Most of us have a plan for what to do if our house catches on fire. We’ve talked to our kids about the exit route, taught them how to feel the doorknob to know if it’s hot, and drilled in “stop drop and roll.” They know where our “safe spot” is to meet outside if we go out different exits, and we make sure they know our address in case they ever need to call 911.
We prepare our family for the risk of house fire, yet the chances of actually being trapped in a burning home in their lifetime are fairly slim. Still, it would be incredibly irresponsible not to prepare our children for this risk. I’ve known about half a dozen people who have been in a house fire. But nearly every parent I know has a story of their child coming across pornography unexpectedly.
While very few of our children will ever find themselves needing to escape a house fire, nearly all of them will come across pornography online, and some sooner than others. Have we given them a plan so they know how to respond when that encounter happens? It’s an intense moment that can occur in an instant, and knowing the right way to handle it will determine how much of an effect it has on that child. Yes, we as parents need to know how to protect our kids on the devices we own, but we can’t completely control every gateway pornography has found into our family’s life. It’s everywhere.
The best way to protect our kids is to prepare them. Just like fire safety!
We came across an incredible resource that every home with small children needs to have in order to prepare your kids with an easy to remember action plan for when they see something inappropriate online. It’s found in Good Pictures, Bad Pictures, by Jenson & Poyner. It’s a read-aloud picture book that walks kids through what to do in 5 easy action steps, and it’s all communicated in an age-appropriate way. We read it to our 8-year-old and our 10-year-old, and it was very effective. We wish we had known about it sooner! We’ve heard of kids as young as 5 or 6 going through it with their parents. If you’re wondering if it’s too soon to read it to your kids, then now is the perfect time for you to buy it–before it’s too late and your child has already seen pornography! Exposure will happen eventually, but you can minimize the effects by preparing your son or daughter with an action plan.
Don’t allow your child’s life to be damaged by the flames of pornography. There’s no need for these psychologically traumatizing images to be seared in his or her brain. Give your kids an action plan! Prepare them for the danger and minimize the risk as best you can through supervision, filters, and parental controls.
What’s your “fire escape” plan? Check out Protect Young Minds for more great tips!
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