How Tempting It Is

Hello, Son. You've probably noticed that big cardboard box in the middle of your bedroom floor. As you've heard, it contains a bunch of Playboy and Penthouse magazines. Underneath those are hardcore magazines containing some of the worst kind of hardcore sexual images available in the world, including illegal child pornography. You've probably been curious about what "hardcore" looks like, haven't you?

Here's the deal: don't look in the box. I'm sorry that it has to be in the middle of the floor I know you'll trip over it every time you enter the room, which will renew once again your curiosity about what the box contains. Also, I'm sorry about all that mail which comes to you and enticingly describes certain magazine issues that are in the box. Remember: Don't look in the box.

You're 15 now; old enough to spend significant time home alone as your Mom and I go on various errands and events, and your brother and sister are involved in their activities. Of course, there is no way I would know if you looked in the box. In fact, you could safely remove quite a few issues and keep them elsewhere I wouldn't notice. But please: Don't look in the box.

I realize that as a teenager your sexual drive is stronger now than at any other time in your life. Not only will curiosity fuel your desire to look in the box, but your hormones will be begging you to do so as well. And once, when you tripped on the box and one issue came tumbling out, what you saw as you hurriedly put it back made your adrenaline run very hot. It took every bit of willpower you had to not flip through the issue in your hands.

But no matter what: Don't look in the box.

It is not fair to put any kid in a "don't look inside the box" situation, but that's exactly what an unprotected Internet connection represents.

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Other Things to Consider

RelationshipsBlended Families, Parents and Adult Children

TransitionsPreparing for Adolescence, Empty Nest