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How To Talk To Kids About Porn

When a person views pornography, the brain dumps a large amount of dopamine which gives a high similar to cocaine or ecstasy. This type of high creates a craving. Even if it's the first time a person that's seen porn. 

We know that our children live in a world where porn is everywhere. So, what can we do to help them stay away from porn, recover from being exposed to porn because that craving is not going to go away? That's what this article is about. How to talk to kids about porn. And how to keep them safe in the meantime. 

When I was a little girl, there was this field behind my house and all kinds of fun things happened in that field. There were bike trails and forts that we made. Well one day, I and a couple of my friends were wandering through the field. And we found a dirty magazine that was in that field that had some bad pictures in it. 

We started looking at it. None of us had ever seen anything like it before. We knew it was not good to look at. It felt ugly and dirty. But for some reason, we wanted to still look. There was something about it that drew us in. We were interested in it. It was something we'd never seen or thought of before. Those pictures scarred my mind. 

I still know today if I close my eyes, I don't even want to think about them. But I know what those pictures were. They were ugly, I didn't want them. Yet, I did. That's called confusion. That is the type of confusion that pornography creates for the brain. In fact, if you ask young men who have viewed pornography, what type of relationship they want for their future, the majority of them will adamantly say, "I do not want anything like I have seen on pornography. 

I want a good healthy marriage. I want a woman who's easy to talk to. Who's real. Who's beautiful in the sense that she has a goodness about her." They don't want for their future lives for their future family any of the ugly that they've seen in pornography. Yet for some reason, even if they say that, they still might think about it, get drawn toward it, crave it. 

It's because of the dopamine dump. It's because of the craving that the brain has to find that excitement. Again, confusion. Don't forget that's pornography's main side effect. Confusion. When I started doing foster care for troubled teens who were all between the ages of 12 and 18, I knew for a fact that the majority of them would come from pasts that had sexual histories in them. 

I knew that many of them would be abused. Many of them would actually even have been possibly perpetrators on other children, other people. I want you to know that the most common type of perpetrating that happens to a child is by another child. 

Those types of sexual encounters are not reported as often to authorities so the data does not always reflect that. But it is definitely true I can tell you from being a foster parent who worked with many young people who were sexually abused which led them into the system, it almost always started the child on the child. Not usually with parents and stuff like that. 

That doesn't mean it can't happen. It just didn't usually. So, anyway, I knew that this type of presentation was going to come into my home. I had small children at the time when I was very beginning my foster care journey. My oldest child was 3 years old and then I also had a one-year-old child. So, these 2 children can easily be taken advantage of. 

There could also be conversations that happened in the home about the pasts of these children that I was bringing in that could possibly negatively influence my children. I had to be careful about that. My number 1 top priority was my own children and keeping them as safe as possible. 

So, what I decided to do was teach my children at a young age about their bodies and about themselves, and how to keep themselves safe? This is an important first step in helping a person stay safe from pornography. So, before your child, everything gets in a situation where they could view pornography, help them develop their sense of modesty that they oftentimes are already developing once they hit about 5 or 6 years old. They have just a normal sense of modesty anyway. 

But if you're smart, you'll help them develop that even more so that they know that those types of things are things that wouldn't be good to be looking at because that's seeing people without their clothes on which is not good. It's not the right thing to be seen, right? So anyway, I started teaching my children certain words. 

Now, with all of the things I teach in this article, I want you to use your own parent intuition. You've got to decide how much to say, what to say when to say. I don't get it to be the one that tells you how and when and what to talk about in these very sensitive conversations with your children. That is your job as a parent to receive intuition on that. But I am going to share with you some of the practices that I've done what I consider to be pretty much best practice with working with children who possibly have pornography addictions other sexual addictions including masturbation and so forth. 

Start when they're young, talk to them about their bodies and give them names that make sense, okay? So, people are really in favor of using anatomical names with little teeny children. Honestly, the vagina doesn't make sense. I remember one of my foster daughters who said to me, "Oh, you know, I actually am feeling like I have a bladder infection in my vagina." And I'm like, "Okay. That's not where we have a bladder infection." That does... She thought that the clitoris and the vagina were the same things. They're not. And so, people usually say penis, vagina. And they teach that to little children. And then everyone laughs when they say it. It doesn't sound like something little children should say. and people tell you to use anatomically correct words so that if a child has ever been abused, they can actually describe what happened to their body part. 

But the same result can happen if you teach your children to use the words private parts or special body parts. So, I told my children when they were little that they had special body parts that never were to be seen by anybody else except for mom when I was helping bath. Maybe a doctor. Of course, you give those types of understandings. 

But mostly, they just need a hard black and white line. So, talk to them gently with small words. When they're little, teach them what to do if someone ever wants to touch them or look at those things. That's going to prepare your children for success. I hope you realize that every conversation with your child grew about sexuality at all. 

