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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Act Now! M-47 Gives Parents A Voice Against the Porn Industry

Act Now! M-47 Gives Parents A Voice Against the Porn Industry

Victory In Canada!  This is the subject line of an email I received just a few days before the holiday break. The email continued to explain that a Private Member's Bill, Motion M-47 (the Online Sexual Violence Motion), had just been unanimously adopted in the House of Commons. I couldn’t believe my eyes! For anyone who considers pornography a public health concern, this is BIG news. I wondered how I had missed hearing about it locally and scrambled to search online newspapers for the story. The papers were silent. Confused, I called the MP’S office from which the motion originated to plead for further information about the victory the press seemed reluctant to cover. Here’s what I learned: [Be sure to read to the end of this article and find out how your voice will ensure that Motion M-47 has the best possible chance of creating greater public awareness about the dangers of pornography.] What is Motion M-47? I discovered that Alberta MP, Arnold Viersen...
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Help Kids Reject Pornography: 5 Powerful Parenting Tips

Help Kids Reject Pornography: 5 Powerful Parenting Tips

Over the past several months I have had the opportunity to meet frequently with Claudine Gallacher, writing coach of the best-selling children’s book, Good Pictures Bad Pictures. Do I consider this good fortune? Absolutely! As regular contributor and editor of the Protect Young Minds blog, Gallacher has gathered a wealth of knowledge regarding how children respond to pornography. Each time we meet I make a point to pick her brain for tidbits and advice on how parents can help keep kids safe from online pornography. With her permission, I am sharing her advice on how to give your children the best chance of success at rejecting pornography. 1.  Filter Everything When your Kids are Young Gallacher is quick to point out that parents of young children need to be especially vigilant at keeping up with filtering technologies on all devices in the home. Sometimes we get this backwards and think teens need more filters than younger children because they tend to be naturally curious...
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Do Schools Encourage Students to view Pornography?

Do Schools Encourage Students to view Pornography?

When Gary Wilson described internet pornography “as the fastest moving, most global experiment ever unconsciously conducted” he was spot on. Our school system, as it stands now, is unwittingly encouraging students to join the experiment! Hold on to your seat because it’s time for me to rant! Please imagine I am shouting this entire post though I will spare you the ALL CAPS! More and more research is confirming that porn tops the list of highly addictive substances. It has the ability to rewire the brain and deteriorate growth in the prefrontal cortex. Children are especially vulnerable. Yet, schools remain unwilling to give students a basic definition of pornography, teach them why it is harmful, or give them tools and strategies to help them reject pornography when they are exposed to it. Here are a few of the points that should be acknowledged by school boards when developing curriculum: The brain responds to pornography similar to the way it responds to hard drugs. Overcoming pornography...
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When Pornography Laws Can’t Protect Children

When Pornography Laws Can’t Protect Children

This Fall an article appeared in the National Post entitled A Distorted Picture by Joseph Brean. It caused me pause to reflect upon the ineffectiveness of the current child pornography laws in Canada and how important it is today for parents to be more engaged in their children’s online activities. Brean discusses the practice and subsequent consequences of young teens (predominantly girls) sending sexualized, nude selfies to other teens (typically boys).  The boys then share these images with their buddies as casually, if not more enthusiastically, as they would any other type of trading card. Unlike the foil wrapped sports cards I remember from my childhood which included a bonus stick of bubble gum, when these images are traded they come with devastating consequences.  We hear tragic stories in the news of girls becoming victim to the ensuing cyber-attacks on their character. They are humiliated, embarrassed, harassed, shamed, and shunned by their peers. At times to the point of suicide. Teens Sharing Sexualized Images can be...
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5 Effective Strategies to Align School Sex-Ed Programs with Your Family Values

5 Effective Strategies to Align School Sex-Ed Programs with Your Family Values

Nothing irks parents and teachers more than when government bureaucrats and outside agencies step in and dictate exactly what, when and how children should be taught. The introduction of a new sex-education curriculum is likely to cause more agitation than any other subject. Opponents of sex-ed curriculums argue that when children are given too much information, too soon it grooms children toward deviant sexual behaviour. On the other hand, supporters insist that public schools have an ethical responsibility to educate children with accurate and up-to-date information in all aspects of their health. The purpose of this article is not to promote or protest any one particular curriculum. However, my thoughts are offered in response to the revised Health and Physical Health Curriculum in Ontario for grades 1-8. Certainly, vastly different approaches to sex-education exist across the globe. Above all else, good personal judgement is required to know how best to respond to each unique situation. Here are five strategies to help you formulate a response best...
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You Mean it’s Not a BA-jina?!?!?!

You Mean it’s Not a BA-jina?!?!?!

We love success stories! One parent shared with us this week how she became more comfortable talking with her children about sexuality. She admits that it was when she allowed her children’s questions to guide the discussion that everything changed. She believes that this one positive experience has opened the door to many future conversations in their home about the growing body, love, relationships, sex, intimacy, and even the dangers of pornography. Well done Kayley! The Dreaded Talk I don’t know about you but growing up we didn’t discuss sex much in our house.  I do remember having a special talk with my mom when I was almost 12. It was a one-time, no-nonsense, dust-your-hands-off-and-we’re-done, kind of experience. Despite the awkwardness of that moment, which is forever seared on my memory, I still somehow managed to discover love, get married and make a few adorable babies of my own. As these babies grew I began to question how I could improve upon my mother’s heroic...
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Spotting The Lies: Porn’s Misrepresentation of Sex

Spotting The Lies: Porn’s Misrepresentation of Sex

Last week on our Facebook account I posted a link to an information page created by childline.org.uk. The page is designed to help children make sense of the pornography they are regularly exposed to online. As you follow through the link you’ll notice the language is quite stark. You might even describe the advice given as dispassionate or void of direction. Take heart; there is good reason for this. Helplines such as this provide children with a place to talk and ask questions they might be embarrassed or afraid to ask anywhere else. Because of the anonymity and acceptance of all queries at the helpline, barriers are broken down that would often prevent children from saying what is actually in their heart. The helpline is quick to suggest follow up counselling, point out situations that would put children in physical and emotional danger, and direct them to other safe reporting services. The content was so captivating to me because it was written for children, twelve and up, based...
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