Here is yet another disappointing story that displays the level of sexual exploitation of our youth in this country. Recently, you may have heard about the high school teacher from Fountain Fort Carson School District, who admitted to having sexual relations with a female student. Reportedly, the girl’s mother found over 1,500 messages from the teacher on her daughter’s cell phone. The teenager admitted to having had sex with him twice.
Let’s face it. This society has taken a wrong turn when it comes to sexualized behavior. It is all over the television, internet, radio, and text messages. As parents, we are aware that there are predators out there. We need to be vigilant and educate our teens about the seriousness of being involved with adults. We may not be able to rid this world of sexual predators, but we can equip our children, the best we can, to deal with situations like these.
Consider taking these proactive steps with your teen:
First, talk to your child about sexual relationships. Discuss your expectations. Allow your teen to discuss his or her feelings about it openly too. However, the parent should set the boundaries.
Define what is sexually inappropriate and paint a clear picture, such as getting involved with married individuals. You may think adultery is an obvious no-no to your teen, but adultery has become commonplace in entertainment and news media.
Provide concrete examples of seduction techniques used by adults. Your teen will be able to recognize it when it occurs. Tell your teen what to do and who to contact if it does occur.
Meet and greet whomever comes to pick up your teen from your home. This particular teacher came to the teens house to pick her up.
Know your teens’ friends, especially his/her girlfriend or boyfriend.
Monitor your teens’ text messages and phone calls periodically to stay abreast of what is going on in his or her life. You are not snooping. You are taking safety precautions. That teacher sent over 1,000 messages. Just think what could have happened had the parent found the first, second, or third message.
You cannot monitor your teen 24 hours a day, seven days a week. You can only educate, love, nurture, and support them. Take the time out to shape your teen into someone who recognizes a seduction scheme and knows how to deal with it so that the predator is exposed, and your teen avoids an unfortunate event.
If you need further assistance with your teen, contact your local behavioral health agency.