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Training Teens To Reject Pornography
Since the average age when a child first encounters hardcore Internet pornography is eleven, children eleven and older need to be educated on the dangers of pornography. It is unwise to try to protect young people at this point because they will inevitably encounter it. It will find them. Thus, they need to be educated about it so that they can say “no” to it.
Young people need to know that pornography is an addictive substance, similar to drugs and alcohol, and as such can ruin their lives. Middle and high schools need to include this information as part of their drug and alcohol awareness programs. Young people also need to know how viewing pornography and sexting will prevent them from developing healthy views toward sexuality and healthy relationships. They need to be aware of the negative messages that pornography presents.
While education is crucial, additional safeguards are needed for young people. Technology is an inseparable part of their lives. Because of this, all electronic devices need to be monitored. This includes computers, cell phones, tablets, video game systems, iPods/mp3 players, etc. Parents need to know how their kids are using the Internet, email, texting, social media, video games, Netflix/On Demand, etc. At this stage of life, Internet filters are virtually ineffective. Teens are technologically savvy enough to get around these safeguards. Instead, Internet accountability services are recommended. These services don’t block any sites. Instead they monitor all Internet use and will send a warning email to parents if inappropriate sites are accessed. This is a good deterrent for teens. The service I recommend is CovenantEyes.com.
Ultimately, young people need to be taught to respect themselves and others. By using pornography they are simply using others for their own sexual pleasure. By sexting, they are allowing others to use them. God never intended for anyone to be used. He created us to love and respect one another. Understanding this will help young people reject pornography.