Hello, teens? Are you listening? Stop putting up trashy MySpace pictures--seriously, STOP!
A few more racy pics from Miley Cyrus, plus some shockers from former Seventh Heaven star Mackenzie Rosman ("Ruthie"), are heating up the Web (and sending chills down the spines of moms everywhere). When will it end?
Psychologist Dr. Lisa Boesky says, "The challenge with talking to your kids about these photos is that the celebs seem to get positive reinforcement as a result," she says. "Miley is more popular than ever, Vanessa got a role in High School Musical 3...there are seemingly no consequences. Instead, the 'good' girls just get a bit of an edge to their image, which teens see as a good thing."
If your child is posting racy photos online, Dr. Lisa suggests doing two things:
- Ask her what kind of message she is trying to send with these photos.
If being overtly sexy makes her feel prettier or more beautiful, talk to her about other healthier ways she can achieve that feeling.
- Don't focus on long-term consequences.
Your teen doesn't care what her future employer will think when he or she sees the photos five years in the future. She's only concerned with here and now. So focus instead on how her dad will react. Or the mom of the kid she babysits for. Or her friends. You have to make it relevant to her immediate life for the message to stick.
What do you think of the photos below--innocent teenage hijinks or borderline child porn?