I have two awesome kids, I really do. And as I wrote in I think the very first blog, no one is safe from my keystrokes so children family friends have been warned. Internet porn is a serious issue. I think there has to be something that is done. Free speech is great, but with greatness comes great responsibility to paraphrase a saying I heard and what can be found on the net for any kid, now 4 and up is appalling.
All that said it was pretty funny now but not then when my husband Chuck and I came home one evening when my son was about 10 or 11. We had been out for the evening, had a sitter, son was in his room. Chuck got on the computer and in the search window was “nekkid ladies” . I am serious. He called me over to see this and we both bust out laughing and I was pretty sure that A, Chuck knows how to spell naked, B he hasn’t been searching net porn I mean come on we had only been married 6 months? not time yet to go looking and C it had to be my bad spelling nekkid ladies curious son.
So I trooped on and said right out, “Garrett are you looking for naked woman on the internet?” It is important for readers to understand that many years ago I sat both my kids down and said that in our house there is no sneaking around, there is no lying, there is open discussion about anything no matter what because you better get answers here first before hitting the streets and asking their dumb ill-equipped for life friends anything (we are in Lubbock after all and these people with few exceptions are still saying the stork brings babies. You think I am kidding). And it is just good habit to be up front frankly and if you know me, well you know me so that says it. I make a policy to be honest with my kids, handle questions with age appropriate responses but pretty frankly. Don’t see a reason to lie, if they are asking they need the right answer. Actions could depend on it later.
Garrett blanches white. stutters then says yes. So I said “look, I understand being curious but the internet is not the way to go here” went through the dangers of what just throwing as search like that could find (I am picture quite graphic full frontals with potentially a donkey involved). Fortunately he didn’t have much chance to find anything as we had interrupted his search. (that was close)
This led to good talk but him still wanting more information. So next day we were at Barnes&Noble and the SI swimsuit issue was out. Saw him looking sideways at it, said do you want me to get this, he said yes so off we went. Seriously they are painting the suits on so that is pretty “nekkid” in my book.
It is enough for a curious kid. Look at me wrong if you want but I have had pretty serious discussions with my kids and they are better prepared for the scary crap out there than most. More than that they are not ashamed to ask questions. They know my very strong opinions and conditions for behavior in living under my roof. But wouldn’t you rather your children ask you than the kid down the street? Life is scarier than it was when I was growing up, and that of my friends.
And the allure of the SI swimsuit issue went away. But this is the same child who started making off with my Victoria’s Secret catalog early on, a whole other story. I think the internet and SI are tame in comparison.