20 Resources to Educate and Equip Parents and Children About Pornography and Sex

On August 19, 2013, I posted an article titled Three Things You Don’t Know About Your Children and Sex.

The day I actually wrote the article was the day after my last camp speaking engagement back in July. I was on a bus and on the verge of tears with 80 junior high students sitting behind me, my laptop bouncing as we raced up bumpy Illinois highways. Very few times in my life has my heart been that heavy. As the students filed off the bus to find eagerly waiting parents back at their church, I stayed on board, hiding behind the tinted windows recalling stories and innocent eyes. My heart got heavier knowing the weight of what was unspoken while the talk bubbles of “hello-how-are-you-how-was-camp?” floated in the air.

Internet Cafe ???????
Now, my inbox is full. Over 300 comments sit: words of pain, hope, questions. Even confirmation.

Like this comment from a 15 year old girl:

As a 15 year old girl, I can’t thank you enough…I was introduced to the world of sex when I was 8, and have been frustrated ever since. It started off with masturbation every day, but eventually that wasn’t enough, and I experimented with my best friend (girl) one night last year. After that, my addiction rose to a whole new level…Every single one of my friends (all of whom have been raised in the church) have been introduced to sex early, and a good number of them have been battling pornography as I have. This really can’t continue any longer. I beg of you, parents, be vigilante with your children. As Christians, we can’t stand on the sidelines and let Satan and the rest of the world win. Don’t let them suffer as I have.

And these questions from parents:

When do I talk to my kids about this?

How much do I say?

What’s appropriate? 

I don’t want to cause them to be any more curious than they need to be.

What do I do? I’ve been struggling my entire adult life? 

As someone who is not a parent, you can imagine my sense of inadequacy in answering your questions, at least with wisdom of my own. I haven’t had to sit down with my own child, explain these things, and make decisions about technology (while dealing with my own past, my own questions, my own struggles.)

And to reiterate something I said yesterday, I believe to be the most important thing any of us can do, parent, child, bystander, we first must pray. We first must allow ourselves to be broken beyond our pretty surface smiles and casual, comfortable lives and we must expose our hearts to God, asking Him to stop this, to help us intervene, to give us courage and strength to fight and to show grace and not condemnation with ourselves and others.

*****

Please accept my feeble attempt to provide you with some helpful guidance from some research I did on the internet. If you have resources of your own, please leave links to them in the comments so that others can benefit. Allow this to be a place we can all share links, books, advice. I urge you to not keep what you know to yourself – go in the comments and help others. If you have a question, post it. Keep checking back, keep helping each other.

Books:

Click Here

 

From Focus on the Family:

In the Parenting/Sexuality and Parenting/Protecting Your Family areas of their website:

·        “Healthy Childhood Sexual Development

·        “Teaching Children Healthy Sexuality

·        “Talking About Sex and Puberty

·        “Prevent the Sexualization of Your Daughter

·        “When Children View Pornography

·        “Combatting Cultural Influences

 

Online Safety:

Tim and I personally use Covenant Eyes on both our iPhones and all of our computers. We don’t use the filtering option now, but when we have kids will probably investigate it.

XXXChurch.com has accountability software at both free and paid levels, as well as resources and support. They have a great “Ask the Expert” section that you can read through and learn how other parents are dealing with tough situations and ask your own question.

NetNanny has filtering, time, and monitoring software.

For women and girls struggling with pornography addiction, I recommend my friend Crystal’s ministry Whole Women Ministries. I met Crystal when she was in high school years ago and I was the first person she told and now she is reaching thousands of women with hope.

*****

I realize there are many, many other books and blogs and sermons and just good, old-fashioned advice that lives in our experience and the strings of the interwebs. So please, dive in. Educate yourself. Find what resources you think can work for you and your family. Talk to your spouse, parents, family, pastors, counselors. Ask each other. Help each other. Encourage each other.

With God’s help, we got this. I believe now more than ever that we can reshape our culture with our humility, our surrender, and our proactive (difficult!, awkward!, clumsy!, worth it!) communication with our children and other parents.

Tomorrow, I’ll be sharing my own story as the good Christian girl who found herself in a battle with pornography she never expected.

So for today…Pray. Learn. Fight.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive, off-topic, hateful or rude. Let's be grown ups here!

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9 thoughts on “20 Resources to Educate and Equip Parents and Children About Pornography and Sex

  1. Great resources, Anne. Some others I’ve found helpful – these resources are more specific to recovering from sexual abuse, I’ll post in the comments of your other post as well.

