Knowledge: Power Against the Wave of Pornography

Knowledge: Power Against the Wave of Pornography

My kid drops a piece of toast on the floor. You bet he’s going to pick it up and use it. The 5-second rule is applied …ignorance is bliss. Never mind the average kitchen floor contains 860 bacteria/square inch! Knowledge is power ...until panic sets in! To be honest, I’m not too concerned about toast on the floor. But when something really threatens my child’s health and safety I want to be in the know! Easy access to online pornography is such a threat. But sometimes knowing the issue can send us into panic mode. What can we do to stay calm? In this post Jennifer Bowden, blogger and mom to three young children, tells us how she feels about the threat of online porn. The text below has been adapted from her own blog at awe-inspireme.com The Porn Tsunami At 16 years old, I learned that anyone is capable of allowing their mind to go to terrible places. The realization of this truth came quickly and...
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Countdown On. Race for Virtue. Fight Sexual Exploitation!

Countdown On. Race for Virtue. Fight Sexual Exploitation!

Just as treasures are uncovered from the earth, so virtue appears from good deeds, and wisdom appears from a pure and peaceful mind. To walk safely through the maze of human life, one needs the light of wisdom and the guidance of virtue.                                                   - Buddha   In 9 days I am going to lace on my running shoes, gather up my kids, friends and neighbours to Race for Virtue. I invite you to join me. Read on as I explain how and why. What is Race for Virtue? I found out about Race for Virtue just a few short weeks ago when Dina Alexander of Educate Empower Kids invited me to share the event on our social media pages.  Dina explained that all proceeds from the race go directly to non-profit organizations, like her own, which provide resources and help to individuals impacted by sexual exploitation. As I watched the videos put together by Race for Virtue co-founders, Ashley Bell and Jessie Davies, I...
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Protect Children Online! Call for Meaningful Age Verification

Protect Children Online! Call for Meaningful Age Verification

So many kids stumble upon pornography everyday, that sadly we’ve come to expect it as the norm. At Parents Aware we believe kids have the right to enjoy safe online experiences without the risk of exposure to hardcore pornography.  This is why we fully support the petition to adopt meaningful age verification put forward by MP, Arnold Vierson. In this post you will read about one proactive mom and her approach to helping her kids prepare to reject pornography before they see it.  Her experience illustrates why every family, regardless of how vigilant, will want meaningful age verification to be implemented on all adult websites across this country. But before we get to her story let’s explore more about meaningful age verification. Sign the petition and pass it along! If you’ve seen me in person this summer, you’ll know that I come toting a clipboard with a petition for you to sign. Yes, I am in your face but for good reason. When we...
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How My Son Taught Me that Modesty is an Attitude

How My Son Taught Me that Modesty is an Attitude

A major pet peeve of mine is whenever the topic of modesty is brought up, it usually deteriorates quickly into making lists of what girls should and should not wear. There is little if any mention of how modesty relates to boys and their self-image. The truth is, modesty is an attitude that can greatly improve both girls and boys self esteem. Recently, an experience with my youngest son challenged my perspective on modesty and presented me with a teaching opportunity. One Saturday morning  It was one of those days when the boys were annoyed with each other just for breathing the wrong way. “Put a shirt on,” ordered his older brother.  It wasn’t so much the demand to clothe but rather the outraged tone of the accuser that caught my attention. “Look at my A-MAZ-ING six-pack,” his kid brother shot back. I glanced over at the scrawny arms and concave chest being displayed with Popeye-like gusto from my 9-year-old son. Assured that the...
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3 Easy Ways to Advocate for a Public Health Response to Porn [Canada]

3 Easy Ways to Advocate for a Public Health Response to Porn [Canada]

Summer vacation here we come! Read on to find out how you can advocate for a public health response to porn, while still enjoying your summer holiday.  If you are like me, you are looking very forward to a break in routine. Who doesn’t love the carefree days of summer? Perhaps you have a cross-country vacation planned or a bunch of local events to attend with the fam-jam. Maybe there are even days you plan to do nothing at all! (I hope so). One thing for sure —NO MORE SCHOOL LUNCHES! Whoo-hoo!  Exploring new possibilities Along with taking it easy, each summer I also like to get a few small tasks crossed off my To-Do list —things I never seem to have time for during the school year. This summer I hope to explore some new options for the Parents Aware site. As such, you may notice a drop in the frequency of our posts over the summer. Not to worry, we’ll still keep you informed on...
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Act Now! 120 Days to Influence Government Policy on Porn

