One often-employed parenting tactic to protect children from pornography is to insulate them and cocoon them. With the climate of today’s sexualized society coupled with the prevalence of technology, this tactic is a tactic to fail.
Filters and monitoring are important, but the ultimate protection we can give our children is the protection that goes everywhere with them, the protection of their own choices. We empower a child to choose wisely when we council with them and teach them correct skills based upon correct information.
Paul instructs us in Ephesians 6:11 that we must “Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.” I love how this scripture doesn’t say hide from evil. It says to put on the whole armour of God to be strong enough to stand against it.
To help a child put on the “Whole armour,” or to empower them to make wise choices in regards to pornography, I strongly encourage parents to council together as a family and to find and use great teaching resources.
Recently, I had a conversation with a life long friend who has nine children. She was feeling frustrated with the media her teenagers were viewing and listening to in their home.
She was disgusted with the sexual movie scenes and sexualized music lyrics. On top of that, she felt like she and her husband were not on the same page with how it should all be handled.
Between the two of us, we concluded that they needed a family council: A meeting where everyone in her family would come together and discuss what would be their home’s standard for media.
After their family council they now have a family standard with agreed-upon guidelines of what is and isn’t appropriate and a plan with what to do when something comes on a screen that does not fit the family standard.
By counseling together, they have all become empowered. Her teens uphold the standard because they helped decide the standard. She and her husband are now on the same page, and contention is now abated around media choices. Family councils are a great tool to empower our children!
Once a family standard is set, continue to teach the why and how to reinforce the standard. Find resources of all kinds. I have used a certain Youtube clip for a couple years as a basis for most of our family councils on pornography and media.
Every few months I show my children this clip. It explains in a kid friendly way what pornography is and how to navigate living in our culture where it is prevalent. After showing this clip we always have a conversation about it.
My 13-year-old came to me one day and said (despite filters) that some pornography had come up on a home screen. I matter of fact asked what she did about it. She said that she turned it off and came and told me. Success!!! Wahoo!
Try combining these two ideas by having a family council where you show this clip and discuss a family standard for media. It may seem simple, but if our children are taught, then they do. There is no hiding anymore on this topic. Empowering through teaching is how we put on the “Whole Armour.” Empowered self-choice is the best parenting tactic for protection against pornography!
Give it a try!