Want to learn to how to talk to your kids about a porn fee life?

by Jan 23, 2019Parenting with Courage0 comments

Have you wondered what the world of the internet is like for our tweens and teens?  It’s kind of like unexplored galaxies, full of promise, adventure, thrills, and dangers.  Because we love them, we cannot leave them be with just a little bit of advice to guide them:  Be careful what you see.  Don’t talk to strangers and don’t share your passwords. By nature, teens are explorers with little forethought about the consequence of clicking and sharing posts and images.
 
Does this thought make you feel like you’ve just emerged from the dark ages? 
Do you struggle to have direct conversations with your preteens and teens about sexual topics? 
Conversations with your children are built on the ones we started having with them from when they were younger. Even parenting older teens means that we still need to have those conversations with them from time to time.  It’s never too late to start.  So, read on, brave parent!
Communication, openness, and trust are the foundation for many talks about porn and sexuality. 
Raising sexually healthy children

How to help your kids navigate an open landscape and live p*rn free

Chantelle Blokdyk, co-founder of Original Design Education spoke to me candidly about how to raise a sexually healthy child.  “The sexual climate today is different from when we were young children, consequently, as parents, we need the courage to navigate this landscape with love, care, and integrity.”
 
If we are to raise a sexually healthy child, then the conversations in the home, in churches and communities need to be open, honest and pure.  Many children grow up in a culture that starts to sexualize them even before they can read and write.  Chantelle says, One of the greatest threats to our children today is pornography. It trains the viewer to be a consumer and not a lover. Thus creating a culture of objectification, where people will see other people as mere objects – and that’s not good.”
 
So, what has changed?
“Sixty years ago there were only two STD’s to worry about; today there are over twenty and some with hundreds of different strains. Some can be with you forever; others can cause infertility and even death. This fact alone is enough to tell us that the culture’s so-called ‘sexual liberation’ has left the world more confused and broken than ever before. Child on child sexual abuse is at epic proportions all around the world. Children are sexually abused by adults every day, and there are there are 116, 000 requests for child porn – daily! (Barna group research, 2016).”
 
How do we deal with this public health crisis? 
Chantell explains this further:  “Pornography is the public health crisis of our generation, and our children are the ones who will and are suffering the most because of easy access and little or no internet boundaries.  Firstly, the social tolerance of pornographic imagery and footage needs to cease if we are to have a future with healthy marriages and families. Secondly, pornography is changing sexual templates, desires, and scripts because it is addictive, accessible, available and anonymous.”
 

So what are we to do, moms and dads?

Pray for your children, your marriage and family, in doing so, ask God for protection, courage, and wisdom. 

Family chats are great.  Have a family ‘sit down’ and with all the adults and children.  Firstly discuss what is appropriate and what is not regarding physical contact. Secondly, 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). Start these conversations with your young kids, as most unfortunate situations happen with friends or family, and not particularly with strangers. Please download my free ebook on Significant Conversations to get started.

Be wise about helpers.  As a safety precaution, Chantelle recommends that anyone wanting to work with children is interviewed thoroughly, have internet accountability and verified by the local police. 

Think carefully about sleepovers.  Chantelle says that sleepover parties or visits are not recommended anymore.  Many sexual assaults have occurred during overnight stays because child-on-child abuse is a genuine concern today, even if it is in your own home! Exercise discretion, wisdom and sound judgment here. 

Establish the rules of the game to help your kids live porn freeEstablish the rules of the game

  • Set up a smart device/social media contract.  From the moment you give your child a smart device (only recommend from the age of 12), set up terms and conditions.  Examples include regular check-ups, installing internet filtering software for accountability and no-bedroom usage policy for devices.  Educate your children about the adverse side effects of technology (such as pornography) and consider using dumb phones for children under the age of 12. 
  • Digital addiction is real.   Chantelle says that parents need to be aware that digital addiction is a real threat for our children today. Keep your eyes and ears open and the conversations flowing with your children.
  • Protect your kids and yourself.  Use internet filters and blockers on every device in your home. 
  • Be informed.  Educate yourself and teach your children how to handle what they access and are exposed to on the internet.  
  • 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. 
 

Red cheeks are worth the cost

If we are to parent with courage, we will not hold back from talking to our children about this relevant topic.  We show love to them by guiding, guarding and educating them about porn.  It is possible that just one viewing of porn has the potential to cause a lifelong struggle.  Therefore, if by my speaking about porn to my children, makes a difference, then it’s worth a few red cheeks or stammering words. 
 

Be brave, moms and dads.  Talk to your children using age-appropriate words about what they need to do when they face this challenge. 

Chantells says that it is, unfortunately, not the case of ‘if’ your child will see porn, rather a case of ‘when’ they will see it.  She asked a very relevant question to us all:  “And when that time comes; will your child be prepared enough to react appropriately and run away?” The average age of first-time exposure is 10 and is often accidental. Therefore, now more than ever, our children need us to prepare them to handle that moment. 

An excellent handle for you to explain to your younger kids (and older ones) is: Pornography is people with little or no clothes on, and it is dangerous to look at because it can hurt your head and your heart.”

Original Design Education suggests this three-step method to guide your children:

  1. Want to learn to talk to your kids about a porn free life?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.
“Now is the time for parents and guardians to speak a message of Biblical truth; it is the only thing that will stand the test of time in the lives of our children! You can live a life that promotes purity.  Similarly, train yourself (and your kids) in Biblical sex education. I want to encourage you that you might not have all the answers to the questions your children have – but you know the One who does!” concludes Chantelle.
 
 
Look out for her book, ‘Parents in pursuit of purity’ in 2019.  You can also contact Chantelle through her website www.originaldesign.co.za
Original Design Education NPC is a conversational organization made up of researchers and educators who teach, promote and declare sexual purity over the Body of Christ; with the main goal to heal broken hearts and set the captives free from sexual brokenness, addiction, and abuse.
 

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