My girls got an iPad for Christmas when they were 9. At first, I was lax of time limits but not on apps and things they could do on them. I went into apps and made sure they were set up so no random people could message them, turned off location services within apps, etc. I did end up setting screen time limits and what I refer to as “hours of operations” due to overuse. But overall, I thought I did a pretty good job at teaching them electronic limits.
Let’s take a step back
A few months before this incident, I needed a picture of old lady boobies with pasties. Why would I be searching for this exact image? Well, my friends are the type that find our changing (or aging) bodies quite humorous. When I looked it up, I got the message that it was inappropriate and I would have to change my settings. Thank you, Apple! I guess Siri saved me from spreading inappropriate content to my delicate friends. With all my time I spent on the girls iPad apps, it did give me some comfort knowing Siri had my back.
Back to the iPad incident
At this point, I no longer had the need for old ladies with pasties and that memory had faded into the filing cabinet of my brain. We were getting ready to go to a 9 year old’s birthday party when Regan comes running in my bathroom screaming “MOM!!!!!!! Reese just looked up SEX on my iPad!!!” Reese comes in behind her yelling “DON’T TELL MOM!”
Oh Lord help me, it was starting already. Instead of freaking out like I really wanted to, I somehow maintained my composure and said “well, I am guessing you two are curious about sex. I guess it is time we have the talk”. They just looked at each other. I think they thought they were going to get in trouble, iPads taken away, or some other injustice in their minds. Somehow, somehow! I had managed to diffuse the situation. Regan simply asked “mom, why do people do that”.
All I could do is take a deep breath, say a silent prayer, and just answer. “Well, Regan. That is how babies are made. ” Looking back, I just have to laugh. Both of their eyes got HUGE!!!! HUGE!! I mean I could see the whites of their eyes huge!!! Regan’s first comment after this enlightening statement was “you and dad did THAT??????”
It was at this point, my filing cabinet brain opened and my old lady pasties magically reappeared. Somehow, I thought to ask Regan if when Reese searched sex, did any pictures come up in the search. Nothing and I mean NOTHING prepared me for her answer.
“YES! A man was about to put his PENIS in some girl’s BUTTHOLE!!!”
No. No. No. No. No. I cannot type the word NO enough. NO. NO. NO!!!
Once again, I managed to maintain my composure. My reply to her was “Regan, a man’s penis NEVER goes there”. (Disclaimer: Not judging if that is your thing. But, this is not what I wanted my child’s first thought of sex to be.) I told them both where it does go and then promptly said that we would continue this conversation later because we needed to leave for the birthday party.
After the drop off, I did go back home and investigate why Siri let me down in parent controls. When I searched up sex there it was… the infamous anal pic. First off, why did my phone come with safe search and my girl’s iPad did not? Second, hello Chrome!!! THAT is the first picture you can come up with for the generic word sex.
Be rest assured, the parental controls are on full force now. I go back and double check because while I know they are just curious, porn is not the way I want to teach my girls about sex.
Moral of the story – always check your child’s privacy, location, and content settings when getting a new device. Do not assume that just because the phone you got had content blocking that the next device will be set up the same way.
On a final note, when I did check the search history on that epic day, the other item searched was the word “boob”.