Safe home, a porn-free zone

By Mandi Hart
Published on: May 3, 2022
Girl looking a computer. Safe home.

Love your children by keeping them safe. Prepare your children by educating them. Open your arms wide so they know you are always there. It’s up to us to make this world safe for our children.

I’ve heard it said countless times over, “It’s not a question of if they will see it but when they will see it.” You know what I’m talking about, right?

Porn.

Raising children is like riding a rollercoaster, It’s thrilling, but a little daunting at times. The question I often ask myself is, what do my children need from me now? I take notice of their ages, stage of development and life challenges, then respond with love.

Now, I’m not a parenting expert, but I have raised two children into adulthood – and they are still alive, smiling and our relationship with them continues to grow.

One thing I’ve learned along the way is that if you don’t speak to your children about sensitive or tricky topics, then they won’t necessarily come to you. You, as the mom or dad, have to start conversations early on. And it is up to you to ensure that your home is a safe place for all.

Safe home

Last week, I attended a talk on sex education for children. The speaker said that the latest research emerged with statistics that children are now exposed to porn around 7-8 years of age. It’s getting younger and younger, and we have to speak up.

Communication, openness, and trust are the foundation for many talks about porn and sexuality. These conversations begin in our home and need to continue all throughout the years they are in our home (and possibly beyond).

Where do we begin?

Firstly, pray about purity and wisdom. Ask God to direct you and your steps as you lead your family. Pray for your children, their friends and the influences in their lives. What a joy it is to partner with the Lord as we raise our children. We are not alone, the Lord will gently lead us.

Isaiah 40:11 reminds us, “He tends his flock like a shepherd: He gathers the lambs in his arms and carries them close to his heart; he gently leads those that have young.” 

Secondly, remember to keep talking and open communication in your home. Family chats are great, with all the adults and children around the table. Start when they are young, and talk about appropriate and inappropriate physical contact. Encourage questions and age-appropriate frank conversations. 

Thirdly, educate your children. Talk to your children about what part of their body is a ‘public’ part (e.g., arm) and what is a ‘private’ part (e.g., bum). Train them about ‘good pictures, bad pictures’ and educate yourself. 

Download my free ebook on Keep them talking for an extra resource.

Fourth, apply wisdom with sleepovers and helpers. Exercise discretion, wisdom and sound judgment here. Don’t be afraid to ask questions, do background checks and get support.

Fifth, decide in advance the rules of the game if your home is to be a porn-free zone. For example, set up a smart device/social media contract, or set up internet filtering software. Protect your children and yourself by setting up blockers on devices. And finally, consider that neutral spaces can be safe places. Charge devices in a neutral area such as the kitchen or lounge. This means that all devices (including yours) are there overnight and not in the bedroom where temptation lurks. Model transparency for your children this way.

We also decided that our children were not allowed to watch TV in their bedrooms. Even when friends came around, they had to stream or watch TV in a public space. It wasn’t easy, but so worth it.

If we are to raise world changers, then topics such as these must be discussed in our homes and with great love and grace. Be a safe space for your children.

A few years ago, I was asked this question: “And when that time comes; will your child be prepared enough to react appropriately and run away?” What’s your answer?

Now more than ever, our children need us to prepare them to handle that moment. 

Call it, turn away and talk to someone

  1. When you see it, call it what is: pornography is a bad picture.
  2. Turn away and turn it off immediately (if need be role play with your child what they can do and say if they get shown porn).
  3. Talk to a trusted adult (mom or dad). Parents, affirm your children that you love them and that they can come and talk to you about absolutely anything. They must feel safe with you and that they can talk to you.

You can make your children safe in the world, or you can try to make a world safe for children.” – Unknown

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