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DD's saw something they should not have

post #1 of 81
Thread Starter 
My daughters (ages 7 and 5) were using DH's computer today (without permission), and chose a porn site from the drop down menu. It was a page that had many thumbnails of porn clips. Thankfully they did not click on any of them.

Until now, my oldest DD thought that sex was something people did to make babies (and only for that reason). I explained to them that this was something grown ups did when they were in a happy, loving relationship and that it is okay for adults to do these things. I tried to make it seem like a normal activity that adults do but I can only imagine what they saw

They seem fine with my explanation, they had no questions and promised not to use DH's computer anymore.

Has anyone else been in this situation? There are no parenting how-to books for this type of thing. I never thought I would be having this talk with them at such an early age. I feel sick knowing my DD's saw that stuff.
post #2 of 81
If you have that sort of stuff in your house (not locked or passworded away), your kids will find it, I guarantee it. Kids are nosy. Something similar happened to me when I was about 7, and my dad tried to give me an explanation. I remember thinking it was BS even then.

I would recommend passwording the computer from now on, and hiding anything else you might have WELL. I can tell you right now that my father did not bother to hide that stuff well and I suffered from it as a kid and as an adult.

If you think there was anything exceptionally weird (whatever you think that might be) that your daughters saw I would apologize to them for it. Some of that stuff can be very scary for children.
post #3 of 81
Hey - I'm not a parent. But, when I was 6, I found a Penthouse magazine in the woods. At age 6, I was a fairly good reader. I not only looked through it, but I read all the stories.

And then I started asking my mom what some of the words meant.

I just wanted to reassure you that this did not scar me. I'm perfectly normal ... or so I think.

Kids are somewhat protected by their limited experience. So, what seems like hardcore porn to us, and awful to look at - it's a totally different experience for a child to see it. They compute these things much differently.

I remember reading those stories, and I computed them in a very innocent, child-like way. It wasn't until I was in my teens that I put it all together, and was like "ooooh, so that's what Penthouse is."

It's hard for kids not to be exposed to sex at an early age nowadays. Between the computer, television, media, and even just going out in public - sexuality and sexualization and objectification is all around us.

Sounds to me like you handled it well.

I suggest password protecting that computer, though, for future reference.
post #4 of 81
Don't make a big deal about it. At their age... it went over their heads.

Add a guest setting to your computer for the kids and put a password on dh's setting. No biggie.
post #5 of 81
I think it's probably a bad idea to make it about the fact that they didn't have permission to be on the computer, make them "promise" not to do it again, etc. That seems to be framing the situation as they did something wrong and the onus of the situation is on them. Definitely not the message you want to send. Plus, the forbidden fruit problem. That stuff shouldn't be where they can find it, whether they're doing what they're supposed to or not. They probably didn't see enough porn to make a lasting impression, but you definitely don't want them drawing a connection between sex and disobedience/being in trouble.
post #6 of 81
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by GalateaDunkel View Post
I think it's probably a bad idea to make it about the fact that they didn't have permission to be on the computer, make them "promise" not to do it again, etc. That seems to be framing the situation as they did something wrong and the onus of the situation is on them. Definitely not the message you want to send. Plus, the forbidden fruit problem. That stuff shouldn't be where they can find it, whether they're doing what they're supposed to or not. They probably didn't see enough porn to make a lasting impression, but you definitely don't want them drawing a connection between sex and disobedience/being in trouble.
They have always known that they are NOT allowed to use his computer (due to his work). They did do something wrong. I didn't make them promise, that's just how they are. We don't punish here (or discipline at all really), so all I did was ask them to please not use his computer again and reminded them that he has important work stuff on there. They said "Ok, I promise I won't do it again" and that was the end of that. I did not punish them, talk harshly, or shame them for this.

The computer is usually locked, they happened to go into our bedroom while DH was taking a bathroom break. They seem to be totally over it, actually I don't think they thought much of it in the first place.
post #7 of 81
Or you could just say, "No porn in the house with small children." Seems like the easiest answer to me.

My husband was exposed to porn at a young age and it had a lasting negative effect on him through adolescense. I'd be horrified if my young kids were exposed to something like that. How sad.
post #8 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by Amylcd View Post
The computer is usually locked, they happened to go into our bedroom while DH was taking a bathroom break. They seem to be totally over it, actually I don't think they thought much of it in the first place.
That's how things like this usually manage to happen! But as PPs say, as long as you don't make a big deal out of it, it more than likely won't be a big deal to them. Children do indeed have a much different perspective about these things than we adults do, which doesn't mean they won't remember seeing what they saw, but it does mean that they have no frame of reference. Know what I mean? It sounds like you gave them a perfectly appropriate explanation- props for thinking on your feet!

