I love teaching my kids. My favorite subject is history, but I would be lying if I said I didn’t love subjects like science, current events, literature… even math! I love them all… almost.
One subject I dread teaching my children is about the evils of the world, and the idea of teaching them the ins and outs of pornography is almost enough to make me break into hives. Did you know that many children begin viewing hard core pornography at the age of seven or younger? SEVEN! Not exactly what you imagine when you think of someone addicted to pornography, is it? It’s hard to believe that children that haven’t even gone through puberty can be addicted to pornography… but it’s very true.
The same amazing technology that makes it possible for us to have instant communication with long distance family and friends; allows lonely moms to connect, get advice, and start home based businesses is the same technology that can invite this incredibly destructive force into our homes without our even knowing it. What was once available only in shady bookstores in the bad part of town or plastic covered magazines is now at our children’s fingertips, behind their closed bedroom door, and often for free. In addition to the accessibility the internet gives us, we live in a society that seems to think that scantily clad and seductively positioned women is necessary in advertising, movies, and music videos to sell their product (anyone else heard about the topless espresso drive thru shop in Spokane? They had lollipops available for the children their parents would have in the car when they drove up to get their coffee). Needless to say, these things have a snowball effect on our perceived self-worth as women and the increasingly revealing attire marketed towards younger and younger girls. To top it all off, the new fad in “feminism” is to “liberate” yourself from the “oppressive” chains of modesty and virtue. Yet that very “liberation” only adds to the dehumanization and objectification of women… but I’ve gone off on a tangent. Back to the subject at hand.
How on earth can we combat this evil when almost ALL of the cards are stacked against us? Internet filters and smartphone and tablet monitoring are good and necessary but they are NOT ENOUGH. We HAVE to talk to our kids about it. We need to teach them the truth because if we don’t the world will teach them things that are perverse and very, very wrong.
Fortunately there are a few excellent tools for parents to open the dialogue with our children and begin the process of protecting their minds, hearts, and future relationships from this insidious evil.
Good Pictures Bad Pictures: Porn-Proofing Today’s Young Kids is one such tool.
Good Pictures Bad Pictures is the story of a mom and dad talking to their son about “good pictures” and “bad pictures”. Together, mother and child learn how pornography can poison your mind and the powerful, addictive control it can have over you (often times more so than substance abuse). Mother teacher son how to recognize pornography, how it affects your brain and body, how little bodies react when innocent eyes see it, the different parts of the brain that are affected, and a plan to help fight it’s influence. Dad reenforces the lessons given and adds his perspective. Using the imagery of “the thinking brain” and “the feeling brain” you and your child can easily talk about how pornography often times leads to addictions, dehumanization, and lies. I was amazed at how well this book tackled this difficult subject. In the introduction the authors list the reasons for writing this book, tell you how the book is organized, and how to use it. It is written in a way that can appeal to parents of children of ALL ages. There is no graphic content and it can be easily understood by children young and old, regardless of their knowledge of the reproductive system.
There are so many things about parenting that no one warns you about. How to protect your kids from the pervasive influence of pornography is one of them. We know very well how we need to be proactive in protecting our children from physical harm, kidnapping, molestation, etc.; protecting them from their own minds and destructive behaviors is just as important. Teach your boys AND your girls (this is no longer an exclusively male issue) how to recognize pornography, flee from it when they see it, and (most importantly) to be open and honest with you when it happens… because in this day and age, it’s not a matter of if… but when.