You must be Proactive, not Reactive.
It was a quiet Friday afternoon. My seven-year-old wanted to print coloring pages as we have done many times.
So, he pulls up his age-restricted account and starts searching for coloring pages of his favorite characters.
He starts scrolling down the black and white line drawings and then BAM…. Explicit image... Boom!
The only color image on the page was front and center right in front of my seven-year-old’s eyes.
My brain was screaming!
Current research suggests that the average age children are exposed to porn is nine. Math class reminder means that of all the data collected the average is the middle point between the extremes. So, kids older than nine and younger than nine are exposed to porn for the first time.
This is haunting to think about.
And truthfully, it has me up past my ‘bedtime’ writing this post. Because truthfully, I’m horrified and angry. Angry that the multiple-level protection we have in place in our home didn’t work. Then mad at the people that intentionally sought to connect such imagery to a kid's tv show.
But I am so thankful that even my seven-year-old knew what to do when he came across that image. He knew to close his eyes and tell me. He knew what to do because this incident was not the first time we talked about porn.
Don’t gasp too loudly here. Take a breath.
Ever since the summer before my oldest entered second grade, we have gone through a book called Good Pictures, Bad Pictures. Every summer before school starts, we go through this book. Thankfully for my seven-year-old, there is a Good Pictures, Bad Pictures Jr. book we went through just last month.
These books communicate what porn is, the dangers of porn, and the steps when you encounter porn. Because our kids will encounter it.
It is no longer magazines hidden about some kid’s house; it is one click away most of the time. Even ads on ‘kid’ apps pop up inappropriate content.
‘...the thief comes only to steal to kill and destroy…” (John 10:10)
And it doesn’t take much looking about our world to know the ‘thief’ is on the move. But ‘the best defense is a good offense. I’m not a big sports gal, but I know if you’re the one in control of the ball you’re the only one making progress in the game. Pornography was one area of my parenting (especially with three boys) that I know I needed to be in control of the ball. I had to be on the offensive to keep the enemy from taking ground.
I am so thankful for these resources and the authors behind these books. And how these books have given me the tools to protect and equip my boys for the world they live in.
Reading these books and having these conversations is no guarantee that porn won’t be a stumbling block for my boys in their lifetime. Sin is sneaky. But proactive parenting gives my kids the tools and knowledge to be prepared when the world wants to taint their sweet minds.
I pray this post encourages and equips you. Don’t be ashamed or worried that you haven’t started this conversation yet. You know your child best and have been placed as their parent by the One who knows your child best now and in the future. You are capable in this area.
Check out 5 Tips for setting Screentime Boundaries for tips on how to set healthy boundaries with your kids regarding screens.