Dear Wendy
Dear Wendy

“My Son Took Sexy Photos Of Me!”

I am a 40-year-old married mother of four. My oldest is a son who is about to turn 11 and my youngest is 2. Tonight I found pictures on my son’s phone of me that I had sent his step-father. A couple of topless ones, a couple of my bottom, and some close-ups my son had taken of me just walking around but concentrating on my breasts and bottom. I found them completely by accident, and, of course, he was mortified. He ran into his room and is very embarrassed. My husband thinks it’s just raging hormones and curiosity. I am concerned it’s more than just that.

I walk around the house braless but with a shirt on, and he was around while I breast-fed his youngest sister. I honestly don’t know how to handle it. I don’t want to make things worse, I don’t want him scarred for life. Based on how he reacted, he obviously knows it was wrong. I just honestly don’t know what to do or say to him. Please help. — Worried About My Son

I’m inclined to agree with your husband – your son is likely just curious and experiencing the prepubescent course of hormones racing through his body. That, coupled with the carelessness of your husband keeping topless photos of you on a phone your son apparently had easy access to, probably triggered his sudden interest in your body. All of his life you were just Mom. And then he stumbled upon sexualized photos of you and now you are also a woman with a woman’s body, and he’s probably really curious about a woman’s body and, lucky you, you’re the one he has ready access to.

Your husband has been an 11-year-old boy before. He better understands the thoughts and curiosities of an 11-year-old boy than you do. If he isn’t too concerned about your son’s behavior, and he knows your son as well as you and there haven’t been any other signs that you have something to worry about, then I wouldn’t worry. What I would do is stop being careless about taking/sending naked/sexual photos of yourself, make sure your son’s phone and all your household media have parental passwords, and enlist the help of either your son’s father and/or your husband to talk to your son about the birds and the bees, how boys and girls bodies change during puberty, and the importance of always respecting women and their bodies and not objectifying them. What also should be discussed with your son is how your love for and relationship with your husband is different than your relationship with anyone else, that there are things that you share with your husband that are meant to be private, and that you need your privacy respected just as you respect your son’s privacy. Some books that may be helpful to give him to read:

How You Are Changing: For Boys 9-11

Will Puberty Last My Whole Life?: REAL Answers to REAL Questions from Preteens About Body Changes, Sex, and Other Growing-Up Stuff

I’m a Boy, Hormones! For Ages 11 and over: Anatomy For Kids Book For Older Boys That Explains Changes Coming Due To Hormones

Good luck, Mom — you got this!

P.S. As a woman who wears a DDD-cup bra, I find that going completely braless (under a shirt) even around the house sometimes makes me feel too exposed. But I’m always so ready to take off my restrictive underwire bras at the end of the day. The answer? The soft, comfortable nursing bras I wore when my kids where newborns. I highly recommend these for anyone else who wants to be comfortable but also a little more modest, for whatever reason.

I am 20 and my boyfriend is 22. We’re both in college. We’ve been together for almost three years, and he’s my best friend, is loyal as a puppy, holds doors for me every single place we go, and takes the dinner tabs — still. Basically, he treats me like a queen. He’s overall wonderful (despite his frustrating flaws, but we’ve all got them). My only issue with this relationship is that he doesn’t have a car. When I met him, he didn’t have one, which I was okay with. But at this point, it is so annoying sometimes.

I’m not sure if I’m just being shallow, but driving everywhere is exhausting! I have a car (that my parents bought me), and my parents paid for my schooling. He, on the other hand, has to pay for his own classes and tuition, phone bill, and food most of the time, and he even helps his parents when they need some extra money for rent. (It frustrates me how little his parents do for him when mine have given me the world.) I’ve tried to be patient with this car issue, but at this point, what girl doesn’t want to be picked up to go out on a date, or driven home after a long day? I try to be understanding, but sometimes I get so fed up and think, “When will you buy a cheap car already?!”

