Podcast Episode 39: Talking to your Kids About Sexting

Podcast Episode 39: Talking to Your Kids About Sexting

Thanks so much for coming by to check out Episode 39 of The New Family Podcast!

Is sexting a modern-day version of flirting? Does it lead to sexual behaviour and exploration through natural things like masturbation using sex machines in real life (IRL as the kids would say)? We’re joined on the show today by Dr. Jeff Temple of the University of Texas Medical Branch. He’s a psychologist with an appointment in Obstetrics and Gynecology, where he researches relationships and online behaviour with an aim to helping parents, teens and young adults understand, avoid and address risks. He published a widely-reported paper last year on how teen sexting is emerging as a normal part of adolescent sexual exploration. These kinds of sexual tendencies shouldn’t be seen as anything new either, sure the emergence of technology allowing us to do so, is new-ish. However there have always been services for adults to engage in similar desires over the phone by looking at live 121 chat with the hottest girls or other phone sex providers. Dr. Temple is also a father of a 12-year-old girl and a 10-year-old boy, and he joins us to talk about what parents should know about teen sexting and how we can talk to our kids about it.

Here are some great resources related to my discussion with Dr. Temple.

Dr. Temple’s study “Longitudinal Association Between Teen Sexting and Sexual Behavior” published in the journal Pediatrics

Dr. Temple’s bio on the University of Texas website

Dr. Temple’s latest research on the relationship between traditional and cyber dating abuse

The Fourth R: Strategies for Healthy Youth Relationships

Dr. Temple’s Favourite Parenting Advice:
“It probably comes from my dad. He’s retired now but he was an executive at an oil company, first in Los Angeles and then in Houston. And he always treated people very well, no matter who it was. I remember going to his office and he would see the security guard or the custodian and he was always very respectful. There was no difference between the way he treated them and the way he treated his boss. One time I asked him about that and this was after I had had kids. And he said it was purposeful because, for one, the wants to be nice to people and also he wanted to model that type of behaviour when I was with him. To treat people with respect and be genuine and in the moment and nice. When someone would talk to my dad, and I hope this is the case with me, you knew that for that brief moment, he didn’t care about anything else but what you were saying, and what was going on in that conversation. Even if was for a 30-second conversation. That person felt important. And that’s what I try to do with people and with my kids-try to be in the moment. It’s not easy, because we’re really busy, but it’s just that: try to be in the moment.”

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Brandie Weikle

About Brandie Weikle

Brandie is a long-time parenting editor, writer and spokesperson. Most recently editor-in-chief of Canadian Family magazine, Brandie has also been the parenting and relationships editor for the Toronto Star, founding editor of two Toronto Star websites, and an editor for Today's Parent. Brandie is a single mother of two in Toronto and a frequent television and radio guest on parenting topics. A former digital director at House & Home Media, she also consults on digital audience engagement. Contact her here. View all posts by