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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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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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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Five Things Kids Need Parents to Know About Anime

Five Things Kids Need Parents to Know About Anime

There’s no denying that kids of all ages love anime cartoons.  In our home Pokemon has been a perennial favourite, and I know we’re not alone! Last summer that became evident, as thousands of people took to the streets with the Pokemon Go app; living the dream of finally becoming a real-life Pokemon trainer. What little I do know While my experience with anime is limited to a few glimpses of Saturday morning cartoons, I understand that there is a whole other world of anime I know very little about. In fact there are dozens of genres available, that can be explored by anyone with an internet connection. This week, as I drove a bunch of my son’s classmates to a battle of the books competition, it was all they could talk about. Who was watching what. What’s cool. What’s lame. And what is next in the line up. With so much available, parents (myself included) need to understand that a significant amount...
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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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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 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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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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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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