Wednesday, June 22, 2011

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.


Pat said...

Porn fuels prostitution and abduction for the purpose of sexual trafficking in our nation and throughout the world. It's not a "private" sin.

Karen said...

With regards to #5 on the 0-11 list, children in that age bracket really shouldn't even have access to online social media of that nature. It's very likely that our children won't have access to Facebook until they're old enough to drive (in NJ, that's 17).

W.C. Hoag said...

We ought to start teaching parents modesty and propriety if we are to expect them to transmit these virtues to their children.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for your suggestions and addressing this issue. I was about 14 when my brother showed me what you could see on the "scrambled" cable channels...and 16 years later, I still struggle with pornography. Parents also shouldn't assume that they only have to worry about their sons-daughters have these issues too.

Anonymous said...

Nice guidelines. However, a big component that I think is missing in society today is the instillation in our kids of respect for self and others.

Anonymous said...

On a somewhat related topic, I've been struggling a lot lately with trying to figure out what qualifies as modest clothing. I am a new Catholic trying to do the right thing, but there are so many different views on this subject even within the Church it seems (veils, no veils at mass, etc.). Are there any official guidelines that anyone knows of?

Nan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Just my opinion, but modest clothing typically begins with clothes that fit comfortably,that is, not so tight that it might as well be another layer of skin, covers your body without putting areas of interest on display, and doesn't scream to the world, "Hey, look at me!" which is to say, not distracting or vain. I doubt that there are "official" dress codes, but modesty is an outgrowth of humility, which we should all look towards the Blessed Virgin Mary as a guide, along with Christ of course. The BVM had a lot to say about modesty to the children of Fatima. So you might want to check that out. Veils are great at Mass, at least St. Paul thinks so. Of course, it's not mandatory and the folks wearing T-shirts, gym shorts and flip flops will feel under-dressed.

Anonymous said...

On the other hand, internet porn keeps guys at home at night instead of going to the strip club, bath house or pickup place. You can't get an STI (or rolled, robbed, mugged) masturbating to internet porn. Lots of guys are married to women who don't take there responsibilty to provide consortio seriously enough. I have talked to guys who are down to three or four times per year with their wife - and the internet at least keeps them home and infection free. I'm just sayin'.

Fr. V said...


I get your theory but don't buy it. If a woman is pulling away the way to solve the problem is not to engage in an outrageously selfish and isolating act that causes the man to see women as objects that makes the situation worse. Further, should another person be made a victim (the person being seen IN the movies)in order for the man to meet his needs? And it may keep them physically home - but they are not there. What is good about that?

This is practicing a behavior, not finding a cure. It often DOES lead to men experimenting in sex outside of marriage, contracting a disease, and bringing it home - often in the most secretive of manners.

Rather, if a couple is having this kind of problem the right way to fix it is to get help, not do something that drives a wedge further and further between them. THis is not a cure - it is a symptom and part of a greater and deeper problem that is being ignored.

Anonymous said...


Sinning at home, infection free doesn't protect your soul from the infection of sin. If also helps fuel the industry which supplies these images and exploits and harms those involved, while encouraging others to enter the porn industry. And I will bet you that these men who complain about only having relations with their wives 3 to 4 times per year have been contracepting for years and their wives have turned their marital relations into a bargining chip or a way to retaliate for being turned into an object of their husband's desires, instead of a selfless giving one oneself to another.