This morning I read an interesting post about kids and their use of the internet. It takes a look at the ways that kids and teens are exposing themselves to a sexual world without really realizing the enormity of what they are doing. I don’t have a daughter or son, but many of my friends do. The article suggests that parents should place controls, such as “cyber sitters,” on their kids computers and really take more active steps in preventing their kids from making use of the internet for sexually provocative endeavors. Below is portion of the post by Jen Koop (the link to the full article is at the end). What do you think about this?
“Our girls need to learn to live in this digital and cyber age safely. But Mom, how are they going to do it if you don’t teach them and monitor them? Yeah, they know more about this stuff than you do, but you knew more about modern things than your mom did, too – and you couldn’t always sneak one by her. Just the fact that your daughter knows you are interested and vigilant will serve to bolster some self control.
Here are some simple things you can do to curb the possibility of cyber indiscretions:
Have access to all computer accounts and passwords (even school email accounts – they are not monitored carefully). If you find your child on a non-disclosed account, restrict access to the computer… Honestly, she won’t die! Not to mention, it won’t change her social status at school… If it does, then she was hanging with the wrong crowd anyway, and you have done her a favor that she just might thank you for in under 15 years.
Check your child’s computer history so you can see where she has been. If your child routinely erases her browsing history, then restrict access – she is going places she knows she shouldn’t. Did you know that YouTube is an easy access to porn? Yep, sorry to wreck it for you, but it isn’t just about cute or funny video snip-its. This site, and ones like it, would be safer to access with parental supervision.
Put a “Cyber-Sitter” on your child’s computer –and on yours for that matter. You don’t need to view the garbage that is out there anymore than she does. A great one is called Covenant Eyes. Go on, give it a google! It is a Christian based organization that strives to protect you and your children from the yuck lurking out there.
Don’t rely solely on your “Cyber-Sitter!” This is lazy parenting, and sitters can’t eradicate every creep and creepy thing.
Check out your child’s friends on Facebook, MySpace and other sites. If they have pictures that are inappropriate, remove them from your child’s friends list. Better yet, contact that child’s parent and let them know what is being posted. I bet you 100 bucks they are unaware and would appreciate your help.
Check your child’s phone records and billing statements. Who is she talking to? Who is she texting? What time of day or night is she communicating? Is she erasing these contacts and messages from her phone? If so, Mama, it is time to put some limits on the phone.
Call your child’s cell phone service provider and remove any internet capabilities, especially if the provider does not offer “Cyber Sitters.”
Some folks out there will be thinking, “But that is an invasion of their privacy.” Really? What privacy? Privacy is earned, it is a privilege. Someone else might be sympathetic to their child’s social standing, and be thinking, “This would be social suicide.” Mom, it is time to put your daughter’s safety and dignity before her popularity.
I know this all sounds like work. I know you have limited time, but the investment you make now will reap great dividends later, and you will have no regrets.
So, just one more thing to do…
Pray. Pray. Pray. Nothing, and I mean NOTHING, is more important to your daughter’s well being. Pray that God would put a foul taste in her spiritual mouth when she sees or hears unclean things. Pray that she would not be able to ignore the conviction of the Holy Spirit, and would only find true rest and satisfaction in Him. Pray that she will hunger and thirst for the righteousness of God. Pray that she will leave any insecurities behind that might outweigh what she knows to be right and true. Pray that she will find her true worth and security in Christ, and that His opinion of her will be all that matters to her. Pray that when she sins, her heart will be convicted, and will drive her to her knees at the foot of the cross, allowing Him to forgive her, pick her up, dust her off, and set her on a new path free of guilt and shame. He is able to do all things!
I Timothy 4:12 Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith and in purity.