This is an unfortunate event/statement that most, if not all parents (in today’s sexualized American culture) will make. The key is how we, as parents, respond to the issue of our children either being exposed to pornography or purposely viewing pornography. Below are some recommended points for us to follow when that day comes.
1. Control Your Anger
Being angry is ok, it’s what we do with that anger that defines us. Be angry at the pornography, not your child. Statistics show that 93% of boys and 62% of girls will be exposed to pornography before the age of 18. It is not a question of “if” your child will be exposed to porn, but “when” your child is exposed to porn.
2. Go after their Heart, not their Behavior
Try to get to the root of the issue, your child’s heart. Don’t condemn their behavior, but try to help them figure out why they looked at pornography in the first place. Have compassion on your child and understand that our culture is so sexualized that it is nearly impossible to shield them from pornography.
3. Keep a Discussion Going about Sex
What a better way to start discussing sex and true intimacy than to have the door slammed open with discovery of your child’s viewing of pornography. This may not be the preferred method, but God can use this to open that “sex talk” door that many parents dread. Keep openly discussing healthy sexuality with your child. Hopefully, with trust and time, they will come to you for advice, not their friends or the internet.
4. Examine Your Own Heart
Parents, you will not be able to teach your child about healthy sexuality if you yourself are not practicing what you preach! Fathers, God will not be able fully work through you to help your child if you are engaging in sexually immoral behavior. Also, God may use your child’s struggle with pornography to help you examine your own sexual behaviors. Use this time to come to Christ for forgiveness and live in His grace. We are not perfect, but let God work through us to help our children by keeping our own hearts pure.
5. Blocking the Doors
Take steps place restrictions on TV, Internet, Movies, etc… This may mean you are forced to install an “unwanted” filter on all of your computers and internet-ready devices. Don’t look at filters negatively and lie to yourself by saying “my child would never purposely look at pornography, or my spouse isn’t tempted to look at porn.” Be proactive! If filters have not been previously installed, then do so now.
6. Don’t Let Up nor Give Up
Don’t stop talking to your kids about healthy sexuality and don’t give up on supervising your children after you think you’ve failed at protecting them from pornography. God can use what the enemy meant for evil for His good purpose. Use this opportunity to grow together and engage your children. Keep asking them questions on purity, check the filters, check the websites, phones, etc… Don’t think the battle is over because you had one talk about the subject.
The above points were taken from the PDF file linked below from the Center for Parent/Youth Understanding (CPYU). Please take the time to read the entire PDF as it has a tremendous amount of information for you to use in engaging your children on the issues of pornography! Also, please visit www.cpyu.org for more information on today’s youth culture.
A copy of the above PDF can be found under the Castimonia resources tab.