Innocence Lost: Where Do Parents Draw the Line With Technology?
One child's experience with the iPod Touch is a wake-up call to power-down the handhelds in favor of traditional toys.
Last weekend we were at a Christmas party and as usual, the moms began talking about their latest child-rearing follies, all of which seemed to involve young children and either the iPhone or iPod Touch. With such stories you're bound to hear some interesting tales as the combination of the two is nothing more than a ticking time bomb attached to a Pandora's box of dangerous scenarios.
After several moms related their amazement at their child's web navigating prowess, one mom talked about her 7-year-old son's disturbing discovery.
The boy's 8-year-old neighbor had just received an iPod Touch for her birthday and was anxious to share it with the group of kids. According to the boy, they wanted to hear their favorite song, LMFAO's "I'm Sexy and I Know It." She typed in "The Sex Song" and got a plethora of traumatizing images.
What the boy witnessed went against everything his parents had taught him about appropriate and inappropriate touching. The children watched men and women engaged in oral sex.
After sitting on what he saw for more than a week, he asked his mom if they could talk. She was totally unprepared for what she was about to hear, and received a detailed account of everything they had watched.
Horrified, she called the other moms of the children who her son said watched these videos. All confirmed the story after talking with their children and they agreed that the mother of the girl who had been given the iPod Touch should be told.
What was most interesting to me was that not one mom expressed concern that a young child was gifted such a device. Turns out many of their children have these gadgets. And all cover their butts with an addendum that goes something like this: "But we're on top of all the safety measures."
If that were true, this group of children wouldn't have been indoctrinated into the world of fellatio and cunnilingus at an age when they should be nothing more than innocent kids.
At what point do we draw the line in favor of childhood? We contribute to prematurely aging children beyond their years by introducing them to very adult technology and mismanaging it.