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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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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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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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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4 Steps to Creating an Effective Internet Safety Contract with your Family

4 Steps to Creating an Effective Internet Safety Contract with your Family

An Internet Safety Contract is a huge resource which I believe is often overlooked by many families. For starters, it is a fantastically simple way to start a discussion with children about a number of online dangers, not the least of which is pornography. The start of a new school year is an excellent time to establish and review these safety guidelines. In fact, your children have probably brought home a letter for you to sign with them, acknowledging that you both know what it means to use the technology at school appropriately. We certainly did. It was sent home the first day of class along with a dozen other papers to sign. In our area the letter is titled: ACCEPTABLE AND SAFE USE PROCEDURE for computing and information technology facilities and resources. (If that isn’t a mouthful for the average first grader —never mind the parents!) READ TO THE END TO DISCOVER THE FOUR STEPS TO AN EFFECTIVE CONTRACT! The letter is really a...
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5 Questions Every Parent Should Be Able to Answer About Pornography

5 Questions Every Parent Should Be Able to Answer About Pornography

It’s been said that we are the first generation that must talk to our children about pornography. Like many, you may not feel ready to have that conversation. You may even wonder how relevant this issue is to your own kids. Explore the answers to these five important questions and we promise you will be ready to start talking today! #1 —Are my children really at risk of being exposed to pornography? The answer is YES. Research demonstrates it is not a question of IF… but WHEN children will be exposed to pornography. 11-years-old is the average age when kids are first exposed to pornography. Nine out of ten youth between 8 and 16-years-old have been exposed to pornography. 80% of unintentional exposure to pornography occurs at home. There are more than 3200 deviant forms of porn available online. Research shows that minors do encounter materials online which depict: anal sex, group sex, physical and verbal abuse of women and children. The...
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How Talking about the News Can Protect Kids from Pornography

How Talking about the News Can Protect Kids from Pornography

Is the news getting you down lately? Here’s clever a trick! Use today’s bad news to bring about positive results in your family relationships. At your next sit down meal mention something that’s causing you concern from current news/events and ask your kids if they know anything about it. Let them respond in their own words, then see where the discussion leads. You may be surprised how many topics you will cover with one news story. The fact is, any time you can have an honest and frank discussion with your kids, regardless of the topic, you are building bonds and strengthening your relationship with them. These are the bonds that will make tackling any tough subject down the road easier to manage, including sexual intimacy and pornography. Note: Not all news is bad. Be sure to scroll to the end of this post for a couple of victories in the fight against pornography. Interestingly, when I became a parent, my first instinct was...
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