I Saw WAY Too Much Online Today. . . And I Wonder if Your Child Did Too?

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What did your child see online today? Even with the best intentions, parents today need an action plan for how to protect our kids on the Internet. Here's what you need to know to protect your family.

 

All I did was google images of European landmarks.

And halfway down the page of castles, cathedrals, Stonehenge, and Big Ben was… BOOM… porn.

And it was bad.

Friend, I can’t unsee what I saw.
And neither can your child.

Online pornography is a red-hot elephant in the room that nice Christian moms would rather just ignore.

After all, we’re raising our kids right. They would never…

Plus it’s just so awkward to discuss. Shoot, I’m the one writing this, and I still don’t want to bring it up.

But I’d rather we blush and squirm a little than provide these kids we love unmonitored access to a world of hurt.

Because if we aren’t proactive, that’s exactly where our kids are headed.

I don’t claim to have all the answers. And I’m not here to say it’s an easy fix.

But I’m compelled to lovingly shout out some strong warnings… to beg you to think long and hard about what your kids might be viewing... maybe even while you're reading this blog.

First of all… Be the mom.

You are the adult.

You answer to God for the raising of your kids.

Don’t let embarrassment, awkwardness, or even a shameful past keep you from warning your kids about pornography. Yes, you dread “shattering your child’s innocence,” but would you rather they learn from parental protectors or enemy sources bent on destruction?

It’s one or the other, friend.

Secondly… Limit internet access.

It's scientifically proven that your child will not die without internet (contrary to popular first-world-minor belief).

Sure, there are legitimate online activities that will benefit your kids. Fine. Good. Let them have their online fun.

But think carefully… Do they really need internet access every hour of the day? Everywhere they go? In the privacy of their own room?

I’m not the first to observe that any child carrying a smart phone carries a porn store in the palm of his or her hand. Are you okay with that?

Are you gathering up the phones, the tablets, the laptops, even the internet-accessible iPods when it’s time for bed?

Oh I guarantee it… your children will think they’re dying!

But can I look you straight in the eye here?

Better their tears and anguish at your “unreasonable” standards than a lifetime of regret because of an early accidental addiction.

And can I just mention that the vast majority of sweet Christian kids would rather die than admit they stumbled (whether intentionally or unintentionally) onto porn?

I know… your children are too mature to be mistrusted, but could you just relieve them of this one burden? After all, the lures of unlimited internet have pulled Christians adults down by the millions.

Give your kids a break and don't trust them.

Thirdly… Install filters. Then don’t count on 'em.

Do your research. Compare filters and accountability programs. Follow through and install them on all your devices. They're a huge help.

But… don’t let a filter give you a false sense of security.
My computer is “protected,” and today I viewed far more of Europe than I intended.

Ideas for safer surfing:

  • Avoid isolation — keep online kids in a public room of the house.
  • Set a limited window of time for daily online activities.
  • Be aware — peek at the screen. Ask your kids what they’re doing. (Don’t forget — you’re the mom!)

And Finally… Train your children.

Train your children to look away, to bounce their gaze when they know they've seen something inappropriate.

Teach them the power of quick prayers… The heartfelt “Lord, help!”

Teach and model the many facets of purity.

Talk together about failure...

...And most important of all, the road of repentance that leads to Christ’s forgiveness and grace.

*Would you share with our community? What steps have you taken to protect your children from the dangers of online pornography? We'd love to hear your thoughts.

Blessings,

Jennifer

Jennifer Ebenhack

Jennifer’s eight eventful years in Haiti produced a gift of brokenness through which she has discovered the depths of God’s healing grace. She passes that grace on to others through her blog, life coaching, and her ebook Take Courage: Choosing faith on my journey of fear. She is currently writing a memoir of her family’s nine-year adoption process and gripping experiences in Haiti.