Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Teaching Our Kids About Pornography

From a young age we teach our kids to "say no to drugs!" and how to navigate potential peer pressure situations.  We talk about addiction to drugs, smoking, and alcohol...but what about pornography?  Now, more than ever, kids have easy access to pornographic images with the click of a button.  Did you know that more than 1 in 5 searches on mobile devices is for pornography?   More than half of boys and one third of girls see their first pornographic image by the age of 13.  Thirty five percent of teenage boys said that they have viewed pornographic videos "too many times to count." (stats from Covenant Eyes). There are things we can do to help protect them like not allowing them on devices unsupervised and using filters on computers, but we will not always be close by.  Therefore, teaching them how to identify it for what it is, the danger of pornography, and an appropriate response, is important.


Kai and I have been reading Good Pictures, Bad Pictures: Porn-Proofing Today's Young Kids by Kristen A. Jensen and Gail Poyner.  The chapters include titles such as: What's Pornography?, My Brain's Attraction Center, and My Thinking Brain's "CAN DO" Plan!  It covers the the feeling and thinking parts of your brain, how addiction occurs, and what to do if you come across an image.  Kai is nine years old and I think that it is a good age for this book.   This is not to say that it shouldn't be talked about with younger kids, but understanding the parts of the brain with it's analogies might be difficult for someone younger.  There is also a lot of dialogue in the book which might be harder for a younger child to follow.


The "CAN DO" plan stands for:
C=Close my eyes, turn away, shut down the device
A=Alert a trusted adult
N=Name pornography when I see it
D=Distract my thoughts away from bad images
O=Order my thinking brain to be in charge

I believe in being open with my kids and naming things for what they are.  Whether it's the words for specific body parts or calling out pornographic images, I don't want them to feel embarrassed talking about it--I want it to be a conversation they feel comfortable having.  Growing up we had very little sex education and I would have appreciated learning more in my home rather than gathering (mis)information from my friends.  I was very impressed with Kai's maturity as we went through it and we will review it each year.

If you live locally and would like to borrow this book, let me know!  I'd be happy to lend it out.  Thoughts? (**I'm not allowing anonymous commenters on this post because I was getting so much spam**)

Love,
Louise

PS Before reading this book, Kai and I went through a sex education book entitled "It's So Amazing: A Book about Eggs, Sperm, Birth, Babies, Babies and Families" and I thought it was well done.

6 comments:

  1. Louise, thanks so much for the shout-out! It's so encouraging to see proactive moms like you arming and preparing your kids to reject pornography! I'd also love to share a CAN DO Plan™ poster pdf with your readers who subscribe to our blog www.pornproofkids.org. Thanks again!

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    1. Thanks for your comment, Kristen! More importantly, thank you for this helpful book--I wasn't sure how to navigate this topic with my son and this made it super easy!

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  2. Can't tell you how much I LOVE this book as an equipping tool. I have shared about it so very much this last month, even contacting Focus on the Family and Family Talk to have them interview the author. I've shared it in my homeschool co-op and on my facebook page multiple times, to include this blog post. We need to spread the word that this amazing tool is available to help parents get their kids AHEAD of this inevitable quandry they will, if they haven't yet, face. So incredibly important!

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    1. I'd love to be interviewed by Focus on the Family or Family Talk! Thanks for contacting them!

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  3. Good to be proactive in this area. We were not, thinking it wouldn't be a problem for our sons, but it was for one of them and we all went through a very difficult time. In fact, just thinking about it again, almost makes me feel sick.

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    1. I have learned as an adult that it really can affect anyone and it does worry me. We had a whole sermon on it earlier this year which I think was eye opening to so many. I'm sorry you've gone through this, thank you for sharing. This just confirms with me that we need to really be "on it".

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