked with an amazingly bright teenage girl whose level of anxiety and depression closely correlated with what was going on socially on twitter. Were people doing things without her? Where they bullying or mocking her? Was she followed or unfollowed? As this goes on in other social media forums (i.e. Instagram), parents need to be more aware and proactive.

Talking to Teens

As I am a staunch advocate for frequent discussions with children about sexuality and online content, I was very interested to see how many parents were talking to their teens about acceptable online content. I was a bit disappointed with the numbers.

The survey asked parents how frequently they talked to their teen about the following things: behavior in school, home or social lives; what to share online; content they should be viewing online; content to consume via TV, books, music, magazines or other media; and online behavior toward others. These discussions were categorized as never, rarely, occasionally, and frequently.

The good news is that upwards of 95% of parents have had the discussion about online content at least one time. However, once is not enough. Only 39% of parents frequently talked to their teen about online content and 40% frequently talked about what to share online. Parents appear to talk to teens 13-14 years old more frequently (49%) but that number drops dramatically (32%) for older teens.

COME ON PARENTS! You can do better than that!

The survey also indicated that moms do more of the talking than dads. Teens need these discussions with both parents together (if possible) or separately. There are some topics that a teen might be more comfortable discussing with a same (or different) gender parent. Let’s step up your game Dads.

Demographic variables appear to have some influence on how frequently a parent talks to a teen about online content. The parents who most frequently talk to their teens about the online world tend to be less affluent (making less than 30 thousand a year), and less educated (high school diploma or less). The highest educated and most affluent parents talk to their teen the least.

Digital Immigrant vs. Digital Native Parents

The survey clearly showed that younger parents (under 45) are more engaged in their child’s digital world. They monitor more, check websites more, talk more, have access to their children’s passwords and monitor their child’s social networking more. This result also coincides with newer research. As digital natives start to have families, they bring their level of tech savvy to their parenting.

In the end, parents are not doing a BAD job managing their child’s digital world. They are not doing a great job either. There is much room for improvement.

American College of Pediatricians Position on Pornography

In October of this year, the American College of Pediatricians published a statement on their website regarding the impact of pornography on children. This statement, written by Dr. L David Perry, summarized the current research on the effects of exposure to pornography on children and concluded that pornography is harmful to children.

The position statement focused particularly on research focused on how children (not adults) are impacted by exposure to pornography. Young children appear to have emotional distress upon exposure to pornography, including embarrassment, shock, disgust or fear. There is also some evidence that children can become obsessed with the acts they have seen online and attempt to re-enact them. This can lead to the victimization of other children.

This summary does not present this data for the first time. However it is perhaps the first time that pediatricians are being exposed to the data. The statement concludes by saying that pediatricians should be equipped to discuss pornography with parents and help them limit their young children’s exposure to pornography.

This position paper brings up yet another avenue in which we need to open up the discussion of pornography and sexting. Traditionally, these issues may or may not be brought up at home or in school. If parents have a worry about their child’s behavior, they may seek professional mental health counseling. I do not think that pornography exposure is something that is traditionally brought up duruing a pediatric doctor appointment. It should be! The more we talk about these issues, the more we end up talking about sexuality with children. This reduces the risk of stigma and shame and increases the chances of your children engaging in healthy sexual behavior throughout their lifetime.

This post is truly just to say thank you to the American College of Pediatricians for being forward thinking and taking the risk to talk about pornography exposure and children. If more doctors come to understand these issues, we will have one more venue in which we can educate children and help those who may be struggling.

For more articles on this topic, please see The New Age of Sex Education.

Not All Teen Sexting is Consensual

Last evening I was in the office with some free time as I had confused the time a client was coming in for an appointment. It was a “meant to be” moment as during that time, I had the opportunity to assist a fellow clinician with his concerns regarding an adolescent client. To keep things confidential, let’s just say the client was a young teenage man who had received sext messages from a young woman. The consultation started as a concern about mandatory reporting. In the state of Pennsylvania, this did not meet mandatory reporting criteria. However, it was a great teaching moment for both the young man and the clinicians.

It is rather common knowledge now that many teens sext. This behavior has become a part of their culture, courtship and relationships. We still are frequently seeing news articles about teens getting in trouble for sexting either in school or legally. Though we understand that this is part of the new “normal” of teenage communication, we need to be cognizant of the difference between consensual and non-consensual sexting.

