When it comes to pornography and your kids, you're probably thinking, "Not my kids. They're still just babies. He doesn't even like girls! He gags when a girl tries to kiss him!" Well, I hate to break it to you, parents, but a lot of you are in deep, deep denial. Chances are if you have a teen boy, even one as young as 13, he has seen porn. And I'm not talking like soft woo woo kinda stuff. I'm talking hardcore pornography. And, not only that, many older kids watch porn several times a week. Not your boy? Well, somebody's boy is. Because according to a recent study, one out of eight teenagers is watching hardcore porn regularly. Like addicted regularly.
According to the study, two thirds of kids both male and female between 11 and 13 had viewed pornography online. Over half of boys age 13 and over said they watched pornography two or three times a week, sometimes more.
I'm all for teens exploring and being curious about their sexuality. But pornography isn't real sexuality. It's like sex for robots. The women always have inflated boobs and bald vajays. They have 0 percent body fat. They don't speak except to ooh and ahh and oh yeahhh. Porn isn't about intimacy. It's not about love. It's not even about learning how to please or connect with a woman.
These are formative times for your teen. How your teen views sexuality in these years will heavily influence how he views it his entire life.
Is this the way you want him to see women? Do you not want him to understand that women speak, have opinions, don't have breast implants, have hair, and that sex is complex, intimate, and not always screamingly orgasmic?
Learning about sex from porn is like learning about love from gooey romantic comedies starring Katherine Heigl. The difference is that teens will get some sense of how relationships work through real life. But with sex, porn could be the only place your kids are learning their "lessons."
So what can you do? There are all kinds of available parental filters and they should be put on all devices the kids use. Most kids first stumble upon pornography by accident but it doesn't take them long to learn where to find it.
I don't believe kids need such huge access to technology. They probably need a computer to do their homework, but they don't need an iPad or the latest mobile device or smartphone. Believe it or not, kids CAN call home on a flip phone that doesn't have Internet access.
Place your kid's computer in a family room or high-trafficked area after he's done with his homework. If he has an iPad or smartphone, tell him he can only use it when he's in a room with you. Very doubtful he's going to watch porn with you 10 feet away!
Keep histories enabled so you can check your kid's online history. Many parents feel awkward "checking up" on their kids. I'm not saying read his email. But you have a right to know where online your kid is going.
Think of all of the trouble this could keep your kid out of in terms of online bullying and Facebooking shenanigans too.
As for what your kid does at a friend's house, you can't really control, but you can at least keep his porn habit to a minimum.
Have you ever caught your kid watching porn?
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