5 Ways to Protect Children from Pornography
A few weeks ago, a colleague in the Christian publishing and speaking world suddenly needed an audience with me and my team … and fast. You see, over the weekend his eight-year-old daughter had a sleepover with a nine-year-old friend. When his fourteen-year-old got on the Internet after they’d used it, she found herself seeing images no girl (or woman, for that matter) should ever see. His heart was broken by the fact that both of his little girls had been forced to look at images that rip the innocence right out of girlhood.
It shouldn’t surprise you that this happened. It happens in most houses every day. The fourth most-searched word on the Internet for kids ages seven and under in 2009 was “porn.” For all kids up to age 18, sex was number four and porn was number five (according to data collected by OnlineFamily.Norton.com). This supports some research I saw a few years ago out of Britain, stating that the average age of the first inception of pornography has dropped from around 12 or 13 to age seven or eight. Are you sure your kids haven’t seen any?
Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it
I believe that command includes training them the way they should not go. That means providing roadblocks to one of today’s most insidious vices: pornography.
Here are five ways to protect your children from porn:
- Place computers in public rooms. Avoid bedrooms or dens where doors can be closed.
- Install Internet filters or accountability software. In our home, we use both SafeEyes and Covenant Eyes.
- Join any social networks — such as Facebook, MySpace, or Twitter — where your children belong and know their passwords. They should know that you are able to help monitor their friends and incoming images.
- Ask your children outright if they have sent or received “sext” messages. About 15 percent or more of teens have received one and are just waiting for you to help them talk about it.
- Collect cell phones at night to recharge them … and to let your kids recharge without them!
Of course, these measures are just one part of an open dialogue about sexual purity. You can’t just hide your kids from the world, but you can train them to safeguard themselves from harmful material within it.
I am shaking all over and feel like my imperfect world is falling apart. Similar words that my 11 year old son just shared with me tonight. Through tears and bawling, he confessed that "5 times' he's googled "sexy' on my iphone when I thought he was playing shrek cart. Do you know what we should do? He is homeschooled. We know we need help and don't have a clue where to start. I can't tell you how I'd appreciate it if you have advice. hearts breaking.
Hi Sweet friend!
Don't shake too much. This is good news. HE TOLD YOU! That is a righteous man in the making. The BIble says that a righteous man confesses His sin. He does fall, but he hates it. Your son has all the makings of that. Be grateful.
Start with a good talk with dad that's transparent and tells your son that he's not alone and he's not super-evil or bad. (That's how he feels.) Dad needs to be straight up honest about how hard it is not to notice all the "sexy" women in this world and that any warm-blooded man is tempted. (He may even carefully confess that he's fallen a time or two. This would make you son feel like another godly man has walked where he has and survived to tell about it. He will too!)
Second, set up filters on all your computers if you don't have them. Tell your son why. It's not because he's bad. It's because there is some bad stuff out there and you want to protect him…walk with him so he can be victorious.
Third, don't make it a big, bad secret. Talk about it from time to time. Let him know you care. Don't ask about it every day or even every week, but keep your pulse on his struggle and help him turn to the Lord when he feels tempted.
Job said "I have made a covenant with my eyes not to look at a girl lustfully." This problem has been around for a long time. A covenant between your son and his dad might be a cool thing to write up. Make it official that yours is a house of godly men. They fall, but they get back up!
Thank you so much sister! I am humbled that you would reply and the Lord is at work. You have encouraged me more than you know. This happened at a crazy time, as I am with my kids on vacation and my dear husband was at home for another two weeks before he was going to join us. Both my husband and I feel so broken and have been doing serious talking about what needs to change. A lit. First of all, he's flying down tonight for the weekend and I am so glad. He agreed that he hasn't spent enough time with our only son and that at any cost, this has to change. I will share your response with him. I love your ideas and we will prayerfully proceed. Bless your heart, Dannah! I love you and the ministry you have!!
I'm not a speaker or writer, I'm just a mom. But, I want to encourage you a little. I read your post. I have raised two sons, who are now 25 and 22. As hard as it is to keep the "little" in girls, (I also have a daughter) I thought it was even more difficult to keep my sons innocent. It just isn't a fair fight out there. So much of the culture wants to invade their space with images and experiences that go against everything that you want for them. But, "Greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world."
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This is really informational!