The internet is a powerful tool – you can learn a lot, communicate with others, shop and even date. Its wondrous vastness is even more impressive in the eyes of the young and inexperienced. Kids can learn a lot but they could also be exposed to unsuitable content online.
Studies show that 42 percent of internet users aged 10 to 17 will see adult content online. Of these children, 66 percent saw the content unwillingly.
As a parent, you’re responsible for preparing your child. You have to prepare little ones for the exciting aspects of life, for embarrassing and even dangerous situations.
When kids have the knowledge, they’re equipped with the tools to address uncomfortable or confusing situations.
While talking about adult content is difficult, it can have a profoundly positive effect on the development of your child.
Take Control Over How Your Child Gets the Information
Sex-ed should be age-appropriate and it should occur before a child ever has the chance to view adult content online.
There are many books and resources you can rely on to determine what’s appropriate at the age of five, at 10 or 15.
It’s Not the Stork!, for example, is a great choice for children aged four and up. The book presents anatomical terms and aspects of human sexuality that kids within the age range can understand.
Their questions will be answered and more complex issues will be addressed as they grow older.
Talk about Online Safety
Understanding one’s sexuality is just one part of the process. To prevent online exposure to online content, however, you should also address the issue of internet safety.
Exposure to online pornography when kids aren’t prepared may have serious consequences.
Thus, you should address some of the dangers lurking online. You should also talk about the ways to stay away from such dangers.
Kids should know what to do if they come across inappropriate content online.
Tell kids that such images and videos are meant for an adult audience and they should never be seen by children.
Tell kids what to do if an adult ever sends them inappropriate content. You should build trust so that little ones come to you immediately in such situations.
If children believe that something inappropriate has happened and they keep the information from you, chances are that the consequences will become even more serious.
It’s only a matter of time, before your child becomes a teen or tween and young adult and eventually get exposed to popular dating sites that are mentioned in memes, YouTube videos and the sort, like DoULike.com and others. Make sure they can recognize when they’re getting re-routed.
Let Your Kid Ask Questions
While giving information is very important, you should also listen to your child.
Give your child a chance to ask questions, whether they’re curious or they’ve already seen something they shouldn’t have seen.
Be prepared for such conversations.
Your child could ask about issues that may shock you, that you feel uncomfortable with. If you freak out, however, you will potentially lose some of the trust that you’ve already established.
Give yourself a moment to calm down and provide an age-appropriate explanation. If you’re worried, ask your kid about whether they’ve encountered a term or an activity. Keeping the conversation going, even if you’re worried out of your mind, could help for the best possible resolution.
Set Some House Rules
The model you establish at home will affect many aspects of your child’s behavior at school or when they visit friends.
Make it very, very clear what’s permissible and what’s not.
You may also want to use browsing filters to limit access to certain types of websites or content. Parental control software can accomplish numerous goals and choosing one option or the other depends entirely on your preferences and the level of control you are to achieve.
Don’t Get into Too Much Information
While an open discussion is a key to preparing your child for unexpected situations, there’s such a thing as TMI (too much information).
There are issues that aren’t appropriate for kids and that little one cannot understand. A child’s maturity level and the information you’ve already provided will be determining for what’s appropriate to discuss and what isn’t.
Even if your kid has questions, you’re not obliged to answer comprehensively. Tell them that a specific conversation can be had later on or that they’re too young to understand the specifics. Telling your child to remind you about the question, later on, is a good way out of the situation.
Having a discussion about adult content is not easy but this is a normal part of life. Online media and the tech-savvy nature of little ones both contribute to new parental challenges you will have to handle as an adult.
If your child has already been exposed to inappropriate online content, you will first of all have to comfort them. There are websites out there that could be pretty disturbing even to an adult audience.
Tell your child that they haven’t done anything wrong. Once the initial emotions subside, you can move on to answering questions and providing a bit of important education. Remember that this is an ongoing process and maintain your involvement, even after the original discussion has been had