I like to keep things light on DaringYoungMom. It’s a place for silliness and positivity and jello. But, every once in a while, my desire to share something that will contribute to long-term happiness outweighs my desire to make you laugh.
So, let’s take a minute to talk about pornography. It’s truly the worst. I have too many friends and family members whose lives have been affected negatively by it to pretend it doesn’t exist. Guess what. I don’t know one person who has been affected positively by it. But that’s just anecdotal. Scientific research is showing more and more how exposure to and addiction to porn harms individuals, families, and our entire world.
You can read more on Fight the New Drug. It’s a fabulous website created by a non-profit organization dedicated to educating people about pornography with a science-based approach so individuals and families can make informed decisions about whether to let the new drug of pornography into their lives.
I choose not to, as much as I can possibly control it.
What I didn’t know was how to teach my kids about this topic in a way they could understand. However, I knew from my research that porn addiction often starts with young children, children too young to deal with the images they’re seeing (heck, I’m too young to deal with those images), children whose brains are still developing, hindered by an addiction as powerful as any illegal drug. With pornography, your brain creates its own drug and many scientists and health practitioners believe it’s as difficult to overcome as heroin addiction.
Here’s the good news. More and more groups from all backgrounds and moral/ideological traditions are springing up to fight the tide of this drug.
A friend recently pointed me towards a website specifically designed to help kids stay away from pornography before it becomes an addiction. The website points to a book to read with young children to help teach them practical tools to resist the pull of pornography.
We bought the book Good Pictures Bad Pictures and went over it with our kids on Monday night. It was amazing. Talking about porn causes me major anxiety but I was completely calm as Dan and I shared this information with our kids. It was serious but not stressful and it gave me a feeling of power that I could teach them concrete ways to deal with the images they will doubtless come across in their lives.
Read more at the Fight the New Drug website. Fighting porn isn’t just for religious prudes anymore. It’s a global issue that crosses gender, race, religion, and political lines. It’s something that matters. Consider ordering and reading Good Pictures Bad Pictures with your kids. It’s a fight we can win, one educated, empowered person at a time.
For teens already struggling with porn addiction, visit Fortify.