My Child Googled What?!

protecting your child on the internet

A few weeks ago, I discovered that one of my children took her curiosity to Google. There, she found more than she ever wanted to know. I was horrified and heart-broken.

Innocence lost with the click of a button. 

I touted our family guidelines for screen time just weeks before the day of innocence lost. My sweet rule-follower stepped outside of those guidelines and used a new device that had not yet been smut-proofed while in her room alone.

I learned a few things from our Google debacle. I learned the importance of protecting your child on the internet. I also learned about the importance of having The Talk with your kids and other parents.

Childproof your technology today. Not tomorrow.

I had plans to set the filters on her new device the afternoon of the offense. I was busy with some bills or paperwork or something the day she got it and I let her have it without making it safe first.  The cost for my delay was too high. How I wish I could go back to that day and put away those things that seemed so important at the time for the sake of my daughter’s heart.

If you think it is too early to have the talk with your child, you are either right on time or too late.

Kids are talking about sex younger than we want to believe. I was on the lookout for signs that she was ready for The Talk. My daughter never once asked me about sex or anything related. She took her questions straight to Google, despite our close and open relationship. Curiosity ignited on the playground at school turned into a blazing fire of sin in the quiet of her room. Had I gotten to her first, I believe she would have handled the peer-to-peer information more appropriately.

Keep communication with other parents open and honest.

Since my discovery, I have talked to both my friends and my daughter’s friends’ parents about our nightmare with Google. My purpose was not to point fingers and blame them for her sin; I wanted to encourage them to talk to their child and filter their internet access. It is shameful to let people into your dark places, but if I can be an advocate for innocence, it is worth a little humiliation. 

My kid is a good kid. She made it through 1st and 2nd grade without a single conduct mark. She does what I tell her and looks for ways to help out at home. The fruit was too shiny and the serpent hissed a little too loud this time. If this can happen to her, it can happen to your child, too. 

Go to your kids iThing right now and limit access to the internet. Set boundaries for screen use and enforce them. Have The Talk with your kid tonight. Do not delay in an effort to protect their innocence. Partner with other parents on this parenthood journey. There is strength in community.

What are you doing to be proactive in the battle against pornography in your home?

Recommended Resources

How To Use Parental Controls on the iPhone and iPad: the ultimate guide, Rene Ritchie

That Thing Where We Have To Tell Our Kids About Sex, Cara Joyner

“It’s okay to be a little broken, as long as you roll up your sleeves to cooperate with God as he builds and repairs again and again.” Dannah Gresh, Six Ways To Keep the Little in Your Girl

“Parents are needed more than ever to provide instruction, correction, and positive modeling to a child regarding screen time, even if this digital world seems like unfamiliar territory. We live in a brand new era when children are digital natives and many parents are digital immigrants.” Arlene Pellicane, Growing Up Social

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