    Beyond Betrayal
    http://www.amazon.com/Beyond-Betrayal-Taking-Charge-Boyhood/dp/0471619108/ref=pd_sim_b_2

    Victims No Longer
    http://www.amazon.com/Victims-No-Longer-Classic-Recovering/dp/006053026X/ref=pd_bxgy_b_img_y

    Leaping Upon the Mountains
    http://www.amazon.com/Beyond-Betrayal-Taking-Charge-Boyhood/dp/0471619108/ref=pd_sim_b_2

    Beginning to Heal
    http://www.amazon.com/Beginning-Heal-Revised-Edition-Sexually/dp/0060564695/ref=pd_sim_b_9

  2. hey Anne
    Thank you so much for this. I really don’t think you have to be a parent to be able to be aware of some of the dangers and pitfalls and speak into them, especially as a fellow youth leader and camp speaker and one who has been broken by creating opportunities for people to share their darkest/deepest stuff and then seeing them actually do it and just see how much is hidden and needs to be brought to the light [and been shouted at for bringing stuff into the light as it got messy and things were more comfortable when it was hidden – tough, tough one!]

    a letter i found really helpful was this one by Magda who let me use some of it on my blog here [http://brettfish.wordpress.com/2013/03/19/a-letter-from-magda-pecsenye-to-her-sons-about-stopping-rape] which is specifically focused on ‘stopping rape’ but does address some of the questions you and some of the feedback people have been asking… i also do not have children but this feels like such an important question to face and the bigger question really is ‘Who do you want educating your children about sex?’

    i arrived home age 21 one day to find a ‘what every boy should know about sex’ book on the bed and while i understand the generation my parents come from [i am in my thirties] it still seems like a woefully insufficient hope on any level but the truth is that parents are scared of opening stuff they don’t need to [valid concern] and yet to allow sex to be a normal spoken about thing in a family where children feel free to ask ANYTHING feels like such a powerful piece…

    have really appreciated your posts these last few days – thank you so much for your vulnerability and great to see it flying far and wide
    love brett fish

  3. My experience has been that accountability only software is not enough. Software that actually blocks websites is needed.
    I used Cybersitter (http://cybersitter.com/) for many years. However, there is a free software application that works really well called K9 Web Protection (http://www.k9webprotection.com/). There are versions for Windows, MacOS, iPhone, iPod, iPad, and Android. I use this on ALL of my PCs at home. This software seems to work as well as any paid software out there.
    As Anne mentions, Net Nanny (http://www.netnanny.com/) is also very good software. I currently use this on my Android mobile phone.
    It is my personal belief that content filtering software should be installed on ALL PCs and mobile devices in a household. Accidental exposure to p0rn is very common, even to well meaning individuals who have no interest in it at all.

    Hope this helps.
    Blessings,
    Gary


    ……………………………………………………………………..
    Gary L. Millner
    Author and Speaker
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  4. Thank you for sharing this important information. I have the privilege of working for a non-profit organization which helps at-risk and rescued women from human trafficking. Pornography has a direct link to this issue (among other things) which leave women in a state of vulnerability. Dealing with this issue is one step toward protecting young girls from the manipulation of traffickers.

  5. This is totally self-promoting, but I think the little book Marko and I wrote for parents of teens about sexuality and dating is an awesome addition to the resources already listed! Short, accessible, and theological little handbook on teen sexuality.

    “A Parent’s Guide to Understanding Sex and Dating: Beyond the Birds and the Bees.” http://amzn.com/0764484656

  6. Thank you for caring and sharing. I prepared a handout (Purity Guide for Your Eyes
    Navigating Our Sexually Saturated World), for a talk I enjoy doing for moms regarding the importance of teaching your children about sex. I can’t figure out how to upload it so the links work. Maybe I can send it to you via email. I am also beginning a series on teaching your children about sex as we must speak up. Children hearts and minds depend on truth being shared.
    Kris Vallotton podcast Moral Revolution is insightful. It broke my heart when he said that some many of the children he was working with said, “nobody every told us.”
    Moral Revolution http://www.kvministries.com/podcast/2013/08/13/moral-revolution

  7. The PUBLIC LIBRARY has no filters and is not allowed to use them on PC’s. (Freedom of Speech) and therefore any child can accidentally sit next to someone or walk by someone watching porn on their server, and this attracts perps. There are no back rooms – the man or woman watching porn is in plain view. I know a child that got his first exposure to porn at the Public Library and continued in this addiction until it landed him in prison. A parent cannot just drop their child off at the Library any more. It is no longer safe.