Dear Bundoo: My daughter found porn on her brother’s computer!

This week in Dear Bundoo, a mom doesn’t know what to say to her 4-year-old daughter after she discovered a computer with inappropriate images left on the screen (not to mention what to do about the 13-year-old son who left it for his sister to find).

Dear Bundoo, 

I’ve got a problem and don’t know what to do. We have four kids, so our house is always busy and there are always kids running everywhere. My youngest girl is just turning four, and she’s a typical youngest child in a big family. I’m worried about something that happened last weekend. I have an older son whose 13. Last Saturday, I found my daughter in the family room looking at my oldest son’s iPad that he’d left sitting out, and there were very sexually inappropriate images on the screen. I was angry with him for looking at pictures like that on the computer, but mostly I was worried about what effect this could have on my daughter. Thankfully it wasn’t as bad as it could be, but I hate the idea that she’s already seen this kind of material and she’s only four. I feel like it’s way too early to have “the conversation,” but then I don’t want her thinking that what she saw is normal, and I don’t want her growing up with a twisted view. Besides taking away my son’s iPad for the next year, what should I do?

iPad Problems

 

Dear iPad Problems,

This is a great question and one that is growing in popularity and concern. Children are exposed to more and at a much earlier age due to technology. Here you are faced with two issues: what your 13-year-old is looking at and how he views women and sexuality and then what your 4-year-old was exposed to. Honestly, I wouldn’t be too concerned about what your daughter saw. If it was one episode, you can easily tell her that was an inappropriate picture and not intended for children. I wouldn’t go into too many details or make too big of a deal about it. Too much information will confuse and possibly scare her. Keep it simple. Answer just the question asked.

For your son, it will require a much more sensitive and possibly graphic conversation, depending on the intensity and frequency of what he is viewing. There is great software and parental controls available to monitor Internet activity and instill accountability. During any and all conversations with your kids about sensitive topics such as this, it is important to not instill shame and fear. These sentiments will only cause them to keep secrets and prevent them from coming to you with questions and curiosity. It’s not a matter of if but when they will have these questions. If they feel you are not an easy person to turn to, they will just find another source of information, be it friends or Internet. Talk openly, honestly, and frequently with your kids of every age.

Answered by Raquel Anderson, EdD, LMHC, Bundoo Behavioral Health Specialist

 

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About Jon VanZile, Bundoo Content Director

Jon VanZile is the Content Director at Bundoo and edits the weekly Dear Bundoo column.

Comments

  1. “Besides taking away my son’s iPad for the next year …”

    Yes, that is totally the correct and not at all disproportionate reaction to your pubescent, teenage son exploring his sexuality via pornography. Smh… I’m not saying it’s appropriate for him to be doing so, but taking away his iPad for a year would accomplish nothing. It would be *negative accomplishing*.

    Reply

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