Quote:
Originally Posted by BoringTales View Post
Or you could just say, "No porn in the house with small children." Seems like the easiest answer to me.
Hmm. I don't know about the rest of the married women in the world, but this sounds like a dictatorial and impractical solution. I wouldn't ask my husband to not look at porn- I might ask him to safeguard his computer a little better, but asking him to not look at porn is something an overbearing mother would say to little Timmy when she caught him with a Playboy in the guest bedroom! Not really something a wife ought to say to a husband...
Maybe I'm just sick.
post #9 of 81
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by BoringTales View Post
Or you could just say, "No porn in the house with small children." Seems like the easiest answer to me.
I don't think that is an easy answer.

They could have just as easily seen it on the family computer with the way our "parental blocks" work. If they have access to the internet, even with all of the blocks in the world, porn will find a way to pop up. So really, parents should not have any computers in the house if they want to truly protect their children from this stuff. For that matter, do not allow them to use a computer at school or the library. Their school computers were recently bombarded with a virus that had porn pop-ups. It's just the chance you take with allowing a child to use a computer.

We do not have "porn in the house". DH has a private computer, which has access to the internet. The internet is full of porn. Was he viewing it? Probably ... on his private, locked computer, sometime in the past.
post #10 of 81
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post #11 of 81
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by emmalizz View Post
Ditto
If you have a computer, you have porn in your house. This was not downloaded. It was a website that was apparently viewed 4 months ago (according to the history)
post #12 of 81
Thread Starter 
Quote:
That's how things like this usually manage to happen! But as PPs say, as long as you don't make a big deal out of it, it more than likely won't be a big deal to them. Children do indeed have a much different perspective about these things than we adults do, which doesn't mean they won't remember seeing what they saw, but it does mean that they have no frame of reference. Know what I mean? It sounds like you gave them a perfectly appropriate explanation- props for thinking on your feet!
Well, I definitely want them to know the facts about this subject. I just didn't expect them to see it. They already knew the basics about it, because of the whole "where do babies come from" talk. I just added on that sometimes couples in relationships do it for fun too (and not just to get a baby). I never want sex to be a taboo subject, when they are older I hope they can talk honestly with me about their feelings. I think making it something shameful or something that is never talked about will do much more harm than good. I think I did ok by telling them it is something adult couples in relationships do, and that it's for adults only. They seemed to accept that.
post #13 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by BoringTales View Post
Or you could just say, "No porn in the house with small children." Seems like the easiest answer to me.

My husband was exposed to porn at a young age and it had a lasting negative effect on him through adolescense. I'd be horrified if my young kids were exposed to something like that. How sad.
I did that, after finding not-ok (imo) porn. Having three daughters, including two who use the computer, I don't want to risk it.

My partner completely agrees too. (now, )

btw, no porn at all, not just with young children.
post #14 of 81
You can also set up your computer to not track cookies (just as a precaution for the future, in case they break the rule and go to his computer again during a bathroom break). Then there is no way for them to find it unless they look it up themselves.

I imagine it was in your husbands recent history if they found it so quickly (he was only gone for a bathroom break) i think its cool that kind of thing doesnt bother you. I guess I am really insecure - partly because I knew a man who had a porn addiction and how that can effect their ability to be attacted to their spouse. We have a no porn in the house rule too (prude I know...) but I don't think the answer is to have no porn because you have small children, though that may be why some people have a no porn rule. If it is something you are okay with then just take some extra precautions for next time

I think you handled the situation well.
post #15 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by Amylcd View Post
If you have a computer, you have porn in your house. This was not downloaded. It was a website that was apparently viewed 4 months ago (according to the history)
No, if you have a computer you have the potential to have porn in the house. If the computer is regularly used to view porn, you DEFINITELY have porn in the house, as you have learned first-hand.

There is no way my young children could access porn on our computer. Its *never* viewed on our computer. When they use the computer, they have a list of websites saved in their favorites that they are allowed to click on. The computer is out in plain view of everyone, in our living room.

I guess I just don't *get* making it 'safer' for your husband to get off on a bunch of other women. As long as your kids don't see it, it doesn't effect your family....oh yeah...unless your kids see it.

Some things you can't 'unsee'. Seeing porn at a young impressionable age can have lasting effects JUST like sexual abuse can. Not something I'm willing (or my husband is willing) to risk with kids in our house.

