Thursday, January 30, 2014

How I have talked with my children about pornography -- and some of my favorite resources for parents

I recently wrote a post at the Women for Decency blog about how I have talked with -- and continue to talk with -- my children about pornography.

I just wanted to add a few points.

- I do not believe the primary focus in protecting and preparing children against pornography is good sex ed. YES, children need to hear and learn about sex, and they need to hear it from their parents, and that needs to be an ongoing conversation throughout the years that they are in our homes. BUT, pornography is a drug. It's soooo much easier to help kids understand the harms of porn by simply helping them understand that it can hurt their brains and bodies like drugs, alcohol, and smoking can. Telling young children that all they need to do is look forward to healthy sex someday (assuming they will get married, and some won't, especially some of our girls) will not help them say no to porn NOW. Help them say no! Help them know that they can talk to you about anything. (See the great links on the post for more resources that I think are so helpful.)

- It can be really easy to feel overwhelmed in today's world of over-sexualized everything. I think we can easily feel overwhelmed when we see the impact of pornography and the sexualization of our culture all around us. If you don't know someone personally affected by porn, you will, because they are all around you. It's hard to find good entertainment, etc. We know and see that. But parents, please don't doubt the power you have. If we all unite in believing in the impact our nurturing and teaching can do for the next generation, we can turn the tide on this thing by raising a generation who gets it. As we teach them, it can help us 'get it' even better, too.

How I taught my kids about pornography addiction

Some of the resources that I have found helpful:

Monday, January 27, 2014

A letter to my local legislators -- protecting marriage, protecting the voice of the people, protecting children from porn

It's the season of the legislative session in my state, and I wanted to voice a couple of things to my representatives. So I did. And I figure it's good to share my thoughts publicly, as well. I encourage you to take a minute to share what you would like your legislators to be focusing on in your state.

Here is the message I sent to the senator and house representative in my area.

"Good luck with the next couple of weeks, and thanks for all you do for the people of Utah and for our local community. 

"I know plenty of voices are going to be clamoring for your attention. I just wanted to add my voice in support of challenging Judge Shelby's action to overturn Amendment 3. I'm concerned about what has happened not only for the protection of marriage, but for the protection of the voice of the people.

"I also hear that there is a bill on the table from Senator Todd Weiler taking some steps to protect some children from pornography. [Last session a resolution was passed that recognized the detrimental physiological effects of pornography on the developing mind.] This is a topic I hope will continue to get more attention. I believe Utah could lead the way in our nation with creative, deliberate efforts to make the protection of children a collaborative priority of the public and private sectors. After the dust settles with this session, I would appreciate the opportunity to talk with you more about what the non-profit I am now working for is doing to facilitate and encourage [this and other kinds of] collaboration."

(p.s. What is my new job, you may ask? Or maybe you won't because you already know. But if you are stumbling on my blog for the first time, I work for Women for Decency. We are focused on bringing organizations and individuals together in collaborative, collective-impact efforts to help prepare and protect children against pornography.