The 7-day rule: Giving Your Kids a Safer Internet Experience

The 7-day rule: Giving Your Kids a Safer Internet Experience

February 6th was Safer Internet Day. And that got me thinking, “What could I do —or what could any parent do right now to make their kid’s internet experience safer?” Then it came to me —use the 7-day rule!! It can feel next to impossible to keep up with all the tricks and sneaky ways porn and predators have access to our kids through the internet. And with millions of apps available to children, how can parents be sure which are safe to use? The solution is actually simpler than you think. It’s called the 7-day rule. In today’s post, I’ll go over all the details and illustrate why this is an essential step in protecting kids against online dangers. First, let me share how I discovered this amazing rule. 10-year-old upset by provocative ads in gaming app A few months ago Kayley came to me with a question. Her 10-year-old daughter had been playing a fun gaming app on her iPod and stumbled across some...
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Kids are Drowning in Porn; So Why Aren’t Parents Asking for Help? [Video Podcast]

Kids are Drowning in Porn; So Why Aren’t Parents Asking for Help? [Video Podcast]

If it feels like your kids are drowning in porn, then chances are, so are the kids of your closest friends. As parents our inclination is to clam up and say nothing to nobody. Why is this? In today’s post and video podcast we’ll explore the answer to that very question. We’ll also find out what parents can do to get over their inhibitions on this topic and why talking with other parents about pornography will actually benefit our kids. I’m a parent and I have questions Just before we skip down to the podcast I want you to know there is no judgment being passed here. I still struggle to talk about porn with other parents! Sure, when I’m blogging or speaking under the Parents Aware umbrella, I am very confident discussing how porn is affecting young people. But get me in a room of peers and I’m never quite sure how to bring up the subject. To be honest, I don’t even...
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Parents Aware Podcast 002 [Sneak Peek]: Compassion for a Friend Struggling with Porn Addiction

Parents Aware Podcast 002 [Sneak Peek]: Compassion for a Friend Struggling with Porn Addiction

Life is busy for everyone! It’s no exception here at Parents Aware. That said, we haven’t stopped working on new ideas to help you continue the conversation with children and teens about pornography —including a brand new Parents Aware Podcast! I don’t know about you, but sometimes I have so much on my plate I don’t get to read everything I want. In fact, there’s so much good information online that I often feel overwhelmed by what I can't get to. This is why I've decided to focus on 3 areas at Parents Aware that will help you stay up-to-date on this incredibly important topic! 3 commitments from Parents Aware I will continue to personally curate the content that appears on our Parents Aware facebook page. LIKE and FOLLOW us now if you haven’t done so already! I'll send blog updates to your inbox. In the New Year I PROMISE to create an email list. Until then follow us on Instagram. (Every time a new post...
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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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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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