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Protect Your Kids From Porn

While we, at The Band, work tirelessly to bring you expert resource pages, sometimes the best advice is from someone who has been where you’re standing.
What follows is a mixture between a resource and a post.
I introduce to you, The Band, a Demo Tape.
Take what you need and leave the rest.

Children are naturally curious about everything – including human sexuality. They are also very familiar with accessing information about virtually every topic via online resources. It doesn’t take much for children and teens to access pornography online. As a parent, it’s your job to make sure that your child isn’t exposed to harmful things and at the same time gains the confidence and knowledge to navigate the way toward adulthood.

Protecting your kids from porn is a big part of that journey.

There are many studies that reveal how exposure to pornography in children and adolescents can foster a skewed view of sexuality, relationships and intimacy. Children are simply not mature enough to separate the sexual imagery in pornography with actual adult relationships. Make sure your child gains a healthy attitude toward sex by protecting them from pornography.

3 Steps Parents Can Take

So how can parents protect their children from porn? There are 3 steps that any parent can take to reduce access and minimize the impact of porn exposure.

Step 1. Establish rules on electronics

Parents should establish rules on the use of electronic media at home, which is easier said than done with today’s technological advancements. Some ideas include restricting the use of personal devices after a certain time in the evening, unplugging the router overnight, placing home computers in public spaces, and disabling data plans on smartphones.

Rules should be consistent and age appropriate, but keep in mind that when rules are too restrictive, children and teens will work harder to seek ways around them.

Step 2. Set up filters and access controls

Many parents are in denial about what kind of children look at porn — they think it is only children from broken homes or the neighborhood delinquents. The realistic answer is that every child will be exposed to pornography at some point — it’s prevalent and easy to access.

It may seem like the simple answer is to just block your child’s access to electronics and media, but children and teens have everything from iPods and MP3 players to computers. Chances are, children will be exposed to pornography, either accidentally or on purpose. It’s a good idea to learn about various free or purchased parental control and access regulation software and use them.

When these types of restricted access steps are in place, it makes it more difficult for children to stumble onto porn sites and gain access to sexually explicit material.

Step 3. Talk to your children about sex and pornography

Parents should never let the internet become their child’s teacher about sex, sexual identity and sexual relationships. However, too many parents, especially ones from strict religious backgrounds, are not comfortable even saying the word “sex,” much less discussing sexual dynamics with their children.

When parents are unwilling to talk frankly about sexual expression and healthy sexual relationships, children will seek out other sources to satisfy their curiosity. Good parenting means that it’s important to have conversations about sex and healthy vs. unhealthy sexual relationships over and over again using age-appropriate language. Parents must communicate to their children that pornography is an unrealistic version of sex and sexual relationships.

Protect and Educate

When it comes to minimizing harm from exposure to pornography, parents must use a combination of protection and education. The top goal of parents everywhere should be to help their children navigate the difficult path from childhood and adolescence to adulthood. Sexual education is a key part of developing a healthy attitude toward sex and not allowing pornography, with its artificial depictions of human relationships, to be the teacher and usurp the parent’s job of educating their children.

Guilty By Association

It has become abundantly clear in my seven years as a parent that guilt is part of the role. We, as parents, are forced to fight that little voice that screams your child’s name into your head every time you’re forced to make a decision. That voice keeps us wishing we could throw our kids into a backpack and carry them with us where ever we want to go.

That damn voice has kept me from applying to my dream job in Sydney… but it’s also kept me from becoming bar fly. Which may have also once been a dream of mine, before I had a kid.

I was about to turn 19 years old and in the fog of the partying days of my freshman year of college. My parents were so pleased because I was on scholarship to go to a Catholic University (HA!).

Little did they know that their daughter was engulfed in a crowd of kids who’d been so disciplined all their lives that this was their opportunity to break free. I, on the other hand, had two older brothers and a lot of freedom growing up, so the drinking and partying was nothing new to me. I was the beer-wench for my brothers’ parties when I was ten, and tapped my first keg when I was twelve.

Unfortunately, I wasn’t as smart as I thought I was.

January of 2003 brought with it a big surprise… a BABY in my tummy! It felt so great coming out of the fog of my partying days with a baby bump, only to hear semi-weary “congratulations” from passers by.

At 19, the only responsibility I’d ever had was to put clean underwear on and brush my teeth. I even failed at THAT sometimes! Please remind me of how this is a “congratulations” moment.

But alas, my child was born 9 months later after 20 grueling hours of labor. I wish I could say that it was the best day of my life, but I can’t. It was the weirdest day of my life. I’d just squeezed a child out of my fun-hole and it kept trying to suck on my nipples – wild. Needless to say, this day was certainly significant.

Here we are, seven years later. I’m stressed to the point that I’d love to disappear for a few months, but that green stuff that makes us happy and gets us places isn’t exactly abundant in my life.

No, not medical marijuana… I’m talking about money. Okay, medical marijuana isn’t exactly abundant, either, and it should be. I hear it takes the edge off (ahem).

I’ve made some sacrifices (read: rearranged my entire life) for my little guy. There are days I wish I could come and go as I please – and I’m not just talking about trips to the store. I’m talking about doing what my friends do, like deciding one day that they’re going to move to London to work for 6 months.

I can’t do that because I need my family to help me so I can go on to become the CEO of a major corporation one day, and flying 12 people to London sounds expensive.

I need my parents because they pick my son up from school. I need my brothers around because my kid is an only child and without my nephews, he’ll never learn the value of sharing or what it means to get into a fist fight and still be best friends 10 minutes later. He needs his family – I don’t, but I need him.

Soon he’ll be 18, my career will be well on it’s way, and I’ll regret ever wishing that things were different, so I try not to.

But I feel guilty because there’s so much time that needs to pass before I’m on my feet. Almost as though my son is going to have his career established before I do. Perhaps THIS is why people wait until they’re in their 30’s to have kids.

Excuse me. I have about 1000 Legos sitting in front of me that need to be pieced together to build an airport.