Reasons why parents don't take action

Jun 14, 2011

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Finding out your child has accessed porn or an adult site can be quite the moment. There are so many feelings that come out of it. What did I do wrong? Where did I go wrong? Where did he go wrong? There is no good answer on this one. What we do next when this happens is the hardest part. 

We want to trust our kids, we really do. There is a tendency to just say “Well it was that one time or “It was by accident and “They will never do it again.  Most parents, me included, have a profound belief in the goodness of our children. In my opinion, from the ages of say 7 to 18 they are in discovery mode. They want to know everything and see everything and that is just what the adult sites are counting on. Trusting your children is one thing but trusting the outside influences they run into every day can be another.

Then there is the computer and by extension the internet. The computer can be a magical, wonderful thing for some people and a dreaded “I-have-no-idea-what-I-am doing" thing to others. One of the main reasons parents don’t want to deal with the internet and all its pitfalls is the lack of training and knowledge about the Computer/ Internet.  There is the prevailing feeling of my kids know more about this computer than I do, so anything I do to control what they are doing or seeing will just be hacked off by junior later.   We feel powerless in the face of the knowledge they have of the Internet and all the devices that can access it.

And let’s not forget the most stressful one. The sulky, irritable child/teenager we will have when we decide to control their computer/internet access. Having been a child once I remember the emotional blackmail I could pull on my parents, and I have to say my kid is way more sophisticated than I was….he probably found a website devoted to the topic.   One of the hardest things is having that conversation with your kid on why you want to control what they see and access.   Sometimes we feel it’s better to just let it go…less stress that way.

Open dialog with your children/teenager on why they want to visit those sites and your feelings on the matter is the best solution. Unfortunately it may not stop their inherent curiosity and those blasted pop-ups, redirect pages and helpful search results. So don’t be afraid to seek out a content filter, there are so many solutions that can be installed with a minimum of fuss and cost, even if you aren’t computer savvy.   Finally the internet can be a useful tool for school, work and play, putting a filter on the computer does not mean you trust your kid any less it just makes you trust that what they are accessing is helpful and not harmful.

Here are some reasons why parents don’t use parental controls. Any of them sound like you?

1)       My kid would never do that

2)       I am not computer savvy

3)       I can’t handle the grief my kid would give me over it

4)       Too expensive