Photo by: Cathryn Farnsworth
“While googling duct tape crafts this child unwittingly got pulled into increasingly disturbing bondage and sexual fetish pages.”
I heard a horror story from a mom of a twelve year old girl. Her child was researching a particular craft project on her mobile device that involved various creative usage for duct tape. While googling duct tape crafts this child unwittingly got pulled into increasingly disturbing bondage and sexual fetish pages. Having no understanding or context for them, the girl once having clicked on them, and inciting a certain amount of natural curiosity, had suddenly opened a Pandora’s Box of dark sexual content on her phone. After a few weeks of looking at this horrifically graphic and disturbing material she finally went to talk to her mother. She felt ashamed and confused and said, “Is this what sex is really like?”
He mother having no idea that her child could access this kind of thing, was heartbroken at her lost innocence. She could never take those images away from her child and could only try to help her begin to understand what healthy and loving sexual relations were after being exposed to such violent and degrading images.
She talks openly about this experience as a warning to other parents. Parental controls are essential. We are in a new world now. When I was a kid, the worst I could have conjured, in my natural pre-teen curiosity about sex, was my friend’s older brother’s copy of playboy. Now a days, with the World Wide Web there is no limit to what kids can be exposed to. And sickeningly, much of the pornographic content can be quite dark.
The conversation with your child about appropriate internet viewing needs to start around 9 or 10 years old, in my opinion. I talk with my eleven year old son often about natural curiosity about sexuality and that any questions he has, his father and I are here to answer. There is too much danger in this on-line world with pedophiles and the overwhelming reality of on line porn, for us to be prudish in being honest and protective with our kids about sex.