Yes I am a fan of 80’s music. Can’t help it. Went to high school in the 80’s. A lot of great music came out of that decade including Peter Gabriel’s song “Shock the Monkey”. There are varying interpretations of what the song is about but a popular one is addiction. Porn is very addicting and an article in Wired magazine, from several years back, said it is more addicting than cocaine. That is pretty powerful. So if your kids get hooked on porn how do you “Shock the Monkey”?
Maybe we’re getting a little ahead of ourselves. You’d probably like to help your kids avoid getting the porn Monkey on their backs in the first place. Here are some basic “Porn Monkey Avoidance” techniques:
1. Don’t allow your kids to have Internet access in their bedroom - whether on a computer or other Internet enabled device (Smart Phone, iTouch, PSP, iPad etc.). You’re just asking for trouble. Make Internet access available only somewhere in your house that you can see what they’re doing online (like your kitchen).
2. Get an Internet filter. Yeah, they cost a few bucks but it’s well worth it to protect your kids. Sometimes they can run into Porn Monkey’s with just a simple typo. Now I hear from people all the time on how kids can get around filters. Well that is not all kids and sometimes a filter is just the deterrent a kid needs to keep him away from Monkey Island (porn monkey island).
3. Check your kids computer, phones and other electronic devices for porn. They can get it from places other than the Internet - a text from a friend, an email with an attachment, a USB stick from a buddy. So randomly check their devices and see what you can find. If they know you’re checking that may help them avoid the monkeys.
So lets say you find out your kid already ready has the porn monkeys on his back. How do you help them “Shock the Monkey”?
1. Have an honest conversation about porn with them. Kids often feel trapped. They know they shouldn’t be looking at the stuff but they’re too scared to say anything. Just getting the whole thing out in the open can be a big relief. That’s one way to shock the monkey.
2. Help them find an accountability partner. It’s probably a good idea if it’s a youth pastor or other youth worker. It needs to be someone mature that they respect and trust. And someone who can ask them freely if they’ve looked at porn recently. Sure they could lie but knowing they are accountable to someone can shock the monkey.
3. There are some great books that can help as well. Now not every kid likes to read but summer is coming and they’ll have more free time. A great book for your son is “Every Young Man’s Battle” and a great book for your daughter is “Every Young Woman’s Battle”. Both are available at www.EveryMansBattle.com. These books can help them shock the monkey on their own.
Ok, I think I’ve said “Shock the Monkey” enough but hopefully it’ll help you remember what you need to do to protect your kids from Porn. Hey, why not go to iTunes and download the song while you’re thinking about it. It’s 80’s at its best.