This young man was getting these sexts from a girl and he told his therapist they made him uncomfortable. He didn’t really want to receive them. He didn’t send anything back but was confused as to how to respond. Bravo for this young man’s courage to bring this to his therapist. It brings to mind psychoeducation that we do for sex offenders. What is the difference between consent, compliance and coercion?. What do they mean? (I cannot attribute the source of these appropriate descriptions.)

Consent: When a partner agrees with an action. The partner must understand the proposed action, know what society’s standards are for this action, be aware of the consequences and alternatives, be assured that a decision to disagree will be respected as much as a decision to agree, voluntarily agree and be mentally competent

Compliance: When a person goes along without actively resisting even though they may think it is wrong and doesn’t want to participate.

Coercion: Using tricks, bribes, force, or intimidation to get someone to go along with what you want to do. Coercion is a tool a person uses to get a victim to comply or cooperate.

As you can see by the definition, these concepts are clearly different. In this case, the young man was complying, as he did not want to participate. Compliance is NOT consent. For adolescents, there may be social consequences for standing up to someone in these situations which makes room for the possibility of coercion or compliance in sexting.

This young man was advised to clearly state a boundary with the girl sexting him. Please do not send any more sext messages. If she does not comply with his boundary, he then has the option to take the issue to the authorities.

Though a behavior may be “normal” among teens, we must take the time to educate them the true meaning of consent. Consent does not just apply to in-person sexual behavior, it also applies to sexting.

For more articles on sexting please go to www.thenewageofsexeducation.com

Down the Rabbit Hole: How many clicks until your child finds hard core pornography?

Computer Key - Porn

A few weeks ago, a client shared with me an experience he had with his child. Let me start by saying that I work with pornography addicts, and this gentleman has been in recovery for years. He is VERY knowledgeable about online pornography, it’s dangers and how easy it is to access pornography online.

My client related that his wife had found pornography on his son’s phone. His son is in the 12 year old range. My client and his wife are savvy folks. They handled this situation and conversation with their son with grace, knowledge, compassion and most of all, lack of judgment. The point of this story is not that he found pornography on his 12 year old son’s phone, that is not an uncommon experience. It is not that he and his wife handled it beautifully. That, unfortunately, is not so common. The point is that my client, a pornography addict in recovery, was shocked by WHAT he found on his son’s phone. Rape Pornography.

This young man went down the rabbit hole. That is what many of my clients call the process. You start with an innocuous image (non pornography but normally something risque in a sidebar ad) and start your journey down the rabbit hole. Searching the web for anything is a process of clicks. It is the clicking process that can start the trance for which the internet is so famous. This happens if you are clicking links on Zappos.com, Wikipedia or pornography. The internet sucks you in and you end up on some site, three hours later, with no idea how you ended up looking at the page you are looking at. (For a great discussion of this, check out Phillip Zimbardo’s Ted Talk on The Demise of Guys webpage).

This young man clicked on a non-pornographic link on a webpage he was viewing. He told his father that in a series of very FEW clicks, he ended up watching pornography that simulated (we hope) rape scenes. It is this easy. Three or four clicks into adolescent curiosity online and an impressionable young mind is watching violent pornography. It peaked his curiosity and on a subsequent visit to the internet, he typed rape pornography in the search box.

Research tells us that it is not uncommon for adolescents to view pornography. It is now seen, in some circles, as part of the process of adolescent sexual awakening and awareness. However, what research also tells us is that adolescents who are frequent users of pornography have views that support the objectification of women and have distorted views on the act of sex itself. Violent pornography sends messages to minds that are not yet ready to fully understand them, about the role of consent and violence in sex. These messages are not good.

My client was not shocked that his son was viewing pornography. He was shocked at the type of pornography he was watching. He was upset at himself about his own denial. He never thought this would happen. This is the point of my story today. Parents are often in denial, even parents who are more in tune to the technological world.

If your child is older than ten, chances are he or she has seen pornography. If they are 12 or older, chances are they have seen quite a bit of pornography. Parents need to talk to their kids about internet pornography. This conversation has to happen not just once, but often. Parents need to know what types of pornography their children might view and be able to talk about that too. Has your child seen violent pornography? Have they seen pornography with animals, same sex participants, or even child pornography? Parents need to prepare to talk about all of these things if they want to truly help their child navigate this online world in the healthiest way possible.

For more information and similar writings check out The New Age of Sex Education.  For information on Dr. Week’s practice visit Sexual Addiction Treatment Services.

