Article written for the local media on protecting children from the dangers of pornography internet activities
<strong>Coalition: Parents need to be aware of dangers</strong>
BY ANGELA HUGHES
Many parents may not be aware that the nation’s increasing sexualized culture can have a direct effect on children here in Bedford, according to the National Coalition for the Protection of Children and Families.
“Parents need to be aware of the dangers,” said Bedford resident Rick Kardos, the New England executive director of the NCPCF. “We may not think we are involved in it, but pornography, explicit Internet activities with children and online affairs all contribute to it.”
The coalition held its fifth anniversary fundraising banquet at the Bedford Foursquare Church, where NCPCF national President Rick Schatz spoke to a packed crowd.
Schatz announced that this year, the coalition will examine and discuss the issue of human trafficking in great depth and detail as it is attached to the pornography industry.
“We live in a sexualized culture and media that drives us to the idea that more is better,” Schatz said. “Everything is about being a bigger, better sexual lifestyle.”
The message to attendees was clear: We need to keep kids safe.
The group encouraged parents and guardians to stay focused on the family unit and stay the course. In addition, it reminded families that the home is the most important unit for the change to occur. According to the coalition, the average age a child gets involved in pornography is 11 years old.
Throughout the NCPCF Outreach program, the coalition works to engage in the cultural battle by educating and equipping youth with chaste and moral relationships. Kardos offered some tips on keeping families safe in a sexualized era.
He said it is good to sit down with your children, watch parts of offending programs and talk through the issues.
Then, he suggested asking the following five questions:
1. Does the programming, dialogue, images, music videos or song lyrics reflect the values you hold to be true?
2. Does it encourage you to overstep your personal sexual boundaries?
3. Has it influenced your values regarding same-sex relationships?
4. Does it reflect the values of your friends?
5. How do your values compare/contrast with what we’ve been teaching you in our home?
Rick Kardos also suggested the following tips:
• Invite dialogue not only with your kids but also with their peers.
• Encourage your child to discuss these things with their friends.
• Be open to hearing their opinions and thoughts regarding why they watch certain programs and the impact on them and their friendships.
“You can’t protect your kids from the Internet, cell phones, cable programming,” Kardos said. “We live in an environment where it is part of our day-to-day life.”
“What you can do is establish rules that monitor what they are doing with phones and computers, that kids know and understand the boundaries that you are setting,” he said.
Published Wednesday, February 10, 2010 6:27 PM by Bedford Editor
Filed under: Bedford, children, NCPCF