Do I just sound like a spoiled brat? I would greatly appreciate any advice. — Tired of Driving

Yes, you do sound like a spoiled brat. You have parents who have, in your words, “given you the world,” and you have a loving boyfriend who, in your words, “treats you like a queen,” and you’re still whining because no one is picking you up for a date or driving your ass home after a long day. You asked, and I’m telling you: You sound like a spoiled brat. Your boyfriend sounds like a really loyal, caring, hard-working guy who is doing the best he can balancing the demands of college (that he pays for himself), keeping his girlfriend happy, and even helping out his parents when he can. He’s the kind of guy who, in a few years, is probably going to be very successful — however he defines success — because he has so much practice being responsible, working hard, and delaying instant gratification. (For example, he hasn’t gone out and just “bought a cheap car” because he probably understands the hidden expenses involved in that and prefers to wait until he can truly afford maintaining a car and paying for insurance, gas, and parking.)

Here’s a thought: Maybe you could start paying for some of your dinners out and help ease some of his financial burden since he carries more than you do. If you want to be picked up for a date, call a cab or a Lyft to come get you and then swing by your boyfriend’s place and pick him up. I mean, it’s sweet that your boyfriend is treating you like a queen, but what are you doing for him? I’d be more concerned with hanging on to a guy like this rather than focusing on what else you can get out of him (free rides, literally). Then again, you’re 20 years old and have been together since you were 17 — maybe you’re feeling ready to move on and this is just an excuse to find a reason to leave. In which case, I’ll say: just do it. Rip the bandaid off and move on already. If that isn’t what you’re trying to do, then simmer down, be grateful for what you’ve got, and do more to show your appreciation and reciprocate all the good will you get.


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If you have a relationship/dating question I can help answer, you can send me your letters at wendy​(AT)​dearwendy.com.

60 comments… add one
  • Guy Friday September 19, 2017, 8:44 am

    LW1: Being a guy who remembers with large twinges of embarrassment my puberty, I’m inclined to agree with your husband on this. I mean, teenage boys are INSANELY horny, and if he’s just starting puberty — and at 11 I’m guessing he is — he doesn’t know yet how to tamp it down, you know? I mean, it’s not just seeing women braless; he could see a woman in a parka in the middle of a snow storm, start thinking “I wonder what’s under the parka. I bet it’s . . ” and Boing! You’ve got wood. I’d also note that mothers/stepmothers being the first object of curiosity/arousal is actually incredibly common for boys, since you’re the one he’s around most.

    I completely agree with Wendy, though I’ll say that it might be a topic that he may be more comfortable talking to your husband about. If he comes to you, I’d make sure he knows that you’re not mad at him for having reactions — because he can’t help reacting right now — but that you hope he respects your privacy in the future. I’d also remind yourself that there’s a reason moms walking in on sons mid-masturbation is such a common comedic trope in media: it’s an embarrassment most (if not all) guys have experienced at least once in their lives, so we can laugh at the incident rather than the person.

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  • Fyodor September 19, 2017, 8:58 am

    Re LW1, he might have just found it funny and transgressive to steal something private.

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  • Fyodor September 19, 2017, 9:03 am

    The fact that LW2 describes her boyfriend as “loyal as a puppy” makes me think that she doesn’t hold him in especially high regard and the car may be a proxy for general lack of attraction to him.

    I’ll defend LW2 a little bit here and say that, especially at your age, if you want a particular type of dating experience, it’s not unreasonable for you to find someone you can get it with. Just because someone is a good and responsible person doesn’t mean you are obligated to date him. When you’re thirty and your horizon and options have narrowed, this probably will be a set of tradeoffs you should reconsider. But for now, if you want to be picked up and taken out, find someone to do that with.

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  • It'sgonnabok September 19, 2017, 9:17 am

    LW1: that sounds very awkward but I think Wendy was right in her response. I would really recommend making sure you have child proofed your internet because it’s likely he’ll start seeking out porn, and while that can be healthy, at that young of age he’ll likely stumble upon hard core porn that may be traumatizing for him given he is a kid.

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    • carolann September 19, 2017, 2:01 pm

      I second the traumatizing thing. Some of the stuff that comes up on ______ (common free porn site) is traumatizing to ME. The couples stuff and some older stuff is ok, but some of it is damn digusting stuff.

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  • RedroverRedrover September 19, 2017, 9:41 am

    I agree with Wendy on LW1. I also like the book suggestions, but it got me thinking… isn’t it weird how we only teach our kids about their own bodies? Shouldn’t we teach them about the other sex too? Just seeing how the books were sex-segregated, and knowing how little even some grown men understand about how womens’ reproductive systems work, it seems like it’s important. I know I didn’t really know anything about what the boys were going through when I was in highschool. It might be a good baseline to start with, and go from there to sex. Also I wonder if there are some good books out there about respect and consent. I’m sure there must be, these days.