Empowering Kids to Cope with Online Risk

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Part of my goal to slow down this summer is to catch up on my reading. Recently, I was introduced to the work of several researchers at Penn State (Wisniewski, Jia, Carroll, Xu & Ronsen). This team of researchers from Penn State are in the College of Information Sciences and Technology and some of their work relates to teen safety online.

This spring, the team of Penn State researchers presented data at the Computer Supported Cooperative Work and Social Computing Conference. The paper: Preventative vs. Reactive. How Parental Mediation Influences Teens’ Social Media Privacy Behaviors won an award. Looking at parenting styles in relationship to teens’ computer use is critical. The majority of what the average person is exposed to on the topic of teen safety involves filters and blocks. This is counter to what the research says is the most effective way to handle adolescents online behavior. Blocking something doesn’t make it go away and often creates secrecy as teens will find a way to get around the blocks or use an unfiltered device.

I have previously written about parenting style and how it affects kids’ behavior online. Each researcher defines parenting style differently. In this situation, two parental mediation strategies were defined. The first, Direct Parental Intervention, involves parents intervening through the use of parental controls on a device, filtering software and/or setting up social media privacy settings for them. The second mediation strategy, Active Parental Mediation, involves talking to the teen about the information they post and reviewing the information that the teen posts with them. This is a more communication based strategy.

In discussing this research, we also have to look at what they determined to be risky online behavior. The majority of what I write about is risky online sexual behavior, but there are other things kids do online that are risky. For this study, risky online behavior was defined as sharing of information such as name, birth date and relationship status, sharing of sensitive information such as videos, phone numbers and partaking in risky interactions which could be talking to strangers online or sharing location. They also looked at whether or not teens engaged in risk-coping behaviors which were defined as talking to others about the situation or taking corrected measures to counter the risk (blocking, deleting posts, closing an account.)

While both parenting styles are effective, they are so in different ways. Parents who directly intervene do have children who are more cautious online. These teens sought advice as to how to manage online privacy and didn’t really need to take any corrective actions. Therefore, this parenting style helped teens avoid risk.

Though avoidance of risk may feel like it is a good thing, this avoidance has some side effects. Direct intervention and avoidance may prevent teens from experiencing some of the benefits of the internet. It also does not teach kids how to cope with risk and learn from their mistakes. Children whose parents were active mediators did have more autonomy online. They did make more risky disclosures but were afforded the ability to learn how to deal with the online world. The authors suggest that “Parental active mediation allows teens to be more experiential and reflective because their parents are not attempting to directly control their social media privacy behaviors.” This research suggests, like the work of Carol Dweck and others, that we need to make mistakes in order to learn how to cope and be effective.

The idea of allowing their child to take some online risks and engage in some risky online behaviors in terms of privacy might feel uncomfortable to many parents. Most parents fear that if their child is not monitored they will be more at risk for contact with strangers online. This is not necessarily so. The research indicated that teens connecting with strangers or being contacted by others in an uncomfortable manner is something teens worry about too. This risk taking behavior by teens was not associated with either parenting style, meaning that being more restrictive did not make this less likely to happen.

As I continue to advocate, the research indicates that parents have to have open conversations with their children about these issues. You can’t just block and not discuss! The authors also suggested the need for parental monitoring software that can be used to facilitate conversations with parents and children. An app such as Pocket Guardian is a great solution as it does not block the device but alerts the parent when certain types of messages are received or sent.

We cannot prevent our children’s exposure to sex, risk and cyberbullying. This exposure happens even with the most stringent blocking software in place. We need to educate ourselves and our children. We need to have these difficult conversations. We need to teach children how to cope with risk in a healthy way.

To quote Dr. Wisniewski, “You don’t want to parent strictly based on fear, you want to parent based on empowerment.

What were teens doing online last year?

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At the beginning of the month, the Pew Research Center published their most recent report on teens and technology entitled “Teens, Social Media & Technology Overview 2015”. The Pew Research Center always provides great insight into the use of technology by both adults and teenagers. This report, taken from data obtained in the fall of 2014, continues to provide helpful insight. Though others have published on this topic earlier in the month, I wanted to take the time to write about the report in the context of my work in prevention and parental education.

The results of the survey are interesting not just because they provide some idea of what teens are doing in the mobile world, but the study also highlights the differences in usage between genders, race and socioeconomic classes.

