Notes on Parenting

Insights for parenting babies, toddlers, teens, and young adults.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Keeping Your Children Safe From Pornography


Pornography Warning Label: “Contents highly addictive. Extremely corrosive to the soul materials enclosed. Be prepared to have your mind twisted, your views of life ravaged, and your spirit shrunk… Be prepared that after an initial rush, you will experience feelings of depression, loneliness, despair and guilt. However, with repeated exposures over time, you can numb those feelings – and enter into almost total amnesia about who you really are and about the truth it self.” – Wendy Watson.
Pornography is the second most searched topic on the internet, with about 68 Million searches per day. One in every five men view it at least every other day, and one in two view it weekly.   This helps the industry earn $100 Billion every year.

Chances are your son (more likely than your daughter) has been exposed to pornography, or will be exposed to it.  By the time of college, nine out of ten males have viewed pornography.

Now, your child will not start off viewing hard-core pornography.  “Gateway pornography” is usually what leads individuals into viewing pornography.  Gateway pornography is images, or movies that are not technically classified as pornography, but can lead to pornography.  Such as swimsuit calendars, sports magazines, and some music videos and films.  Usually this is how a pornography habit starts.

The following are some ways to help prevent pornography from entering your house so that you can keep your family safe.

First discuss, as a parent what sex is with your children.  Make this conversation apply to their age.  Let them know what pornography is as well.  This is something you can do on a yearly basis as their maturity grows.

Second is to discuss with your children what to do in cases of accidental viewing.  Something pornographic pops up on the computer screen, what do you do? Turn off the monitor and get mom or dad.  What do you do if you are watching an inappropriate show? Change the channel. And so on.  Of course, each house will have their own house rules.  It is your house; you do what you need to do.

Third is to be an open channel to your children.  Make sure that you are a safe person to talk to, so that they can talk to you about anything.  One of the ways to do this is to interview your children on a regular basis to see how they are doing and what they may need help with.  This is also a great time to see if they have been exposed to pornography.

Fourth is to filter out inappropriate material that may be in your home. Do a skim through your movies, music, video games, and magazine subscriptions to see if there may be anything pornographic, or even gateway pornography.  Anything that is questionable, throw it out.  Get rid of it immediately.  Also, before you buy a movie, check it out through something like Kids-In-Mind.com or ScreenIt.com.  They review the movie in great detail for you.  Sometimes by doing this filtering process, it may surprise you how much gateway porn has entered your home because you may have become desensitized.

Fifth is to protect the computer.  Set up parental controls to block inappropriate sites.  Unfortunately not all sites are blocked.  So it would be good to have a way to follow up on what your children are viewing on the computer.  Make sure you have access to your children’s computers and emails, even if they are password protected.  Don’t leave an Internet connected computer in a child’s room.   Put the computer in a frequented place in the house where people can see what one is doing.  It may also be good to not allow access to computer without a parent home, and at nighttime. Take the modem to bed with you.  This will make sure none of your kids are on the Internet alone.

These are just a couple of strategies that you can use to protect your house and children from pornography, and for preventing it from ever entering your house.  Be creative in what you do, but most of all, make sure your family is safe.

What are some things you do to keep your family safe from pornography?

Picture from FreeDigitalPhotos.Net

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