‘Social’ issues of our time
Conversations about Pornography
Increasingly, our Pastoral Care Team is dealing with the negative impact pornography is having on our young people. While none of the following information is sourced from Christian organisations, we offer it as potential material to assist parents to have conversations with their children on what is a very challenging topic. The initial paragraph, from a Herald Article, leads onto information about Netsafe, Keep it Real Online and a recently released documentary ‘Our Kids Online-Porn, Predators and How to Keep Them Safe’ produced by parents Rob Cope and Zareen Sheikh-Cope as a result of wanting to protect their own children. All websites are referenced as endnotes for easy access.
[i]One quarter [of our children] see porn before age 12. And it’s a world where, at the tap of a screen or click of a mouse, kids can find themselves in places where predators, sometimes posing as other children, may be lurking under the invisibility cloak of the internet. It’s also a world that’s on the radar of authorities, and there have been moves to keep kids safe online – among the most recent the six-week, $1.5 million advertising campaign [ii]Keep It Real Online. The Film Censor’s Office, Police, Internal Affairs, Ministry of Education and Network for Learning collaborated with [iii]Netsafe to put advice, including pornography and online grooming, on one site.
Any doubt of its need is promptly put to rest with a flick through the findings of a 2018 survey of 2000 Kiwi teens on how and why they view online porn. The Office of Film and Literature Classification research project found more than two-thirds of the 14- to 17-year-olds surveyed had been exposed to porn, a quarter before they turned 12. But the survey also found 71 per cent of those surveyed by the Office of Film and Literature Classification weren’t seeking out porn when they first saw it. Two-thirds hadn’t talked to a parent or caregiver about porn.
Young people had also told them they wanted restrictions around what they could watch and have access to, Chief Censor David Shanks wrote in the report’s introduction. “Their overwhelming consensus is that porn is not for kids.” Judge Andrew Becroft, former Children’s Commissioner, says “We have totally underestimated the avalanche of porn freely available to our children, uncensored and unregulated in New Zealand homes day and night.”
Kiwi parents Rob Cope and Zareen Sheikh-Cope have made a [iv]documentary on what our children watch online. Before any device was placed in small hands, the couple decided to research what their children, now aged between 10 and 15, might be able to find. What they discovered – that children were being exposed to violent, hardcore porn, and many were engaging with online predators, horrified them, Sheikh-Cope says. “When we spoke to other parents more than 90 per cent didn’t have filters in place or weren’t aware there was an issue.” One of the biggest challenges for parents is accepting their children, given the chance, will watch porn – she had to overcome the same feelings of denial herself.
Staying Ahead in the Technology Battle
Encouraging Learning at Home
Findings from a study by Professor Iram Siraj published in the New Zealand Education Gazette 10 July 2017.
One particular finding in her longitudinal studies was that children were largely set on an achievement trajectory by the age of seven.
“In one large study, we started with a group of three year olds who all had different abilities and stages of development, but by the age of seven, we found they were largely set on a a particular trajectory – there were children achieving at the top, the middle and the bottom of the curve. Any improvement between the trajectories happened before the children turned seven.
Iram believes good-quality ECE is not dictated by the type of provider, but rather whether it strives to provide for both the social an emotional development, and the cognitive development of a child.
“But the important thing for the child is the process quality. This relates to things such as relationships and adult responsiveness. Most important of all is the ability to communicate with the child, because high-quality interactions that engage a child will extend their language and thinking.
- WITH GOD: Rev Joshua Taylor writes of the struggles and triumphs to maintain a strong connection amidst the busyness of family life. Read here.Used with permission
Helpful information to assist you in
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