When it comes to Internet safety, Christian parents face a great challenge. The following is a common story we hear…
Her 13-year-old daughter came home announcing that her school would be providing all the students with iPads. Mom was skeptical, to say the least. The school would not be providing a way to lock down or filter the iPad. How would she protect her daughter from pornographic content?
Soon, her worst nightmare came true. Mom apprehended the iPad one evening and looked through the Internet browser’s history, finding page after page of hardcore pornography. After more investigation it became obvious that her daughter had been looking at porn for weeks, sometimes for an hour or more at a time.
How could her daughter do this? Their family went to church. The children knew right and wrong. How could her daughter be into this kind of stuff?
Your Child Isn’t the Only One
In North America, about 90% of boys and 70% of girls, ages 13 to 14, have reported accessing porn at least once last year, and 35% of boys reported viewing porn online “too many times to count.” Children and teens viewing pornography is sadly very common today.
In the church, it is no different. According to one study, those who identify themselves as “fundamentalists” are 91% more likely to look at porn.
Internet Safety: Christian Solutions Involve More than Filters
Of course, as Christians parents, we should be diligent about guarding their eyes and their hearts from sexualized media. Use good technical measures, like Internet filtering. Couple this with good Internet monitoring and accountability. If you child is trying to look up sexy stuff online, you should know about it, even if the filter stops him or her from seeing something. You should be getting a report of all their online activities e-mailed to you regularly.
But as Christian parents, when our children have been looking at pornography, we need more than a bigger fence to keep porn at bay. We need to engage our children in discussion to help them understand what they have seen.
Helping Parents Navigate Online Exposure: A Step-by-Step Guide
Finding evidence of your child looking at pornography can be very upsetting, but this is not the end of the story.
Do not panic.
Not only can you do more to protect your children from the temptations online, you can also prepare them to grow up in a world saturated with sexual temptations.
Download a free copy of Confident below. Available for both Catholic and general Christian audiences, Confident is an indispensable guide for parents.