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Porn and censorship | Parent’s roles in curtailing porn

 

The internet is a vast world and everyone is entitled to access it. But sometimes, children could, by accident or from suggestions from peers, stumble upon pornography. As a parent or guardian, you do not have control over what a child sees on the internet. Some porn ads pop up on the screen without knowing. However, you can monitor the child and censor their accessibility to porn. So when you stumble upon your child watching porn, don’t freak out. Here’s what to do.

  1. Stay calm

Being upset will make your child worried she or he is in trouble. Stay calm and thank your child for being brave enough to let you know and reassure your child that you will sort it out together.

  1. Next, just listen

If your child has accidentally stumbled upon explicit content, ask him to tell you about how he found it. Ask him how he located it on his device. This will help you know how you can improve security measures. Find out where it happened, who (if anyone) showed it to him, how he felt when he saw it, and what he viewed. Remember, understand rather than reprimand.

  1. Reassure your child that s/he is not in any trouble

Avoid punishment. This will hurt your relationship. It will also reduce the likelihood your child will come to you about tricky issues in the future. Don’t take their device from them immediately or they’ll feel punished. That may come later, but for now, be calm and let him/her know they’re not in trouble.

Remember, your child may be upset about finding pornography, or if she was searching around curiously, even a little traumatized that it was more explicit than she could have imagined. We need to be supportive and understanding, acknowledging how upsetting it can be to see these types of things.

Once you and your children are calm and are able to talk things through it is time for the pornography conversation

You don’t have to have this conversation as soon as you discover that your child viewed pornography. The first three steps, above, are for that conversation. The following ideas are the “follow-up” talk:

  1. Plan your talk

While it is tempting to have a big lecture right there on the spot, it is better to take some time out to plan your conversation about pornography and sex before you start the discussion.

  1. Talk about how they felt

Did watching this make your child feel good, bad, safe, scared, uncomfortable, curious, or something else? All of these feelings are normal and children should know it’s fine to feel like that. Most children will feel a mix of curiosity and revulsion.

You can also use this as a chance to teach about real intimacy. Did what they viewed seem respectful? Were the people involved both wanting to do what they were doing, or were they just acting? You may wish to teach them that a respectful relationship includes sex where both partners agree to what is happening (use the word “consent” and discuss it) and feel good about it. Ask them if what they saw resembled kind and caring intimacy or dominance, power, and disrespect.

  1. Talk about sex

You may wish to talk to them about what sex is and why we have sex. Discussions about love and intimacy are important. So, too, are discussions about boundaries, appropriate age and timing for intimacy, and other personal values related to sex and love.

  1. Problem-solve together

Ask them whether they think it is a good idea to look for those kinds of things on the Internet again.

Encourage them to think of ways to stay safe. Answers might include:

  • Avoiding using keywords that lead to these kinds of images
  • Updating security levels on devices
  • Keeping devices in public places
  • Avoiding friends, relatives, and neighbors who are viewing pornography
  • Having regular conversations about what your child is viewing.
  1. Encourage your child to talk to you anytime about any questions they have, or anything else they see.

In a perfect world, you will have been having positive conversations about sex and intimacy with your children from an early age. A discussion about pornography may not have been in your plans, but accidental exposure to this kind of content demands a response. These tips can provide a useful springboard to further ongoing healthy conversations about intimate topics with your children.

How to censor porn for your child

  1. Turn on Google SafeSearch

Pros: Easy to enable
Cons: Easy for kids to turn off

  1. Use Screen Time on iPhones and iPads

 

Pros: Built right into the OS
Cons: May require frequent fine-tuning

 

  1. Install parental controls

 

Pros: Provide a lot of control, including website blocking, screen limits, and even social media monitoring
Cons: May not work across all platforms (for example, PCs and Macs) or all devices (for example, phones on Wi-Fi and network-connected desktops); kids can get around them using a variety of easily searchable methods

 

 

  1. Go the hardware route

 

Pros: Can monitor every device on the network, including those that are Wi-Fi-enabled and network-connected
Cons: May lack advanced features such as ultrafast connections and download speeds; can include pricey subscriptions; don’t cover kids’ devices on other networks

 

Resource:

https://monicaswanson.com/how-to-handle-it-when-you-your-kid-sees-something-they-shouldnt-on-the-internet/

https://www.commonsensemedia.org/blog/5-ways-to-block-porn-on-your-kids-devices

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