Grooms your child for sexual behaviors in the future. Even when you talk to them about pornography, that grooms them for sexual behaviors in the future. That doesn't mean it grooms them to engage. It could groom them not to engage, to wait. But if you're not the one having the conversation at the very beginning and somebody else is then you're allowing somebody else or something else to do the grooming. 

Don't forget that. There are multiple different times that we want to be discussing porn with our children. So, one of those times is before there's ever any porn that's viewed. So, that you prepare the child to be successful and to not view the porn to not get sucked into that so that they don't have to experience that type of addiction which can be really debilitating. But the other time might be after they have seen something. 

So, what do you do if your child saw something? Well... And how do you even know? That's the other thing. Most parents think but I don't think they're seeing anything. I don't really know. You don't know how many parents have come to me and have said, "I had no idea. I thought everything was fine. But no. He was looking at this for a long time. I didn't know until he acted out on his sister." I know that's a scary story but it's a true story. 

There are many true stories like that that I've heard of that I've had to help families through. How do you know when somebody's viewing porn? That's important. Usually, they seem a little bit more disconnected relationship-wise. They oftentimes don't want to participate in family things. Maybe everybody's going somewhere and they're like, "No, I'd rather just stay home." They usually spend a lot of time alone. Maybe in a bathroom or on a device somewhere. 

It's important to catch those things as clues. If they're not connecting well with you, if they're not talking about with you, if you feel kind of darkness somehow and it could be that they're experiencing an addiction. Then you've got to talk to them. So, what we do is we have parent counseling sessions with our children. 

There are 5 different ways in the teaching self-government system that we teach our children. Of these 5 styles, the fifth style is parent counseling sessions. These are times where we have a special one-on-one meeting about one issue in particular. So, what I would do if I saw that there's a problem is I would say to my child, "You know what? I think we need to have a special talk. Or I think we need to have a parent counseling session." 

We might go for a drive or a walk or sit down on the porch and have a popsicle. And then we will talk about what I've noticed. I'll say, "You know, son, I have noticed that you are showing all of the symptoms of having a problem with pornography. 

How long have you been viewing pornography?" I hope you notice that I didn't say, "Have you been viewing pornography?" That type of question is too hard to answer because there's a conflict inside. That's like, "Oh, how do I tell them? Do I work through this? I don't want to do it." So instead, I say, "How long have you been viewing pornography?" Then they know I know. And so, they might say, "Well, for a few times I have or it's been for a few months." Then I'll say, "When was the first time you viewed pornography? What device do you usually use? Where are you when you get a craving for pornography?"

One of the important things about these discussions as I just ask a lot of questions and then I say, "It's okay. It's okay that you get to have this learning moment right now. It's tempting. It sucks every person in. There is hardly a person in the world today that will not be affected by pornography." And that's the truth. Girls, boys, men women grandparents. 

So many people get drawn into that world and disconnect from their real-world and their real goals. But you can tell your child whether son or daughter, "It's okay. I'm not judging you for this. I'm just going to help you through it. I'm going to make sure that we can successfully put this behind you. You have to want to though. 

Do you want to? Hopefully, they tell me, yes I do want to." And then we make a plan for their future. This plan includes making sure that we are keeping track of each other. So, this plan will include having checkups regularly. We have 3 different types of meetings in our family. We have family meetings couples meetings. And then individual mentor meetings. As part of my child's individual mentor meeting, we're going to talk about how they're doing with overcoming the impulse to view pornography. 

Now, another behavior comes with viewing pornography and that's masturbation. The 2 go hand-in-hand. So, of course, we're going to have to talk about masturbation as well and how to help them conquer that particular craving as well. So, each week as we meet together one-on-one, we say, "Hey how are things going?" And then we're going to probably take a look at like a calendar. Possibly they'll be marking off "Today was a good day. Today, I masturbated. 

Today, I saw something I shouldn't have. Today..." whatever. And then we're going to talk about okay on this day, it looks like you had a problem. Where were you? Did you have too much alone time? Do we need to make a plan or a goal for what we can do when that craving comes? Because the thing is children need certain skills. 

We teach our children 4 basic skills. 2 of those 4 basic skills are following instructions and accepting no answers. To conquer a habit like an addiction, you have to be able to give yourself a no answer and then give yourself an instruction to do something else. 

So, we've paved the way by teaching them how to follow instructions and accept no answers from us and from other things in life so then we help them learn though take those 2 skillsets and apply them to conquering this problem that they're having in their life that they don't want to have. 

Nobody wants to be in bondage. And that's what they are in when they have an addiction that is controlling their cravings, they're in bondage. Pornography is a vital lesson that we have to teach our children among many other lessons. Parents are the best teachers for this lesson. There is a close bond between education and between family relationships.

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