This is not good.
My son turns 6 in a few weeks and I can’t for the life of me imagine him digging through the internet for this kind of content. He knows apps, and how to watch his favorite movies. That’s it. I think.
Bitdefender, a Romanian antivirus company has surveyed parents on the web habits of their kids and has found that kids will start watching porn online as early as 6.
What? How in the world does that happen?
Do they click on a link in the archive from a parent or do they actually go out and seek this kind of content?
The survey results, published in USA Today, paint a dramatically different picture of children from just two years ago.
According to 2011 results from the same company, 95% of parents confessed their children had used the internet to access pornography. The parents noticed it during homework time. The kids minds would wander and then – woah, whaddya know – look at what they’re looking at.
Let’s be real, there is nasty stuff in every. single. corner. of the internet. Is it possible to shield your kids away from it? Probably not. You have to hope you give them the skills to understand good from bad. I’ve long believed that banning something just makes kids want it more. You need to arm your children with the knowledge and understanding to make smart choices.
That said, you’ll never win the war with hormones. But 6? Grade 1? Kindergarten? They’ve just learned how to read Green Eggs and Ham, and they’re taking that skill to look for the nasty?
“Kids lie about their age to get access to something they want to explore, in this case a social network,” USA Today quoted Jo Webber, CEO of Virtual Piggy, as saying. “It’s no different than my generation lying about age to get cigarettes or into a bar.”
Except you were lying to get into a bar at 19, not 6.
“Kids nowadays are acting like young adults online — just give them an Internet-connected device, and they will find a way to things parents would like to ban forever,” Bitdefender Chief Security Strategist Catalin Cosoli told the paper.
So what are you going to do?
Our kids are digital natives. My youngest knew how to maneuver between screens on an iPad before he could walk.
In our house, the iPads are only handed over to the kids in airplane mode. To them, they are app and movie devices, they’re not yet “internet ready.” My son can’t quite read, and hasn’t shown an interest in stepping outside the online sandbox I’ve built.
But, according to the numbers, that day is just around the corner. I’ve long prescribed to the adage that knowledge is power, not abstinence but .. 6? Wow. I’m not ready for that one yet.
Let’s get a roundtable of advice going.
What are the rules on internet usage at your house? Have you seen your kids accessing adult content online? What do you do about it?
Image via lorda