Sometimes its something they say to show off that makes you realise that it's the end of innocence as you know it.
That’s what it seemed to me last week when my eldest said he had seen sex on the computer. It took me a few seconds to cotton on to what he was saying.
And it shocked me to the core.
My son had obviously seen porn.
On the computer.
He’s only eight years old!
My next reaction, while trying very hard to keep the concern out of my voice so as not to frighten him into silence, was to ascertain where he had found it, why he had found it and what I could do about it.
I tried to concentrate but my mind was working overtime. How had he got on my computer? He couldn’t have done this at home I am always so careful.
But there had been that time when I left him doing Mathletics and he’d gone off to find Moshi Monsters all on his own…was it then?
Good grief was it at school?!
Surely they have people to make sure this kind of thing never happens, surely they must have computer controls?!
Me, trying to sound as if this sort of thing didn’t matter: “Really?”
Him: “Yeah me and a friend typed in S.E.X. and saw a woman and man doing it…”
Me: “What did you think?”
Him, goes red and sniggers: “It was really silly…”
Oh thank god for that.
Me: “So when did you do this? At School?”
Him: “No it was when I went on a playdate…”
Oh thank god for that too at least it’s not on my watch...no this is bad how can I trust him to go on playdates again? This is awful! What sort of parent allows their kids to go on a computer unsupervised…Oh, yes … me. I did.
It’s terrifying how easy it is for children to view porn on computers. You think they are too young and couldn’t possibly be interested. But you forget they are growing up and are curious and want to know more even if it starts out just as a giggle.And the first place they are going to go to find out more is to the internet...
You may keep your computer under lock and key but phones nowadays have access to the web, your kids will have play dates and sleep overs. You cannot monitor them night and day.
Needless to say I told my boy that I never wanted him to do anything like that again and said he was never to go on my computer unless I was with him always and that in the future all computers would be kept downstairs. I also told him he’d not be able to have an iPhone until he was at least 16...in fact I went way over the top.
At least that is what my husband said.
I doubt my boy will ever be as forthcoming again.
My only excuse was that I was shocked and scared and felt that I had failed as a mother, a responsible parent.
My boy he knew it was a naughty thing to do when he and his mate typed in the word in the first place otherwise they wouldn't have waited until they were on their own Problem is he doesn't quite get why yet, he doesn't understand about adult behaviour and why that sort of thing is really bad and it is not something I am going to discuss with him for a while yet.
What I have done is sort out parental computer control and upped my security so that inappropriate websites cannot be accessed from home. I cannot be everywhere I cannot stop it from happening eventually but at least in my home I have done everything I can.
Here's a site I found very helpful, I hope you do too