I read an article when my daughter was just a newborn baby that we would be the first generation of parents who would need to have a talk with our children about porn, and I remember being shocked by it.
Even though I was shocked I put it to the back of my mind as my baby was tiny and the Internet and allowing her access to it was not something that was going to be happening anytime soon.
Before I knew it was soon, my baby was growing up and her friends were allowed to have phones. As much as I would have preferred not to have given her a phone, at the same time, I didn’t want her to be the only one in her class and group of friends that was without one.
Keeping her as safe as possible was my priority, so I disabled Safari from the phone and explained to her why. I told her that there were things on there that were not suitable for her to be viewing at her age.
Like many other people of my generation, when I was young, the TV was our babysitter and parents all across the land would leave their children in front of it while they busied themselves elsewhere.
The TV compared to the Internet was a lot safer as no nudity or porn was shown.
Today the Internet is the babysitter and children are allowed to take their smartphones, tablets and laptops into their bedroom where they can and do access anything they want with no supervision from their parents.
Are parents really that uninformed or are they too busy with life, work and themselves that they do not realise the dangers of allowing unrestricted access to the web?
Adults access porn, and I am sure many parents do too, so why would they think their children won’t? Do they trust their children enough to believe that they are not accessing adult content?
Peer pressure has meant that I have allowed my daughter to have certain social media accounts. Again this is something I wish she didn’t have to be on, but once more the cries of ‘ALL my friends are on it,’ and not wanting her to be the odd one out has meant reluctantly giving in.
There are rules to having these social media accounts and one is that I check her phone every night and read messages, look at her activity but even with my attempts at keeping her safe from the online porn, it still manages to try and encourage my daughter to view it.
Messages from people or accounts she does not follow appear in her ‘other’ inbox, which she rarely clicks on, and when I check I am able to delete the messages from PornHub inviting her to click and view their pictures.
How many children, boys and girls, are clicking and viewing? Frightening to think of so many young children watching content meant for adults and unable to talk to their parents about what they are seeing.
Not only does the PornHub account send her invites, but random accounts also send her messages telling her to join groups for sharing ‘sex pictures.’
I have had the porn talk with my daughter and in an ideal world this kind of talk would not exist. Sadly it does though. I have explained to her that it is my job to protect her from looking at things that she may find disturbing and that her brain may not understand and that when she is an adult if she chooses to watch people having sex that is her choice.
Young children viewing porn is not healthy for them, their relationships or society.
There are young boys in primary school staying up late into the night watching porn and then going into school the next day and abusing the youngest children in school. There are many articles available online, and these are not isolated incidents.
There is also an increase in videos and images where children are abused and raped being viewed online. Is this increase because of young children and teenagers viewing it? Is this why there is an increase in children sexually abusing other children?
If only Great Britain could be like Israel and put the safety and well-being of our children first. We need to protect them from the harmful adult content on the Internet and place a ban on it being allowed in homes.
It shouldn’t take studies or research to know that viewing online porn harms our children, destroys their innocence and leaves them with a warped sense of how relationships should be. Yet we have allowed a generation of children to grow up viewing porn with little to no safeguarding in place.
It’s time for parents to wake up and protect their children because no one else will do it for you.