Recent statistics show that there are literally hundreds of millions of pages of Child Pornography available online. The United States, the Netherlands and the U.K. are the leading suppliers of porn worldwide; however, pornography is a serious problem in countries around the world.
Child pornography is particularly harmful to children. As Protectkids.com recently noted, children who view child porn are more likely to act out the behavior they have seen in real life. Some children copy the behavior they see now while others wait until their teenage years to do so, but the consequences are seriously harmful to a child’s development in both instances. What is more, children soon become numb to “soft” pornographic websites and begin seeking more violent, deviant forms of porn to satisfy their growing sexual appetite.
Protecting Kids from Child Pornography
Every parent should do everything possible to protect his or her child or children from inappropriate online content. Programs that allow only “safe” internet access can help prevent children from accidentally or even intentionally finding and viewing websites with sexually explicit images. Keeping the desktop computer used by the child in a public area also helps deter children from getting on the wrong websites.
Parents should explain to children that the internet is like a large city or even country. Just as there are some areas of town that are unsafe, there are also unsafe websites. Young children who get online should be taught to only go to websites that have been approved by a parent. Older teenagers and children should be given guidelines regarding what types of sites are and are not permissible.
Even so, it is impossible to ensure that children will never view pornography online. A child may see an inappropriate web page when visiting a friend’s home and/or may use a smart phone to connect to the internet when out and about. Given this fact, parents must focus on not only preventing a child from accessing inappropriate content online but also teach children what to do if he or she accidentally or even purposely views child pornography online.
Dealing with the Aftermath of viewing Child Pornography
Parents need to develop a close, loving relationship with each of their children so that their children will feel comfortable talking to them about anything at any time. Children who do not have a close relationship with their parents are more vulnerable to problems because they do not feel comfortable getting the help they desperately need.
Parents must not freak out if they discover their child has viewed child pornography on the internet. Instead, they must talk to the child about what he or she has seen and most of all listen to any questions the child may have. Parents must then explain what constitutes appropriate and inappropriate sexual behavior.
Teenagers should understand the effect that child pornography has on those who are forced to participate in it. This will help them develop a healthy disgust for perverted sex and want to avoid viewing such sites in the future.
Getting Professional Help with Child Pornography
Parents who discover their child or children have been viewing pornography for some time may want to seek out professional help. Getting help from a professional counsellor is not a substitute for talking with children at home but can certainly be very helpful in many instances. A professional counsellor will know how to explain difficult concepts to children and young people in a clear yet age-appropriate manner. Such an individual will also be able to provide assistance that will help a child or young person break the hold that pornographic websites may have on him or her.
Unfortunately, pornography viewing is a common problem and it is all too easy for a child to view sexually explicit images that he or she should never have to see. Parents will want to do take measures to protect their children and teenagers from viewing inappropriate content online; however, it is important to note that it is impossible to guarantee that a child will never see pornographic images via the internet. Given this fact, parents should explain to children what to do if they get on a pornographic website and, if the situation warrants it, seek out professional help on the child’s behalf.