Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Are you looking the other way?

I have felt the urgency to post about this for a few weeks now, but as anything else I just haven't gotten around to it.

I do wonder if I actually did get a "round-to-it" button if all my excuses would then disappear and I would instantly be the perfect human that could balance all things in the perfect timing? HA.

Anyways, the topic today is about our children. My children. Their children. Your children.

The way I see it, ALL children are OUR children, no matter if they have parents or not involved in their lives. If a child is being abused, neglected, abandoned, unloved, unspoken for and unprotected, WE (you and I) then become their parent, their voice, their love, their protection and their caregiver in some way or form. At least we should step up and do so.

Today, so many are just so quick to turn and look the other way. You will hear a parent speaking to a child in a tone or verbal way that they shouldn't and you will just ignore and keep moving.

Some of you will suspect abuse or neglect with a child near and around you, maybe even next door. Still you will turn the other cheek, close your curtains and close your mind and ears.

Well, surprise, I am NOT one of those people.

I could care less if you want to be my friend or not, based on what I believe or not. Ill speak up if it involves children that no one else is speaking up for.

I love ALL children, your children, their children....ALL children like my children. Although I am not super hero material and I can not personally, nor single handedly rescue and protect every single child fallen to victim, part of this ugly fallen world we live in. I do have the right, the power, the authority and the ability to STAND UP for children's sake and be THEIR VOICE.

Today we aren't talking about abuse or abandonment.

I am going to talk about something pretty lite, but if not brought to your attention now, can turn into something more and hurtful to your child down the road.

Its starts with computers, TV, cable, Internet......and now today the iPOD touch!!!!

Do your kids have an iPod touch?

Mine does.

Does your kid have an email address?

Mine does.

Does your kid have access to the Internet?

Mine does.

Then your kid, just as much as my kid, has access to the ugly side of the world, like PORN.

I think I shared this story about Hunter on my blog before, but I can't recall. Ill go back and look later.

The story in short was this:

He was at a friends house a couple of years ago. They were on the home computer without restrictions on it. After watching the Disney TV show 'Suite Life of Zack and Cody' where they heard the twins calling girls "hot" decided they too would google out 'hot girls' on the Internet.

Needless to say, I am sure we all know what started popping up on the screen right there in the very presence and innocence of my sons eyes. Not only where they PORN sites, or still porn images, mini VIDEO clips also popped up and automatically began to play and expose my then 6 year old boy. It was horrendous and my stomach turns every time I think about this. If that wasn't bad enough, it also popped up gay porn and my son had to see an image of a man giving another man a blow-job.

This not only bothered my son and me for sometime, it brought on one of the hardest conversations I had to ever have with my little boy, and he was only 6 years old then, now he is eight, soon to be nine next month.

If this happened almost 3 years ago with 6-year-old boys, do you think your kids older are any less clueless, really??? Let's say they are innocent, as my child also is and was, its not them, its what's out there that finds its way to your child. Imagine what our kids have access to on their TOY (iPods) which in truth is very much an ADULT toy more than a child's toy.

With Safari at the palms of their hands, iTune applications.... our kids are seeing, reading and listening to things that they shouldn't be, and YOU HAVE NO CLUE.

Either that.... you are just in denial.


If your child has an iPod, but you don't have an iPhone, I understand the you probably are honestly clueless about what is REALLY on these so called devices, we call "toys" for our children. But don't let that be an excuse. You should learn your child's device or toy before just handing it over to them because all their peers have one.

Just this morning (and it has happened before) and I will not mention any names, because I very much love the kids involved and the parents are my friends. I do not want to embarrass anyone at all here, I am only using this story, that is real, as an example of how easy this is for our kids.

My son and his friends email each other on their iPods. I personally think its cute and sweet.


However, there has been a couple of things emailed to my son from a friend that I (and their parents) felt were inappropriate, but at the same time, had we/they had no idea or clue that their kids either knew how to get access to such things on the Internet or iTune applications on their iPod.

Images and or links to images have been emailed to my son that shouldn't be passed around among kids of any age, but surely not third graders.

I have put ALL restrictions on my sons iPod to protect him. Not to be the mean, overprotecting parent. I CARE ABOUT HIM, his future and his innocence, no matter what level it may be on today. He is my son.

