Recently I was sent a link to an article from the Telegraph, which you can read in full here, that documented the abundant influence porn is having on teenagers in England.  Sexting, girls giving oral sex in school bathrooms for money, boys recording girls performing sexual acts on their phones...this is all happening in middle school. Yes, you read that correctly. Middle school.

I'm not sure what your reaction to this is.  All I know is that it frightens me.  Not because I'm a prude or super conservative but because these are 11 and 12 year old kids.  They are doing long term damage to themselves.  How skewed will their worldview be by the time they are adults?

I know this article was written in England about English teenagers but don't for a second think this isn't happening here in America.  Kids are sending sexual photo/videos via SMS, Vine, and Snapchat at an alarming rate.  Porn is a multi-billion dollar industry in the States and is easier and easier to access online for FREE.  And it's not just timid topless photos, it's some seriously freaky hardcore stuff that will make your stomach turn.

So Parents, What Are You Going to do About it?

I think you've got a few options:

  1. Ignore it.  All this hardcore porn talk is uncomfortable and my kids are wholesome!  I don't need to worry about this.
  2. Shelter your kids and don't ever let them have a cell phone, go to public school, or use the internet.
  3. Encourage them to watch porn and engage in sexual activity at a young age.
  4. Talk to your kids about porn and technology.  Educate them on what's out there.

 

My Responses

To those of you that would pick option number one: Get your head out of the sand!  As uncomfortable as this might make you, you cannot ignore this.  Even if your kid is the best kid on the planet they will be confronted with this at some point.  Wouldn't it be better if they knew how to handle that situation appropriately because you had talked with them about it?

If you picked option two I think you're equally as wrong as option one.  What happens when they move out and go off to college?  You can't shelter them forever, it doesn't work.  Give you're kids a fighting chance and prepare them for what the world is going to throw at them.

I can't imagine anyone would pick option three but with the amount of parents that take the 'boys will be boys' approach they might as well choose this option.

Option four, finally a reasonable option.  We can't hide our kids from the world and we can't hide the world from our kids.  What we can, and should do, is educate them about it.  It can start with something as simple as what my friend did.  But it needs to continue.  This is not a one time conversation, the idea of having the talk with your kids just once is a long lost dream.

Your kids are growing up in a world far different than the one you grew up in.  You need to be willing to do the hard work of learning from your kids, trying to understand what they are facing, and giving them your wisdom on how to deal with a world that is increasingly harmful to their spiritual well being.

What we can't do as parents is be absent.  All I have to do is look at my generation and the generation before me to see the damage that absent parenting can cause.  We live in a world full of broken people who don't know how to be adults.

Step up. Be an adult for your kids. Prepare them to be adults.

3 Comments