An embarrassing but harsh reality!
Online pornography is porn especially made for children. Yes, there are sites which cater to all those who are curious to know about how our body works, but not in an appropriate manner. These are not things that a child needs to be taught in a sophisticated manner, rather they are grossly showcased. Easy internet access and adeptness at using the computer from an early age are few of the reasons that children these days are more curious than we have been at our age. One does have to put in search words like ‘child porn’; they are taken to the sites that show mock sexual violence and that are sexually explicit.
So as a parent, how do we handle this situation? Especially the parents of young boys who are curious to know about not only their bodies, but also about women bodies! Here are few steps that ensure that you can keep your children safe from online exposure to pornography.
Keep the gates of conversation with your children always open
Talking and listening – the two important aspects of conversation are the most important pre-requisites in raising children – be it pre-schoolers, tweens, and teens. So always keep the channels of conversation open. Set aside a time everyday where just you and your children talk to each other without the distraction of any mobile, TV, food or anything that may allow you or them to change the topic. Yes, it is embarrassing but I think it is better to be embarrassed than being ashamed if something untoward happened.
Trust them, educate them; don’t teach or preach
More often than not, we don’t trust our children and when we come across anything suspicious from their side we tend to get into the mode of teaching or preaching to them. Remember that the child who is searching for child porn is not a four-year-old kid who will take kindly to your scolding or preaching. So remember to trust them and broach the topic when they are most comfortable, like during bed time. And even then educate them about the dangers lurking in the dark corners of child porn and assure them that you are there for them if they want to know anything about their body.
Never dismiss them
It is so natural for us to dismiss our kids when they want to talk to us because we are busy or irritated, or had a hard day at work. But never do that, for the simple reason that if you don’t answer their questions they will definitely look up the Internet and then you never know what they might stumble upon. So reduce the risk and listen to them however busy you are—just spare five minutes to them and listen with all your heart.