PROTECTING OUR KIDS FROM PORNOGRAPHY
I have been thinking a lot about how to keep my children safe from the world. I think that’s probably one of our biggest concerns as parents, to protect our children. We talk to them about stranger danger. We teach them about looking both ways before they cross the street. We shield them from violence and try to live in safe neighborhoods and send them to safe schools. We make them wear seat belts in the car and helmets when they ride their bikes. We do everything we can to protect them on the outside, but what are we doing to protect them on the inside? To protect their minds. No matter how many of these things we do we are really not protecting them from the #1 problem facing them today….
Protecting our kids from pornography, the new drug needs to be one of our top priorities. Thats the new drug, the new problem and to me the scariest thing out there for my kids. This is such a sensitive subject to talk about with people because some people are fine with pornography and think that it’s totally normal. I however am NOT one of those people. I am worried about pornography because I have read the statistics, and I know the facts. And frantically the facts are terrifying. “Porn will, without a doubt, cause your heart to stop feeling. It creates a deadness in the brain. Porn is poison.” Pornography pollutes the mind and distorts reality.
Did you know that we have 2 brains? (or rather 2 parts to our brain)
The thinking brain and the feeling brain.The feeling brain is for our physical survival, helps us avoid pain and pursue pleasure. This part of our brain is automatic and responds to stimuli very quickly. Your thinking brain keeps you safe. It tells your body to breathe or to warm up or cool down. It’s essential to your survival. The thinking brain is much slower and is what helps us determine right from wrong, and helps us weigh consequences. This would be like a small child who touches a cookie sheet right out of the oven, the feeling part of their brains WANTS the cookie, but his thinking brain has not developed enough to realize that he will get burned. An older child can be taught these things and develop their brain to understand the consequences. The brain is a muscle and when it makes good choices it is strengthened. The thinking part of the brain HAS to be in charge or the body will go into chaos. Why does this matter? Because pornography in young children will attack the feeling part of the brain before the thinking part has enough time to really develop or know really what sex is. This can be very confusing for the child and drive them to seek out more and more pornography. The feeling brain, infected with the nasty virus of internet pornography, hijacks or takes over the under-developed thinking brain. In fact, because our brains consider sex a matter of survival, pornography viewing can become a powerful and enslaving addiction.
(The thinking brain and feeling brain information is from the book Good Pictures Bad Pictures and the blog Pornproofkids.com)
Pornography isn’t just a boy thing either. It effects girls as well as boys. It is not a respecter of persons. I have talked to several people with only girls who have told me how glad they were that they never had to worry about Pornography. That is definitely NOT true.
I once had a friend who found a history of porn sites on her computer every time her and her husband went on a date. The babysitter was viewing porn, on their computer, while watching their kids. The babysitter was a girl.
In a study conducted at Crimes Against Children Research Center at the University of New Hampshire, the group found that 42 percent of online users ages 10 to 17 had seen pornography, and that 66 percent of those had seen it unwittingly, often as display ads on file-sharing sites. Another study by the same university found that 93 percent of boys and 62 percent of girls were exposed to online pornography during their adolescence. Those numbers are very large, and a very serious problem,
Did you know that most kids are exposed to pornography by the time they are 10!!!! Many of them have seen pornography as young as 8.
8? Eight? E-I-G-H-T!
You mean my sweet little innocent boy, who loves building legos, thinks girls have cooties, talks about what food he wants for his after school snack the second he is out of school, the kid who begs me to help cook dinner, loves to play dress up, watches My Little Ponies with his sister and who still asks for kisses and cuddles could be subjected to pornography? and Worse ADDICTED, right now! At the young age of 8? That sounds like an unrealistic thing. I should have a few more years right? I don’t have to really be proactive about it for a few more years do I?
No, you most definitely can’t wait.
You can’t wait because those people out their making the porn are most definitely not waiting. And the people who publish it, advertise it and make it so easily accessable are most definitely NOT waiting. So you must be proactive about it now. You have to start talking to your kids from the second they can walk and talk. You have to be proactive in talking to them about it and teaching them about whats good for their bodies and whats not. Of course I’m not saying that you give the full on sex and pornography talk to your 3 year old, but you do need to start making them aware of their bodies and the dangerous things out there that can harm them. There are so many resources out there to help you teach your kids and help you learn about great ways to bring the subject up and talk about it.
