“Use the buddy system; look both ways before you cross the street; come straight home after school; and stay clear of the porn dealers lurking on your path!” Ok, so you wouldn’t say it like that… but we do need to remind our kids how to recognize and reject pornography no matter where they are.  

5 Sneaky Locations Porn Finds Kids

Pornography is now available to anyone, anytime, anywhere

Is it just me, or does anyone else remember the corner video store? We’d pop over and make our entertainment selections on a regular basis. It creeped me out that our shop included a browsing area for adult films. However it was curtained off and only accessible upon proof of age.

Today there is no curtain and no proof of age requirement to prevent curious eyes from wandering into dangerous territory. The corner store has closed down; yet porn is a bigger threat to families than ever before. Violent and degrading sexually explicit content is accessible anyone at anytime in our own homes! Add to that, ever-expanding smartphone technology and parents have their work cut out for them.

 Get the popular guide: 3 Secrets to Porn-Immune Kids! CLICK HERE  or on the image at the bottom of the post.

5 sneaky locations porn finds kids and what to do about it

Fortunately there are proactive steps we can take to protect our kids. Today we’ll discuss 5 sneaky (but super common) locations porn finds kids. Plus we’ll give you tips and strategies that will help kids stay away from porn when they’re on their own. Finally we’ll review 3 basic steps anyone can implement to help protect young minds.  

1. Is Grandma dealing porn (unknowingly)?

You may recall this popular Comcast commercial. Watch as Grandma and Grandpa give their house a tech makeover for the holidays:

Grandparents love to keep grandkids happy. And while tech can be fun, not many grandparents have parental controls set on their devices or the WiFi filtered as it comes to the home. It’s worth mentioning that Comcast (see video above) holds a regular position on NCOSE’s Dirty Dozen list for peddling in porn.

Solution: Help grandparents give their house a tech-safety makeover. Talk to grandparents about the dangers of unfiltered WiFi and how easily porn finds kids today (yes, even their sweet grandchildren).  Then consider the following:

2. Sleepover truth, dare, double-dangerous

It just takes one kid with a bad idea and a great sales pitch to turn a fun sleepover into a parenting nightmare. The anonymity of the internet often gives kids the courage to do things online they’d never dream of in real life. One mom we talked to thought, “No way, not my kid,”  until she was roused from her sleep at 2 a.m. to discover her 10-year-old daughter talking to a much older man as her friend sat giggling next to her.

Solution: At Protect Young Minds we recommend avoiding sleepovers altogether. For us the risks simply outweigh the benefits. However if you do choose to have kids participate consider the following tips:

  • Make sure your child understands what to do in any situation that could compromise their safety (the CAN DO Plan from Good Pictures Bad Pictures is a great place to start!)
  • Talk to your child specifically about not sharing personal information
  • Use code words to give your child a safe and easy way to exit dangerous situations (for more tips read this)
  • If you are hosting a sleepover, be clear in the invitation you expect smartphones to stay at home (and suggest other hosts do the same)

3. The phones on the bus go click, click share

It’s a sad fact that porn finds kids on the school bus, the schoolyard and even in the classroom. Teachers and bus drivers may try, but they can’t see everything that is happening behind their back. Kids at school are coming together from a variety of home environments and with a host of developmental traits. There will be bullies and their will be kids with no filters. Even if your child isn’t shown porn at school it is very likely they will pick up terms and expressions that they may look up on their own.

Solution: The buddy system is not just for kids, but adults too. Talk to other parents in your neighborhood. Ask them to keep an eye out and an ear to the ground. Share your concerns with each other and the school administrator. Plus consider the following;

  • Remind kids they will not get in trouble for telling you if someone showed them a bad picture. Review the CAN DO Plan
  • Ask probing questions about interactions at school. What did you do at recess? What was the funniest thing you remember? Did anyone swear or say something that made you curious or uncomfortable?
  • Be prepared to talk to middle school kids about relationships and sexting

4. Babysitting basics

We’ve talked to several people (mostly women) who’ve said their first glimpse of porn was at age 13 while babysitting. One individual explained she felt such a pull to read the erotic literature found at one house that she offered to babysit there for free anytime!

Imagine the potential hours of unlimited access to pornography! Not only does this put the youth at risk for falling prey to compulsive habits; it could potentially endanger other younger children in the house as well. Child on child sexual abuse can be learned and fuelled by pornography. Children are wired to imitate what they see adults do.

Solution: Remember that you are your child’s first advocate. Anytime they’ve been invited to babysit somewhere, go through a standard interview process. Here are some possible questions:

  • Do you smoke? (We have breathing issues)
  • Do you have pets? (We have allergies)
  • Do you have weapons (guns/knives/bows/etc) in your home? How are they secured?
  • Do you allow the kids to have access to the internet? If so, what kind of filters are installed? Is there any other adult content I should be concerned about in the home?
  • What is your evening procedure for disengaging kids from technology?

Just be prepared with your response if parents indicate there are no internet filters in the house! Talk to older kids frequently about how to avoid sexualized content when they are away from home. Frequent, ongoing conversations at home will help strengthen their internal filter.

5. Behind closed doors

80% of exposure to unwanted pornography occurs within the safety of our own homes. When kids use devices in private areas of the house the temptation to look just a little longer becomes very tempting —as is the pull to look a second and a third time. It does not take long for a compulsive pattern of use to be established.

Late night texting is a serious distraction for kids. It interferes with sleep which in turn interferes with sound decision-making. When kids text late into the night they are more likely to share secrets, connect with strangers and send inappropriate pictures of themselves.

The Solution: Establish guidelines in your home to reinforce tech safety.

  • Create safe tech zones/times in your home.
  • Reinforce the habit of always using devices out in the open
  • Help kids understand you want to allow them to enjoy technology safely
  • Hold a tech fast for periods during the day or even a day per week (and let us know what happens!)

3 Steps to protect young minds

1. Filter at the source: Read, Filtering 101: Protect Kids from Porn on New Devices. Ensure your home and devices are at their safest.
2. Strengthen internal filters: Help kids build their own internal filter against pornography. For more on this read: 3 Steps to Give Kids an Internal Filter.
3. The CAN DO Plan: Along with ongoing conversations about pornography, kids need an easy-to-follow strategy to get out of any sticky situation fast. For a FREE copy of our proven 5 step CAN DO Plan CLICK HERE.

Bonus offer

Want more information? Protect Young Minds is here to help you arm your kids with skills to reject pornography. CLICK on the image below to get your FREE guide, 3 Secrets to Porn-Immune Kids:

There are affiliate links in the blog post. When you use them to make purchases, we thank you for supporting Protect Young Minds!

Marilyn Evans
Marilyn Evans lives east of Toronto with her husband and five sons. Concerned with the ease of access to online pornography, she began searching for ways to address this subject with her own children. Frustrated with the lack of resources and information available to parents at the time she began speaking out about the harms of porn anyone who would listen. After a concerted but somewhat futile effort to gain the attention of her school board Marilyn felt her voice would be better served in the blogosphere. Over the past two years she has written regular articles for Parents Aware, as well as guest posting for Strength to Fight, and recently published an opinion article in Education Canada. She is thrilled to add her voice to the community at Protect Young Minds.
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