Sexting 101: Coded Messages Exposed

by | Safety

And of you parents who have kids that have cell phones, how many of you know what your child is texting or can understand what they are texting? Probably not too many…

As parents, we all want to have the peace of mind thinking we taught our children the right things, we’ve had the sex talk, and we know that with the morals that we have instilled, they are capable young adults who know how to make good decisions. However, when it comes to peer pressure and trying to impress classmates, boys, and girls – sometimes our childrens’ judgment is compromised. We hear of other kids sexting and committing inappropriate acts, and you and think, “Oh, my child would never do that.” Well, firstly as the adults, we need to be less naive. Being a parent in today’s age of endless communication it has become harder to communicate with our kids, and ensuring our moral messages are reaching our children.

Even if you have an open line of communication with your child, would you be able to decipher a text that read “GNOC”? Children go to the extreme of writing their sexts in code, making it next to impossible for parents to understand what it is their children are texting. It is also hard to view or recover images that have been sent via text, whether they are funny images of cats or nude images of themselves.

An interview with a fourteen-year-old teen had this insight to offer after asking him if he sends sexts “no sexting just flirting over text but lots of kids send nudes and stuff.” After further questioning if kids were sending nude pictures of themselves, he added “its only girls sending [nude pictures].”

Many texts you read on your child’s phone may seem harmless enough, but are surprisingly explicit in nature. Children use acronyms and code words to communicate sexual desires or acts they want to commit. What sexting may mean to you is very different then to them. Our perceptions of sexting, and how it is utilized by tweens and teens is quite the opposite. For instance, one text can read IPN. Seems harmless, but is letting the recipient know that “I am posting naked” meaning the person responsible for such a text message is posting a self-taken nude image online.

These texts are a red flag that you need to have a sincere conversation with your child about the consequences of their words and actions. It isn’t a time to be angry, but it is necessary you are frank and find out with whom and why they are having such correspondence with. It may also be a signal that you need to monitor their online behaviour and to ensure that there are not any inappropriate pictures of them online and to ensure they are using the Internet in a safe manner.