Hope for Purity - Guarding the Innocent
Smartphones, laptops, the internet, social networks. They have all worked their way into our daily lives. But unrestricted access can lead to a variety of problems. As parents, we need to set up safeguards so we can reap the benefits of technologies while avoiding the pitfalls.
While no filter or control is perfect, we can layer solutions on top of one another to create a solid system. Backed by a foundation of family discussions and one-on-one conversations with our children, we can have healthy relationships with others and our devices.
Steps for Success
- Have one on one and family discussions
The foundation for parenting the internet generation is frequent, open, honest dialogue. You can never start too early nor too late. At a young age, conversations can revolve around how your body was specially made by God. As children get older, we reveal more details of God’s plan for our sexuality.
- Setup filtering and accountability software on devices
Filtering keeps objectionable content out and is useful for setting limits. Accountability is the idea that our actions are reviewed by someone who loves us and has our best interests in mind. As parents, accountability give us the opportunity to be proactive and have discussions with our kids when we start to detect certain behaviors or accidental encounters.
The best all-in-one solution for filtering and accountability is Covenant Eyes. Covenant Eyes filtering software is top notch and it can give you a report of any risky online activity. Covenant Eyes only works on computers and mobile devices. So a second layer of filtering is needed for things like Smart TVs and game consoles.
The best thing to do is use OpenDNS on your home network. OpenDNS requires selecting your own filter categories and configuring your home router to use its DNS address. By using OpenDNS instead of your default DNS, you can check to make sure that every website you attempt to visit doesn't lead to something off limits and if it does, it doesn't load.
- Turn on and setup parental controls
To help prevent the filtering and accountability from being bypassed, enable parental controls. Just about everything has parental controls from a Playstation to a Netflix account. The idea is that there is a parent account and children accounts.
The parental account sets the limits, filters, controls, and monitoring options for the child account. A lot of these controls are moving to the cloud, so it makes it easy to control multiple devices and add more devices. If you are logging in with a Microsoft account on Windows you can set up everything for your family for your Windows 10 PCs and Xbox game consoles online. See setting up a family and setting restrictions. Apple does something similar and has a great page explaining everything that you can set up. The best thing is to do an internet search for the name of the device you are curious about and add “parental controls” to the search terms. Follow the guides you find to set the needed safeguards.
- Create a family media use agreement that includes parents and children
A family media use plan is a social contract that describes how, where, and when devices are used in your home. The American Academy of Pediatricians has created a good guide with recommendations for different age ranges at HealtyChildren.org/MediaUsePlan. Use this as a starting point and make sure to add a section for Mom and Dad. When parents are on the hook it makes the plans much more meaningful for the kids.
Also consider what are proper consequences for breaking the contract. Pick things that encourage the behavior that you’d like to see. Getting outside, playing a board game with siblings, writing a letter to a loved one, or reading a book. The consequences should build an appreciation for the activity and for healthier choices to be made in the future.
Online Resources for guarding the innocent from pornography
Books for guarding the innocent from pornography
- Good Pictures Bad Pictures Jr. and Good Pictures Bad Pictures by Kristen A. Jenson
- Theology of the Body for Beginners by Christopher West
- Planned Purity by Jennie Bishop
- Five Doors of the Heart: Teaching Children Biblical Purity by Jennie Bishop
- Achieving Chastity in a Pornographic World by Rev. T.G. Morrow
- The Princess and the Kiss (Children’s Book) by Jennie Bishop
- The Squire and the Scroll (Children’s Book) by Jennie Bishop
- Everybody Series (Children's Book) by Monica Ashour
- Hope for Purity Information Session - Tuesday, November 27, 7:00pm at All Saints Catholic Church
- Made for More - Thursday, November 29, 7:00pm at St. Hubert’s in Chanhassen, for more information visit www.corproject.com/chanhassen/
- How to Talk to your Child about Sex ~ Developmentally Appropriate Conversations for all Ages - Monday, February 11, 7:00-8:30pm at Meadowview Elementary School Cafetorium, Farmington. To register visit www.speakingofkids.info
- Fight the New Drug - Sunday, February 24, 7:30pm at All Saints Catholic Church
- Safeguarding Your Devices - Coming Winter 2019