Hope for Purity - Guarding the Innocent
Smartphones, laptops, the internet, social networks have all worked their way into our daily lives. But unrestricted access can be trouble. As parents, we need to set up safeguards so we can reap the benefits of technology while avoiding the pitfalls.
A foundation of family discussions and one-on-one conversations with our children, coupled with filters and controls, leads to healthy relationships with others and our devices.
Steps for Success
- Have one on one and family discussions
Parents must be a credible source of information on sexuality. When children don’t feel like they can ask their parents, they will resort to whatever is the easiest method to get that information. Today, this means Google or asking Siri, and a lot of misinformation.
The foundation for parenting the internet generation is frequent, open, honest dialogue. You can never start too late nor too early. At a young age, conversations can revolve around how your body was made by God. As children get older, we reveal more details of God’s plan for our sexuality. Look for opportunities to slip in nuggets of truth and knowledge in everyday conversations. Work with your child’s natural curiosity while building an ongoing conversation.
- 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 guide, with recommendations for different age ranges, at HealthyChildren.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 like 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 in the future.
- Use filters and parental controls
Parental controls are built into most devices and work well when coupled with accountability software, like Covenant Eyes. Both can be used to apply filters to help keep objectionable content out and set usage limits.
Accountability software allows a loved one to review the online actions of another. As a parent, accountability gives you the opportunity to be proactive and have discussions with your kids when you start to detect certain behaviors or accidental encounters.
For help in setting up filters, accountability, and parental controls see this how-to presentation given at All Saints.
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