In honor of Cyber Safety Month, make a commitment to talk to your kids about the dangers of pornography. Seriously, you can start today!
You get it. You know you need to talk to your kid about the dangers of pornography. Every week you tell yourself that “this week” you will find the time. But time keeps slipping away! It’s so easy to get distracted with the everyday tasks of raising a child. How do you move from good intentions to actually making the time to talk to your child?
Here are two tips that have worked for me:
Tip #1: Plan it!
Make an appointment with your child and write it on your calendar. It seems easy to make dentist appointments, schedule doctor visits, and sign our kids up for after school activities. How often do we schedule parent/child check-up time? If you are the type of parent that lives by the structure of a calendar, you are likely to get to the things you plan and write down. So, pick a day and time and write “talk to Sam about pornography” on your weekly planner. Then do it! Here are some other great tips on finding one-on-one time with your kids.
Tip #2: Be spontaneous!
It’s okay to interrupt. Here’s the scenario: You’re doing dishes and your child is doing homework. You think of something you want to make sure she understands about how pornography affects the brain. Instead of waiting until she’s finished with her homework (or you’re finished cleaning up), you go to your daughter and say,
“I know you’re busy, but I have something I want to talk with you about that’s important, and I don’t want to forget. Would you mind taking a 10 minute break from what you’re doing so I can tell you about something I’ve learned recently?”
I’ve done this with my kids several times, and as long as I keep our discussions short, they’re willing to listen and talk to me about the dangers of pornography. I’ve done a lot of porn-proofing by interrupting my kids!
Keep it short! Make it frequent!
No matter which strategy you use, short, frequent discussions will help your child remember information much better than one long talk. Jeffrey J. Ford, a counselor specializing in pornography addiction, has this advice for parents:
“It is helpful to remember that our children will not learn everything at once, and we don’t need to cover everything at once either. Learning about sex and pornography is a process that takes time and requires safety in asking questions.”
In other words, the pressure for a perfect dialog at the perfect time is gone once we decide to talk with our children on a regular basis. We need to talk more and worry less about what to say and when to say it.
Bestselling author Steve Maraboli advised,
“Take action! An inch of movement will bring you closer to your goals than a mile of intention.”
Whether you schedule the time or talk spontaneously with your child or both, every discussion you have will help your child to know that the topic of pornography is not off limits and that you are a safe source of information.
And speaking of taking action…
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