Two glaring reasons.
- It’s embarrassing. Who wants to ask Mom or Dad what they heard in the locker room that day, “What does ‘anal’ mean?”
- Mom and Dad will freak out. (Wouldn’t you if your kid asked you what ‘anal’ meant? Regrettably, most 13 and 14-year-olds know that term.)
Sadly, parents sometimes mistake ‘freaking out’ as being protective.
Last week I was talking with two moms after my parent workshop and one mom readily admitted to me, “I’m that over-protective parent.” We talked about how to respond when our kids have questions about sexually-charged material they notice at the grocery store or on a TV screen. This mom confessed her tendency was to hush those conversations.
She’s not alone. As I chatted with a youth pastor today about an upcoming conference where I’ll be speaking to middle school kids about sexual purity, he divulged that the church has to make this an “opt in” event because many parents don’t want their kids to attend event where they talk about “sex stuff.”
Where do these parents think their kids are going to look for answers when they encounter questions?
And don’t be fooled… we live in a world where it is virtually impossible to dodge sexually charged messages and images seeping through every digital source imaginable. My daughter just went on a youth group event to a bowling alley. As the 50 students and adult leaders spread out into the different alley’s of the facility, each alley provided its own video screen displaying current music videos.
“You should have seen it dad! There was full-on naked girls doing it right on the screen!” (Ashley doesn’t mince words.)
“Fully naked?” I clarified.
“Well, they never showed her front, but they showed naked or half naked girls all night, slightly covered, or their backs…. some of them were getting it on right in front of us! You know how music videos are today.” She took a breath. “It was really awkward for all of our guys. You could tell they were trying not to look, but it was hard to not notice it. It was in our face all night when we were trying to bowl.”
I talked with a young man who was there. “Yeah, it was pretty bad stuff. We were trying not to look, but it was hard to not notice Miley naked right in front of us.”
I asked him, “Are those kind of images a springboard to porn?”
“Yeah, at home especially. Whenever I look at YouTube for sports, or whatever, it always offers some sexy video you can click on. It’s always tempting.”
One kid told me, “I don’t look at that stuff.” The next week his parents received notice from their internet provider reporting an “alleged infringement of one or more copyrighted works.” Bottom line: someone in their house was downloading porn videos and they didn’t realize that it was a copyright infringement (the same handslap if they were downloading illegal movies or music… in this case, porn videos). Mom and dad rarely fathom that their own kid could be looking at porn.
Which would you prefer?
IF YOU LIKED THIS POST, CHECK OUT JONATHAN’S RECENT ARTICLE, THE POWER OF PORN
OR CHECK OUT THE NEW WORKBOOK FROM JONATHAN AND DOUG FIELDS, “SHOULD I JUST SMASH MY KID’S PHONE?”