“No one in his right mind would ever purposefully eat daily doses of arsenic. It’s poison. When consumed, it eventually causes the heart to stop beating, and the brain dies.” Gary and Joy Lundberg
PORNOGRAPHY IS POISON!
“Why would we engage in this battle? Because we love our kids. Because our children are depending on us to protect them. Because it’s the right thing to do. And because we can win.”- Rebecca Hagelin
The best course of action when it comes to combating pornography is being pro active. Don’t wait till it’s too late and then talk to your kids about the dangers of this new drug. If your kid comes across a picture (and statistics say they will) they NEED to know what to do.
We role play with our older boys and have them show us what they would do if (when) they see a bad picture. We talk to them about the different times and situations that may arise when they could be subjected to pornography. We don’t want them to be blindsided by it when they do have an interaction with it, we want them to know what to do immediately when the situation arises. We teach our kids how to say “No to drugs” and what to do with they are offered them, before that time ever comes. We need to do the same thing with pornography.
We are open with our kids about it and want them to know that we are a safe place to come to and to talk about their feelings and thoughts. We ask them to share with us things they have heard about pornography. I found out when my oldest was in 1st grade, that a 2nd grader was showing pornographic pictures to kids on his smart phone in the line up before school.
Are you kidding me? No way? (I’m sure that’s what you are thinking) but sadly it is true.
And its real and its the rule and not the exception anymore because pornography has become sensationalized by the world and in the media and more and more parents are thinking its okay to let their kids look at pornography, that its helpful and not harmful.
And that simply is not true.
We must be proactive to protect our children from this very dangerous and very real drug. Start now, not later. Make a plan now, not tomorrow, not when it’s too late. The minds of our sweet children are at risk. Their future is at risk and we can not sit on the sidelines anymore, watching and waiting. The time to act is now. Prepare yourself now. Prepare your kids now. Pornography is so easily accessible to our children. They don’t have to go to the rental store to get a movie, or ask an older friend to go and buy them a magazine at the store. It is literally right there at our kids finger tips. They don’t even have to search it out, it will search them out.
I remember in high school having to do a report on the White House. I went online and typed in a white house link with a .com not realizing that it was in fact a .org and there it was my first ever experience with online pornography. I didn’t go looking for it but I most certainly found it. I hand my kids my phone or the iPad and I am handing them pornography right there at their fingertips.
You can go here to read about all the terrifying facts of porn.
The website Fightthenewdrug.org is amazing! I follow them on Facebook for up to date info and to keep the fight for my kids fresh in my mind.
These links are fantastic places to learn more facts about porn and to help you learn how to protect your family.
Porn changes the brain.
Porn kills love.
Porn warps ideas about sex.
Porn is like a drug.
Porn leads to violence.
Porn is addictive.
Porn leaves you lonely.
Porn Affects your behavior.
Porn is a LIE.
Pornographers promise healthy pleasure and relief from sexual tension, but what they often deliver is an addiction, tolerance, and an eventual decrease in pleasure.
—Norman Doidge, MD, The Brain That Changes Itself 
Research suggests that pornography causes ADHD, social anxiety, depression, performance anxiety and OCD. In a TED talk from physiology teacher, Gary Wilson, titled “The great porn experiment,” Wilson addresses the effects of pornography on the brain. Since watching porn releases dopamine, he states that “too much dopamine can override our natural satiation mechanisms.” The result is that the brain experiences physical changes, including a numbed pleasure response that causes real intimacy to become unfulfilling. This change also creates hyperactivity to pornographic material, causing an insatiable appetite for it. Will power is eroded. When this happens, all that matters is viewing more pornography.
That is so sad to me. I wonder how many teenagers or preteens lost the best part of their childhood because they were so consuming with viewing porn. How many of these teenagers (kids) could think of nothing else but when the next time they could view porn would be? How many of them lost out on fun, wholesome activities in favor of viewing porn because their brain did not know any different? How many of these sweet spirited children and youth lost that light, and innocence because they became controlled by their addiction to porn.
