Porn. Are Your Kids Protected?!

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Say what you will about porn, there is no question about how bad it is when our kids view it.

Shockingly, I can’t tell you how many really conscious parents I know who aren’t protecting their kids from the plethora of extremely available online pornography.

As a psychotherapist, I see so many people who are really suffering with porn addictions and distorted senses of their sexuality as a result of finding porn when they were young.

This week’s video talks about the problem and the steps every parent should take to protect their children and their friend’s children.

Watch more @ www.FullFrontalFatherhood.com.

There are a lot of things to be said about the commonplace of pornography on the internet and in our society. But there is one really clear horrific effect of porn, and that is what happens when our kids find it on the internet. As a psychotherapist, I cannot tell you how many people, especially men, I help that are addicted to pornography. Even if they are not addicted to it, it can significantly distort one’s sex life, particularly if a person starts watching as a child or even a teenager.

There is a lot of sexual energy running through teens and if their way to express and explore their budding sexuality it is to engage with explicit videos it can become really consuming and potential cause life long problems. Rather than having a slow and natural exploration of their own sexuality as they move through the teen years, they get this overstimulating, really intense experience of what sex is for very mature adults, not to mention all the kinky pornography that can be extremely confusing for kids. (I cannot tell you how) There are many people in our world (are really) suffering as a result of such early exposures.

To be clear, I am not simply opposed to all pornography, as long as it is filmed in a manner that is consensual and respectful of the actors. Like alcohol, it has real upsides and downsides when used by an adult with a fully developed brain and some ability to use an addictive substance with maturity. In actuality, porn is worse than alcohol. A child occasionally trying alcohol has actually been linked with a decreased potential for alcoholism, but occasionally trying porn could be very disturbing and damaging.

What to Do About It

It is our jobs as parents to do what we can to protect our kids from these experiences and it is quite simple. Go on your search engine and find out how to engage controls for all of your devices. Do it also for YouTube, because even if a kid is watching random child videos and your parental controls are not turned on, they can end up watching some fairly inappropriate videos which may include links to some extremely inappropriate videos.

Take the time to really make sure all your devices are protected, even if your children are really young. A four-year old could easily find quite disturbing porn on an unprotected smartphone. My daughter is not allowed to go to any website that we do not pre-approve. Obviously that will change as she gets older, but the internet is filled with mildly sexual content. Even apparently benign websites have links to “the 10 Sexiest Whatevers.” Such links are compelling for kids with raging hormones and the resulting website is likely to have even more provocative links.

I am a fairly liberal parent and definitely advocate appropriate conversation about sex with our children, but this is the one place where I believe being extremely cautious is warranted. Take the time to sit with them and watch what are they doing. Maybe you will notice places where you have not been able to protect them from what they are being exposed to and you will need to initiate more controls. We do not have to lie to our kids. We can tell them that there is a lot of inappropriate things happening on the internet and these are the places where it is safe for them to go and play.

Sum Up

The accessibility of online pornography is a problem for a huge number of people in our world. Help protect your kids from these experiences, as well as your friend’s kids. Do these few things to protect your devices, so that they can explore on them without the fear of running into something that becomes really addictive and consuming.

I would love to hear how you handle these situations. Please join the conversation below. How do you protect your kids? I will see you next time for another episode of Full Frontal Fatherhood.

Take care,
Julian Redwood, MFT

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