Two years ago, my then 10 year old son was watching Club Penguin videos on Youtube. He performed a search for more Club Penguin videos. A risqué video popped up among the results.
He watched it. And then watched another. And then decided to sneak the laptop into his room, so he could watch more.
That’s where I thankfully caught him.
Fortunately the videos weren’t hard core. Fortunately we caught it early, before my son could develop really bad internet habits.
That’s not always the case.
After that incident, you’d think I would have quickly installed SOMETHING to keep my kids safe online. I meant to. Really, I did.
The thing is, there are so many options out there, I developed a bad case of analysis paralysis. And I did nothing.
After a brief conversation with our church’s youth pastor last week, I was reminded that cyber safety for kids is important.
The Dangers of the Internet – Pornography
There are many cyber safety concerns, but for this series, I’m going to focus why it is important to guard against online porn.
Here are a few facts to consider. According to the Covenant Eyes website:
- Over one half of boys and one third of girls see their first pornographic image by age 13.
- Over one quarter of sixteen and seventeen year olds have seen online nudity when they didn’t want to.
- More than one in five hits to Google’s mobile search sites are for pornography.
- 64%-68% of young adult men use porn at least once a week. 18% of young adult women do the same.
Houston, we have a problem.
Kids are getting sucked into the world of pornography at young ages, often unintentionally. And that has some pretty serious repercussions.
Besides the obvious problem of luring our children away from God, pornography sets kids up for unrealistic expectations of their future husbands/wives.
Marriages are destroyed because of porn.
Jobs have been lost because of porn.
Finances have been ruined because of porn.
And when a chid is accidentally exposed to porn, follows his curiosity and views more, and then becomes addicted to it, that child has set himself up for what could be a lifetime of struggle, much like a child addicted to drugs does.
It’s easier to control the availability of drugs.
The Accessibility of Porn
How many electronic devices do you have in your home? We have a lot – one desktop, two laptops, one Chromebook, three tablets, and four cell phones.
The cell phones, and sometimes the tablets, go with us wherever we go. And we aren’t always with our kids. But porn is always available on the internet.
So how do we protect them? How do we teach them to make good choices? To say no to porn, when human curiosity is screaming at them to view it?
I certainly don’t have all the answers, but in future posts in this series, we’ll take a look at some practical ways to keep kids safe online. There’s no foolproof way to keep your kids away from pornography, but there are several things you and I can do to make it less available and less desirable for our kids.
I hope you’re join me next week, as we begin to look at different ways to keep our kids safe online.
Read the rest of the series.
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