With information available at our fingertips, what can we be doing to protect our sons from pornography?
How to Protect Our Sons from Pornography
As a mom of all boys, one of the things I worry about most is how to protect my sons from the filth that is found online. The age of first exposure to pornography is getting younger and younger. This is not just a problem for boys, but the majority of individuals who become addicted to porn are male. I know that it is not a matter of if my boys see pornography, but when so I am trying my best to teach them what to do when they see it. There are many great resources available to help protect our sons from pornography.
The National Center on Sexual Exploitation shares these statistics:
- Pornography gives children unrealistic ideas about sex (often that violence is appropriate and women are to be subjugated) and the opposite gender, affecting their ability to develop healthy relationships. It becomes difficult to form intimate relationships beyond sexual arousal and pleasure.
- With over 90% of youth ages 12-18 using the Internet, the media has arguably become the leading sex educator in the U.S. today instead of parents and school education programs.
- Children exposed to pornography tend to engage in sexual acts at younger ages, resulting in increased STDs, unwanted pregnancy and many other emotional consequences.
- The average age of first Internet exposure to pornography is 11.
- 90% of 8-16 year olds have viewed porn online, most admit that it is while doing homework.
Viewing pornography can reprogram a child’s brain and the addiction that can result is harder to ovecome than drugs or alcohol. We have taught our boys that pornography is a drug you take with your eyes. It acts like a poison and lies to the brain about how people should treat one another in healthy, loving relationships. I’ve seen families and relationships destroyed by the changes that come over a person when they become addicted to pornography.
How Can I Protect My Family?
Set Family Rules
We have rules for our family that include all electronics being turned off at 7pm as well as no electronics in the bedrooms. We only use electronics in the main living room of our house and kitchen during homework. This is a good start, but definitely not enough.
Have an Internet Filter
There are many different Internet filters available that can help to sift out the filth found online.
Top rated Internet Filters for 2015 include
- HomeHalo App/Web Managed Router
- Family Cyber Alert
- McAfee Family Protection
- Norton Family Premier
Each of these programs offers different features that you may find helpful. Some can even filter the content on several devices at once.
But no amount of home filtering can guarantee us that our children will not come in contact with pornography. We can’t protect our children at every moment of the day and especially when they are away from home. So what can we teach our children to do when they see pornography?
Teach Children what to do when they see pornography
I love the picture book Good Pictures Bad Pictures: Porn-Proofing Today’s Young Kids. It is an easy-to-read story that introduces the dangers of pornography and gives kids a specific plan of action to use when they are exposed to it.
The main parts of the plan include:
- Close my eyes and turn away, and hit power button for computer or device. Do not try and close out the window.
- Tell an adult
- Give it a name. Say, “That is Pornography”
- Distract thoughts away from the bad images
- Order thinking brain to be in charge
Each part of this plan is described in the book in a way that children can understand.
Recently this book was used in the development of some of the concepts taught in the following video: “What Do I Do When I See Pornography.” This video was produced by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and targets a broad Christian audience.
The main message from the video is to teach children to:
For more resources and information on protecting our children from pornography or help with pornography addiction, visit these website:
What tips can you share that are helping to protect your kids from Pornography?
This post is a part of our series 31 Days of Tips for Raising Boys. Each day throughout the series we are discussing a different topic regarding raising boys. I’d love for you to follow along and share this series with other parents of boys who may need some support or just to hear that they aren’t alone in their journey of raising boys.
Check out our next post in the series: Top-Rated Books on How to Raise Boys
Find all of our posts in one place on our series home page: 31 Days of Tips for Raising Boys