In today's digital age, children are exposed to various influences much earlier than previous generations. Among these are sexual perversion and inappropriate content media, which can have lasting impacts on their understanding of relationships and sex. As parents and guardians, it is crucial to guide our children properly and supervise against their exposure to such content, ensuring a healthy development.

With the vast array of content available online, it is easy for children to access sexually explicit material. This exposure can spark an unhealthy curiosity and lead them to revisit such content. Repeated exposure can greatly distort their understanding of healthy relationships, and negatively impact their development. It is essential that children feel safe discussing any concerns without fear of judgment or punishment, so they can seek guidance and support from parents, should they be exposed to explicit content. Establishing this trust is crucial for helping them navigate the complexities of growing up and instilling this appropriate response. Additionally, conversations and content across media platforms—such as social media, group texts, and various forms of entertainment — that objectify others or present skewed views of sexuality can further distort children's perceptions. This makes it challenging for them to understand what healthy, respectful relationships should look like. Therefore, education about chastity and sexuality should come from home first. Parents must have open lines of communication with their children about sexuality and relationships. Any discussion should be age-appropriate and introduce the concept of respect for oneself and others. It is about framing chastity not as a series of "no's" but as a positive affirmation of self-respect and authentic love.

In "Love and Responsibility”, St. John Paul II discusses three types of friendships: those of utility, pleasure, and virtue. Teaching children about the kinds of relationships can help connect them to virtuous relationships. Friendships of virtue are the most profound and enduring, as they are based on mutual respect and the pursuit of the common good. Friends in this category support each other’s moral growth and challenge one another to be better, sharing a commitment to the highest goods and to each other’s welfare. This type of friendship should be encouraged as it can lead to the development of moral values, unlike those based on pleasure or utility, which can pave the way toward objectification.

The internet, while offering numerous benefits, presents significant risks, making it crucial for parents to implement safeguards. It's essential for parents to understand the devices their children use, and Ffilters and monitoring software should be standard tools for any parent whose child uses digital media. Setting clear boundaries and rules about device usage, as well as actively monitoring their online activities, are critical steps in preventing children's exposure to inappropriate content. These protective measures help ensure that children can enjoy the benefits of the internet safely and responsibly.

Encouraging children to engage in activities that promote virtuous values can reinforce the lessons taught at home and Church. Participating in community service, joining clubs that foster creativity and teamwork, and attending events that celebrate wholesome values form friendships based on mutual respect and virtue and can provide a healthy foundation for their growth.

Protecting our children from sexual perversion is not just about shielding them from harmful content; it is about preparing them to navigate the world centered in Christ with confidence in the values they first learned within the home. By fostering open communication, educating them about healthy relationships, and actively participating in their digital lives, parents can protect their children from the adverse effects of sexual immorality and help them grow into holy-virtue-seeking adults.

Monitoring Solutions for Parents

  1. Covenant Eyes – Offers monitoring and filtering capabilities that track and report online activity to help prevent exposure to inappropriate content. This service emphasizes accountability and is particularly geared towards combating pornography exposure.

  2. Qustodio – helps parents monitor and manage their kids' online activity on all devices. It offers features such as web filtering, time limits, app blocking, location tracking, reports, alerts and more.

  3. Bark – An advanced monitoring system that analyzes online activities and alerts parents to potential issues like cyberbullying, sexting, and encounters with online predators. Bark monitors social media, text messages, emails, and other digital communications.

  4. Circle – A device that connects to your home Wi-Fi network to monitor and manage all internet-connected devices. It allows parents to set content filters, time limits, and bedtimes for each device.

  5. CleanBrowsing – Provides filtering solutions that can be applied to your home’s router to block inappropriate content on all devices connected to the home network. It’s effective in preventing access to adult content and can be customized based on specific filtering needs.

  6. OpenDNS – Provides filtering solutions that can be applied to your home’s router to block inappropriate content on all devices connected to the home network, similar to CleanBrowsing.

  7. Fortify –A program designed to help individuals struggling with pornography addiction. It offers video lessons, a battle tracker for personal progress, and recovery tools. Fortify is free for users under 21.

  8. Google Family Link – A free service by Google that allows parents to set digital ground rules for their children. Parents can manage apps, keep an eye on screen time, and remotely lock devices when necessary.

Jeremy Lezniak — SFA Theologians Guild Member