In this episode Ayme and I discuss the problem of sharing nudes, or what some call sexting. (It's a big deal!) She will tell the story of how she felt propelled into getting involved in this arena and share her prescription for overall digital health. Hopefully, by the end of this episode you will have online privacy firmly in place on the list of things you want to teach your kids.

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Hello everyone. It feels so good to be back. The last couple of weeks have been crazy with technical problems and then the legislation I talked about in Melissa Blair’s episode suddenly became very time-intensive. So I apologize if you’ve felt neglected.

 

But I’m back and so happy to be able to share my new friend Ayme with you today.

 

Ayme and I met a few months ago through instagram after she discovered Raising Today’s Kids and just reached out to connect with me about it. I learned about her and what she’s doing in San Diego, California and felt like it was really important to share with all of you.

 

So today, Ayme and I are going to talk about the problem of sharing nudes, or what some call sexting. She will tell the story of how she felt propelled into getting involved in this arena, and share her prescription for overall digital health.

 

Hopefully, by the end of this episode you will have online privacy firmly in place on the list of things you want to teach your kids before they leave the nest. We wouldn’t give our kids the keys to the car without a driver’s license, and we shouldn’t send them online on their own without training them about these important issues.  So here we go…my friend Ayme from We Thrive Online.


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Conversation with Ayme

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I’m so grateful for technology, for connecting me with Ayme. She is such a force for good!

 

I’ve been thinking a little more about the harms of being emotionally vulnerable online. The trend for young girls to post videos of themselves asking the question, “am I ugly?” basically exposes them to all the mean and hateful people in the world. Of course they want to be told they’re beautiful. They long to feel attractive, because media teaches that that’s where their value lies. But instead of being reassured of their beauty, they are often bombarded with hate. You see comments that range from, “You’re so ugly you made my dog cry” to “If I looked like you I would kill myself.” If that weren’t bad enough, there are predators who prey on the vulnerable girls by saying things like, “don’t listen to them, you are beautiful…I’d love to see another picture.” So they build a false friendship….leading down the rabbit hole toward sextortion and other forms of abuse.

 

So, what can we learn from this? Kids do need love and validation. At the very least, they should receive it from us, their parents, but my goal is to ultimately point my kids toward God who is the source of love and validation. That is what will give them real confidence and discovery of who they are. They don’t have to prove their value to Him. When they know who they are in His eyes, they can stand tall and strong regardless of the Hot or Not scale, snapchat messages and YouTube comments that try to bring them down.

 

If you’re interested in reading the Book Ayme spoke of, it’s called American Girls - Social Media and the Secret Lives of Teenagers by Nancy Jo Sales.  I haven’t read it, but it sounds intense, so read with caution.

 

Remember your child needs you. You are uniquely qualified to address issues of trading nudes and online privacy with your kids. You can do this. And remember what Ayme said, you are not alone. So many of us parents are in this together. So reach out when you need it. You might be just what someone else needs too!

 

Thanks for listening and have an awesome day!

Brittany