Protecting Our Children From Pornography

Saturday, April 25th, 2015

Last Monday, I headed up to Fort Collins to share my story with a local MOPs group.  They were so great.  In preparation for the talk, I realized that not everyone in the room would be able to relate to my story.  But some would.  As I was doing a little research, I found that 1/3 of pornography viewers are women.  And 47% of households in the US report pornography as being a problem in their home.  So I walked in knowing that half of the wives there would relate on some level.  But what about the rest?

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As my children, each day, get a little older, I realize that as their mom, I play a primary role in protecting them from pornography.  I think for any of us that have been affected by betrayal, we naturally have a passion to keep our children safe from porn.  If we want to keep our kids safe, we first need to understand a couple of things:

  • The average age of first exposure to pornography is between seven and nine years old.
  • Typically this exposure is not intentional.  Rather, it’s by accident.  Examples include a child looking for videos on YouTube or a couple of friends browsing the internet after school.  It’s innocent.  And then it happens.  And those images are hard to get rid of once they hit our brain.
  • Porn exposure at such a young age can disrupt the normal neuro-chemical, social and emotional development of the child.  (And I must also mention that porn exposure at any age can disrupt the normal processes within our

With that being said, here are three practical suggestions in keeping your kids safe from pornography:

  • Protection within your home – in our home, there will never be a computer in one of our boy’s bedrooms.  I don’t know when my boys will be allowed to carry a cell phone, but it will not have internet access on it for a very long time.
  • Protection within others homes – I screen other parents before our children can go alone to a friend’s house.  This was inspired by a course I recently took.  Here is a sampling of what I like to ask:
    • Will there be older boys there?  (cousins, neighbors, etc.)  Reason being – the average age of a sex offender is 14 years old.
    • Is it okay if my child doesn’t have access to media while he is at your home?
    • Is it okay to leave the doors open when playing?
  • Validating Emotions and working on your children developing their self-intimacy –  Because the crux of a sexual addiction is an intimacy disorder, we are working on helping our boys explore their feelings.  Initially, children feel something but can’t put what they are feeling into words (heck, I’m an adult and this happens to me, too!).  So in the here and now, we are working on allowing our children to feel what they feel.  Then we start asking them questions in order for them to put words to their feelings.  Using a feelings wheel might prove to be helpful.  It’s something I use in my groups and us ladies are constantly referring to it!

What about you?  Is there anything you could share here that you are doing to help prevent your children from being exposed to pornography?  I’d love to hear.  xo-Shelley

4 thoughts on “Protecting Our Children From Pornography

  1. Caroline

    April 28, 2015  |  06:28 pm

    This is so good Shelly. Next to a relapse from hubs, my kids getting caught up in porn is probably my most pervasive fear.

    One thing that I would add: Get There First!

    If we don’t know what something is supposed to be, then we are much more likely to believe the lies being told about it.

    It is never too early to be telling the truth about the beauty and rightness of monogamous human sexuality, though it will look different talking to a preschooler than to a 13 year old.

    We are drawn to sexual things because we are sexual beings, this is not the bad part. I think christian homes often times get this part wrong, and the message becomes: SEX=BAD except for marriage of course… This leaves few places to go as children in a hyper-sexualized culture.

    I consider cosmo magazine “porn” because of the lies it spews, and all my kids have already seen that while standing with me to buy milk and bread!

    I recently saw a book reviewed on the Covenant Eyes website called “good pictures, bad pictures” that kind of walks you through the steps of a scary conversation with kids about pornography and what they can do when (not if) they do see it.


    • rlforwomen

      April 28, 2015  |  08:16 pm

      Caroline, Great point in getting there first. Starting these conversations and not shying away from them. Thank you for your input. I own a copy of “Good Pictures, Bad Pictures.” It’s a beautiful book and it’s meant for the parent to read with their child. Our oldest is seven so we are on the cusp of starting these hard conversations. I’d rather it be me than anyone else or any other way. xo


  2. Beth

    June 8, 2015  |  05:31 pm

    For older kids or teens, http://www.fighththenewdrug.com is a good site to educate them on the dangers of porn. After discovery about my husband’s sexual addiction, we sat down and had a frank discussion about porn addiction with our 20 year old son, both from my husband’s perspective and my own as it relates to how a wife feels about it. We did NOT tell him about his father’s relations with prostitutes and porn was how it all started anyway. My son seemed somewhat mortified at our frankness but it was important to my husband and I to attempt to do all we can to prevent sexual addiction in his life. My husband’s father and oldest brother had porn addiction and affairs, and his next oldest brother is gay and addicted to gay porn, so there is definitely a family tree of addiction ( father started it all with erotic novels that the boys were exposed to as preteens). My husband’s main path to viewing porn was his cell phone. Google chrome also has an “incognito” tab you can open to view anything you want without it showing up in the history. This is a big danger. My husband used that as well. I would recommend http://www.covenanteyes.com as a filter and accountability monitor for all computers, tablets, phones.


    • rlforwomen

      June 17, 2015  |  05:35 pm

      Thanks Beth for providing insight for others here. You said your son was mortified at your frankness. Do you guys still discuss your husband’s recovery, how your son is feeling, etc.? Has your son wanted to ask questions and discuss it? Just curious how it has looked since those initial conversations. xo-Shelley


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