• Jess

How to Talk with Your Kids About Pornography

4/25/2020


This isn't an easy subject, no matter how you slice and dice it. No matter what, someone will feel uncomfortable and want to run out of the room! We get it. This is not something ANYone ever thinks they'll have to talk about... especially not with your young children.


But what's worse? Your kids will stumble onto it on their own... and they won't know what to do with it. If they're like my husband, Nic, they'll keep it a shameful secret that will spiral into a 20+-year addiction.


And we KNOW you don't want that.



The root issue to consider is what it truly means to be a caring parent. We can't back down from things that are uncomfortable or hard just because we're scared. If you knew your kid was playing at the end of the driveway, wouldn't you tell her what to do if her ball bounces into the street? If your middle-school age son is around other kids who have known drug habits, wouldn't you equip him with tools to know how to combat that potential scenario? You wouldn't let your kid fly blind in EITHER scenario! Because you CARE. And you're willing to address that with them, despite how scary it might seem to talk about it. You put their greater interest above your own comfort level because that's what we do as parents who CARE.


But in the year 2020, we're seeing this as the norm : parents still don't say ONE WORD to their kids about the potential dangers and pitfalls associated with pornography.


"Parents still don't say ONE WORD to their kids about... pornography."

The change MUST start with you and me. We've got to let go of our preconceived ideas of what parents and kids do or don't talk about FLY OUT THE WINDOW. Because, let me tell you, parents - if you don't address this with your kids, SOMEONE ELSE WILL. And that someone will come in the form of a pop-up ad, a YouTube video they weren't supposed to click on, or a 9-year old friend (yes, I said NINE) on the bus chuckling at the 'cool pictures' he has on his iPhone.


While there's some debate about the average age a child is first exposed to porn, it should just be alarming we're even debating that subject. The FACT is children are consistently exposed to this material at younger and younger ages.


So what do we do about that?


We start by having a conversation with our kids.


Now, don't freak out on me yet. This is actually going to be a lot simpler than you're probably imagining. I want to share with you the tools we've begun to use with our four little boys (ages 10, 8, 5, & 3 when writing this). We found these books:


Good Pictures Bad Pictures Jr. is designed to give kids (between the ages of 3-6) some tools and words to talk about porn. All you do is sit down and read the book to them. And if they're already able to read on their own, we suggest letting them read it out loud to you. This is definitely a book to read with your child. Taken from the product description on Amazon, "children will learn to Turn, Run & Tell when they are accidentally exposed to inappropriate content." YES. Let's equip our kids with tools before they're exposed!


Good Pictures Bad Pictures follows the same model we mentioned with the Jr. edition (above), but this one is aimed at equipping kids ages 6 and up. This book is AMAZING. It comes alongside you as the parent to help you 1) understand the brain science behind the lure of pornography, and 2) equip your kids with the information they need to know how to fight it. The author, Kristen A. Jenson, details a 5-step plan in the book to help your kids know what to do when they're exposed to porn. It's truly everything you need to begin this conversation with your children.


Let's go over two essential truths before we close this out.


#1 - Your child WILL be exposed to pornography.


This is a statistical fact. The only variable is you won't know when it will happen... but it WILL happen. This is why these conversations with your young children are SO important. The sooner they can be equipped with tools in their 'tool belt' to fight this exposure, the more likely they'll be armed to fight it! So much of this depends on if they know they can talk to YOU about it. Yes, I know you don't want to talk to them about it ( I don't either - believe me!), but just like I stated at the beginning... being a good, CARING parent is not about our comfort level. Being a caring parent is all about sacrificing our comfort for their greater interest.

"Being a caring parent is all about sacrificing our comfort for their greater interest."

#2 - Prayer is ALWAYS the greatest weapon.


I can talk all day long about tangible tools and websites and articles and books that help combat this issue of children being exposed to pornography, but I would do everyone a disservice if I leave out the GREATEST weapon at our fingertips.


Prayer.


If you're not a believer of Christ Jesus, hear me loud and clear - He still hears YOU. And He still wants you to come to Him. If you're feeling panicked, worried, scared, or embarrassed about the impact porn will have on your kids, you're NOT alone. And Your Creator is not surprised when you feel this way. Please reach out to Him for your help. There is no greater weapon or tool at our fingertips! And it's available 24/7! We don't have to click a button or watch a video or subscribe to His social media to get in touch with Him... He's right here. Pray. Ask for His help.


If you are a believer, then let me remind you of the POWER of prayer. He longs to hear from us. He's eagerly waiting to hear what you have to say. Don't hold back. Tell Him everything you're feeling - your fears, worries, and concerns. Cover your precious children in prayer. Pray the Spirit equips them with the self-control to walk away from this specific temptation. Pray they will reach out and ask for help if they find themselves caught in this trap. Pray they will SEEK HIM FIRST when they run into trouble (and not just with this specific issue of pornography!).


It's my prayer we will all have hearts that seek HIS will and wisdom in all things... and especially in this. And when we are anxious or nervous about discussing this subject with our children, may we remember we are here to sacrifice our comfort level for their greater interest. YOU are a caring parent, and I know you can do this.

Want to talk with us about this? Schedule a private call today.

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