barrier with your body language or the
words you use? Think about ways you can
make your kids feel comfortable talking to
you about uncomfortable topics. It might
be adding a plate of chocolate chip cookies
between you, cracking a joke, or going for a
Talking about sensitive and charged topics can be tough. Imagine your child walks
in and says, “Hey Mom and Dad, I learned
a new word: What does it mean?” After hearing the expletive, do you lash out, or
are you embarrassed? Either of these reactions will teach your child that coming to
you isn’t safe. So stay calm, answer truthfully based on age, and provide your parental
You want your kids to see you as a safe,
informed, and truthful resource, and keep
them coming back. Listen attentively to
hear what your child is thinking. Allow
your child to talk to you about anything.
Make nothing off-limits. It shows that having an open and honest conversation with
you is safe and that they can be comfortable
opening up to you.
4. Learn the various ways porn can enter
New Internet-enabled devices and apps
with browsers embedded in them can be
the gateway to exposing your children to
pornography. Research the devices and
apps your children are using. A great website for that is Protect YoungEyes.com.
5. Take active steps to protect yourself
and your family.
Many websites, apps, and Internet-capable
devices have parental controls and “safe”
search features. Find out if the phones,
tablets, computers, smart-TVs, and gaming consoles your children are using have
these features and use them. Don’t buy devices that do not provide parental controls
or that do not allow safety software to be
Consider Internet Accountability soft-
ware as a tool that keeps you informed of
what your kids do online and to engage
your kids in conversation. You can also
add filtering to Internet Accountability,
but filtering alone is ineffective. Tweens,
teens, and adults beat up filter-only soft-
ware to find ways around the blocking, so
be sure to also have Internet Accountability
so you have a report of how devices are
used in your home. Accountability soft-
ware is about helping you talk with your
kids, which helps you prepare them to defy
a culture that is constantly pushing sexual-
ized media their way.
Sam Black is an Internet Safety Consultant,
partnerships director at Covenant Eyes Internet Accountability, and the author of The
Porn Circuit: Understand Your Brain and
Break Porn Habits in 90 Days. He joined
the Covenant Eyes team in 2007 after 18
years as a journalist, and has edited 16 books
on the impact of pornography, how to protect
our families, and how God’s grace brings restoration. He has been married for 20 years
and is a father of two.
Allow your child to talk to you about anything. Make nothing off-limits.