My son and his friend were watching something on the friend’s phone and quickly turned it away when I approached. I asked them if they were watching something inappropriate, and my own son lied to me and told me no.
He said they were cleaning the back of the phone. I knew he was covering for something.
I told them both that I trusted them to make good decisions on what they watch, and that they are not allowed to watch anything inappropriate. I reminded them that they had a choice. They asked to sit in full view of everyone at the picnic table. I consented.
A minute later they were gone.
The mother of the other boy and myself were looking around for them, and when the other mother found them she snatched the phone away. They had been on YouTube, watching women flash their chests.
My son was sent to his room immediately.
I came up later and informed him he was off electronics for a week. I reminded him that I had taught him all his life not to look at people’s private parts and not to show his own. I asked him how he felt watching those videos and he had nothing to say about his own reaction. He did admit to seeing videos. I told him I know boys can be curious, but that looking at people’s private parts being used for display can hurt his brain. He asked how. I explained it was not natural, like a squirrel eating candy. The candy hurts the squirrel, because it is not the squirrel’s natural food. I told him he has seen me feed his baby sister a hundred times and had no interest, but that this is interesting to him because these women were doing something unnatural with their bodies. Viewing this unnatural display can change how his brain works, and affect his future relationship/s.
I explained to him that he should only explore this interest with a woman he loves and has committed to, and that he should think about how she would feel knowing he had been looking at others before her. I asked him how he would feel, to know his wife was interested in others in such a way before meeting him, and he admitted he would not like it. I told him he has to wait until he is older and has consent.
He wanted to know why women would do that, show their private parts on screen. I told him there are many reasons. Some might not know it is unnatural and undignified. I told him some might do it for money, and if so, then he is taking advantage of their poverty. He should give them money or help, not have them debase themselves for it. I told him no matter the reason, it is not done in our culture and so he is being disrespectful of them, to watch. I asked him how he would feel if I did that, and he laughed at the absurdity of it.
I told him there are plenty of places where women do not wear tops. There are places in the world where tops are optional for both genders, but that in our country women wear them. I reminded him again that he is supposed to look away when someone is indecent, not stare or point or laugh.
He had to stay in his room tonight.
Later when his baby sister flashed her behind at him he wouldn’t look, and came to tell me about it. I reminded him of the time he asked me to leave the room and shut the door so he could change in private. I told him these are the right choices to make, to keep himself private and respect the privacy of others, even if they themselves violate it by putting themselves on display.
I asked him to make good choices so I can rebuild my trust in him. I told him the lying hurt my feelings.
I locked up our devices through Chrome and YouTube and instructed my kids they may not use anyone else’s without becoming grounded. I have to download some sort of parental control next. I have a week to get it in place.