Years ago I rented a Disney movie to show to a classroom full of kids. (It was a video cassette, which was all there was, so that tells you how long ago it was.) We put the tape in and walked to the back of the classroom. The machine finished loading and all these naked blue people came on the screen writhing and bumping against each other. Was the wrong tape in the box? How did we pick up a porn tape?! I ran through the kids diving at the machine slapping at the controls in an overzealous effort to make it stop when an announcer came on and said, “Try brand X perfume” immediately followed by some typical Disney cartoon.
You can’t completely keep porn away from your kids. It will find them. But you can do a lot to protect them and prepare them for when it does find them.
In a priest meeting yesterday concerning the real damage pornography is causing, this strategy was proposed by Dr. Peter C. Kleponis to be taught in our parishes to parents to protect their kids.
PLAN 1 for ages 0 to 11
1. Carefully monitor ALL media that enters the house and remove anything pornographic. (The problem is we as a society have become very desensitized.) This includes T.V., movies, mail catalogues, magazines, Internet, music and video games.
2. Keep the computer in a public area of the house.
3. Monitor what children are watching online: computes, iPods, MP3, Emails, and know that cell phones are the place where most teens see porn today.
4. Limit screen time. (Get outside!)
5. Monitor social media (Facebook, Myspace, You-tube)
6. Use parental blocks.
7. Know your children’s friends, their parents, and know what they are doing at the neighbor’s house.
8. Teach modesty in dress and virtuous living.
PLAN 2 for ages 11 and through the teen years.
1. Teach youth about the dangers of pornography. (Which means, learn about the dangers of porn.)
2. Monitor and remove all things pornographic in the house (see #1 above.)
3. Keep the computer in a public place.
4. Limit screen time.
5. Monitor Emails, texts, etc. Youth have a right to love, faith, food, shelter, clothing, medical care, and other basics. Phones and computers are a privilege. There is a golden rule: He who has the gold rules. Parents are most likely paying for the phone and/or its use and have a right to know how they are being used. Parent’s computers are often monitored at work (because their work owns them) and many people lose their jobs every week because they view porn at work. Parents should not be bullied into an expectation of privacy. The same thing can be said about social media (Facebook, etc.) it should be monitored.
6. Subscribe to an Internet Accountability Service. Kids can get around parental blocks. This focuses on accountability rather than unavailability. Remember to put it on the cell phone. This is the number one place where kids choose to view porn.
7. Allow your kids to play in homes where you know parents are also protective against pornography.
8. Teach modesty in dress and virues.
Porn destroys lives. One only has to hear confessions for a little while to know how damaging and widespread it is. Help keep kids from falling into the pit.