They say when you teach you learn more than your students. And when it comes to porn-proofing kids, there is always more to learn! I’m excited to share three lessons I recently gleaned from parents.
Last week I joined my co-author, Dr. Gail Poyner, in teaching a series of four classes at the 93rd annual BYU Campus Education Week in Provo, Utah. This event draws thousands of adults and teens to attend nearly 1000 classes taught by 230 presenters.
With so many choices, would anyone come to our classes? (I mean, pornography is a tough topic and many people have either lost hope or are blissfully floating down Denial River.)
I could share what we taught at Education Week (see the end of this post), but I’d rather focus on what our attendees taught us! Here are three lessons we learned from parents who attended our classes. (Don’t miss the final message of HOPE!)
When a child becomes addicted to pornography, the shame, fear and pain that family members feel is powerful and intense. We were reminded of how wide the circle of victimization becomes as parents, grandparents and wives tearfully shared their stories with us before and after classes.
Our Takeaway: We gained fresh resolve to continue spreading the message and tools of PREVENTION. Anything a parent, grandparent or professional can do to prevent a child from becoming trapped in this addiction is worth every sacrifice.
Parents, please talk to kids early and often! Lose the shame! It’s an addiction that exploits an extremely strong and normal drive that we all have! Above all, DO NOT UNDERESTIMATE the pull of pornography.
#2. PORN, PRISON AND A LIFELONG FELONY
One mother told us of her son who had become involved in “adult” pornography as a teen, and then progressed into searching for “teen porn.” Unfortunately, pornography that involves minors is legally “child pornography” and is a felony. At the age of 18, this young man was convicted of using child pornography, imprisoned for five years, and must register as a sex offender for the rest of his life. Heartbreaking!
We only wish this were an isolated incident.
(If you want an idea of the scope of this problem, go to Google News—make sure it’s the NEWS search—and type in “child pornography.” Every day you’ll see a fresh list of stories of people convicted of this felony crime. Doctors, lawyers, school teachers, business owners, politicians, government workers, police officers…)
Our Takeaway: We feel a renewed determination to educate parents about the slippery slope of pornography and the devastating legal consequences when a child or an adult is convicted of viewing or downloading child pornography. This includes sexting! A minor who sends a nude picture of themselves is technically and legally involved in making child pornography. For advice from a criminologist, read this.
#3. THE CRAZY ENERGIZING POWER OF HOPE
As I have spoken to parents all over the country, many of them have told me, “I almost didn’t come to your presentation. I’m so discouraged about this problem!”
However, hope is contagious and energizing! Check out this hope-filled email we just received:
“I came to your classes last week on Pornography. I actually skipped the first day because I have felt so helpless with the pornography problems in the world and church. Day two I felt prompted again to go, and I am so thankful I did!
“This class was way different from any I have ever been to before. Every day I felt like I was gaining valuable tools to take home and teach to my family… I loved how you gave us specific plans that we could implement; I also LOVED how you explained the two brains. It was so simple and with your ice cream truck/crossing the street analogy it has totally clicked with me…
“I have to say I feel empowered and I feel hopeful and I know we can teach these kids to fight back! I am super excited!”
Our Takeaway: Discouragement leads to inaction, but practical, empowering information leads to HOPE! This amazing mom is using her enthusiasm to reach out and educate other parents and teens in her community. If you’d like to do the same, check out our free DIY Workshop Outline: Inoculating Our Children Against the Pandemic of Pornography.
What We Taught At Ed Week
- Class#1: 10 Ways to Immunize Kids Against the Pandemic of Pornography. Our WRAP Week webinar gives similar advice. Check it out here.
- Class #2: The Brain Science Behind Pornography Addiction. For more info on addiction, check out our PornProof Kids 101 posts here.
- Class #3: 10 Things Every Teen (and Parent) Needs to Know about Pornography Addiction. We love the info at Fight the New Drug.
- Class #4: How to Help Kids Recover for Exposure to Pornography: Tips from a Clinician. For recovery advice, check out this post or this post.
WE ADMIRE YOU and THANK YOU!!!
Thank you for caring enough to tackle this problem head on so your kids don’t have to battle it alone! We truly admire your courage!
One little favor…could you help us help others?
Will you share our blog with your friends and family? Every child deserves to be warned about the dangers of pornography. Every child deserves to have the tools to protect their brains from its grasp.
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The Amazon best-selling book Good Pictures Bad Pictures: Porn-Proofing Today’s Young Kids includes an easy to remember CAN DO Plan™ for kids to use when they see pornography. Subscribe to our PornProof Kids blog and get this free printable poster to reinforce the skills your kids need to reject pornography!