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    • Dear Wendy September 19, 2017, 9:44 am

      The second book I listed isn’t sex-segregated and I specifically chose it for exactly that reason. I totally agree that it’s important to understand how ALL bodies work and are changing during puberty.

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      • RedroverRedrover September 19, 2017, 9:56 am

        Oh great, thanks Wendy! I think when my kids’ time comes I’ll also show them the one specific to the opposite sex. Just so they can kind of put themselves in the other ones shoes, if that’s possible.

  • Northern Star September 19, 2017, 9:58 am

    LW 2, maybe if you picked up the tab once in awhile, your boyfriend could save the money to get a car. You certainly come off as a spoiled princess looking down on your peasant boyfriend for not having enough at this stage in life. If this guy has to HELP HIS PARENTS MAKE RENT while struggling through school, it is INCREDIBLY obvious why he hasn’t bought a car.

    I think your best option is to break up. His family won’t change, and you’ll just continue to resent your boyfriend for not being at your “level.” Find another kid from a better-off family who can drive you around town in style.

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  • Brise September 19, 2017, 10:24 am

    LW1: Don’t do anything. Don’t overreact or shame him. Just tell him that one shouldn’t have sexy pictures of people, whoever they are, without their consent.
    And stop walking half naked, sending naked pictures that he can see and so on. Respect his modesty, as he is no child anymore. And everything will be fine. Teenagers usually hate seeing their parents naked. His off-limits behavior says something about yours: adapt to his age.

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    • Dear Wendy September 19, 2017, 10:30 am

      The LW isn’t walking around half-naked – she’s walking around her own home without a bra under her shirt. And her son isn’t a teenager — he’s ten, and he’s still a child in every sense of the word. He’s transitioning to adolescence though and as the LW’s oldest kid, this is a big transition for both of them. It’s totally normal that there would be a learning curve and some growing pains.

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    • dinoceros September 19, 2017, 3:09 pm

      So not wearing a bra under a shirt is considered half-naked or naked these days?

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  • dinoceros September 19, 2017, 10:27 am

    LW2: Yeah, you do sound like a spoiled brat. I think you have a misguided view of relationships. You are not a queen and do not need to be treated like one. He is not a puppy. You’re both regular human beings, and you both need to give to each other equally. Meaning: If he’s paying for dinner all the time, the least you can do is give him rides in return. Especially since he can’t actually afford to buy dinner for you all the time because he has actual expenses.

    Aside from that, you are being hypocritical by judging him for not having a car when you didn’t have to do anything to get one. If you had to pay for everything for yourself and didn’t have your parents to support you, you probably wouldn’t have a car either. And honestly, his way of life is the more common one. Yours isn’t. Show gratitude for your fortunate status in life by generously sharing your car for someone you claim is your best friend. Finally, you’re in college. If he were like 35 and you had to drive him everywhere, that would be different. A lot of people don’t have a car in college. The other thing that changes when you get older is that you have more appreciation for someone who has a work ethic. Believe me, dating someone whose parents support them isn’t fun when you find out that as an adult, they still don’t know how to budget or support themselves.

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  • juliecatharine September 19, 2017, 10:27 am

    LW2 you are young so I’m going to say this as nicely as possible–you are a spoiled brat and your boyfriend deserves better. FFS.

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  • Leslie Joan September 19, 2017, 10:33 am

    LW2, you write , “it frustrates me how little his parents do for him when mine have given me the world.” Do you ever think about anybody but yourself? How the heck do you imagine HE feels, when he sees how your parents have “given you the world,” and he hasn’t been the recipient of such wealth and generosity? Do you even KNOW this man and his family situation? Do you know if his family even has the kind of wealth to spread around as yours do for you? Do you have any idea how much it costs to keep and run a car, especially a “cheap” car, particularly for someone who isn’t handy automotively? Do you even know any other of your age group who don’t have the silver spoon of privilege in their mouth like you?

    LW, I am trying really hard to be polite to you. You are young and very privileged and spoiled from what your parents have done for you. You have no appreciation of what he is doing, but have found a way to make his lack of privilege all about you. It is a stunningly selfish attitude. He is paying for your outings as a politeness and to compensate for his not being able to pick you up and cart your entitled ass around. He carries HIS own weight. You need to do the same, and learn the value of a dollar that wasn’t handed to you by your parents .

