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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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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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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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 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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