Porn & Parenting: 6 Ways to Protect Your Child

*Today’s post is a guest post from Jessica at The Faith-Filled Home.  She has some great and practical suggestions for parents who want to do what they can to protect their children from pornography and other sexually explicit content. Happy reading!

Hello to all The Biblical Family readers! I am so happy to join Sarah in the topic that is all too often ignored in Christian circles. So let’s dive in!

How does pornography affect parenting? As a mom of boys, ages 3, 2 and one due March 2, this topic is on the forefront of my mind. The statistics are staggering. The following information is from citizenlink.com.

In the past decade, most research has focused on how the Internet has impacted youth exposure to pornography. According to a survey of more than 500 college students in 2006, 73 percent reported having seen pornography online prior to age 18, including 93 percent of boys. An article about this study in Cyberpsychology & Behavior reported that the mean age for first online exposure to pornography for boys is 14.3.

Exposure to Internet pornography among college-aged males

• 93.2% – before 18

• 4.2% – after 18

• 2.6% – never

If exposed before age 18, age at first exposure

• 8 – 0.6%

• 9 – 0.6

• 10 – 0.6

• 11 – 1.7

• 12 – 10.9

• 13 – 16.0

• 14 – 21.1

• 15 – 22.9

• 16 – 20.0

• 17 – 5.7
(numbers may not add up to 100% due to rounding)

I don’t know about you but 8 year olds looking at pornography makes me sick to my stomach! Studies like this let me know that I can’t wait till pre pubescent years to be protective of my sons eyes. It starts now! Our culture is obsessed with sex. It’s everywhere you look!

~Billboards down the highway

~Magazine covers and articles

~Poster/Ads at the Mall (think 8ft half naked lingerie models!)

~Movies

~TV shows

~The average woman walking down the street

So how do you safeguard your children? I am writing primarily from the perspective of boys since that’s what I have but much can be applies to girls as well.

1. Love your husband/wife

Give your child a model of Christ’s love through your love for your spouse. You made a covenant and young boys are watching how dad treats mom. They will notice if he gives lip service but then he himself retreats to a dark addiction. Boys are also watching mom honor or dishonor dad. Is she sweet, loving and nice to him like she is to her friends?

2. Teach truth from God’s word

Colossians 3:2-5 If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory. Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. 

Philippians 4:8 Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.

2 Timothy 2:22 So flee youthful passions and pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace, along with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart.

Gal.5:16-24, Rom.13:14, Titus 2:11-13, John 8:31-32 and James 4:7-10 

We need to teach our children that sexuality and life aren’t isolated ideas. They go together. We have to put to death not just sexual immorality but all sins. They need to understand that while humans may see sin in degrees of ‘evil,’ God sees all sin the same. All sin goes against God’s Word just the same and it all leads to the same consequence, separation from God. Talk to your children early about waiting for God’s best. Pray with and without them for their future spouse and their personal protection against temptations.

3. Be mindful of where and with whom your child is spending their time

As iron sharpens iron bad company corrupts morals.

We as parents are given stewardship over our children. This covers every aspect of their lives. I can remember when I was growing up that I didn’t spend the night just anywhere or go over to just anyone’s house. I didn’t learn until I was an adult that my parents did that in order to protect me. Here are some questions to ask yourself before your child spends time with a friend or goes out in general.

~ Does that friend have an older brother?

~ Does that family share the same values, principles and faith?

~Is that movie/show/song appropriate?

~Just because they are related to you doesn’t give them a free pass to watch your child.

I encourage you to sit with your spouse and decide what questions you will to determine where and with whom your child will be spending their time. You want to be prepared before it happens and not say “yes” on a whim.

4. Guard media time

Handing a young pre-pubescent boy a smartphone without parameters is just asking for trouble. It doesn’t matter how ‘good’ your child is, temptation is now at his fingertips. This can be avoided, whether you are dealing with movies, TV shows, computers, or tablets. Some simple things that I know my parents did and others have done is no computer in child’s room period and no TV with cable access in child’s room. Put basic parental filters on all devices, have screens face the room, use TVs that lock at a certain time of night, and look up movies before you release them to a theater. Hollywood has done a great job of distorting and desensitizing us to sex and foul language. I can’t think of a reason that a student should see a movie with a sex scene in it. You may be very un-popular with your child but it isn’t our job to be their friend.

5. Be open to having conversations about sex and pornography. 

Pornography may not be their sin struggle but nevertheless you want to always be the first to talk to them about their sexuality. I know that as kids get older they may not talk to parents as much. Especially as a mom of boys many of these important conversations will likely take place with my husband. That’s fine and healthy. What I can do is pray now for those conversations that are 5-10 years out.

6. Pray for a godly mentor for your child 

There is no replacement for a parent’s role in a child’s development when it comes to a healthy biblical view of sex, however a wonderful supplement is a mentor. Some one who is younger than mom and dad {usually} and closer to the adolescent’s age {usually} with a little bit more life experience. I am already praying for the mentors my boys will have in high school/college.

I have seen first hand the benefit of having a mentor in a teen’s life. My husband has been that person many times. Young men ages 15-21 have come to him with questions and issues that either those boys haven’t shared with mom and dad or have only shared with them in part. Moms have also told me how thankful they are that my husband takes the time to meet with their son and point him to truth. My husband isn’t saying anything much different than that mom or dad but that’s just it, he isn’t mom or dad. He is someone closer in age {he is 27} to them so he seems more relevant.

The biggest help for parents is devotion to prayer, open communication with your child, and community. We can’t keep our child from being tempted, but we can raise them in truth and lean on the promise that God’s word will not return void. We need other parents, those who are right there in the trenches with us, and those who have been there. done that, and lived to tell about it.

Jessica is a stay-at-home-mom to almost 3 boys, David age 3, Elliot age 2, and Micah due in early March 2013. She has been married to her highs school sweetheart Robert for almost 5 years. Jessica blogs over at The Faith-Filled Home where she talks about her faith, keeping her home, and life in general. In her “free” time she enjoys crafting, cooking, Pinterest-surfing, playing with her sons and dating her husband. Follow Jessica Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest! 

http://facebook.com/pages/The-Faith-Filled-Home/
http://twitter.com/FaithFilledHome

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One thought on “Porn & Parenting: 6 Ways to Protect Your Child

  1. Pingback: Real Marriage: The Porn Path | The Biblical Family

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