Most American teens have a mobile phone and almost 75% of all American teens have a smartphone. These numbers are higher for African American teenagers. 68% of all teens age 13-14 have access to or have their own smartphone. These teens are using the internet all the time, with 24% of teens saying that they are on the internet “almost constantly” and 56% saying they are on the internet several times a day. Minority teens are going online more frequently than white teens and teens from wealthy families are online less than those from lower income families.

We all know that teens text and they text a lot. However, what many parents don’t realize is that their teens are not necessarily just texting via their phone, they are also texting via messaging apps. The study found that 91% of teens text and 33% of teens surveyed text via apps such as Kik or What’s App. Minority teens and teens from lower income families are more likely to use messaging apps and girls are more likely to use messaging apps than boys. The important message for parents here is that you need to know what messaging apps are out there and what apps your kids are using.

Anonymous apps such as After School and Yik Yak have been in the news frequently, mostly dealing with problems of cyberbullying. The study found that 11% of teens reported using these apps. Hispanic teens were two times more likely to use these apps than white teens. These numbers are actually good news. Though the negative features of these apps often make sensational headlines, the number of teens using these apps is relatively small.

Many parents may not be aware that teens use video chat apps with some frequency. This could be the more widely known ones such as Skype and Facetime or lesser known avenues such as Oovoo or Omegle. Parents need to gain some knowledge in this area since almost half of teens are talking (47%) in this manner. Girls video chat more than boys.

We all know that teens are avid social media users. This again makes headlines. Particularly, there have been a lot of headlines about how teens are leaving Facebook for other social media outlets. This is not necessarily true. Apparently, teens are using multiple social media apps at the same time. The survey showed that 89% of teens use at least one social media outlet and nearly ¾ use two or more sites. Facebook is still the most popular social media site that is used with 71% of teens surveyed using the site.

What other social media sites are teens using? Over half of teens use the photo sharing site Instagram. 41% of teens are also using Snapchat. Girls and older teenagers are more likely to use Snapchat than boys or younger teens. Teens are also using Twitter with 33% of all teens on this social media site. Lesser used social media sites are Tumblr (14%) and Vine (24%).

I really appreciate the data we get from these types of surveys. As an adult and a digital immigrant, I am often not the first to know about what apps and technology teens are using. The data from Pew is generated directly from teens themselves and gives us a better picture of what they are doing in the digital world. It also gives parents an idea of what they need to be aware of regarding their children’s use of technology.
Though surveys are great, I will end this post with the writings of an actual teen. The post seen at https://medium.com/backchannel/a-teenagers-view-on-social-media-1df945c09ac6 does not have an author listed so I can only credit the 19 year old college student who wrote it anonymously. I love this post as it is written by an actual teen, not an adult talking about what teens do. You can read his post for full details but here is his breakdown of a party, which I love:

“ You post yourself getting ready for the party, going to the party, having fun at the party, leaving at the end of the party, and waking up the morning after the party on Snapchat.

On Facebook, you post the cute, posed picture you took with your friends at the party with a few candids (definitely no alcohol in these photos).

On Instagram, you pick the cutest one of the bunch to post to your network.”

In summary, as a parent, you have to be aware of everything that is out in the digital realm. It is likely we will always be a bit behind the eight ball unless we are hard core techies ourselves. Studies like this from Pew help us get a leg up on understanding what most teens are doing in this period of time, which is likely a better barometer than the sensationalized media.

For more information on Dr. Weeks Prevention Project: The New Age of Sex Education: How to talk to your teens about cybersex and pornography, please click here.

How to keep kids safe online and build trust

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Over the weekend, an article came out in the Daily Mail  from the UK discussing children as young as ten who are fighting pornography addiction. While this might have been news for the general public, this is something that is common knowledge in the field of sexual addiction treatment. The age of those addicted to pornography continues to get younger and younger.

Many parents, when faced with the either the media buzz or the reality of what their child is doing online, look for resources to help. The most common resource in this arena is filtering software. Traditional filtering software blocks access to certain websites or types of content. Depending on the software, a parent can block content via a pre-determined age delineation, block specific web pages, block app downloads, block social media usage and get a report of what sites their child is visiting on their phone, tablet and computer. Another option for parents are “spying” apps. These apps make the parent privy to every single thing that happens on the device. Parents can read emails, text messages, instant messaging, etc.

