In this new video series, available exclusively at AveMariaRadio.net, Al Kresta sits down with Brad Schmidt, a youth minister serving at a local parish, to discuss the problem of pornography and our children. Brad discusses the ease of access of pornography, how teenagers are coming across pornography, what apps are problematic, what you can do to help your children, and more. Please check out our resource page, watch the videos, share your thoughts and let other people know about this exciting series of videos.
In part one we sit down with Brad Schmidt, a youth minister at a local Catholic parish, to discuss the ease of access to pornography in this digital age. Whether your children are looking for it or not, pornography is at your child’s fingertips. iPhones, iPod touches, smart phones, gaming devices and e-readers can all provide your child with instant access to pornography with just a couple clicks. We will discuss a few different programs that will keep you informed of your child’s internet activity and will help hold your children accountable.
Part Two – Internet Awareness
In part two we discuss the importance of being aware of your children’s activity online in a way that will not leave them feeling betrayed and spied on. Checking internet history is more complicated than it used to be. We’ll explain how to check internet history and what to look for, even if your children are activating private browsing to hide their activity. We’ll also explain how to start a conversation with your children if you do notice suspicious activity.
In part three we discuss the particular challenges of monitoring and controlling internet activity on mobile devices. You may not think of an iPod or a smart phone without a data plan as having access to the internet, but almost all mobile devices have the capability of using wi-fi and therefore can access the internet. Even deactivated phones can access the internet. We’ll discuss this as well as the difference in parental controls between Apple devices and Android devices.
Part Four – The Trouble with Twitter
In part four we discuss why you shouldn’t allow your children to use Twitter. Twitter is particularly problematic because it does not have any parental controls and they have no guidelines in terms of nudity and sexual content. We took some extra time with Brad to actually use Twitter and show how easy it is to access inappropriate content.
Part Five – Family Culture Dealing with Pornography
In part five we discuss how to create a family culture that permits one to comfortable address the problem of pornography with their children. Are you obligated, as a parent, to ask your children about their struggles with sexual temptation? Should parents be direct and not shy away from difficult questions? Should parents share their own experiences with sexual temptation? Brad lays out a plan to make these conversations less uncomfortable and more likely to succeed.
In part six we get a better understanding of what sexting is and discuss the motivation behind it. What are the dangers of sexting? Why are our teenagers drawn to sexting? Why don’t they seem to fully grasp the consequences of their actions? Brad discusses all of this and more, including the rise of female usage of pornography.
In part seven we discuss how to prepare your children to deal with pornography. We discuss the issues with the “not my child” mentality as well as the difficultly of teaching your children about the dangers of pornography while struggling with a porn addiction yourself.
Part Eight – Problematic Apps
In part eight we take a look at the more popular apps out there and figure out which are dangerous to your child. Myspace is no longer an issue, but with its fall came the rise of dozens of new social media platforms that each pose a unique threat to your child. Some apps you should not allow your children to use at all. others are mostly harmless, but you still need to be aware of the risks.
Part Nine – Finding Pornography on Google
In part nine we discuss the ease of access to pornography on Google. Brad actually walks us through how easy it is to find pornography on Google, whether on purpose or by accident. Brad also shows us the uselessness of “safe search” and why having safe search enabled should not put you at ease when your child is on the internet.
Part Ten – What You Can Expect From Your Church
In the final part of our ten part series we discuss what kind of support parents can expect from their local parish when they are dealing with protecting their children from pornography. Every parish should have the resources available to assist parents in understanding the dangers and issues related to pornography. Unfortunately, according to Brad, this is most likely not the case in most parishes. Brad invites you to talk to your pastor if you feel unsupported and Al adds that if support is not offered, it may be time to “vote with your feet” and find another parish. If the health and well-being of your children is not a priority at your parish, it may be time to move on.
In this video we also discuss the grace that can be found in the Sacraments which can help you and your children when dealing with these issues.
You can also check out the USCCB’s new document, “Create in Me a Clean Heart.”