Pornography is something that we don’t even want to think about, let alone consider talking to our kids about. But when we open our eyes to the world around us, the digital world in particular, we simply can’t be ignorant about it.
Sexually explicit content is everywhere. Whether it’s the lyrics to a song on the radio, the massive posters at the mall, or right in our very own homes via tv and internet. Thinking that we can avoid it would mean hunkering down in a cave and never embarking out into culture.
Of course that’s not realistic, nor is it sensible. We can’t hide from the world or what’s in it for many reasons — especially since our kids certainly aren’t hiding from it! Having a plan to face the culture we encounter is critical. We’re wise when we work to ensure our kids have a plan, as well.
Why We Need a Plan
While I don’t want to be the bearer of bad news and I promise not to go on and on, I think it is to our benefit to review a few stats. Pornography is not a hot button topic that will run its course and fade away. Unfortunately, time and dollars show that it’s here to stay. This means it’s up to us to decide how we’re going to react and interact with our children about it. We need a plan.
- Porn sites get more visitors each month than Netflix, Amazon, and Twitter combined.
- Ninety-three per cent of boys and 62 per cent of girls are exposed to internet pornography before the age of 18.
- According to National Coalition for the Protection of Children and Families, 2010, 47 per cent of families in the United States reported that pornography is a problem in their homes.
The question we need to ask ourselves is a new one to this generation.
It’s no longer, how are we going to keep our children from seeing porn, but rather, how are we going to be prepared for when they do?
Of course, we still need safeguards, which help ensure they aren’t finding it easily. Yes, we do everything we can to help them avoid it! But with the statistics what they are, and digital devices what they are, we can sadly assume they are going to see it.
If you’re a parent, don’t feel defeated. It’s so easy to become overwhelmed with where to start. It’s tempting to want to close this article and not think about it again because it’s too hard. However, doing nothing won’t help our kids. Alternatively, doing something definitely equips our kids. We need to know that we are not alone and that we have help. Thankfully, there are smart people who are doing something about it. They are creating resources to help us parents identify a plan.
Pornography Resources for Creating a Plan
One organization doing amazing things to help us help our kids is Protect Young Minds. Check out their website and what they offer. Their mission is to empower parents, professionals, and community leaders to protect young kids from pornography, and promote healing from any sexual exploitation. This is an incredible resource!
Another fantastic tool for parents with young children inparticular is a read-aloud book entitled, Good Pictures, Bad Pictures. It offers parents a really comfortable way to talk to kids (as young as nine, but you’re the expert on your child!) about pornography. The concept is simple, and the illustrations are lovely. It’s a neat way to open the conversation with kids. I love it especially because it talks, without detail, about what pornography is, why it’s dangerous, and how to reject it. It offers simple, effective analogies for kids that discuss the science of our brains and how pornography affects it. The book ultimately teaches kids how to porn-proof their own brains in such a way that allows them to feel empowered and effective in their choices.
I clearly remember as a child that our parents explicitly taught us a stranger danger plan.
Pornography is the new stranger amongst us. We must ensure that our kids are safe-guarded from its alluring ways.
Teaching them how to reject it when (not if!) they see it is a priority, along with how to guard their intricately working brains against the desire to go back for more.
I know, I don’t want to think about it either.
I get it. I also don’t want to panic or be fearful of it invading my home; so the best thing I know to do is just something. My something is talking with my kids about it, addressing the dangers, and teaching them how to keep this illusive intruder out of our home.
Of course, there are so many more resource options. It’s why FamilyLife created a page specifically with carefully curated resources to help you out! We did the work so you don’t have to. Check it out if you’d like some recommendations on informative websites, articles, statistics, great programs, or books to read, all dealing with pornography and its pervasiveness in our world. (Click here to get to the resource page)
What’s Your Plan?
What are YOU going to do? It’s simple: pick one action, and start. Maybe it’s ordering the book or doing some reading online. Maybe it’s asking your kids or teens a few questions about what they may have already seen online. That’s a great starting point for teaching them how to reject pornography and stand against it. You can also help take a stand by sharing this post with others. Let’s build an army of kids and teens who are willing to say NO!