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  1. Laura Luecke-Lobaccaro says:

    Hi Monica, I paid for the internet course but I can’t log on. The system says my password is incorrect and I asked for them to send me a new password but there is nothing in my email, spam or junk mail folders. Please advise.

  2. Single Mama of a 12 YO and 9 YO who are both non-binary…but who are “boy” minded let’s say. When they are here with me we are mostly screen free. No TV here, and neither child has a device. The 12 YO was accessing my ipad out of need for school last year during covid. They are in a Waldorf school and so it is a screen-free environment now that they are back at school. However, some parents allowed devices into their homes because of the last year, and as a result for those of us who say NO to our children having a device, it is cause my 12YO and I to but heads pretty hard, as their are feeling such FOMO about not having a phone, and I uphold the boundary really hard, trying to educate and also listen to my child…but this is causing such a rift at times, even the most kind listening to them about their fear of missing out because they don’t have a device….it ends up with them getting SO ANGRY at me and telling me I am overprotective etc. This kind of thing has not come up for us before, I am trying to stay open and listen, and also want to respect their autonomy and their growth into a teen…..but also want to be teaching them about the milestones (social & emotional) that need and should happen before a device is even part of the convo. HELP!!!!!!!

    1. This is such a good question (and hard situation!) Sounds like you are doing a lot of things very well.
      I think we chatted on IG as well, but one thought is, as they go into teen years to offer a deice with super limited access to internet, etc. Something they could text friends on and over time you could allow more freedom. Sissy Goff (author and counselor who is very well respected) suggests that we don’t necessarily want our kids to be “the last” to get phones. Cell phones are a reality in our culture today so it is wise to get them one at the right time and walk them through how to handle it responsibly (with filters if you do allow any internet) and that way when they are independent they will have had some years to learn how to handle it responsibly. Hang in there and way to be intentional about this!

  3. One option to consider if wanting to stay away from apps is the light phone which is built for calling and texting and a few other basics, but does not create space for social media, internet browsers, etc.

  4. Thanks for a great post! There’s also a lot of great info from Love and Logic at LoveandLogic.com, and they have a wonderful CD called, “Hormones and Wheels,” and also another one which deals with this subject–you’ll see the name on their website although I cannot remember it just now! Thanks again!

  5. A fantastic, informative, crucially important article for parents to read! It is our job to stay educated, updated and informed with social media in order to protect our children!

    Although technology can be an incredible tool for learning in so many positive regards, it can also be what I considered, “satan’s playground to lure our innocent children! By keeping updated on the good and ugly of these apps, that our children are unfortunately, constantly being exposed to and are becoming more and more responsible for preoccupying our children’s minds, lives and past times, it is up to us as parents and care givers to keep educated about social media in order to protect our children’s innocence and keep them safe from danger and predators!!

    1. Yes and Amen!! Thank you for the comment. I agree whole heartedly. Much aloha–

  6. Fantastic, informative, crucially important read!!

  7. Monica…this is a wonderful post. We just got the book. Your heart on all of this is so “for” kids and parents! You really model how I want to handle this! Thanks!

    1. Thank you so much Hallie!! Your words are a big encouragement! 🙂 Glad you got the book too! Much aloha!

  8. This is great Monica! Passing it on to a few friends as well. Xx

  9. The problem is the apps- kids can get to inappropriate sites/images through the apps which you can’t block. They can also get to them through i music which can’t be blocked either. Additionally, an innocent search can be made, click on images, which do t have a url, and can’t be detected or blocked. Instagram- they can find porn images through the search without friending the person. Filters help- but may give you a false sense of security.

    1. Great points to mention, I like to know my blinds spots as a parent, (and think I actually fear those the most, 🙈). I appreciate you sharing this!!

  10. Wow, so helpful. Thanks Monica! We are just talking about this with our two boys 9 and 12. They have restricted screen time and we have filters, but I want to prepare them for when I am not around.
    This made me wonder about another topic that parallels the pornography issue, masturbation.
    We are struggling with how to talk about this issue and would love some Godly wisdom. We are finding it to be a fine line between sparking a fire of curiosity and putting out a flame!
    Thanks for all of your posts, they really do give me a great amount of encouragement and HOPE;)

  11. Just ordered the book Monica, thank you so much for your help with this tough topic. Really appreciate you & all you do to share with other parents. Mahalo!

    1. Thank you so much Sarah! I’m glad you ordered it…it’s really well done! 😉 XO

  12. We have started these conversations with my 11 year old and talk about it all the time. I want it to be my voice in the back of his mind reminding him to make good choices. We’ve also used some scare tactics – in the sense that we watched videos about kids getting groomed or tricked and then killed. It was a tough decision to expose him to how awful the world can be at such a young age but we wanted to get in front of the issue. We’re like you are with the porn, Monica, we want our boys to make very careful decisions about who they talk to on the internet – as in don’t talk to anyone you don’t already know. But I really appreciate your post because I always forget about the THINGS they may stumble across, I’m always focused on the people. And I even read your post about porn a long time ago! Thanks for reminding me about the other half of that conversation that I haven’t focused on!

