Can we protect our children from porn?

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I couldn’t sleep last night. Not because my little boy kept me awake, he only wakes up once per night and nicely falls asleep as soon as he’s fed. Motherly anxiety kept me awake. And it does pretty often. I can be tired, even exhausted from the day full of carrying the baby around, but I still lay in bed and turn side to side instead of sleeping.

Every mom must have these anxiety moments. We want to protect our babies from bad things in these world. We worry about things that have little chance of happening, like some rare incurable diseases, or baby falling from a cliff into abyss, or whatever else that seems rather impossible. But we also fear the things, that happen in everyone’s life, that are inevitable, because they are simply a part of it. I wish I could protect my child from heartbreaks, being hurt, being disappointed, being bullied. And I also wish I could protect him from the horrendous thing, that is porn.

You can call it an “overreacting”, since my baby is only 5 months old, come on, I have plenty of time to figure this out, and I completely agree, there’s no reason to already fear this. But I take this irrational fear and use it as opportunity to write a couple of words about my concerns with porn. It’s not like it’s controversial topic these days, is it..

My opinion on this is simple: pornography is hideous, disgusting and very wrong. I don’t watch it, never was interested in it, all my knowledge is based on other people’s researches and studies. Plus those brief moments of seeing it, since porn just simply pop up in spam, commercials etc. Which is very disturbing. The whole pornography industry earns gazillions of money. And it has such a negative influence on people, who watch porn, or make it. Studies show that there is connection between early exposure to pornography and sexual violence later in life. Porn industry is involved in human trafficking, modern slavery, sexual abuse, child abuse. It’s understood by itself that whoever watches it, supports all those evil things, mentioned above, isn’t it? Even if they don’t realize it.

Not so long ago I read a statistics that terrified me: average age of pornography initiation is 11. Some other research says that it’s even lower – 8 years old. That means that little children are faced with the ugly, disgusting images of porn! Children that still play with toy cars, teddy bears and “Frozen” dolls. This infuriates me, scares me and makes me feel both sick and helpless.

Being a parent, it must be hard thing to do, protecting our kids from this plague of porn. Back in the days when there was no internet, porn was accessible only in the back rooms of video stores, in the sketchy areas of town, hidden under mattresses. Now it’s not only easily found all over internet, but also the content became way more violent, graphically detailed and dreadfully perverted. It comes from all directions, uninvited, it streams through the screens in commercials that pop up, messages, spam emails, failed downloads, it’s very often mentioned in series or movies, as something watched by masses, something everybody must be doing… How do you even stop it? You could possibly block it at your home internet settings, but it’s only one source. Children have friends and colleagues at school, who may show them that garbage. And it is out of parents control, it cannot be stopped, I’m afraid.

This being said, there’s no longer speaking of weather our children will see porn, but when. It literally breaks my heart to imagine, that it may happen when my boy is too small. For me he’ll always be too small, too innocent, obviously, but at some point I would like to have a chance to warn him about porn, to tell him that it’s all wrong and ugly and how it’s just destroying peoples perception on sex. How it often leads to addiction, how it kills you spiritually. That it shows extremely unrealistic image of sex, women and men. Later when he’s older and understands all of this, it’s no longer my business, if he decides to watch it, but God, not when he’s a child. But if kids are exposed to porn at 8-11 years old, when am I supposed to warn him? When he’s still so young? Playing toys and watching innocent cartoons, fighting imagined dragons as a knight…? And how do you even do it? Us parents really have to educate ourselves and grow some balls, because I believe, no matter how old the child is, those conversations will be extremely hard.

For now, I follow https://www.instagram.com/fightthenewdrug/ instagram account, they have some insightful advices. Their website is a source for a lot of articles and facts about how harmful porn is and its industry. Plus it’s filled up by confessions of people who struggle their way out of porn addiction. It’s a real shit, I tell you. I kinda naively hope it’s all gonna be banned at some point, better sooner than later… But will it, ever, really?

Now I look at my innocently sleeping baby boy, holding his toy, and tears form in my eyes. My love for him is not enough to protect him from all evil, all diseases, all heartbreaks, all disappointments. But I still have time to figure all this out, and to learn how to live with the anxiety.

Some source I used for this article and websites to check:

https://fightthenewdrug.org/

http://www.breakthecycle.org/talking-your-child-about-pornography-0

https://www.huffpost.com/entry/parenting-in-the-digital-age-of-pornography_b_9301802

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