4 Things a Grandma and a Video Game Taught Me About Porn

So there I was, standing next to a grandma I barely knew with hardcore porn playing on the big screen.

I never imagined my day was going to end up like this! I was a youth pastor at the time, and the grandmother of a 15-year-old boy had asked me to come over. I showed up ready to give all the parent advice I knew as this grandma was doing her best to raise her grandson on her own.

I rang the doorbell. She invited me in and then spoke the words that changed the entire trajectory of my day.

“Do you know anything about video game systems?” she said. “I feel like there is something going on with my grandson’s video game system.”

My mind flashed to my early days playing “Duck Hunt,” or that one time I mastered the Mortal Kombat fatality for Sub Zero.

I smiled and answered with great confidence, “Sure. Let me see what you’re talking about.”

She led me to a bedroom that had a TV bigger than the bed. I saw the game system sitting in front of it and quickly turned on the TV and system. This is where the story takes a vicious turn.

I grabbed the controller and started hitting buttons. I was pretending like I knew what I was doing, but I was just trying to save face and fix the supposed problem.

Click. Click. Click.

It’s at this point—the fourth click—where my day took a terrible turn. On this dreaded click, the entire big screen filled with hardcore pornography. The sound was up, and we immediately entered a den of iniquity as the moans rang through the room and the scenes grew more vivid by the second.

My eyes were like saucers as I looked desperately at grandma, and grandma was looking desperately at me. I start hitting every button on the remote in a full out panic. Sweat began to build on my brow. I hit more buttons—different buttons this time, all while the moans coming from the TV speakers intensified. At this point, I’m smashing every part on the remote until finally, just before I was about to lose my mind, the screen minimizes, the moaning stops, and my heart reenters my chest.

I was silent for a minute, not wanting to look at grandma after we had shared in this ‘intimate’ moment together. Finally, I looked at her and said,“Uh. I think you’re right. I think he’s using the video game system for more than just Mario Kart.”

She then looked at me and held up a handheld video game system.

“Can you check this too?”

I gulped.

“Yes ma’am. Yes, I can check this for you.”

I took the system from her, moved five steps out of her line of vision, and started clicking buttons again. It only took a few clicks to find the forbidden fruit, all downloaded on last year’s Christmas gift.

No Longer Ignorant

It was on that day that my eyes opened. I realized that the porn problem for kids was much greater than I had ever expected. This situation happened over ten years ago and it hasn’t improved in the slightest. In fact, it’s gotten much worse. On that day, however, something changed within me as I was no longer ignorant to the truth.

When the metaphorical blindfold was taken off my eyes, I was able to become a much better-informed youth pastor and a much better parent.

I want to encourage you to become less ignorant of the world that your kids live in and the struggles, trials, and temptations that they face every day. As an engaged parent, you will be able to stand and support your kids from a place of knowledge and empowerment.

So, here are four quick keys to eradicate ignorance around purity for your kids.

1. Know the facts.

As parents, we often want to believe the best of our kids. We will make statements like, “Not Johnny, he doesn’t ever look at anything like that.” Or, “You don’t know my kid. He’s very sheltered.”

When we begin to understand the facts, it allows us to see that our kids are not immune, and they are living in a culture that is very “porn friendly.” Did you know that the average age of first exposure to pornography is between eight and 11 years old?

Keep in mind, this is the average. This means that half are older. But, it also means that half are younger. Our kids are being exposed to pornography at a much younger age than many of us can even comprehend.

This early exposure will often begin to shape their thoughts on sexuality and the expectations that they have for the relationships that they will have in the future.

2. If there’s WiFi, there’s access to pornography.

If the device has access to WiFi, your child has access to pornography.

As we’ve already seen from my heart stopping experience, this can easily be video games. In fact, the world’s largest portal for porn released their statistics on how people are accessing their site in 2018, and it showed that their website is being accessed by ALL the video game systems with the Playstation taking the lion’s share at 54.4% and Xbox in second place at 33%.

What may be surprising though is the amount of people accessing porn through handheld game systems. This can be a system like the Nintendo Switch or DS. Many parents may think little Mikey is in the back seat playing Donkey Kong, while he’s really watching some intense porn.

3. Tablets and phones are easy to conceal.

When a porn company released their data in 2018, it truly reflected the change that we have seen in our culture over the last five years. It compared the access to their site between home computers, tablets and cell phones. Here are the results:

  • Home Computers = 19.7%
  • Tablets  = 8.7%
  • Cell Phones = 71.6%

If we were to take tablets and cell phones and put them into one handheld category, we would find that 80% of access to this specific porn site happens on devices that can be easily concealed and taken into private areas.

As parents, we want our kids to have nice things and we often want the ability to have contact with them. However, without proper precautions, phones and tablets can easily become a Pandora’s Box.

4. Control the conversation.

If you are thinking to yourself that it’s time to have “the talk” with your child, it was probably time six months ago. Kids talk. Whether they are in school or home schooled, they are around other kids. Kids talk about things that they discover and things that intrigue them. Sex has always been a topic that has intrigued and mystified kids. Porn has only accelerated this conversation.

As a parent, be the first one to bring up the subject with your child. Don’t wait for something to happen before you bring it up. As parents, we are not called to play “defense.” We are not called to be “reactionary.” We are called to open the conversation first.

When you talk about the subject of sex or porn, it lets your child know that you are a safe source and that they are not going to get in trouble if they come to you to talk about things that they are facing or temptations that may be arising.

Depending on your child’s maturity, you may let them know that you once faced similar struggles and trials. You don’t need to get into all the dirty details to let them know that they are not alone and that you had to traverse some difficult roads along the way. They just may have a newfound respect for you and see you as a travel guide on the journey of life and not just the warden.

When you control the conversation, you can share with them your values and explain why they are so important. Other families may not share your same values, so it’s so important for them to understand the why behind the what. Let them know the dangers of pornography and why it is important to stay on guard.

Safeguarding Your Family

There are many simple steps that you can take today to safeguard your family.

  1. Start using Covenant Eyes in your home. You can download it on your home computers, laptops, tablets and phones. It has protected my family for many years.
  2. Talk with your kids about porn. I created a class to empower parents in this “porn conversation” called, “How to Talk to Your Kids About Pornography.” From unpacking the short- and long-term effects of pornography exposure to giving you the step by step tools to take in facilitating the conversation, you are sure to gain empowerment through the course.
  3. Pray for your family every day. Pray for God’s protection over their minds, and make a commitment to stay in tune with the Holy Spirit and start conversations with your kids whenever you feel the prompting. Remember, if God brought you to it, He will get you through it!

 To all the moms and dads out there reading this: you got this!

Keep smiling. Keep shining. Keep parenting.

Your kids need you!


Greg HintzGreg Hintz  is a purity coach, author of Porn Again: Three Keys to Living Porn Free, and teacher of the class “How to Talk to Your Kids About Pornography.” In addition to personal and family coaching, Greg regularly speaks in churches and schools about the dangers of pornography.