I Gave Up Sugar to Help a Friend Struggling With Porn

I Gave Up Sugar to Help a Friend Struggling With Porn

As the old adage goes: Before you judge someone walk a mile in their shoes. If you've ever watched a friend struggling with porn you know how hard it can be to empathize. In fact, at times you may feel like to throwing your hands in the air and shouting  —"Just get over it already!"  One of our main objectives at Parents Aware is to promote understanding about the addictive nature of pornography. That's because there are thousands of teens and young adults joining different recovery programs every year. Many were introduced to porn as kids. They stumbled across it online. One curiosity led to another and before long they were hooked. Now they are looking for support to break free. In this post I’ll draw an analogy between sugar and porn. I'll also explain why giving up sugar is a way for me to walk a mile in the shoes of another. What the brain craves When someone decides they want to remove porn from their...
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E-free days: Unexpected Benefits for the Whole Family

E-free days: Unexpected Benefits for the Whole Family

When Kim and I met for lunch we had so much catching up to do that I almost forgot why I had planned this get together with her. “Don’t forget! You were going to ask me about our family’s ‘E-free’ days.” “Oh my GOSH!” How could I have let that slip my mind? “Yes!!!” Honestly, this conversation couldn’t have come at a better time. I had just finished reading a sobering article, Have Smartphones Destroyed A Generation? If you haven’t read it yet —spoiler alert! Kids who have grown up with a silver iPhone in their hand describe themselves as more lonely and distressed than any preceding generation. Dr. Jean Twenge, professor of psychology at San Diego State University, has compiled enough evidence to make this bold statement: “There’s not a single exception. All screen activities are linked to less happiness, and all nonscreen activities are linked to more happiness.” Then she follows up with this zinger: “If you were going to give advice for a happy...
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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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When Porn Attacks Your Family Like a Monster Refusing to Quit [Reader Story]

When Porn Attacks Your Family Like a Monster Refusing to Quit [Reader Story]

In Greek mythology the Lernean Hydra is a gigantic, nine-headed water-serpent. As one of his twelve labours, Hercules was sent to destroy her. By all accounts, the task seemed impossible. When he cut off one head, two more would spring forth. There are times as parents when we too have to muster herculean effort in what feels like an impossible task to save our kids from the influence of pornography. One of our readers shares with us how she found herself battling this monster for a second time in her home. Her story is heartbreaking but hopeful. --- Read the truths she discovered and the strategy she is using to win the fight --- Knowing; yet not knowing Pornography destroyed my first marriage. My children know this. They have a powerful, living visual aid in the form of their father to persuade them that porn addiction is a scourge that devastates lives and families. You would think this knowledge would protect them. I thought it would. I'm...
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