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30 DAY PORN FREE CHALLENGE

30 DAYS OF ADVICE TO HELP YOU STAY PORN FREE

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Porn Makes Me Awkward

by Cris Clapp Logan on December 3rd, 2012 in Parents

There are few issues that make parents more uncomfortable than talking to their kids about sex, and so, unfortunately, many parents avoid the issue altogether, or stop short of helping their kids develop a framework to think about sex, and all related issues, in a healthy way.  Now, when it comes to the issue of pornography, most parents would rather be shot in the foot than talk to their son or daughter about pornography’s impact on life.  Talking about pornography is undoubtedly awkward, but the most difficult part about talking to your kids about pornography is just getting started.  The more you talk about issues like pornography, sexuality, purity and healthy body image, the easier the conversation will become.  It’s highly likely that your son or daughter will already know more than you think they do about pornography, so don’t worry about knowing all of the answers to all of their questions.  It’s really important that you just set a good tone with regard to how you approach the subject and carry on the conversation.

Help your kids understand that no subject, whether it’s sex or pornography, is taboo in your home.  When your kids are young (and as they age), it’s critical that you use filters (like our X3watchPRO) and parental controls on your home computer and all Internet connected devices.  Also, recognize that pornography can creep up in gaming systems, music-devices, and even can be referenced in popular “family-friendly” channels, so be proactive to protect your kids on the front end.  I talk with so many parents who thought that their child was too young or too innocent to ever look up pornography, and as a result, they haven’t installed filters on their connected devices and their children stumble across pornography.  Dealing with exposure to pornography is much harder and more awkward than dealing with it from a preventive and proactive manner. 

When your kids are young, help them to understand that they should come to you if they ever encounter anything scary or disturbing online or at a friend’s house.  Watch out for sharp changes in behavior or for any signs that your son or daughter is awkward about or afraid to go online—that may be a sign that your child has encountered pornography or some other type of harmful material.  Once your child is 8-10 years of age, it’s normal for them to become more verbal and communicative about issues relating to sex, and they likely will have enough maturity to begin to have an honest conversation about sex.  As girls and boys approach maturity, help them understand more about how their bodies will change and develop, and how they might respond to the opposite sex; the more answers and clarity you can provide, the less likely that your son or daughter will feel the need to have their answers met online.  Consider buying age-appropriate books, and as they reach 11-13, have regular, ongoing conversations about what sex is, why and when people have it, and what is appropriate and “good” as compared to inappropriate and “bad” (like pornography).  Continue to ask them what they have heard about sex and what they know about pornography.  As your kids approach their tween and teenage years, it’s likely that a friend, sibling or other relative will have attempted (and perhaps succeeded) at introducing your son or daughter to pornography (and unfortunately, this happens at much younger ages regularly). 

 

If you have discovered that your son or daughter has been exposed to pornography or is regularly looking at pornography, avoid the temptation to shut down and avoid conversation.  Don’t blame or shame your child; ascertain what they saw, how it made/makes them feel and how they were exposed/how they have been accessing the material.  Be honest with them about the harms of pornography and the allure of pornography, but continue to reinforce the reality that pornography can be a very destructive force for harm, and that you want to help them pursue sexual purity.  As awkward as it can be to talk about pornography and sex with your kids, recognize that kids want and need adult guidance, and if you don’t take the leap and start the conversation, then it’s likely they will go to other sources (friends, the Internet, pornography itself) to have their answers and curiosities met.

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