Are you equipped to protect your family from the poisons of pornography? Recently, my adult sons and I decided to watch a movie together. Halfway through the movie, a very inappropriate scene unfolded on the screen…I was shocked. I grabbed the remote and fumbled to get it off the screen. I knew it said PG-13 on the trailer but when I looked again, it said “UN” next to the movie we rented. That stands for unedited…basically, anything goes.
My job as a father is to protect my children, and that means protecting their eyes and hearts. Images such as the ones my sons and I stumbled upon are not uncommon images in our culture today.
So when the average age that boys first stumble upon porn is 11, how can we as parents step up and guard our kids? Here are some general tips for protecting your family from the poisons of pornography:
- Start by reading these general 4 R’s of Technology.
- Activate and use parental controls on all of your devices, including your cell phones, computers, and television. If you don’t know how, you can always go online or contact the manufacturer.
- Keep televisions out of bedrooms.
- Know all of your kids’ passwords for their computer and phone, and periodically check their phone to see if it’s being used appropriately. For example, see what kind of music they are downloading.
- If your child has a Facebook or Instagram account, require that they friend you and let you follow them. You can also have them sign a Social Media Contract.
- Install filters and monitoring systems on your computers. You can now even find monitoring systems for most smart phones.
- Once you are aware, set clear boundaries with your child. Form time limits they are allowed on each device, and consider using our Family Internet Contract and Cell Phone Contract as guides for their online behavior.
- One of the best ways to protect your kids from the poisons of pornography is to have open communication about the subject. This may require knowing How to Tackle Tough Topics with Your Teens. Because no matter how hard you try to keep your child from experiencing corrupting content, there will always be things beyond your control—such as other kids phones, movies with friends, and times when your children are at someone else’s home where controls may not be in place. The goal is to help your child to make wise choices in what they hear and see.
What are other ways you protect your family from the poisons of pornography? Please comment below.