In this episode of Off the Cuff, Hayden and I discuss the following:
- What age is appropriate to begin the “sex talk” with your kids and how do we go about it without robbing them of their innocence?
- When and how do we begin talking about the dangers of porn?
- How prevalent is this problem and what steps should parents take to protect their children?
- Hayden discusses effective deterrents that help him fight the temptation.
If you are just now joining us for the Off the Cuff series and wondering what it’s all about, click here for our introduction clip. You can find Episode 1 (a Snapchat discussion) here. In the meantime, comment below with any helpful advice you may have for other readers pertaining to this topic. If you have a new question for a future episode, you can submit it on the introduction page by clicking here. Also, if you need more tips on how to begin and continue the sex/pornography conversation with your son, I cover it more extensively in my book, 5 Conversations You Must Have With Your Son. It is also available as a DVD/Bible study, so grab a group of moms and start a group in your neighborhood or church!
Thanks for joining us again! Next week, we’ll be discussing hyper-aggressive girls and Hayden will offer valuable insight from a guy’s perspective. If you want to receive notifications of new Off the Cuff episodes, subscribe by email in the upper right-hand corner of this post or “like” my Facebook author page in the right margin. We’ll see you next time!
UPDATE: I’ve received a bunch of emails/comments asking about apps that can monitor smartphones. I did an Internet search for some information and found mspy.com. It claims to monitor/track texts messages (even after they’re deleted); GPS tracking, and tracks Internet, email and photo activity, as well as SMS activity. It is pricy — the basic package (which does all of the above) runs from $39.99 for one month of tracking to $59.99 for three months.
I also found teensafe.com, which claims to specialize in iPhones (but also monitors androids). I can’t tell if they can track Instagram and Snapchat activity, so you would need to look into it more if you are going to allow your children to engage in those apps, since most of them have left Facebook. Also, they will allow you to try it for free for six days and if you like it, it’s $14.95/month. One benefit of telling your children you are monitoring their phones is that they will probably assume that includes Instagram and Snapchat. Hayden thought I was able to see everything he was doing on his phone when he was in high school. I never told him I could — he just assumed it! Please weigh in if you have used either of these apps or have another one you would like to recommend.
One more thing: If I were a parent w/ a tween/teen and I allowed them to have a smartphone (it’s not likely I would allow my tween to have one, but I’ve learned to never say never…), I would invest in one of the above apps for one month and track a random month for each of my children to spot-check their activity. If they are not on the right track, you will know it in a month. My personal position is if you are willing to pay the monthly fee for them to have a smartphone, you should factor into the cost equation a monitoring fee over and above it to ensure their safety. Too much is at stake to not know what they’re doing on their phones. Have them earn the cost and tell them it’s part of the deal. I would also let them know I am monitoring their phone use, but I would probably leave out the detail that I’m only doing so for one month (besides, I may decide to increase it after seeing their activity for one month!). I would further explain that it is for safety purposes to ensure they are using the phone responsibly. That’s just my two cents.