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  • Ron September 19, 2017, 11:00 am

    LW #2:
    You are not only a spoiled brat with a princess complex, but you are extremely classist and insensitive to your bf’s background and financial struggles. Nothing uglier than a rich person mooching off a poor person, then blaming the poor person for not having more moochable assets. If your bf had written in my advice would be to MOA as fast as his legs can carry s. My advice to you is to do the right thing and let this guy go. You won’t find his financial situation adequate until he has clawed his way up to your parents’ level. It sounds like he’s the sort to do exactly that, but you aren’t the sort to patiently wait a decade or two for that to happen.

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    • Cleopatra Jones September 19, 2017, 12:38 pm

      Preach it, Ron!!!
      ::hallelujah hands::

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  • wobster109 September 19, 2017, 11:15 am

    LW2 – I think you know that he’s working hard and doesn’t have much, and I also think you’re very financially sheltered. So let me tell you a bit about used cars. A small car in decent shape with 100k+ miles on it will cost you at least $2000. Think of your boyfriend paying for his own classes and tuition, sending whatever he has left to his parents. Does he have a spare $2000 lying around?

    It’s not one of those things where you can drop $100 on a cheap car. A car goes faster than anything nature prepared the human body to withstand, and you don’t want to drive around in any old thing that might break down on a highway and splat the squishy meat-creature within.

    That said, I think it’s valid to want to be picked up and taken out and dropped off. So how about you let your boyfriend drive your car for a day? He drives during your date. The next day you regroup and he returns your car. He can also drive your car more in general so it’s not you driving all the time.

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    • RedRoverRedRover September 19, 2017, 11:25 am

      This is a good idea. Why doesn’t he drive it when you guys are going out together so that you’re not the one always driving? I don’t like being the one always driving either, so I get that complaint, but this is a much more reasonable way to address it rather than being angry that he doesn’t buy a car he can’t afford.

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    • MissDre September 19, 2017, 11:43 am

      Old cars also cost a lot in regular maintenance.

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    • ele4phant September 19, 2017, 11:52 am

      Seriously. Before we got married, I was added to my then boyfriend’s car insurance so I could drive sometimes. It wasn’t that expensive, I mean, I had a clean driving record and all, but way cheaper than buying (and insuring) a second car. And it got cheaper still once we got married.

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    • ele4phant September 19, 2017, 11:52 am

      Seriously. Before we got married, I was added to my then boyfriend’s car insurance so I could drive sometimes. It wasn’t that expensive, I mean, I had a clean driving record and all, but way cheaper than buying (and insuring) a second car. And it got cheaper still once we got married.

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  • saneinca September 19, 2017, 11:30 am

    I think you guys are too hard on the LW2.

    I think 3 years of driving BF everywhere, dropping the BF off at the end of outings or even may be picking up when BF needed a ride tend to takes its toll. I think she just wants someone to drive for a change.

    And no she may not be able to just let him drive her car. He needs insurance or she needs additional driver coverage before he can driver car to cover any accidents.

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    • RedRoverRedRover September 19, 2017, 11:53 am

      Then she should just pay for the insurance. It’s gotta cost less than all the dates he’s paying for.

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    • Miel September 19, 2017, 12:16 pm

      Or she could call her insurance company and ask. I wanted to drive my boyfriend’s car (with him in the passenger seat) and we were worried about the insurance. He called and they said that he was already covered for that type of situation (occasional, short distance driving by me while he’s in the passenger seat).

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    • ele4phant September 19, 2017, 12:24 pm

      Yeah, I don’t know.

      Every insurance plan is different, and if he doesn’t have a clean driving record that might also jack up the cost, but the cost to add me to my now-husband’s insurance was negligible. And we added me so I could use his car without him there (running errands and such). As Miel pointed out, if she’s going to be in the car with him all the time, it may cost nothing.

      Regardless, it’s gotta be cheaper than buying a second car (and also paying insurance on that).

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      • Leslie Joan September 19, 2017, 3:59 pm

        I wonder about the insurance complications of him driving her car. I very much doubt that LW2 has any idea how horrifically expensive it is for a male under the age of 25 to get auto insurance. It was high enough to give you a nosebleed, and a VERY significant chunk of money to have to pay, in addition to the cost of buying and running a car. Just having a male fully licensed driver in the household under the age of 25 sent my car insurance rates into the stratosphere. I would have been happy to have him with a learner’s permit for years to avoid the increase.

