28 answers

Teenage Son and Friends Texting Inappropriate Messages

Hi moms,

My 14 year old son was spending a lot time texting back and forth with his friends. I could not imagine what they were talking about so much. Then he got in trouble so I took his phone away for a few days. My husband and I looked at the text messages and I was horrified with the sexual content in the messages! The guys were going on about whether certain girls would do things to boys, etc. I almost had a heart attack over what I was reading! We talked to my son and we turned off texting for a week. We are Christian people and I asked him if God would be happy about what he was doing. He said he did not think so. Anyway, my husband said that boys talk about this stuff at 14 so it's normal. I just need to know if any of you have sons and did you go through this with them. Whether or not it was texting or talking doesn't matter. I just need to know how you handled it. Thanks a bunch!

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What can I do next?

Featured Answers

Maybe you should get him a cheap phone that does not have text and should only be used in emergencies to call you. You can get pre paid cell phones so when his min run out, he's out.

2 moms found this helpful

I also have a 14 year old son, and have been concerned about his texting. I spoke with a friend of mine who has older boys and asked her opinion. She said that she had a talk with her sons about responsibility and that she pays the phone bill and they know this was not how the phone was intended to be used. This type of communication is not allowed in their home. I spoke with my son and let him know that if he is grounded he loses any right to privacy. Anything he does not want me to see better not be on his phone. Hope this helps some.

More Answers

Hi C.-

I don't have teenagers (yet) but I do know that when I was 14 (20+ years ago) even the girls talked about this kind of stuff with friends. I know it has to be hard to see your children exposed to it, but it is normal. I think the important thing is to have your husband talk to him. He can understand what it's like to be "one of the guys" at school but can also help explain to your son the importance of respecting the young ladies in his school and how you feel about this type of material.

Good Luck,
K.

3 moms found this helpful

My daughter had a teacher who everyone loved at our school. One day a little boy said a very inappropriate thing to my daughter and her friend on the playground. When this beloved teacher heard about this, she called the boy to her room and asked him to repeat exactly what he had said to the girls, but she asked him to say them to her.

He was so embarrassed and so reluctant, but she softly encouraged him. When he repeated them to her, she told him she was so surprised that such a nice young man would use such inappropriate language.

She gave him great advice. She said "if you would be embarrassed to say something in front of your grandmother, do not say them to anyone. You never know who may be listening to you at any moment."

You may want to remind your son that the same goes for any writings or texting he ever does. In this day and age, all of these things can be traced back to the original cell phones and computer.

You could also tell him that if he cannot be a gentleman with his cell phone, you will cancel the texting part of his phone.

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I think one major lesson your son needs to learn is respect for women. Ask him how it would make him feel to think that someone would say those things kinds of things about you? Ask him how it would make the girl feel if she knew what others were saying about her. Explain to him that girls don't usually engage in those kinds of behaviors because they want to, but that they feel so badly about themselves that they think that is the only thing they have to offer to make someone like them. Tell him that usually all it does is make them feel dirty and unloved in the end. Ask him if he thinks that is sad and ask him if he wants to be associated with hurting people like that. Tell him that texting is a form of communication, and that whatever he would say to someone's face, that is how he should judge what to type. Also remind him that texts aren't private that others can show what he wrote and they would only get one side of the story...ie, if he writes something dirty about a girl, his friends can always show it to her (trying to be funny or mean to her).

I agree that this behavior does happen with boys of that age, but he needs to be made aware that just because people in the world do something on a regular basis, doesn't make it right. Have a family scripture night with a story depicting wicked people...Sodom and Gommorah for example. Just slip it in there that those people were all doing wicked things so they all kind of thought their behaviors were ok. Tell him that with just a word or two to his friends, like Christ, he can make a difference too (Come on guys, lets not talk about those girls like that, it's rude, not right, whatever). Also like Christ it is up to you to be understanding and non-threatening or demeaning to him. Good luck, God Bless!

3 moms found this helpful

At age 12 I noticed my son spending a lot of time on the computer upstairs (in the gameroom-very public area) and then my daughters never wanted to use that computer. I went up one morning to look at it and WOW! was I surprised. So much pornography downloaded that the computer barely worked. Of course, I thought we were raising some deviant child and totally freaked out. My husband laughed and said in his day it was Playboy- but if they had computers back then they would have used them. I called the doctor thinking the kid needed therapy and the doctor audibly sighed before telling me that it was normal- not that we had to like it- but not to be surprised. Once I cleaned up the kid computer and brought it down next to my computer- I made it my mission to tell all the other moms of the 11, 12 year olds that we knew what had happened. Every single mom told me "Oh, my kid isn't interested in THAT. We don't have that problem at home." My response was "I didn't think we did either. Check 'History' on your computer." Two to three days later, moms were calling me with "OMG! You won't believe what I found on our computer!" Sooooo- texting is just an extension of that. I truly believe it consumes their thoughts if it gets out of hand. I totally cut my son off the computer for a few weeks while I figured out how to clean it up and where to put it- he was like a junkie deprived of his drugs. Restless, irritable, edgy. I truly believe too many of those images can alter their brains- they get a high seeing things and need it again and again. I would continue to monitor his phone use. Let him know that if you are paying for his phone then you have the right to check his texts periodically. Don't do it too often- they really need some privacy at this age. And don't always let him know you are checking. I am a BIG believer in "Trust, but verify." Not being an overly religious person I look at it more from a practical standpoint than a moral one. I tell my kids they have no business having sex unless they have a job and health insurance to support a baby. Pictures and dirty talk are insulting to me and to his sisters. How would he like his friends talking about his sisters (or cousins or aunts) that way???? (That one is guaranteed to gross him out!) You'll get through this and he'll come up with some other way to freak you out....welcome to teenagers. Good luck...

