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Bonnie
Bonnie, Psychologist
Category: Parenting
Satisfied Customers: 2189
Experience:  and pediatric nurse practitioner with 30 years of experience counseling parents.
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Our 10 year old son was given an iPod touch for Christmas.

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Our 10 year old son was given an iPod touch for Christmas. Last night he came to us very upset. He tearfully shared that he had been looking at "nudity" and could not stop thinking about it. He was very distressed and remorseful. Since it was 2am we told him that we loved him and that we were so glad that he came to us. We also told him that curiosity is common. We told him that we were not mad and that we would talk about it today when we were well rested and had the benefit of time. Where should we start?
Hello and thank you for using our service,

First I would ask him about the pictures he saw....was it just nude bodies? adults or children? more than one person in picture? what were they doing? So you know exactly what you are dealing with. It is possible that he say a nude cartoon character and it is nothing like what you are imagining.

Then, tell him that you are sorry that this made him uncomfortable and reinforce the normalcy of what he did. Then, use it as an opportunity to explain why he must get your approval to go to websites so that you can protect him from things that may make him uncomfortable. Tell him it is parents job to keep him safe.

As far as the content, once you find out what (exactly) he viewed, ask him what about it was uncomfortable and if he has any questions about what he saw. Answer his questions in simple short terms. At his age this will satisfy his curiosity enough. This will help to get the thoughts out of his head.

Depending on his level of maturity, you may want to discuss the inappropriateness of nudity on the internet and use it as a time to begin talks about values and standards. If it is your opinion that nudity in itself is just anatomy.....talk about this or if this is a sin in your value system, talk about that. Whatever value would would like to instill.

I hope this helps, It is so hard to protect our children these days....
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thank you for your help. My husband and I do not want to make sex and sexuality a taboo subject in our family. Consequently, we want to make the next steps as conversational as possible. That being said, I also want to protect him. What type of parameters would you suggest regarding his access to the iPod? I don't want him to feel punished, but clearly we need some new rules. We do come from the Christian faith and participate in church (protestant) on a weekly basis, but I do not want to instill shame or guilt.

I know that computers have all those child protection settings...I am not sure about the IPod. Either place the protections on the IPod ....or....the rule is "No web-based activities without adult suervision." There are so many other dangers such as chat room, etc. Stress the protection aspect of your restriction. It doesn't have to be about the sexual aspect alone..but I agree with casual conversation and avoiding guilt. The interesting this is his uncomfortable reaction which I think is a built in response at his age (i.e., ewwwww).
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thank you. This is new territory for us and we want to be careful. First, trying to do no harm as well as loving and protecting him.


 


Thank you again.


Mary

You are very welcome.....I know you'll do well. He is lucky to have such concerned parents.
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