By Bev S
In part one we brought you our first article on a subject we would all like to pretend doesn’t exist, pornography and children. We tried to urge you to download an internet filter to protect your children and yourself against popup images. That took a bit of your time but know that it will be worth it! To prepare for these articles, I have been reading a bit more on the subject of pornography than I would ever intend to read–it makes me sad and mad at the same time. Recently I read the story of a man, raised in a Christian home with Christian parents and grandparents, who became addicted to pornography as a teenager. This was before the age of the internet and he had to smuggle “girlie” magazines into the house and hide them. He tells how his preoccupation with the girls in the magazines caused him to have sexual fantasies about the girls and women around him to the point that he called them his fantasy “harem.” After marrying, he tried to make his wife into a “playmate” and often had fantasies when he was intimate with her. He stated that he never physically had adultery with any other women, but he was in addictive adulterous fantasy relationships with many women. He is now on the road to recovery, but fights his addiction daily. It is from that initial exposure to pornography that we must protect our children and teens.
Sexual addition is a growing problem among children, teens and adults today. No longer do boys and girls have to smuggle images into the house—they are readily available on the internet. No longer is a child molester hanging out at the playground—s/he can hide, virtually, behind an electronic cloak of invisibility and phony identities. An even scarier reality is that often the sexual predator today is another juvenile.
I’d like to share some Internet Safety Tips with you from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children:
- Get to know the Internet and any services your child uses. Go online together.
- Set rules and guidelines for computer use and monitor them, especially the amount of time spent online. Parents, be brave enough to limit online time.
- Tell your children to never click on any links or open attachments in an e-mail from someone they do not know.
- Never disclose personal information (age, address, school, name, telephone number) screen names or passwords in public messages, chat rooms, bulletin boards or online profiles.
- Never allow a young person to arrange a face-to-face meeting with another computer user without parental permission. If you agree to a meeting, make sure it is in a public place and accompany your child.
- Get to know your child’s online friends just as you would his/her other friends.
- Tell your children they do not have to respond to messages, and never respond to messages or postings that are suggestive, obscene, belligerent or threatening. Teach them to log off immediately.
- Check out blocking and filtering software and Web site ratings.
- Report pornography, sexual solicitation or other suspicious activity on the Internet to your Internet service provider or the CyberTipline at 222.cybertipline.com.
Even better, check out one family’s agreement (Internet Monitoring Plan) which I think you might want to use with your family. Take the time to look at it and consider talking through it with your children.
For wisdom will enter your heart, and knowledge will be pleasant to your soul. Discretion will protect you, and understanding will guard you. Wisdom will save you from the ways of wicked men, from men whose words are perverse.
Proverbs 2: 10-12