FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (CNS) – Parents who don’t supervise their children’s online activity and mobile device usage might as well be dropping off their kids at an adult bookstore filled with dangerous strangers.
That was the gist of a frank and wide-ranging conversation on Internet pornography and addiction that licensed clinical therapist and family therapist Peter Kleponis led for some 70 parents and young adult men and teens in the Miami Archdiocese earlier this month. The group gathered at St. Gregory the Great Church in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
“Keep the computer use in a public area of the home – you never leave a child alone with the Internet; if you leave a child alone with the Internet you might as well be leaving them alone with a perfect stranger – that is how serious this is,” said Kleponis, assistant director of Comprehensive Counseling Services in Conshohocken, Pa.
Kleponis specializes in marriage and family therapy, pastoral counseling, men’s issues and pornography addiction recovery through the nationally recognized Integrity Restored program. He is certified in the diagnosis and treatment of sexual addictions by the American Association of Christian Counselors’ Light University and Freedom Begins Here program founded by Mark Laaser, who has a doctorate in religion and psychology.
Research shows that age 8 is now the average age at which youngsters first encounter online pornography, according to Kleponis. Parents with young children and teens need to install filters on youngsters’ cellphones and Internet services at home.
“Even with that, if your child is on the Internet and using any technology a parent needs to be standing behind them watching everything they are doing,” Kleponis said.