This is a very sensitive topic, but this is a real addiction and a real threat for our children. Teaching children about pornography is a very hard thing to do, but if done correctly, it can help them stay away from this temptation. I am a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints and so religion comes in to play here when teaching my children. But there are great non- religious ideas in this article that will really help you when trying to figure out how to talk to your children about the dangers of pornography. Especially the books I suggest below. Be sure to get those books. They will help you a lot.
First of all, you need to understand that when I taught my son about sex, I told him that it is a natural, beautiful thing. That it is NOT BAD. That feelings he will develop are normal and natural. It is a great gift given to us by a loving Heavenly Father as a means to create our own family after we are Married. I taught him that it is the best gift of all that he could ever give to the one he will marry. It should be saved for marriage to show that he respected his wife before he even knew her.
When I was teaching my son about sex, I included a little segment about pornography. I talked to him about our bodies. How we are sons and daughters of Heavenly Father and we are asked to treat our bodies like Temples. We talked about why men and women are attracted to each other. Then I told him that Satan will try as hard as he can to use this attraction to pull him closer to him. To pull him away from the spirit, his parents, his teachers and his leaders. He will try as hard as he can to make him feel alone.
*Clarification because of a comment I got (warning, more religion here): I always teach my children that God loves them no matter what. Jesus knows exactly how they feel whenever they have sinned, or have been hurt in any way because he suffered the Atonement for us. He has felt all of our feelings of guilt and pain. We can ALWAYS turn to him for comfort and support. In our religion we are taught that God, Jesus and the Holy Ghost are 3 distinct and separate individuals. The Holy Ghost can not dwell in unclean environments so we need to sure that our actions always welcome him to stay with us. This doesn’t not mean that God has left us. It just means that the Holy Ghost can not be there to warn us and that we need to do everything we can to keep the Holy Ghost with us.
Then I explained to him what pornography was. I taught him what it can look like and how it could make him feel. Scared, confused, excited, nervous. I taught him that this feeling is addictive. It releases endorphins into our blood stream and makes us crave that feeling over and over again.
This is why pornography is addictive, its a natural “drug” that floods our body. Don’t believe me? Read this article: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3050060/
I told him that we need to make sure that our actions and the things we are doing will invite the spirit to stay with us. If we do things that are offensive to the spirit, it will have to leave us, leaving us vulnerable to the enticings of Satan.
Satan loves to make women seem like objects. He wants us to look at them like they are there to please us. When thoughts like this enter our heads, we are degrading women and inviting bad thoughts into our heads. I taught him to have empathy for those that are involved in pornography.
The participants, the film makers the photographers… what if they could see the real value of the human body. What if they knew what we knew… that our bodies are a gift from God and should be treated as Temples? What if that is someones mom, sister, aunt? What a horrible life to live. They were tempted by the money that this type of work provides. They are greedy.
Each child is unique, each child will need a different kind of discussion. What I said to my son might not be what you want to say to your child. So I have compiled a list of some great resources you will want to read. If you are preparing to talk to your child about this delicate topic, I think the best thing you can do is pray about it.
Ask to be guided to the articles that will help you the most. Ask to know what to say when the time comes. I promise that what comes out of your mouth will be what your child needs to hear.
Here are some great resources I have found that have helped me talk to my children about these topics:
- Teaching about procreation and chastity
- Teaching children about sexuality and pornography prevention
- A forum about this topic
- How do I teach my children about the dangers of pornography?
- Talking to your children about pornography
These books I found from Amazon are amazing Especially the Good Pictures, Bad Pictures one. It teaches kids how to train their brains to understand that what they are looking at is not right.
Now on to internet safety. Download this cute poster reminding your kids about how to stay safe on the internet. Print it and post it on the side of the monitor as to be seen often.
Here are a few resources that might help you with internet safety:
- FBI Kids Safety has articles and games for the kids to play!
- K9 Web protection blocks questionable sites and it’s FREE!
- Open DNS- Parental Control: Parents can control web access across every device!!
Be sure to check out how to set parental controls on
Now remember, that even with all the internet and device safety set up, our children will find a way to get where they want to go. At a friends house, a library, a different device you didn’t know about…everything connects to the internet now days! SO if you don’t talk to your kids, you will NOT protect them. They need to hear it from YOU.
I’d love to hear your ideas! Leave them in the comment section below!
This is an interview with Ted Bundy. The serial killer that was executed for murdering several women and girls. See what he has to say about pornography. If it seems right to you, you could share this with an older child.
**Let me be clear… I am not saying that you will become a serial killer if you look at porn. I just think there are oblivious people out there that don’t think it’s addictive. I can’t even count how many people I know who’s marriage and lives have been ruined because of it. I just think this interview is interesting how he explains the addiction. You can see that obviously he viewed women as objects.**