Forsaking ALL others for us really means forsaking ALL OTHERS.
post #16 of 81
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by 4inMyHeart3inArms View Post
You can also set up your computer to not track cookies (just as a precaution for the future, in case they break the rule and go to his computer again during a bathroom break). Then there is no way for them to find it unless they look it up themselves.

I imagine it was in your husbands recent history if they found it so quickly (he was only gone for a bathroom break) i think its cool that kind of thing doesnt bother you. I guess I am really insecure - partly because I knew a man who had a porn addiction and how that can effect their ability to be attacted to their spouse. We have a no porn in the house rule too (prude I know...) but I don't think the answer is to have no porn because you have small children, though that may be why some people have a no porn rule. If it is something you are okay with then just take some extra precautions for next time

I think you handled the situation well.
Thanks. I will definitely be changing the settings on the computer so it does not track the cookies. That computer is not used for the internet very often and still has a website I was looking at in December in the recent history list (the drop down list vista has when you go to type in a website). He very well could have been looking at it recently, but that is ok. It's his private computer, and I'm fine with porn in general. Not fine with my children seeing it, but fine with my husband looking at it.
post #17 of 81
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by BoringTales View Post
No, if you have a computer you have the potential to have porn in the house. If the computer is regularly used to view porn, you DEFINITELY have porn in the house, as you have learned first-hand.

There is no way my young children could access porn on our computer. Its *never* viewed on our computer. When they use the computer, they have a list of websites saved in their favorites that they are allowed to click on. The computer is out in plain view of everyone, in our living room.

I guess I just don't *get* making it 'safer' for your husband to get off on a bunch of other women. As long as your kids don't see it, it doesn't effect your family....oh yeah...unless your kids see it.


Some things you can't 'unsee'. Seeing porn at a young impressionable age can have lasting effects JUST like sexual abuse can. Not something I'm willing (or my husband is willing) to risk with kids in our house.

Forsaking ALL others for us really means forsaking ALL OTHERS.

They would have seen worse if they would have walked in on us (which seems to be a pretty common thing after reading posts here). You can not compare walking in on parents having sex, or seeing thumbnail clips of sex acts once with sexual abuse. They may both have lasting effects, but they are no where near being the same.
My husband has not done anything wrong here. I find porn to be perfectly acceptable for adults to view.

I doubt porn was viewed on their elementary school computers either.. but that didn't stop a group of 4th graders from getting an eye full while looking up information on the presidents. You are naive to think that it could never happen to your children.
post #18 of 81
One quick and easy fix is for your husband to set up a screen saver on his private computer, and password protect it. It can turn on after two minutes of idle time, and then the computer can't be accessed again until he types in his password. This would prevent this kind of "daddy's in the bathroom" accident again, unless of course they're waiting outside the door for him to leave and jump right on before the two minutes are up.

As a former public librarian, I can also vouch for the fact that having computers connected to the internet at all makes you vulnerable for having porn pop up. One of the great examples I learned back in library school (about 10 years ago) was whitehouse.com -- now it's a legit site, but back then it was owned by a porn company. Someone who didn't realize that they needed .gov to get to the official White House website would get an eyeful instead of info on our president.
post #19 of 81
I think you handled it very well. Just be aware that they may have more questions in a few days as they process the info you gave them and what they saw.

My dad had a subscription to Playboy when I was young. I was probably 8 or so when I first thumbed through the magazine when I knew I wouldn't get "caught." I was curious. Most kids are. It's not something that scarred me for life or turned me into a sex addict or something.

That said, passwords are very easy to put in place on the computer, especially if it's dealing with sensitive work information. DH's laptop has a password, and his work notebook (with HIPPA-protected patient info) even has a fingerprint scanner to unlock it.
post #20 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by Amylcd View Post
They would have seen worse if they would have walked in on us (which seems to be a pretty common thing after reading posts here). You can not compare walking in on parents having sex, or seeing thumbnail clips of sex acts once with sexual abuse. They may both have lasting effects, but they are no where near being the same.
My husband has not done anything wrong here. I find porn to be perfectly acceptable for adults to view.

I doubt porn was viewed on their elementary school computers either.. but that didn't stop a group of 4th graders from getting an eye full while looking up information on the presidents. You are naive to think that it could never happen to your children.
I'm not naive, thanks. My kids are not old enough to read, much less make inappropriate searches. When they are old enough, there are steps that can be taken to prevent that.
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