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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Proactive Parenting: Teaching Young Children Resilience Against Pornography

Proactive Parenting: Teaching Young Children Resilience Against Pornography

Can preschool age children be taught to reject pornography? Absolutely! This was confirmed to me when I met with Jane. We were introduced through a mutual friend who knew of our shared passion for talking openly about the harms of pornography. Jane is a delightful young mom with a two-year-old son and a four-year-old daughter. I listened carefully while she shared with me how she is teaching her own kids to reject pornography. The interview below is a paraphrased version of our conversation. I hope you come to appreciate Jane’s wisdom as much as I do. Interview: First things first PA: I love that you have made it a priority in your home to talk with your children about the dangers of pornography. I’m interested to learn what kinds of strategies you implement with young children. J: Sure … I should clarify though. My two-year-old son is not that communicative yet. Most of the dialogue that I am going to talk about occurs with my four-year-old daughter. For...
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The Power of One in the Movement for Love: Finding my inner hero

The Power of One in the Movement for Love: Finding my inner hero

I am only one, but I am one. I cannot do everything, but I can do something. And I will not let what I cannot do interfere with what I can do. --Edward Everett Hale What makes a father of two young children want to run 30 marathons with handcuffs on? LOVE. Garrett Jonsson says simply: “I love my wife, I love my kids, I love my community and I love you. I believe that LOVE is worth fighting for. I believe that if I’m not actively fighting against pornography, then I’m aiding its growth.” Breaking the silence Garrett was sick of letting the porn industry destroy individuals and families. So the year of his 30th birthday (2016), he decided to do something that would get people to stop and take notice. He committed to run 26.2 miles everyday for 3O days in handcuffs. It was his way to break the silence and start a public conversation about pornography. A conversation to bring awareness to the fact that pornography...
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Celebrate International Women’s Day: #Be Bold For Change

Celebrate International Women’s Day: #Be Bold For Change

As International Women’s Day is celebrated in our communities and throughout social media today organizers are asking that we consider what we can do to move society towards greater gender parity. A recent report from the World Economics Forum predicts that, “the gender gap will not close entirely until 2186”. We think that is too long. Showing your support for International Women’s Day is one way to raise awareness and become a vehicle for change. #EqualityMatters #BeBoldForChange At Parents Aware we can’t think of a better way to champion the cause of women worldwide than to be like our young friend in the following true story. 12-year-old speaks out against pornography It’s 11 am Sunday morning, when most boys his age would be home sleeping or playing their favourite video game. Instead Samuel (name changed) is at church, sharply dressed in a suit and tie. It is what he does every Sunday. Only this Sunday, Samuel appears even more remarkable. Today, at the invitation...
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Mainstream Businesses Profiting from Sexual Exploitation —and what you can to stop them!

Mainstream Businesses Profiting from Sexual Exploitation —and what you can to stop them!

Have you ever wondered if any of the well-established brands or businesses you support, profit from or facilitate sexual exploitation? The National Center On Sexual Exploitation (NCOSE) can inform you. Each year they make it a top priority to find out which corporations are the worst offenders. When these entities refuse to adjust their business practices, they find themselves on the Dirty Dozen List. According to NCOSE, the purpose of the Dirty Dozen List is to "name and shame the bad corporate actors in America that perpetuate sexual exploitation —whether that be through pornography, prostitution or sex trafficking."   The list is a tool for effecting change. In the past five years NCOSE has influenced major corporations such as Google, Hilton Worldwide, and Walmart among others to make significant policy adjustments. Some of the names on this year’s list may not come as a surprise (Twitter, Cosmopolitan, HBO) while others are more shocking (Amazon, Amnesty International, EBSCO —an educational database used in schools K-12)....
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The Power of a Single Compliment [Reader Story]

The Power of a Single Compliment [Reader Story]

We teach our kids to be polite using phrases like please, thank you and I’m sorry.  But beyond the surface these expressions really denote respect and attentiveness to those we are speaking with. They are powerful communication tools. When used appropriately, these three expressions can break down barriers, make up for misplaced words and even defuse hostile situations.  Doubtful? Give ‘em a try. What do good manners have to do with helping children reject pornography? We know that the porn industry is targeting kids online. Its powerful influence on developing minds means that kids need their parents’ guidance and advice today more than ever. But sometimes, we get so anxious for our kids to know where we stand on an issue that we overlook what other negative messages we might be sending. To become true allies with our kids we need to work to keep our communication patterns in check. In other words, we need to remember our manners. Read to the end...
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5 Compelling Reasons I Blog About Pornography Awareness

5 Compelling Reasons I Blog About Pornography Awareness

A few experiences of late have caused me to want to put down in words the reason why I do what I do. Why did I create Parents Aware?  Read to the end to discover my top five reasons for blogging about pornography awareness. At the doctor’s office I am meeting a new doctor today. Which means filling out standard medical forms again. I come to the question that has the least to do with my health but has probably caused me the most grief for the past 22 years. What is your occupation? This is not a blog about how to define the role of a stay-at-home-mother, nor is it about the validity of blogging as a career. Yet for a split second both those issues cause me a brief internal struggle. In the end I go for it. … Blogger After the mandatory 15 min wait, I am ushered into the examining room where my new doctor looks over the forms, dives in with...
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Declaring Porn a Public Health Crisis: Canada’s Opportunity with M-47

Declaring Porn a Public Health Crisis: Canada’s Opportunity with M-47

That the Standing Committee on Health be instructed 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 ... and that the said Committee report its findings to the House no later than July 2017.     —Motion, M-47 As promised, ParentsAware is here to provide regular updates on the progress of the recently adopted Parliamentary Motion, M-47. MP Arnold Veirsen introduced this Motion (March 8, 2016) and continues to be at the forefront of this issue. Here’s what we know today: Since the adoption of Motion M-47 by Parliament (Dec 9, 2016), M-47 technically no longer exists. As a result of the adoption of Motion M-47, the Health Committee is now required to undertake a study on pornography. Because Motion M-47 included a date of July 2017 by which the study had to be completed, the Health Committee is moving very quickly on this issue. To ensure that this...
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When Parents Struggle to Talk About Porn

When Parents Struggle to Talk About Porn

Talking about pornography with your kids may not be the easiest thing you’ll ever do. But figuring out how to take on this challenge may be one of the best things you do as a parent. Take heart you are not alone. Before sitting down to write this post I scrolled through a page of fun parenting memes to get me in the right frame of mind. It’s an exercise I recommend for anyone who needs a quick laugh and a gentle reminder that we’re not alone in any number of parenting frustrations. The same is true when it comes to talking to our kids about pornography. Whatever concerns and worries you have, it’s guaranteed that thousands of parents feel the exact same way. The difference is that we rarely talk about it. The subject of pornography continues to be loaded with stigma and is avoided like the plague in most parenting circles. Perhaps a few good memes are needed to help us...
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