        Plus, I wonder how LW’S oh so generous parents would feel about her letting him use the car, and her as well. My suspish is they’d all be unhappy with that. And imagine if he got into an accident!

      • ele4phant September 19, 2017, 4:37 pm

        I mean sure. But it’s still going to be cheaper than him buying a car (which would also need to be insured at the astronomical rate).

        And as for the parents, she said it was her car so I responded as though she has complete control over it. If that’s not true, then yeah sure I guess that makes a difference. But assuming he got insured (and the parents weren’t paying for it) and got into an accident, I mean, that’s what insurance is for right?

        Nobody is just suggesting she let him drive her car uninsured, just suggesting that if this is such a hill for her to die on, maybe the middle ground between breaking up and forcing him to buy (and insure) his own car is to get him on her insurance.

    • Ruby Thursday September 19, 2017, 12:39 pm

      It would be one thing if they were both working adults and he did not have a car due to financial mismanagement or a poor work ethic. But they are college students. Half of my friends did not have a car in college. Even if 3 years of being the sole driver have taken its toll, she is still a spoiled brat.

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    • dinoceros September 19, 2017, 3:08 pm

      I can imagine that 3 years of picking up all the dinner tabs takes its toll, too.

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  • ele4phant September 19, 2017, 11:49 am

    LW2 – can’t you just let your boyfriend drive you in your car once in a while? How much would it cost to add him as a named driver to your insurance? Probably way cheaper than buying a car, and maybe worth it for your sanity. Maybe he’d be willing to shell out that expense on his own, maybe you two could split the expense, maybe you could just pay for it yourself if it means not having to be his chauffeur all the time.

    I get being tired of being the sole driver for three years. I hate driving. But, it’s unreasonable to ask him to buy a car and risk his financial stability just so you don’t have to drive all the time anymore. But, if you are okay with him driving *your* car, that seems like an obvious easy solution.

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  • Janelle September 19, 2017, 11:53 am

    I agree that this is likely a hormonal young boys normal behavior. That being said I do see an opportunity for a serious talk about not photographing people in such ways. This could lead down a bad path if it were something that continued and it is for sure a breach of privacy and trust. That for sure should be addressed.

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    • Fyodor September 19, 2017, 2:12 pm

      This is a GOOD POINT. High School students have gotten into serious legal trouble ,including being placed on sex offender registries, for taking receiving, and disseminating sexual pictures of classmates or even themselves. I don’t know what the right age is, but every kid should should receive warnings about these kinds of things.

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    • dinoceros September 19, 2017, 3:10 pm

      I had no idea this was normal. I can’t imagine wanting nude photos of any of my family members when I was a preteen/teen. Another reason not to have kids. This would be too much for me. (Joking slightly.)

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  • Ron September 19, 2017, 11:57 am

    It would be easier to rouse some sympathy for LW not wanting to drive all the time if she picked up half the dinner checks. She just seems to believe/assume that the guy will automatically pay for everything and drive, even though she’s the one with the ability to pay.

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  • Dear Wendy September 19, 2017, 12:15 pm

    From the LW:

    Thank you very much for responding! Yes, we are being extremely careful now and have changed passwords on all of our devices. We have deleted all the pictures. He was freely given either of our phones to use to look something up or something along those lines because his phone wasn’t always charged.

    All I have said to him so far is that I am not upset with him but we need to talk about boundaries and respecting privacy. I have been acting exactly the same with him but wasn’t really sure exactly what to say because I was honestly afraid to make things worst. After reading your advice I think I’m going to buy him one of the books you mentioned and will sit down and have a talk will not make a big deal about it.

    I really appreciate you taking the time to answer my question, I feel 1000000% better knowing you agree with my husband and it nothing I need to be overly concerned about.

    Thank you again SO much.

    Oh and I ordered soft tshirt like bras for me from amazon and they will be here tomorrow! I will not walk around braless again 🙂

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    • Janelle September 19, 2017, 3:02 pm

      I do find it a bit ridiculous to have to wear a bra in your own home. Mine comes off in the car on the way home. I could not stand living like that in my own home. I think what is more important is him being taught respect and boundaries not you acting like a prisoner (well the girls being imprisoned anyway) in your home.

