Do you know the statistics for teens and use of pornography on the Internet? Even the statistic s for pre-teens? If you do, are you aware of what they view on the Internet? Would they want you to see or know what they look at?
Covenant Eyes has put out a new resource for parents that I also have available in a pdf at the end of this post and in the resource section of my website. Here some highlights that stood out to me: Pornography is viewed by teens more than any other age group. Really. They are the top consumers of pornography and yet their vulnerability and the impact it has on them can be devastating. The average age of first time viewing of pornography is now 11 years old. Once pornography is in a young person’s life, it can have damaging effects on the child and their future life and relationships.
I also want to share another resource excellent for parents as you are dealing with the Internet. On February 27, 2013, The Gospel Coalition posted this blog article on Raising Kids in a Pornified Culture. They identify eight strategies to raise kids in a culture where porn is rampant. I am going to focus on several of these and I suggest that you follow the link to the original post to read the whole post. It is too good pass up! The areas that we have taken to heart with our kids have been spiritually, relationally, and disciplinary in nature.
1. Teach your children the Gospel and bring them up in the Lord.
Kids need to know their heavenly Father– His expectations of us, His love for us. Kids need a big view of God to understand what He has created and how He wants us to live out the beauty of His creation.
2. Help them to know the facts, family rules and expectations.
Since we want to model God’s expectations in our family, we began talking about sex at a developmentally appropriate level early in their life. We didn’t wait until a friend could tell them or until they stumbled across unwanted images on the Internet (and believe me, they will.) We have made our rules and expectations clear, and continue to monitor use along with any misuses of media in the house.
3. Be exordinarily involved in your kid’s life
I’m not talking overprotective. I am talking knowing them. Knowing their likes and dislikes. Knowing their friends and their friends’ parents. Cultivating a relationship where they can talk to you…about anything –even if they have done something wrong. Kids should have a collaborative relationship with their parents. I know in doing this with our kids, they have come to us when they have seen something they shouldn’t have on the Internet. They have discussed what is dangerous about it and have continued to be open with us.
In protecting your family, consider a software filter and/or accountability program, such as Covenant Eyes. The benefits are also covered in the pdf below. If you subscribe to Covenant Eyes through my blog with the button on the right or use the code: vtdce you will get the first month free. I want you to know, as a partner with Covenant Eyes, I get a small portion for my ministry too.
Covenant Eyes ~ Parents Guide to Protecting Your Family on the Internet