If you are a parent and you are not proactively protecting your child from what they have access to on their phones, iPods, iPads and computers then chances are your kids have been or are being exposed to soft or hard core porn.
It’s not necessarily because kids are looking for it although kids are curious. Today instead of having to look through a dictionary for dirty words they can google them and see lots of pictures along with the definition. I think many times exposure to porn starts as an accidental occurrences of pop up porn and then curiosity follows.
I’ve talked with many Christian parents and grandparents in the last year whose kids have been exposed to extremely graphic hard core porn – videos on youtube. Pictures on google. They were devastated to find such explicit material and to know their kids had been exposed to that.
This stuff is in the palms of our children and it’s only one click away. And while training our children to have a heart that loves and follows God is what will ultimately keep ourselves and our kids away from this junk we hardly have time to get through the training process without them being exposed to it so early.
That’s why I believe it’s imperative to have safeguards in place. There are a lot of ways to do that. We have found http://iparent.tv to be extremely helpful. They offer filters and guidelines for parents. In just a few minutes you can find out how Snapchat, Badoo, Instagram and other popular social media sites work. I bought the app for my phone because I want to know what’s out there and what kids are into these days. I’m not a social media expert but these people are and they know parents don’t have a lot of time to go research this stuff out so they have done it for us! It’s awesome. So worth the time in snooping around their site.
Don’t have the money to purchase a filter? No problem. There are good ole fashion, free ways like simply saying, “No” to your 4th grader who is begging for an iPhone with Youtube on it. Or maybe you feel your child is old enough for a phone but you don’t want access to the internet – simple, don’t install it. You have the power to take off those apps. Surely there will be push back on your kids end but it’s time to step up and be the parent in this area.
I hear over and over an attitude from parents that they have no choice in the matter when it comes to their kids devices. They feel powerless. Like it’s a domain that can’t be touched because it’s so personal and because they don’t understand how some of the apps work.
Two things to remember here:
1) Get educated. Use sites like the one I’m recommending (no kickbacks for me on this – I just believe in it) Go to a phone store of the Apple store and have a conversation to find out the questions you have about your child’s phone.
2) Remember this: Your child doesn’t have a right to privacy. I know that’s what you hear them say. But until your child turns 18 and doesn’t live under your roof they have NO right to privacy. Feel no guilt over this. It’s the way it should be. Yes, even if they are a teen and paying their own cell phone bill they have no privacy.
I believe with age should come more freedom and so while accountability is still in place – whether it’s a filter or a tracking app or you checking their phone – you can still grant more freedom and space with age so they can learn to navigate through mistakes and actually have the chance to exercise discipline in the area of guarding their eyes.
I feel very passionate about this stuff because I’ve talked to way too many people with kids my age and younger who have been exposed to such graphic sites. There are such deep consequences to this stuff and I don’t want to see a culture hindered from God’s work because of an addiction that led to failed relationships all because of a little 4×5 wide open device parents handed over with such excitement.
May God give us wisdom in training our kids in a culture that is rushing them into sexual perversion and immorality. Greater is He that is in us than he that is in the world. Let’s hang on to that and know that our God is more powerful than the images satan is trying to throw in our faces.