While these apps can be helpful in some cases and are created to help increase safe digital use, they are not fail safe and may not be the best option for a child depending on their age. The major flaw in any type of monitoring app is that a teen is likely to figure out a way around it. The digital native generation is often more tech savvy than their parents. As soon as an app comes out for a device, there are youtube videos published that will teach the child how to get around it. A monitoring app only stops a child from watching pornography on their own device. If they don’t get around it on their phone, for example, they can still get access to inappropriate content on a friend’s device. As the Daily Mail article explains, one child accessed the neighbor’s wifi when his parents took away his device.

I think that blocking or filter software can be very helpful in some cases. Often, a parent will install the software and think that all is well. They then do not talk to their child about content online, digital sexuality or cyberbullying. There is the thought that “if I put on the app, my child will be safe and I don’t have to deal with it.” This is very faulty thinking. Even if the app decreases your child’s access to digital sexuality, it should NEVER be used as a replacement for discussion about the topic. Filtering or blocking software is something that I would employ for younger children when you want to prevent inadvertent access to adult content online. This method is great for what Dr. Laurence Steinberg calls the starting the engine phase of adolescent brain development. In this phase, when puberty first arrives, the young teenage brain lacks a braking system and self control.

However, as a teenager gets older and his or her brain continues to develop, they begin to learn and work to master self control. This is the time to start to develop trust. If you, as a parent, filter your child’s content until she or he is 18 and never talk about it or give them a chance at self mastery, you can potentially set them up to have problems when they are on their own, in college or generally without strong adult supervision. Continuing to completely filter technology does nothing to foster the growth of trust in the relationship between parent and child. Instead of using blocking software or spying on a teen, a parent could institute a transparency policy. Perhaps there is no filter but the parent has open access to all content on the phone if they wish to see it. This technique, when used in concert with open and frequent communication can be effective and works to build a trusting relationship between parent and child.

If a parent wishes to continue to monitor the content of their child, an app such as PocketGuardian might be a better option. This app provides parents with an alert that there is content on the child’s phone that is potentially sexual or bullying without giving the parent the actual content. This app allows the parent to have a discussion with the child about digital use while maintaining some level of privacy for the child.

Ultimately, the decision to filter, block or monitor your child’s phone, tablet and/or computer is a very personal one. The monitoring industry will tell you that it is a wise decision and will protect your child. This is likely true for some children. What we do know from both clinical work and the research is that, where there is a will there is a way, and monitoring is not terribly effective for protecting children online. The research also tells us that open and honest communication with parents and a good parental relationship is a protective factor against high risk sexual behavior.

PocketGuardian: New App to Help Parents Detect Sexting and Cyberbullying

As a clinician who is very interested in prevention, I always have my eye out for new strategies or ways to help parents be aware of what their children are doing online and on their smartphones. We all see enough news stories to know that, though not all children are sexting, a large enough number of kids are sexting, bullying and being bullied that we all need to be aware.

This morning I heard about a new app developed by two dads from Maryland who both happen to be software developers. According to an interview on CBS DC, the dad’s were inspired to create this app after hearing about and discussing a news story about a student who committed suicide. The teens suicide was due to cyberbullying and the fall out of a nude photo being passed around. The dads developed a new app called PocketGuardian.

Like myself, these two dads came to understand that most parents do not know what their children are doing and find out too late if they are sexting. The app they have developed is different from traditional monitoring apps or software. Traditional monitoring or filtering block a user from accessing inappropriate apps or websites. Some apps allow the parent to be privy to every single text the users sends and receives. PocketGuardian is different. The app states that is NOT for spying.

PocketGuardian sends an alert to the parent if the app detects sexually explicit messages, nude photographs or text messages that could be seen as bullying. The app does not send the parent the full content of the message. This way, the parent can be alerted to what the child is doing but the child can maintain some sense of privacy. The parent can then initiate a discussion with their child about their behavior. I really like this model of monitoring. By the parents not seeing the exact message and being alerted only to the fact that there is an inappropriate message, the shame of being caught in this act might be lessened for the child. Also, the parent’s embarrassment might also be lessened, as they don’t know exactly what was said. Lessening the embarrassment of the parent increases the chances of them having a difficult discussion as we know from research that one of the main things that keeps parents from talking to their children about sex is embarrassment.

PocketGuardian has not yet launched but will be available for iOS and Android platforms. You can sign up on the website for information about the launch dates.

This is smart technology for smart and informed parents.