I was talking to a friend the other day and she told me about a family that discovered their nine year old son was addicted to pornography. It made my heart hurt. The average age of a child’s first exposure to pornography on the internet is age eleven, almost always while doing homework. I thought that was bad enough.
When one of my sons was in second grade he was at school playing at recess and was approached by a sixth grade boy. This boy told him he needed to check out a ‘really cool’ website called playboy.com. The following weekend he was playing with a neighbor boy on the computer at their house and they tried to go on the site. Luckily an older sibling intervened before they could. I was grateful his mom called and told me what had happened.
When my husband and I talked to our son he had no idea what the site was about. That began an important conversation, concerning something I never thought I would have to deal with at my son's young age. Later we contacted the school and met with the principal, he addressed the situation with the sixth grader.
I was relieved my son's innocence was intact, but sick inside over how close it came to being taken. The experience reinforced an occasional thought my husband and I have—in order to keep our children safe from all the negative influences around them we need move to a desert island.
Doing research for my book I learned more about how pornography affects the mind. Its addictive influence can be stronger then heroin or cocaine, however with those drugs the user can go through detoxification until the drug completely leaves their system. Graphic images cannot be erased.
We teach our children at a young age how to be safe in all kinds of situations—look both ways before crossing the street, don’t talk to strangers, and eating too many sweets is not healthy. We must also teach them about the possible dangers in our own homes. Dangers, only a mouse click away.
I read an article in the paper several months ago about a book for children, endorsed by Karen Child Ogden, MA LCSW who specializes in pornography addiction in her counseling practice. It was also recently featured on Dr. Laura the beginning of June 08. The book is called Temptation of a Generation. Its colorful pictures and rhyming words tell a story of a young boy, what he encounters on-line, how it makes him feel and how he gets help.
I’ve shared it with my children, maybe it could help yours. The website http://www.temptationofageneration.com.