Act Now! 120 Days to Influence Government Policy on Porn

What would YOU do? If you were in a position to issue recommendations to the Canadian government you knew would significantly diminish the risk of childhood exposure to violent and sexually degrading content, would you? My guess is that 90% of people would be 100% in support of this. And yet the Standing Committee on Health has decidedly chosen not to concern themselves with the health of children —nor for that matter the culture of violence against women as it pertains to unrestricted access to all forms of pornography. The long anticipated results of the M-47 study are in and they are absolutely deflating. Mandated to examine public health effects As you may recall, the committee was mandated to examine the public health effects of the ease of access and viewing of online violent and degrading sexually explicit material on children, women and men. This study had incredible potential to lead out as the defining report to help inform future government policy in this...
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Three Proven Concepts to Get You Off the Fence and Talking to Your Kids About Porn

Three Proven Concepts to Get You Off the Fence and Talking to Your Kids About Porn

This post is an adaptation of one I originally wrote for Strength to Fight. A recent experience made me realize it's worth repeating. Even when we know a conversation needs to be had we often feel stuck in our tracks. I will share three proven concepts that helped me get off the fence and start talking to my own kids about the dangers of porn.  Shaking my hand he said, “That was so great. Thanks for talking about this. I just know it’s so important.” This is the response I often get when I tell parents —Talk to your kids about porn. Tell them why it is dangerous— Everyone’s head nods in agreement. “This is a really tough subject to bring up!” my new friend continues. I nod empathetically, while encouraging him that he can do it. “I know we're going to have to deal with it soon enough.” “Yup, you are… Everyone today has to,” I repeat in my own head. “Luckily our boy hasn’t come to...
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Sexual Health: 4 Strategies For EASY Parent/Child Talks

Sexual Health: 4 Strategies For EASY Parent/Child Talks

A few years ago I asked my children to rate (on a scale of 1 to 10) my openness in talking to them about sexual health and intimacy. One of my boys generously gave me a three! This didn’t come as any great shock. I knew I had work to do. Somehow I needed to find a way to make “the talk” occur naturally and regularly in our home. I realized that if I wanted to protect my children from negative influences in the media (pornography included) I had to become the go-to-expert on sex —at least in the eyes of my children. If I wasn’t willing to discuss sex comfortably in our home then how could I not expect my kids to see media as the gauge for what is and isn’t appropriate. In this blog post I am going to share four practical ways I am using right now to improve my ability to talk openly with my kids...
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Fair Warning and A Fighting Chance [Family Resource]

Fair Warning and A Fighting Chance [Family Resource]

Recently, my kids and I revisited Good Pictures Bad Pictures —a book by Kristen Jenson and Gail Poyner. It's really the first tool I used to teach my kids about the harmful effects of pornography. Now, I am even more in love with the book. And I am going to tell you why I think every parent needs to have a copy of this amazing resource in their home. All kids deserve fair warning and a fighting chance I am going to let you in on a secret. I have really good kids. I’m not trying to brag, but they are the kind of kids that sometimes makes me want to avoid parent teacher conferences. I just don’t know how to respond to the many nice things that are said about them. Yes, it’s a really good problem to have. Maybe you’ve got the same problem? If you do, then you will understand me when I say: despite how good they are, like...
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Past Due: Canada’s Cultural Shift Against Porn

Past Due: Canada’s Cultural Shift Against Porn

The Standing Committee on Health concluded hearings on the public health effects of violent pornography on Children, Women and Men (M-47). The following is a summary information most relevant to the conversations at Parents Aware. At what cost? “The fact that a kid can log onto the Internet to do a book report and accidentally come across pornography is the cost of doing business in the Internet age.”   This was Dr. William Fisher’s derisive response when asked by Arnold Viersen if he believed “children exposed to sexually explicit material is child abuse?” Fisher continued, “there’s no question but that sexual abuse of children is a crime … as to whether a child coming across this material is a form of child abuse, I would wait to see if it has very negative consequences.” Dr. Kim Roberts has already played the wait-and-see game. As a forensic psychologist, she knows it's consequences. (In Canada successful prosecution rates for child abuse are as low as 2%). To avoid getting...
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