She's online at to chat with readers each Monday at noon.
This morning I dropped her off for band camp and she accidentally left her phone in the car.
When I discovered it, I texted her with it, saying I had her phone.* Then a few texts caught my eye, and I snooped.
It turns out my daughter is sexting with a couple of boys, sending naked pictures of herself over her phone.
Should I pretend I never saw it but somehow subtly offer some advice about the dangers of sexting?
The cops are called, arrests are made, and the good news is that kids involved avoided becoming registered sex offenders for possession and distribution of child pornography.
Fortunately, it’s very rare for sexting to go this far—here’s a good summary of the legal issues.
But even if prosecutors never get a peek at your daughter’s pictures, she needs to know that sending nude photos of herself can be a life-changer.
I don't want her to feel the shame of knowing I know. You need to sit her down, tell her what you saw, and discuss what to do next.
But even worse, I don't want her to feel the shame of the entire world knowing if one of these boys decides to be an ass. If she were in a serious relationship, I could understand her having sex, but it's the sending of pictures that really has me bothered. Read this sexting horror story and then show it to your daughter.
It will make you want to gather up all the phones involved, smash them, douse them with acid, then bury them in the New Jersey Pine Barrens.
To summarize: girl sends nude photo of self to boy, boy forwards to another girl, and within hours it’s blasted across the entire school district.