I spoke with someone close to me who told me that from the age of 14-15 he thought of nothing else but when the next time he could see porn was. He saw his first pornography magazine at the age of 10!!!
He said he hates that he missed out on so much of his youth because he was so consumed by pornography. He told me that he wonders if he would have had better friends or more of a support system or better grades if he had put more effort into other parts of his life. When he heard about how pornography can cause depression he said that it made perfect sense because the majority of his youth was consumed with feelings of depression and worthlessness.
It breaks my heart. I physically ache for these kids who turn into adults, who become husbands and wives with pornography addictions. I hurt for these sweet spirits whose lives are taken over by pornography.
So how do we protect our kids?
I have found some fantastic resources over the past few years that I would like to share with you.
We have filters set up on all of our devices. We use K-9 web protection (go here to read about it and download it). Its free which is wonderful and has been FANTASTIC at protecting our devices. There are some sites I know are safe that it blocks because if picks up on key words and blocks the site. In the 2 years we have had it I have been very impressed with it.
I have a folder that I got years ago from a lady in her 70’s (she knew what she was talking about). She wrote on the folder “Poisonous Snake Bite Kit.” She said that we have a first aid kit, 72 hour kits and endless books on parenting but do we have a Kit or a resource to help us protect our kids from Pornography?
I have added to this folder so many times over the years.
I add hand outs I get on pornography, articles I read that I find helpful and notes that I take on things I learn about pornography. All of them go into my folder and are right at my finger tips if I ever need to access it.
We also do a big special dinner to talk to our kids about sex. We take them to a special restaurant (of their choice) when they turn 8 and have the talk with them. This talk frankly terrified me at first because I was not really sure how to say what I wanted to say. I did some research and I bought a book and read it cover to cover long before we had the talk so that I was prepared. I also brought the book with me and had sections highlighted that I wanted to touch on. The book we use (and LOVE) is How to talk to your kids about sex, by Richard and Linda Eyre (you can find it here and you can also read about it here). This book is an invaluable tool when it comes to talking to your kids about Sex.
We also have the Safety Kids work book and CD. You can find it here. They have one that is about Protecting your Mind and its all about teaching your kids about pornography. The songs on the CD are catchy and easy to memorize. The kids really like to listen to them. I play the CD in the car and at home and we have a lot of talks about each song and what the kids think it means. It a really great ice breaker for talking to your kids and teaching them about the dangers of Pornography.
We also use the book Good Pictures, Bad Pictures to teach our kids about the dangers of Pornography (you can find the book here). We read it as part of Family night and talked to our older boys about what they learned and any questions they had. We also talk to them on a regular basis about what they learned and keep it fresh in their minds. The book is set up like a story and is an easy to read, easy to understand book for kids. After each chapter (they are very small chapters) we would review what it was we learned. I ask the kids question and talk to them about how they feel about what they heard.
I devote a fair amount of time at least once a month trying to brush up on the newest ways pornography can effect my children and how I can protect them.
This problem is not going away nor is it going to get any better unless something changes.
We as the parents have to be the voice that our kids can’t be. We have the fight the new drug and protect these innocent little minds from the horrors of pornography.
K-9 Web Protection
How to talk to your Kids about Sex
Good Pictures Bad Pictures
Where did I come from? (a children’s picture book to help go along with the sex talk)
Morality in Media
One Million Moms
Kids ask about Sex: honest answers for Every Age ( I have not read this one yet but have heard good things. I purchased on Amazon and am waiting for it to come in the mail.)
Home Invasion: Protecting Your Family in a Culture that’s Gone Stark Raving Mad ( I have not read this one yet either but I would like too)
Growing up: Gospel Answers about Maturation and Sex (Brad Wilcox, I LOVE how he puts things and makes it easy to talk to our kids.)
Pornography Harms A Facebook Group
(*** Some of the Links are Affiliate links. I was not compensated by anyone for this post.)
Im Linking up over at Just a Girl and her blog
Linking up at Think and Make Thursday