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:


  1. I have to admit that I am glad and grateful my sons are grown. Seriously. It's such a hard problem to fight, and when my husband was bishop of a singles ward we became aware of that to a greater extent than ever before.

    You are doing good and important work, Michelle.


  2. I certainly feel that all f our lives are touched by pornography. It is alarming how prevalent and what easy access there is to this evil. Even unbidden pop-ups can come up on computers. I think it is vital to teach our children how to avoid it. I like your links and will send it to my children. Thanks Michelle this was an awesome article.

  3. Thanks, friends, for your thoughts and support. This is an important work. I really love it, if you can't tell. It seems odd to love working in a space that can be so depressing, but the reality is that I feel power when I focus on and see the positive things that can happen when people realize how much power we have within us to shed light on this topic and reframe it in ways away from fighting the porn industry and instead focusing on giving power to true principles that can help children reject the drugs that can harm them.