Protecting Purity in a Hypersexualized Culture
Internet software is helpful in protecting children from early exposure to porn, but it’s not foolproof. A school friend may have porn on their smartphone or tablet. Kid’s can easily access porn on TV, Netflix, and in the local library as well as their school library.
Is Anything Pure Anymore?
It’s not just porn that’s the problem either. The culture around us is embedded with sexual messages constantly impressing on young minds ideas about what it means to be male or female, and what love is. Since love, affection and acceptance are essential to growing up, children are the most susceptible victims of inappropriate messages.
Kindergarten girls suggestively gyrating their hips in provocative costumes at dance recitals are applauded by family and friends. One might wonder what they do on the playground at recess. Even the “F” word can be heard in preschools these days. Being that preventing exposure to sexual content is nearly impossible, our only recourse is to immunize and educate our children through the practice of real love.
Create an Environment that Fosters Purity in Relationships
Loving family relationships and your child’s own conscience is their best protection from inappropriate sexual messages. But you’ll still need a two-pronged method: 1.) Educate kid’s about the danger’s of porn while they’re young (Good Pictures, Bad Pictures, Jr.), and 2.) Create a home environment where your children feel safe, loved, accepted and free to talk about anything. And where they can experience the way a real loving couple relates to each other.
- Spend one-on-one time
Spend time doing something enjoyable with each child. This creates trust and allows for deeper bonding. Get to know your child’s personality and encourage their strengths. While spending time together you can become aware of opportunities to discuss sensitive topics.
- Be a role model
Be the kind of married couple your child wants to grow up to be. What does that mean? Express genuine happiness and gratitude for each other daily in front of your children. Be openly affectionate toward each other (without grossing them out). Treat your spouse like a king or queen.
- Be approachable
Learn how to be unconditionally supportive and non-judgmental. It’s not the end of the world if your child has viewed porn, or even if they’re addicted. They’ll be more open to your guidance if you don’t overreact. Let them know that you’re concerned for their overall well-being and happiness.
- Study spiritual truth and pray with your children
Spirituality needs to be genuine, not forced, to have a good impact on children. They need to see evidence of it’s value applied to daily life. Create a comfortable and open atmosphere around prayer and scripture study so that it’s enjoyable. Allow it to be a time when your child can ask questions and explore ideas. Make it appropriate for their age and personality.
Educate & Protect
- Teach your sexual values
Don’t leave sex and values education up to other people. Arrange times and use spontaneous opportunities to discuss sexual matters. When talking about sex with children it’s best to keep your emotions out of the picture. Speak calmly and rationally about why you think saving sex for marriage is important. Give verifiable information.
- Safeguard the home
Keep computers, tablets, cell phones and TV’s in public areas at home. Bedrooms need to be a place for rest and calm activities so your child doesn’t develop the habit of spending many hours alone online. Model good relationships by engaging in other fun activities together besides screen time. Put a limit on internet use as well as using accountability or safe search software for the whole family.
- Recognize changes in behavior
Learn the signs of pornography use and other problems. Anxiety and impaired concentration can be some of the side effects. If your child or teen is becoming more sad, lonely, depressed, frustrated or even bored, you should be concerned for their wellness.
Helpful Parent Tools:
- School Of Love
- Good Pictures, Bad Pictures, by Kristen A. Jensen, MA and Gail Poyner, PhD
- Pandora’s Box is Open, by Gail Poyner, PhD
- Protect Young Minds