21 December 2016   /    Daron's Soap Box

Daron’s Soap Box: Tips for Parents to Manage Online Porn

  Daron Pratt

Daron has a soapbox moment…

One harrowing thing that is coming across my desk more and more in my safe places work is incidents of children accessing porn online at a younger age. Children aged 7,8 and 9 are now accessing porn on a regular basis and it is not just soft porn but hardcore and grotesque. Children are also perpetrating sexual assault on other children at an increasingly younger age. Perpetrators and victims should be playing with barbie dolls and action figures. Innocent risqué games of years gone by like doctors and nurses has now been replaced in our school yards by “secret parties” where children are sitting together and sharing and discussing hard core porn on their devices.

Whilst children always have had a natural curiosity about things of a sexual nature and where they come from, they have had a harder time accessing pornography in the past. Now it is available 24/7 and is not just the type of porn you would find in a magazine (bad enough as it is)… the problem is that young children and teenagers are now taking their sexual norms/script from what they are seeing online and this is hard core, shocking and often violent pornography. Children are often left traumatised by what is forced upon them by their partners trying to act out what they see.

Porn is also highly addictive and damaging, affecting the brain creating a one-way neurological super highway. Once hooked it is very hard to recover from it! It also makes sex and intimacy the way it was created, harder to enjoy later in life.

Some kids get access to sites through what their parents are watching/reading, others come across it accidentally, Most see it on their friend’s devices. I get phone calls from parents in shock wondering how it has happened and not knowing what to do. Many of these young perpetrators and victims already know how to hide and delete histories so parents can’t see. I mean why do children of 7,8 and 9 need their own mobile device in the first place?

Parents, please assume that if your child has a device, they will have access to porn and they will share it and attempt to emulate it. We can no longer bury our heads in the sand and think we can stop children getting access at some point… the question is how are we going to manage/train/equip our children and give them strategies/tools to deal with this when it happens?

Parents often tell me that they are powerless to stop it and allow devices and computers into bedrooms not realising the harm that it is doing. The use of live video and snap chat takes the game of secrets to a whole new level. The need to actively parent in the year 2016 takes on a whole new meaning. The enemy has plans for our kids…. The question is do we?

Pr Daron’s Top Ten Tips for parents.

  1. Always remember that you are the parent and set boundaries and protocols around children’s online access
  2. Teach children about appropriate online usage
  3. Never Allow devices into the children’s bedrooms
  4. Talk to your children about these things and prepare them for what to do when they see it. (It is going to happen whether we like it or not)
  5. Talk to your children about the wonder of sex at various times in an age appropriate way.
  6. Allow children access to the internet on the homes mainframe computer in a public space in the house. Research has found when kids access porn accidentally then a parent talking about it with the child ameliorates the effects of that bad experience
  7. Spend time with your children. A parent earns the right to speak to their children at an older age if they have spent significant time with their children
  8. Let the children know that there is nothing too hard/embarrassing that they can’t talk to you about
  9. Talk to your children about appropriate online protocols/criminality/boundaries and other issues with social media as they reach the ages where they are allowed online.
  10. Does your child really need a mobile phone/gadget? Hold off allowing them access to these for as long as possible (A mobile phone does not have to be a smartphone)

 

Daron gets off his soapbox and continues to negotiate through the digital jungle.

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