However, I also, and I truly from the bottom of my heart, care about YOUR child, his/her future and innocence too.

I want to bring awareness to YOU today, if your child has access to the Internet, iTunes songs or applications if it be computer, cell phones or iPods, don't be in denial. Don't "assume" your kids are so clueless about how their iPods or cell phones work. Even if your child really hasn't gotten that far and is that innocent and clueless about those things, pretend that h/she isn't that clueless and stay ahead of the game and take actions NOW to protect your children. Protect your children from accidentally exposing their own eyes, or having already exposed children accidentally or intentionally exposing your child.

The number one rule for we the parents should apply to every home and child is this.... YOU ARE THE ADULT, the CHILD IS THE CHILD, until they are 18 and living on their own, you make the rules and call the shots.

It is your responsibility to stay one-step-ahead of the game and look out for your children. Don't wait until its too late, and then blame it on iPod, or another kid for your child's exposure to something inappropriate. Its all about PREVENTION. You have the ability to help prevent and protect your child....which in effect will protect my child, their child and many children around the globe.

As your child's care provider, advocate and parent....they rely on you for this kind of protection and love. Don't assume anything about your child simply GET INVOLVED and FIND OUT the truth about your child.

Explore their rooms while they are at school. Read their note pads or journals. Have their password to emails, cell phones, iPods and computers. If your child tries to pull that you are invading their privacy, you say its YOUR privacy while under your roof and on your phone/Internet bill. If your child tries to lock you out by changing the password you had access to, that should be a HUGE RED FLAG. What are they hiding? If your child changes the password, trying to lock you out...take the damn phone away, that iPod, that computer and YOU give your child some TUFF LOVE and take action.

It is all part of parenting, and it is not fun. You will feel guilty, you will feel nosey. You will feel like you are invading your child's privacy....BECAUSE YOU ARE. You are and you have the right to do so because he/she is the child and you are the parent, and if you love your child enough you will get involved and get to know your child on the inside, not the surface they let you see and want you to believe.

Innocent your child may be....but don't be in such denial yourself and be your lack of, allow your child, my child or their child fall victim to such crap out there.

How to turn on restrictions on your child's iPod touch.

1. Find the icon on your child's device called "Settings"

2. Scroll down and tap on "General"

3. Scroll down and tap "Restrictions"

4. Tap on "Enable Restrictions" a new page will pop up and ask for you to enter a digit password. Enter a code that ONLY you will know and have access to, not your kids.

5. Then go down the list and turn on by sliding the little bar on next to each item you want to be restricted for your kids.

I turn on restrictions to the following for my child and this is why:

A. Safari - Its the Internet Browser (I need to not say more)

B. YouTube - (enough said there)

C. iTunes - (because there are songs, album images and over 85,000 apps that the apple commercials boast on, that are accessed through iTunes).

D. Installing of Apps - (some parents leave this on, saying and allowing their kids to browse the apps and install what apps they wants as long as its FREE). This totally still gives your child FULL access to browse and view inappropriate apps, because all apps give you a little "taste" a little preview, a little sneak peek if you will.

And that is how porn addiction for children and adults can easily get started, by simply having it there to tempt you/them, giving you a little "taste" just a little "peek" and just a little example of what lies behind that little 'tap' that says buy, free and download at the top right corner when browsing that app.

Our little girls and guys have access to things like:

Sexy Screen Wash Lite - Its a FREE app and it is hot sexy half naked girls washing a clear window, which looks like your screen in sexual provocative and pornographic ways such as this image below.

Your child types in sexy or hot, or just simply browses a category as innocent as "GAMES" and then all of the sudden they have Sexy Truth or Dare, Spice it up, iStripe phone, Sexy Time, Hot girls, amateur models and many, many, many more at this dispense. All viewable and accessible to their fingers and eyes. Did I mention those are all FREE apps they can download?

Sure, maybe you are thinking, "my child doesn't have my iTunes password, he/she can't download any apps with out asking me first. True. But the doesn't stop their access to unlimited amounts of browsing of those applications and some of the "previews" are enough to not even need to "download" them.

Don't be in denial, don't be lazy, don't turn away.... step up and

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