Internet Access & Kids: 4 Tips to help protect your kids
Posted Nov 28 2012 8:17am
The following is an excerpt from well respected author and speaker, Vicki Courtney.
Put safety filters on your home computers and deactivate the web browser on your children’s handheld devices. If you feel your child is old enough to access the web on the home computer, add monitoring software to spot-check their web activity. If they are accessing the web on handheld devices, make it a practice to spot-check their devices from time to time. The rule of thumb in our home was: If I don’t have the time to monitor the device, it’s not a good time for my child to have it. It’s important that we let your children know that our ultimate goal is to protect them from 1) outside influences that can have long-term results and 2) themselves. We all make mistakes and our children are no different.
Help your children come up with an escape plan. It’s not a matter of “if,” but “when” your children will be exposed to pornography, whether they stumble upon it with an accidental click, seek it out on their own, or are introduced to it by someone they know. Help them come up with what they might say if they are at a friend’s house or in a situation where they unexpectedly find themselves on the receiving end of peer pressure. Encourage them to let you know when this happens and assure them that this is a welcome topic in your home.
Educate your children about the long-term effects of viewing pornography. I give an overview of the damaging effects in 5 Conversations You Must Have With Your Son as well as introduce a helpful tool to encourage self control: STP (Stop, Think, Pray). If your son is ten or older, it’s time to brush up on Conversation #2 and present the truths in a way that will respect his age and level of understanding. If your son is under 10 but has been exposed to a more worldly environment (younger child in family, attends public school, plays on rec/sports teams with older boys, etc.), you may need to begin this conversation sooner.
Put it on your calendar to talk about this topic at least once every two months. The information presented is more likely to be absorbed by your child with repetition. You can assign this task to one parent or share in the responsibility. In my home, I had the majority of the conversations related to this topic, since I spent more time with the children during the day. However, my husband was also vigilant in taking our sons through the book, “Preparing Your Son for Every Man’s Battle” and encouraging them to meet with an accountability partner (which both my sons do), who will ask them some tough questions (and vice-versa).
For bonus points, if you have a son, I highly recommend parents read the book, Wired for Intimacy: How Pornography Hijacks the Male Brain by William Struthers. I quoted this book extensively in 5 Conversations. While my book will help you begin (and continue) this necessary conversation, Struther’s book will give you a thorough understanding of what is taking place chemically in the brain when pornography is viewed. We owe it to our sons to pass along this information, less they become enslaved to this sin for the remainder of their lives. (2 Peter 2:19b)
Btw: would love your .02 worth. Are you facing these issues at home right now? If so, what can you share with us to help in this process of guiding our kids through technology?