Originally published: August 14, 2014
Had the most intriguing chat with a business acquaintance a few days ago. He is not married, and doesn’t have children. But at one point the conversation turned to parenting. He brought it up. I listened intently, agreeing and shaking my head in affirmation (inside my head of course), so as not to appear overzealous about what was perplexing this person and why I agreed so completely with his stance.
Whether parents want to admit it or not, and frankly it doesn’t really matter what age your child is, the inappropriate content that exists online and the ease of access to it is, in a word, frightening.
Firewalls, restrictive software, YouTube disclaimers, scoldings and warnings only get so far. The question that this gentleman and I (many times especially in recent years) are asking — why is porn not being policed on the net?
As the parent of two teen boys and a nine-year-old girl, this topic is on my radar. Not because I have had to address it in my household so far (goodness help us if and when that time comes), but because it is part of the reality of parenting in 2013. Period. If you do not come to grips with the p-word, it just may put you in a vice grip and have you flailing helplessly.
Regardless of your opinion on the existence of porn in the world at large, children of any age SHOULD NOT have access to it.
Add that to the idea that children these days seem to know too much from a young age, then add to that the idea that they seem to mature at a rapid rate, throw in the reality that girls seem to mature at a more accelerated rate than boys and you suddenly have a pretty potent mix. Once you throw in unrestricted access to porn on the internet — CRINGE, we all should cringe.
I don’t pretend to know the answer but whatever that answer is has to be quite stern and sweeping in nature. No exceptions.
This is serious stuff. It deserves our undivided attention. Especially because kids, by and large, learn much by modelling behaviour they see.
What is scary is when they feel the need to model behaviour that they likely do NOT understand.