  13. Julie Bloom says:

    I love you too. Man, you are spot on!

  14. If your sons are on Instagram one thing to be aware of is the explore posts page. I am sure you are aware of this and most likely use it yourself. I have found that Instagram puts different accounts on the feed based on the type of people I follow. Even though I am a mom and follow home/food/mom blogger type accounts I still occasionally see pictures of provocatively dressed and posed woman and even sometimes soft porn. There is no way to filter these pictures and I am sure a young boy could quickly get sucked down a rabbit trail looking at the images. Also, I am sure there are even more of this type of pictures on a boys account.

    1. thanks kaitly–
      Yep, I know about the explore page. (Like I said, set out to write an entire post about Insta. :))
      Glad you’re already aware of that, and yes–defnitely more on a boys’ page, you’re right. Thanks for commenting.

      1. I look forward to reading about your thoughts on Instagram. So frustrating that there is no way to filter the junk out. I have a five year old boy and am thankful for all your wise guidance and tools for keeping our sons pure.

  15. This conversation you started has helped me so much in raising my two boys. Just getting it out there. Talking about it with them and making it more of an everyday thing and not something to hide… its worked wonders. I know nothing is fail proof BUT my husband and I want open communication in all things in our house, nothing is off limits to talk about in that safe place. And maybe it will help them be more confident to make good decisions. Thank you for putting it out there. It was such a taboo topic in my house growing up.

    1. Thank you Paige. That means so much to me! Way to go as well, it’s one thing to get inspired and another to follow through and make it your normal. Much Aloha-

  16. Chrissy Dunn says:

    Monica, Thank you for this blog post. I’m dealing with this now and working backwards, unfortunately. I have a question. Do you tell your kids that you have an app that can monitor what they look at, covenant eye? Also, what do you do if you notice a post from a fellow classmate that you don’t particular like?

    1. Thank you Chrissy! Yes, the boys know we use the app (they were actually super grateful when we finally installed it, as they knew there were so many things just a click away and they actually did not want that temptation.)
      You mean a post on Instagram from a classmate? When we scroll through our boys’ feed, we talk to them about anything of concern–from photos to comments etc., but we have also come along side our boys and “unfollowed” people who have posted inappropriately. Even better is when our boys show us who they are choosing to unfollow and why. Big steps of maturity then! 🙂 (And if I misunderstood your question, feel free to let me know and i’ll try to answer better.) ALoha-

  17. Thank you for this information. My child is only nine but has a phone. He spends 1 hour on watching videos or playing with game apps per day if he finishes all his work. He sees his dad every other weekend with no limits on screen time. How can I handle that? I’m not allowed to dictate their activities but he comes home so zombied out from spending 2 days on a device. He also gains a pound or two from eating 5-6 fast food meals without exercise. Poor kid.

    1. Oh that is a tough one. I think your screen time rules sound good, but the only suggestion I have for the weekends at dad’s house is to have the conversation with the dad…Is that an option to just talk about it as an area you are working on and “can we both be on the same page?” (maybe that’s too difficult in your situation..) Either way, I would definitely have a filter on his phone since he is looking at it when you’re not there and anything could come up. The filters work great on phones! (one plan covers multiple devices so it’s quite easy!)

  18. I love your idea that your children will never be in trouble for something if they bring it to you – its something I’d like to adopt. I find your posts are really useful trying to do the right thing bringing up our two boys.

  19. Sheena Carnie says:

    Good place to start, thanks Monica, I’ll look up Covenant eyes. My 13 year old son doesn’t have a phone, only a tablet and he uses Instagram. His account is also on my phone so I can check any time what he’s up to. A couple of months back he got into enormous trouble because I intercepted a message between him and his little “girlfriend” in which he used some especially foul language to describe various activities. This use of truly appalling sexually explicit language has been a big problem among the 13-year-olds (first year of high school) at our school and it has been addressed by the school and parents, but it’s shocking when you think you’re bringing your child up with decent values, limiting his exposure to sexually explicit and violent Tv, games and internet sites, and yet still this crops up. I think a lot of it has to do with being at an all boys school where bad language is used to try to impress others, and obviously int he first year of high school they’re also trying to make their mark, but my son is now under no illusions whatsoever about what will and won’t be tolerated. I did not handle it in a kind and loving manner at all, more like a dragon breathing fire, but we have had some much more tolerant and loving discussions since then. Of course he knew that what he’d done was unacceptable because he was immediately contrite and there were immediate apologies which is not normally the case when he’s in trouble. He wouldn’t revel where the ideas and language had come from, and when I checked his online history I couldn’t see any inappropriate sites, but that doesn’t mean he hadn’t been to any. Sigh! This parenting is hard work! Thanks for all your support and suggestions – everyone all over the world is dealing with the same issues!

    1. Thanks Jennifer. I also shared that on Facebook two weeks ago, and will mention it in my upcoming post. 🙂 I have some additional thoughts to add to that, however, which is why my boys are still able to use Instagram. But I’m glad she wrote that post and I think it has been enlightening to a lot of families!! aloha-