Parents, Porn and Posterity. . .


“I’m even interested in what is inside the disc. Come and play it for us”.

 

That was my mum talking to me. The disc in question is a DVD containing collections of pornographic videos.

 

Don’t blame my mum. She’s too innocent. And, I guess, she thinks all her kids are, too. But with the disc in my hand, the seal of her innocence was about to be tampered with . . .

 

“You don’t want to see this kind of movie, Mum” I told her.

“Put it jare, I even want to know what exactly they do in all these blue films”.

 

My Dad just sat on the couch, silently. I guess he was still baffled with the shock that any of his children will bring in a pornographic material into his house (as if that was the first time . . .).

 

Don’t label us too soon. We are great kids. Admirable. All of us! A Banker. An Engineer. 2 Medical Practitioners. A Pastor, and an Economist. We are outstanding kids! But, you know, even great kids do stuffs they aren’t proud of . . . and stuffs they don’t want their parents to be aware of. But somehow, this one broke out.

 

One of my siblings had brought in the forbidden disc. I guess he was seeing it in the midnight before there was a blackout. The disc is stucked in the DVD player. And worse still, the culprit left the TV and the DVD player on . . . and went to sleep. Maybe he was hoping that the power will be restored soon for him to continue feeding his mind . . . or maybe his mind was so full already that he had no spare thinking space to remember to put off the TV . . . Whatever.

So, here comes Kola Ola. I came home the next day from school really tired. I’ve been away from home for over a week. I came to pick a few things. As I opened the door with my key, I couldn’t believe my eyes. The plasma screen welcomed me with some . . . You guessed right—some porn! Live! In the “holy apartment” of the Olas. Porn in broad day light. Power had been restored and the disc had resumed playback.

 

I’ll be lying if I said that I switched it off immediately. No. I first ensured that the door was well locked. Then I picked the remote control and flipped backward and forward a couple of times. Scanned through the disc. Paused at some “interesting scenes”. And ejected the disc!

 

I kept it on my dad’s table with a note to him.

 

Dear Dad,

I saw this disc in the DVD player when I came home. It’s a pornographic CD. Please take some time to talk to my brother about it. It could be dangerous.

Yours,

Kola Ola

 

After a week, I came back home again and asked if Dad saw the note and the disc. Alas! He hasn’t. (I guessed I kept it too well). I went to his room and fetched it and brought it to him at the living room. He and my mum had a strange look. They couldn’t believe their ears . . . and soon, they wouldn’t believe their eyes!

 

“I’m even interested in what is inside the disc. Come and play it for us”.

“You don’t want to see this kind of movie, Mum” I told her.

“Put it jare, I even want to know what exactly they do in all these blue films”.

“Ok!”

 

I inserted the disc and . . . PLAY. Then I hurried away from the living room to my room.

The disc had nearly played for 15 seconds when I started hearing my mum shouting, “Daddy! Daddy! Daddy!” and gasping. (She calls my Dad “Daddy”. . . lol). She was about to faint. I rushed to the living room and pushed the STOP button. She had never, I can tell, imagined the possibility of what she was seeing . . . a lady on all fours with her mouth wrapped around a guy’s . . . you know the rest. (Bad you!)

I rushed to my mum and calmed her down.

 

“But I told you that you don’t want to see what was inside the disc . . . you insisted”.

 

▪▪▪▪▪▪▪▪▪▪▪▪▪

 

Let me stop it there.

What am I driving at?

 

When it comes to sex-related information, most parents have no idea what their children are engaging with–and that’s disturbing!

 

I read a write-up by Anne Marie Miller earlier today and it moved me to pick up my pen and write, too! As a 33-year-old “recovering addict”, she admitted that for her, “what started as an innocent pursuit of knowledge quickly escalated into a coping mechanism.”

 

The more she went public with her story among young people, the more alarming her findings became. Here are a few:

 

  • MORE STUDENTS ARE ENGAGING WITH PORN COMPULSIVELY AT YOUNGER AGES AND WITH GREATER FREQUENCY THAN EVER BEFORE. 

 

  • GOOGLE IMAGE SEARCHING IS THE MOST PATRONIZED RECRUIT: Many of these students ask Google things they heard which they would neither ask their parents nor their friends…and because of their short attention spans and desire for instant gratification, they don’t click the first link that shows up – they go straight to Google Images. In almost all of the stories she has heard, this is how someone was first exposed to pornography…with an average age of first exposure being age 9! 

 

  • AS A PARENT, IF YOUR CHILD WAS EVER MOLESTED, YOU LIKELY DON’T KNOW: According to her, another extremely common theme was children being inappropriately touched, often by close family members or friends. The stigma and shame of being a victim coupled with the trauma that happens with this experience is confusing to a child of any age: our systems weren’t made to process that event. Meanwhile, while a child can look at pornography without being abused, children who have been molested by and large look at pornography and act out sexually. 

 

  • MOST PARENTS LIVE WITH THE BELIEF THAT THEIR CHILD IS THE EXCEPTION. (My parents did). But guess what? We weren’t! And chances are (if you’re a parent, too) that Your child is not, either!

 

More younger people are exchanging X-rated photos of themselves among their classmates or exposing themselves to strangers via sexting online. Masturbation is the new normal. They know exactly where and in what movies sex scenes are shown and they watch them for sexual gratification. (I still remember the time stamp for the first sex scene in ’Waiting to Exhale’ which I saw 10 years ago). Little wonder more girls are comparing their bodies to those of celebrities and are questioning their sexuality. And they’re scared-to-death to tell their parents!

In my few years in ministry, my awareness of how little parents know about what’s happening keeps increasing, yet my zero parenting experience amplifies how I feel terribly inadequate in telling parents this. The good news however is that from the statistics of my social media network and visitors to my websites and blogs, majority of the people that will read this are either young parents or parents-to-be . . . and that makes it good! There’s still some time to fix this when we become the Dads and Mums of growing-up kids. We must not allow our kids to repeat our errors!

 

May I plead with you to open up when the time is right and have these difficult conversations with your children (when you have them). The sperm and egg cells that became (or will become) your child didn’t come (or won’t come) from Google; don’t let Google take your place parenting them. Talk to them about abuse. Trafficking. Masturbation. Sex! Your children need to know. If not for them, maybe for a friend. Maybe they can help bring context or see warning signs for another child.

 

Ask them what they know. Ask them what they’ve done. Ask them what’s been done to them. And very importantly, SHOW GRACE AND LOVE. Stay far away from judgment and condemnation.

Here’s a funny video about what that could look like: 

 

 

 

If you feel ill-equipped, ask a pastor or counselor for help. If you hear an answer you didn’t expect and your first instinct is to dismiss it – don’t. Find a counselor. Look for resources. Continue following up. 

And, quite honestly, if you struggle with this, too (and let’s admit it, statistically, a lot of us do), get help too. 

 

Do the right thing. Do the hard thing, for the sake of your children. If we don’t do it, I am terrified of how the enemy will continue stealing hope and joy from our youngest generation and how they’ll be paralyzed to advance the Kingdom of God as they mature.

Will you watch that happen?

 

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© 2013

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