How Our Family is Flipping the Script on Pornography.
A friend of ours who counsels kids recently told us that pornography has become so pervasive that it is affecting how high school and college students interact with each other and view relationships. He frequently talks to brokenhearted kids who are ashamed of who they see in the mirror because pornography addiction has killed their self esteem. One surprising fact is that just as many girls are struggling as guys.
We talked a lot about how we can all work together to change this for the kids growing up around us.
One major way to protect our kids is to remove the stigma around discussing it.
You heard me, “Porn.” I said it. My kids say it. Gasp!
It isn’t a dirty word in our house. We won’t be sweeping it under the rug or whispering about it behind closed doors. We will be shouting it from the rooftop that pornography is bad for you, just like drugs, cigarettes, texting and driving, and other dangers common to kids.
We are telling our kids how pornography:
Rewires neural pathways
Shrinks their “thinking” brain
Fuels sex trafficking
Destroys healthy sex lives
Lowers self esteem
We don’t want them to believe the lie, “It is normal. Everyone watches it”
If everyone thought it was good and normal to watch porn, they would do it out in the open and not in the dark behind closed doors.
We are teaching them that porn is a lie. Period.
Everything has to be discussed on a age appropriate level, but even my five year old can tell you that bad pictures are called pornography. We read Good Pictures Bad Pictures Jr. to him, and he has asked for it so much that he almost has it memorized. You see, we’ve made it normal for him to talk about. He has a plan in place so he knows what to do if he accidentally finds porn or someone shows it to him.
We read Good Pictures Bad Pictures (for older kids) to our eleven year old daughter. We talk to her about porn addiction and the effects on the brain. She says porn is “stupid” and can’t understand the appeal of it, but she knows what to do if she sees it. As she gets older, we will go into even more detail, but there are some things that young hearts should not have to carry.
Those are things we have started to talk about with our teen. He knows that porn fuels sex trafficking. He knows that porn will rewire his neural pathways and do damage to his future sex life. He knows that pornography producers want him to become addicted to porn because porn is a billion dollar industry and if he can get hooked early, he will need more porn until free porn isn’t good enough, and he becomes a life long consumer of paid porn.
We use Covenant Eyes to keep our family accountable and teach responsible internet use. We also use router level controls with our Netgear Router. It just make sense to prevent pornography from entering our homes however we can.
But guys, if you think you can porn proof your house, you are dead wrong. To 100% porn proof a home, you must first get rid of all TVs, computers, and devices of any kind. Easy right? Second, you must never let anyone visit your home unless you have patted them down and removed all their devices too. Thirdly, never leave home.
There are so many things you can do to make your home safer, but your child will eventually need to filter themselves. Your child MUST be armed with the knowledge that pornography poisons their brain and their relationships. We can protect our kids as much as possible, but it is imperative that we raise strong, wise kids who will stand up for what is right even when we aren’t around.
Porn proofing our kids is even more important than porn proofing our homes.
That is why we must have these conversations. The pornography conversation isn’t a one off. It has to be continuous. Practice if you have to. Do whatever it takes to speak up about the dangers of porn to your children. Start young and don’t stop.
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