I don’t often give parental advice. On the whole, I feel like all your children really need is you, and there are as many ways to be a good parent as there are parents.
However, children are growing up in an age where they are inundated with pornography. They are being sexually exploited. Many are being raped and molested and even the very best parents have floundered wondering what to do to protect their children. Often, good parents do not understand the immensity of the problem. If we do not want an entire generation growing up with their minds and bodies sexually exploited, parents need to act, and they will need to make some tough choices.
I’ve read about the worst case scenarios where young children begin molesting their siblings after lengthy porn exposure. I have read about sexting where teens send nude pictures and videos to each other through cell phones and social media. I know full well that even the kids who do not have cell phones are often exposed to hard core pornography on their friend’s phones. Our children are growing up in enemy territory. They are being exploited. Here are some ideas that will help parents keep their children safe:
- Do not give your kids smart phones. When I was a child parents would debate about whether or not children should have a tvs in their bedrooms and whether or not that was good for them. Today, parents not only give their children Internet in their bedrooms, but in their pockets. The internet is dangerous.
- Do not allow your children to have social media accounts including Instagram and snapchat and if you do, watch all of their accounts regularly.
- Do not allow your children to use iPads, laptops, and desktop computers alone ever. Always be in the same room with your children while they are using any device that can access the Internet.
- Use monitoring and blocking software on all Internet devices.
- Don’t allow sleep overs.
- Have frequent and open conversations with your little children about sex, pornography and appropriate touching. Remind your children that they should always tell you if someone shows them inappropriate things or tries to involve them in inappropriate touch.
- If you can, consider home schooling. Teens are exposed to pornography regularly from their friend’s phones during the school day. Most middle schools allow kids to have cell phones during the school day.
- Hold your children accountable. Ask your teens when they were last exposed to pornography. Ask them about their friends and what their friends are doing. Ask them about sexting and social media use. Make this conversation a part of each week.
- If you feel like something is a little off with your children, listen to those feelings and investigate immediately.
We live in a difficult age. It is a difficult time to raise children and keep them safe. But parents do have options. The choices may be hard. It’s hard to say no when it seems like every other parent is saying yes. It’s hard for your kids to be the only ones with flip phones or the only ones that have to go home before the sleep over part of the party. But, in the end, parents who raise children as safely as possible will be the happiest and have the happiest children.