CNN and other news sites are fair game in our home. The only problem is that most news stations, programs and sites today also spend quite a bit of time covering celebrity and entertainment news, which means that it’s still worthwhile to supervise your child’s media intake, even on seemingly benign sites and programs.
Last week for example, everyone from our local news to the front page of CNN.com was highlighting the fact that Jenny McCarthy was making her sixth appearance in Playboy. As McCarthy has explained, she wanted to be in the magazine one more time before her 40th birthday later this year. Well, good for her for being proud of her body at almost 40-years-old, but bad for us and for our kids as we try to protect them and ourselves from taking in images that hurt our attempts towards purity.
If you were a curious eleven-year-old boy or girl (or even a grown adult), what would you do as you read about or heard about news stories like this? Chances are, you’ll either watch the video news coverage online or on TV (which already shows a nearly nude McCarthy) or you’ll go hunting for more information and images about McCarthy’s latest spread. If you aren’t using filters and parental controls on the Internet-enabled devices in your home, then it’s highly likely that your kids (or your husband or wife) will encounter McCarthy’s earlier or latest Playboy pictures or other nude pictures since they are numerous online. I’ve talked with so many kids (and adults) whose struggle with pornography started with something mildly arousing. Their curiosity, and the lack of parental controls, led them to uncover and become regular visitors to some pretty hardcore stuff online.
So remember, it’s so important to talk to your kids about sex and pornography in an age-appropriate fashion. Supervise their use of the Internet, and understand that even seemingly benign sites (like news sites) can be filled with images or articles that could set your son or daughter up to struggle. And finally, use those filters and parental controls (like Safe Eyes or our X3watchPRO) on all Internet-enabled devices to help protect your kids from pornography online, but remember that your personal involvement in their lives will ultimately make the biggest impact on their choices.