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      • Guy Friday September 19, 2017, 4:23 pm

        In fairness, while I agree that it’s unreasonable to DEMAND she wear a bra in her own home, I also think it’s — for THIS moment (not for life) — unreasonable to DEMAND the kid not have physiological reactions he really has no control over. I know it kind of comes across as victim-blaming to be like “If you’re uncomfortable with him being aroused when you’re walking around braless, cover up!” but I think for now that may be the least awkward option, since I imagine he probably already feels pretty messed up/confused/scared having these reactions.

  • Norabb September 19, 2017, 1:06 pm

    Lw1: it occurred to me that he might have shared these with his curious friends… Might want to check. You never know, you might get called into the office because your son has been “spreading pornography” to his peers.

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  • Ron September 19, 2017, 2:36 pm

    For LW #1 –.
    You realize that the root of this problem is your husband and yourself, correct? You aren’t middle schoolers, you are adults with a middle school son. You should know that phones can be hacked or stolen. Passwords can be guessed. It is beyond stupid and juvenile for your husband to have half-naked pics of you on his cellphone. Knowing they are there, what responsible parent allows middle school son to freely use that phone? The kid is just acting like a fairly normal kid. His parents aren’t behaving like responsible adults.

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    • LW1 September 19, 2017, 2:46 pm

      Ron, thanks! That was super helpful! He’s 10, not a middle schooler and yes, we should have been more careful but never in a million years did we think he would go through old pictures and find these but obviously we were wrong! How’s the view up there from your high horse? Must be nice to never make a mistake.

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      • Janelle September 19, 2017, 3:01 pm

        I would go through literally anyone’s old pics if they handed me a phone, out of curiosity. Ok not like if my friend said sure make a call on my phone but…I mean seriously, EVERYONE would or at least would be tempted. A 10 year old wouldn’t have the restraint to avoid it but I can assure you most people would at least consider looking.

      • MissDre September 19, 2017, 3:06 pm

        LW – There’s an app called Photo Vault. You can keep your sexy pics in here – it’s completely separate from the rest of your photos and requires a password to access (any password you choose – I suggest making it different from your phone password).

    • Skyblossom September 19, 2017, 2:56 pm

      I was thinking the same thing. I don’t mean that to try to insult or put down the LW but it was naive. The LW and her husband have been sharing sexual pictures and then the son took more of the same. He is following their example.

      Definitely they need to discuss boundaries but the boundaries begin with the LW establishing them around her own personal life. If you have no boundaries within your home then you can’t be too surprised when your child follows your example.

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      • Rangerchic September 19, 2017, 3:12 pm

        I think that is a little judgmental. I mean the kid is 10. Maybe she didn’t think he was already going to start going through puberty just yet. It’s a little different for every kid. Some start earlier than others and it’s not always obvious. She made a mistake and wanted help correcting it, not badgered that she did something wrong. She already figured that out!

      • Skyblossom September 19, 2017, 3:20 pm

        I’m not trying to be judgmental. Just factual. If you want your child to understand, use and accept boundaries you must establish them yourself. When you don’t have good boundaries your child won’t have good boundaries. This is more of a wake up call to the LW. She sets the example for her son and her other kids. It’s time to think about what other boundaries she may need.

      • LW1 September 19, 2017, 4:43 pm

        Yes, I agree leaving the pictures easily accessible was a mistake, that has been established. But I’m very curious to know what boundaries you are talking about. We aren’t having sex in the living room, I’m not walking around naked, we monitor the tv that is watched, we teach him right and wrong. We have sent pictures to each other in the past, and yes like I said we were careless but I don’t see how that has anything to do with boundaries in our home. Don’t make broad assumptions or statements like that, nothing I have said implies we don’t have boundaries in my home.

      • dinoceros September 19, 2017, 4:57 pm

        I think it’s a little extreme to imply there are “no boundaries.” What I’m perceiving from this comment is that taking and keeping the photos are not setting boundaries. Maybe that’s not what the comment means. I think the main boundary that needs to be taught is that having or taking sexy photos of someone without their consent is wrong. For the LW and her husband to have the photos has nothing to do with that. If a person wanted to teach their kid that sexy pictures (of any kind) are wrong, then I suppose they shouldn’t have any of their own — but I assume and hope that most parents aren’t trying to instill that rigid of an opinion within their kids.

