We hosted a parent meeting this past Sunday for all our 5th grade parents and we talked about what was in store for their child in 6th grade. We discussed the various units and lessons that we will cover, and then it happened. I said “Pornography.” Just the mention of the word puts everyone on high alert. I don’t think parents were shocked as much as they were desperate for some assistance in how to address the issue with their preteen.
Here are the cold hard facts…
The fourth most-searched word on the Internet for kids ages 7 and under in 2009 was “porn.”
For all kids up to age 18, sex was No. 4, porn No. 5.
A recent survey found that 30% of girls ages 9 to 15 years old had sent or received sexual messages or photos of themselves.
1 of every 3 that reported to receive “sext” messages said that they accidentally received the message that was intended for someone else.
(Data from OnlineFamily.Norton.com and research from AK Tweens)
These stats mean that many preteens are falling prey to pornography, intentionally and even unintentionally. As the church, we need to be thinking through a strategy for equipping parents to have a conversation with their children. I am reminded of the damage and consequences that came from just one look in the life of King David. His eyes caught Bathsheba naked, and his mind could not escape the image. The result was a downward spiral of sinful decisions. The danger is real, the stats are real, and we need a strategy.
I feel like the best way to address the topic is on the family level. Therefore, we have chosen to equip the parents with resources to carry-out a discussion with their child that points to God’s call to pure actions and thoughts.
What’s your strategy for equipping parents to deal with the danger of pornography?
I’d love to share some of the info that we’ve given to parents to help that conversation. We also give information for protection services that will help them to create boundaries on their computers and mobile devices. If interested in that material, you can contact me via comment, twitter, or email.