A Word to Girls About Sexting and Setting Standards

Setting a high bar weeds out the users because they won’t waste their time on you. They’ll go prowling for other girls who might compromise their values in a misguided quest for love.

3. Trust that inner voice that tells you, “This is a bad idea.”

Deep down, you know right from wrong. God has planted in you a desire to honor Him, and when you’re tempted to stray, your conscience will raise red flags. Even if “This is a bad idea” crosses your mind for only a split-second, it’s worth tuning into. The world and your peers can get loud and persuasive as they scream in your ear, but it’s that quiet voice inside you that deserves the closest attention.

4. Boys talk. And it is safe to assume that nothing you do with a boy or send to a boy will be kept confidential.

What makes a teen boy “the man” among his buddies is sexual conquest (a false idea of manhood covered well in this book). Particularly in the locker room, guys share very intimate details about girls to make themselves look like a stud.

If more girls understood this, I truly believe many would choose differently. They wouldn’t be so quick to play into male fantasies.

Even if a girl’s sexted picture isn’t shared online, it will be seen by other boys. Go ahead and bank on that. As one 10th grade mom told me, her son was very disturbed by a locker room scene where athletes were passing around their cell phones to show off topless pictures of their girlfriends. When her son told them to cut it out, they turned on him, asking, “What’s wrong with you? You don’t like girls? Are you gay?”

It makes me angry and sad that boys who do the right thing risk ridicule like that. It also goes to show that boys face as many complicated pressures as girls.

5. Thanks to group texts—which most teens keep handy on their phone—a picture can travel at the speed of light.

In three seconds, a sexted picture can be sent to 90 members of a football team. If just a few of those 90 boys also forward it to group texts, the photo could be on 500 phones in a flash. That’s just the beginning.

6. The world can be cruel and heartless to girls who get caught in sexting scandals.

The aftermath creates a nightmare. While some mistakes are met with mercy and compassion, this mistake typically results in ridicule, rejection and shaming. Even if the girl’s a victim, betrayed by someone who promised privacy before she sent the picture, she may be ostracized at school, written off by friends, and judged harshly by peers and parents. This isn’t the kind of fame or attention you’d wish on your worst enemy.

7. Once you send a picture, you can’t take it back. It’s out there in cyberspace, a digital tattoo you can’t erase.

A good rule of thumb when using technology is to never send anything (picture or message) that you’d be mortified to see splashed across the front page of your local newspaper. This includes texts, Snapchat, etc. If you’re in question about something, consider how your grandmother or youth leader might react. If the thought of them seeing or reading it makes you cringe, you have your answer.

8. Anyone who pressures you to send inappropriate pictures is someone you don’t need in your life.

I don’t care if it’s the hottest, most popular boy in school. Or the steady boyfriend who gives you a guilt trip because all his friends’ girlfriends send racy photos. Or the fun group text where guys suddenly threaten to kick out any girl who doesn’t contribute a sexy shot. Or the friend who pesters you to loosen up and just do it because life is short and YOLO.

These kind of influences drag a person down. They are the relationships that, with time and maturity, you’ll recognize as toxic and necessary to avoid.

9. Sexting may capture a boy’s attention, but it will never capture his heart.

It won’t make a boy love you, respect you or crave a relationship. If a relationship does result, it won’t last because it’s only a matter of time before the novelty of you and your body wears off and he moves on to the next hot babe.

10. It’s better to be alone for the right reasons than with someone for the wrong ones.

Many girls mistakenly believe that to have a shot at romance—or to keep a man these days—they have to play the game. They assume they have to join this culture of hooking up, sexting and shallow relationships, or else they’ll get left behind.

But the truth, this bus is headed for NOWHERE. No good can come from it…so getting left behind a gift. Instead of chasing boys, chase your dreams. Invest in yourself and your relationship with God, and He’ll bring the right boy into your life at the right time. There’s nothing more appealing than a girl who has already created an amazing life for herself and a world that a boy wants to be part of.

Parents, let’s circle the wagons around today’s girls. Let’s seek to understand the lies they hear and the norms of their daily environment. Most of all, let’s not shy away from the awkward conversations these girls need (and we need too) to wisely navigate uncharted waters. By being proactive and having frank conversations, we might get ahead of potential problems instead of waiting for problems to happen. We can strengthen the parent-teen relationship and equip our daughters to make solid choices as they prepare for a life without adult surveillance.

Girls, stand firm together. Encourage each other to set high standards and stick to them. When a sister messes up, love her through her mistake. Remember how tough it is growing up in a virtual fishbowl, where there’s no room for error because every move you make can be documented and publicized. Discover your strength in numbers and remind each other—again, and again, and again—that you are worthy, beautiful and made for so much more than this world will have you believe about yourself and other girls.

You are a woman of God, and despite any growing pains of adolescence, there are great things in store for you. God’s plan for you is better than anything you can imagine, and when you place your trust in that, you find all the love you need.


This post originally appeared at karikampakis.com, published with permission.

Kari Kampakis
Kari Kampakis
Kari Kubiszyn Kampakis is a mom of four girls, as well as an author, speaker, and blogger from Birmingham, Alabama. Her new book for moms, LOVE HER WELL: 10 WAYS TO FIND JOY AND CONNECTION WITH YOUR TEENAGE DAUGHTER, launches August 18 and can be pre-ordered through online retailers. Her two books for teen and tween girls, Liked: Whose Approval Are You Living For? and 10 Ultimate Truths Girls Should Know, have used widely across the country for youth group studies. Join Kari on FacebookTwitter, and The Girl Mom Podcast, or by visiting www.karikampakis.com.

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