      • dinoceros September 19, 2017, 4:58 pm

        Also, it’s similar to me as saying parents can’t drink alcohol if they want to teach their kids not to drink until they are of legal age. I think it’s OK to teach kids that there are adult things and child things and discuss the difference.

    • wobster109 September 19, 2017, 3:18 pm

      Sure passwords can be guessed, but are you suggesting that no one should ever keep private photos on their phone, for fear of being hacked? Or that any “responsible” parent keeps their private stuff locked away? That sounds excessive.

      I don’t think family members need to be on lockdown with each other. Yes it’s normal to be curious, but I also believe most kids are good at heart and can be taught to respect boundaries. He knows better than to leaf through someone’s wallet if they left it out, right? Most parents don’t lock up their wallets to keep them away from kids. It’s like that. I think it’s fully possible to hand a kid a phone and trust them not to go snooping through your private stuff.

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      • Skyblossom September 19, 2017, 3:22 pm

        I think that when you are sharing your private phone, so it isn’t actually private, you have to be aware that anything and everything is available.

      • Skyblossom September 19, 2017, 3:44 pm

        I don’t think that at ten her son would have had an idea that there were private photos. He would be used to family photos and event photos but not private photos so he wouldn’t think that he shouldn’t look at the photos. Then he saw the photos and must have sent them to himself.

        You have to be aware of what you share with your kids because when you share with them you are sharing everything with them. It doesn’t matter whether it is your phone or a tablet or a laptop, they are going to know the contents. Kids are driven by curiosity.

        The LW needs to explain to her son that she shouldn’t have given him a phone with private photos on it. She needs to explain what private photos are. She then needs to tell him that it is wrong, and even illegal, to take photos from other people that aren’t willing given to you. He has to understand that he can get into trouble for sending himself photos that belong to other people.

        At his age he has been used to all family photos belonging to the family. Now he needs to know that not all photos of family members are family photos and so not all of them belong to everyone in the family.

      • LW1 September 19, 2017, 5:41 pm

        Right dinoceros, I definitely need to explain to him about that, taking pictures without consent, keeping them without consent and everything that comes along with that. I honestly didn’t think it was time for that talk but I was wrong!

    • Janelle September 19, 2017, 3:40 pm

      OH I know. I have a few special pics of a seriously hot ex in there. Cant say I have checked them out in years but maybe I should. hehe

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      • Janelle September 19, 2017, 3:53 pm

        This comment of mine above landed in the wrong spot. Ops.

  • Susan September 19, 2017, 4:15 pm

    LW1 – sorry but I would be worried, naked pictures of his own mother!!! Maybe your household needs to be a bit less sexualized

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    • LW1 September 19, 2017, 4:49 pm

      Yes! We should tone down the hand holding and the hello and goodbye pecks we give each other!! That’s the problem. You are a genius, thanks!

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      • Fyodor September 19, 2017, 5:01 pm

        I’m not suggesting that you’ve done anything inappropriate or that your house is a den of nudity or anything, but I do wonder if there are more boundaries you need as your son gets older.

        Like, with small children you you don’t really have the reflexive habit of being dressed all the time around them -you’re with them in the morning, middle of the night, etc, you have to keep an eye on them when you’re getting into the shower, they can charge in when you’re using the bathroom, etc. etc. But this might be a good time to maybe recalibrate some of those habits that were developed out of necessity when he was younger.

    • Ange September 19, 2017, 5:48 pm

      Oh lord, come off it. Yes they should have kept them under a bit more lock and key but it was an honest mistake. They were sending pictures, not acting them out in the lounge room. Maybe your household could stand to be a little MORE sexualised?

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  • LW1 September 19, 2017, 5:15 pm

    Actually I’ve always been one to throw a robe on, put my pants back on etc. With none of my kids, my girls either, have I ever walked around naked or let them in the shower with me. Not saying it’s right or wrong, just not right for me. Middle of the night or middle of the day, makes no difference. Aside from taking off my bra bc I hate it! That’s it. So it’s either coming from curiosity, puberty or friends talking about stuff at school. Not bc he’s seen anything inappropriate in anyone’s behavior in our house. Sending some pictures a few years ago was about as risky as we got.

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