Good morning everyone,
When is the last time someone sent you an explicit text message? Maybe a request to send back an explicit photo of yourself? Do you get multiple text messages/emails with content that would be considered “adult” on a daily basis? Was this the reality of your life when you were in elementary school? High school?
Kids are equipped with mobile devices that will allow them to send sexually explicit messages to one another; allow them to take photographs of themselves in various states of dress (or not dressed), which they can then send to one another; allow them to access pornography whenever and wherever they so choose, and send these images to one another; etc. How would you have handled that when you were 10? 12? 16? How are your kids handling it?
It should not be a mystery to us that our kids are growing up in a different culture than we did with regard to technology and the role media is playing in their lives. Media and marketing is sexualizing our children at an increasingly younger age, and technology has opened availability to “adult” material that would have been difficult for most adults to access 20 years ago.
You may feel I am overstating this, blowing things out of proportion. I have had people tell me in the past I may have these opinions because of the work I do, that this is not the reality for “normal” families and kids. Well, CBC has released a documentary called “Sext Up Kids”. If anything, we are not giving this nearly enough attention. Our kids are viewing pornography at an earlier age (en mass) than ever before. As a result they are developing ridiculous views on sex and sexuality. Our daughters are being trained to look/act certain ways, perform sex acts to please boys, accept sexually explicit texts/requests for pictures as normal things that boys do, etc. Our sons are learning that girls are there to please/satisfy them sexually, that having multiple partners is pretty normal, that sex is purely recreational, that girls really want to have sex even if they say they do not, etc. Don’t believe it is that bad? Watch the documentary.
If you are a parent, watch the documentary in the above link. Watch it if you are not a parent. Watch it with your partner, if possible, and take some steps to address this with your kids. Regardless of how uncomfortable you may be with the issues presented, finding out how far your kids have taken this in 2, 3, 5 years time will be much more uncomfortable.
I am not trying to say that all kids are involved in this, that your children are bad, or anything like that. What I am saying is that you need to have a dialog with your kids about this. You need to install filters on your computers/mobile devices to protect your kids. You need to be responsible with the technology you have provided.
We need to pay attention to what is happening and act accordingly. Do your part. If you need assistance, get in touch with a professional that has experience dealing with this. Juniper Tree is an organization that offers such expertise – we are here to help and more than willing to do so. Be proactive – it is much easier than being reactive. Take care…
Individual and group pornography recovery treatment is available through Juniper Tree Counselling and Psychotherapy Services (www.junipertree.ca).
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