2 moms found this helpful

Maybe you should get him a cheap phone that does not have text and should only be used in emergencies to call you. You can get pre paid cell phones so when his min run out, he's out.

2 moms found this helpful

Well I think that protecting his sexuality is important. I do remember in school that there were lots of kids starting to have sexual experiences at a very young age and then pressure starts to mount if you don't know about these things. I agree with another poster that it would be good for your husband to talk this over with him and just let him know that he doesn't have to get into this with his friends. I might have a talk with him about the value we each have to God and that sex is a wonderful way a husband and wife connect and produce children and that it is holy, and carries with it a lot of responsibility. Of course the number one thing I think I would do is pray that through all of this his innocence would be protected. Are there any older guys at church like 20 or so that are Godly that he can look up to? Maybe someone can serve as a mentor that he thinks of as cool. I did that for some young girls when I was in my 20s. Sorry you are going through this, while I do think curiosity about sex is normal, I think protecting him from the cavalier attituded about it that our culture promotes is really important. I wish you all the best!!

2 moms found this helpful

Hi,
I don't have a teenage son, but I do teach middle school. If it makes you feel any better, this is a normal thing that teenage boys go through. Last year, one boy asked a girl to send a photo of her boobs. She did, and within 10 minutes that picture was forwarded to every other 8th grader in the school- could you imagine being the mother of that girl? These days young teens are so much more advanced than we were at that age, as long as you keep a good Christian relationship with him, and he knows the difference between right and wrong, and he trusts you too, hopefully this will stay a game between his friends and his phone.

2 moms found this helpful

I think it would help if your sons had a sister they were close to. I am not saying have another baby I'm just giving perspective. In my family everyone has both girls and boys. I know for a fact that this type of issue has come up between the boys and their friends. 3 of my nephews, I am proud to say, made it very clear that they would not be participating in conversation like that involving girls. 1 of them went to detention after he found out that a 'player' at school had said some pretty disgusting things about what he wanted to do to my neice so my nephew pinned the boy up against a wall, dealt with him, and then left him on the ground. I'm not exactly hoping for violence but rather tired of scum behavior going unchecked. This moment certainly set a standard to bear for a long time at that school. Your son and his frieds are allowing themselves to think about these girls simply as objects to be enjoyed for sex and fantasy, not as people or friends. It is not possible to have these thoughts about someone and actually care about them at the same time so really the topic is selfishness. I want what I want, I am more important than the next person, and being cool with my friends is more important than having high moral standards or character. I don't believe that it is normal for any age, I think that it is probably average but that is not the same as normal. Who wants to be average?
And just to note, many things are involved in the evolution of this behavior. The media and how sex sells everything. Sit-coms, commercials, cartoons, movies, professional sports cheerleaders, music, hollywood, the promotion of hugh hefner as cool, halloween costumes. I know that you know this already but until you sit down and put it all together and look at how much of this your son is involved in you can't begin to fix it. You can scolled him but that doesn't help his thoughts.
I have gone to high school basketball games where the music played before the games and during breaks was hip hop and rap. The coaches use the excuse that it fires up the players. The players like it cause they listen to it on their free time too. It might be easy to get lost in the constant sound and beat but if you listen to the words it is all X rated. Even there in the gym at school the words were very X rated. I looked around and pretty much no one seemed to care or notice. They looked like bunch of robots just going along like nothing was wrong. Even my sister hadn't noticed and defended it with 'well they just use it to get in the game'. Whatever. Sounds like an excuse to never put yourself out there to stand up for anything. Most people don't want to be a fuddy duddy. There is no way for someone to be exposed to visual and auditory imput and then not think on those things for some time. The more exposure the more concentrated thoughts and mental images.
I wish I could give you an instant fix. It takes consistancy from exposure.
I personally would bust his friends to their parents over the texting topics but I know I am more hardcore than most people can tolerate. And know that some of the parents will be more mad at you that they are at their kid because you are being judgemental.
And by the way, as long as your husband doesn't think it is any big deal then he won't really be trying to change it and your sons will know that it is okay and really just one of those things that you keep between just the boys cause girls don't understand or need to know.
Good Luck and God Bless

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