How a Children’s Book about Pornography Became an Amazon #1 Best Seller

Happy birthday 5

by Kristen A. Jenson

Good Pictures Bad Pictures is one year old! And still an Amazon #1 Best Seller! To celebrate we’d like to offer you a gift—see the 50% off coupon code below!

New look

Good Pictures Bad Pictures has a brand new look. Yay! Same empowering story told with a beautiful new cover and interior design. We think you’ll love it.

A Year of Milestones

What a year! We started out 2014 with a manuscript that had been rejected by mainstream publishers and a burning desire (did I just write that?) to help parents become more comfortable talking to their kids about pornography. After three long years of writing, testing, re-writing, editing and illustrating, we were finally ready to launch, and so we turned to self-publishing and made the March 22nd Utah Coalition Against Pornography (UCAP) conference our deadline!

The three months leading up to UCAP were a blur of late hours, working every weekend, anxiety and a few tears. (OK, more than a few tears!)

I finally got the proof in the mail and immediately ordered 200 books, paying extra to have it expedited. In a nail-biting finale, the second half of our book order arrived at 6:00 pm the night before the conference!

As soon as Good Pictures Bad Pictures was for sale on Amazon.com, we asked our friends and friends of friends to order it and post reviews. The response was overwhelming! And it just keeps on going!

So here’s our year in review…one of the most amazing years of my life.

GPBP birthday cupcakeAmazon #1 Best Seller. Shortly after we launched our book on Amazon, Good Pictures Bad Pictures became and remained a #1 Best Seller! How? Word of mouth, (including social media word of mouth), bloggers, and amazing 5-star customer reviews. If you haven’t already, please consider posting a review! Best birthday gift you could give us!

601 Ranking on amazon

Launched at UCAP Conference. We sold out of books at our first anti-pornography conference. 200 books in four hours!UCAP 2014 GPBP 02Small

National Summit. We introduced our book at the national Coalition to End Sexual Exploitation summit in D.C. and received rave reviews—so many people excited to see this resource for families! Kristen at End Exploitation Summit 2014

Media Attention. Among many other media reviews and interviews, we were highlighted in a national newspaper and popular mommy blog and interviewed by a radio station in London and a TV news show. (See our In the Media page for a list and links.)

Recommended by Therapists. Professional mental health counselors who specialize in pornography addiction recovery use our book cassie kinganto help their clients and their clients’ children. Here’s one therapist’s blog review of Good Pictures Bad Pictures. She read our book to her 6-year old son and highly recommends it to her clients of all ages.

Twitter Party. We were invited to attend our first Twitter party on #OnlineSafety! Check out the highlights here! (And please follow us on Twitter if you don’t already.)

Endorsements from Experts

Our most important endorsements come from parents and grandparents. But it’s cool when experts and leaders in the anti-pornography movement express their support. Look what they’re saying!

Clay-Olsen-sq-201“As far as I’m concerned, reading and implementing Good Pictures Bad Pictures with your kids isn’t an option: it’s a necessity.” Clay Olsen, Founder and CEO of Fight the New Drug

MIM_pic_dawn3“I hear from hundreds of concerned moms and dads who want to help protect their children from sexual exploitation. Finally we have a strong resource to refer them to! Good Pictures Bad Pictures is a great tool for anyone who works closely with children!” Dawn Hawkins, Executive Director of the National Center on Sexual Exploitation

Don-Hilton-2014_rgb“Jenson and Poyner have given us a valuable and timely tool to teach the neuroscience of avoiding pornography addiction in a way kids can easily understand. Critical doors of communication will open as fathers and mothers read Good Pictures Bad Pictures with their children.” Donald L. Hilton Jr., MD, practicing neurosurgeon and clinical associate professor in the Department of Neurosurgery at the University of Texas, San Antonio

matt-fradd“Whether we like it or not, we need to talk to our kids in an age-appropriate way about the dangers of pornography. Good Pictures Bad Pictures is quite simply the best book available to help facilitate this conversation. Get it. Read it. Tell everyone you know about it.” Matt Fradd, Author, Speaker, Anti-porn Activist

Angela Page W4D

“The Can DO Plan teaches essential skills anyone can use to reject pornography!” Angela Page, President Women for Decency

vauna davis ucap“Good Pictures Bad Pictures is the practical, positive, and powerful tool families need. I whole-heartedly recommend reading this with your children regularly so they will develop self-control—the ultimate protection from pornography.” Vauna Davis, Executive Director of Utah Coalition Against Pornography

“I was thrilled to find Good Pictures Bad Pictures. As a parent, it makes opening that sensitive conversation as easy and loving as reading a book together. I love everything about it! It’s honest and open and calm and reassuring. What a beautiful way to empower and protect your child!” Deanna Lambson, mother of 6, teacher and founder of WhiteRibbonWeek.org

Our Awesome Graphic Designer

Evan MacDonaldGraphic designer Evan MacDonald attended a PornProof Kids 101 presentation given by our illustrator Debbie Fox and was so impressed with our mission, he wanted to help us take Good Pictures Bad Pictures to the next level.

With a lot of hard work and late hours (yes, Evan, I did notice the files that came through at 1:40 am), he did just that! Thanks, Evan!

50% Off Discount Code

If you’d like to purchase our newly revised Good Pictures Bad Pictures, use this Discount Code 5R7EGSB4 at our E-Store for 50% off. This offer is good through April 2, 2015 so click here and get a great deal on a game-changing book for kids!

You can also find it at Amazon.com, Barnesandnoble.com, Deseretbook.com and increasingly in fine bookstores everywhere.

THANK YOU for being part of PornProof Kids and celebrating with us!

3 Secrets to Raising Kids Who Persevere!

by Claudine Gallacher, MA

superhero boy child flying mid air above cloud levelIs there an easy way to increase your child’s perseverance, potential for success, or even intelligence level? According to decades of research by Stanford psychologist Dr. Carol S. Dweck, the answer is yes! How? By helping your kids adopt the right type of mindset.

Why is this important? For one, it helps kids learn that with practice, something that is hard or seemingly impossible to do today can become a skill tomorrow.

Copyrighted illustration from Good Pictures Bad Pictures

Copyrighted illustration from Good Pictures Bad Pictures

This is exactly what we teach in Good Pictures Bad Pictures—that though pornography may at first feel like the pull of a giant magnet, with practice and determination, its power can be overcome. A child who has failed at closing his eyes to porn can still become successful at looking away. A child who is pestered by pornographic memories can use a growth mindset (and the CAN DO Plan™!) to work at controlling her thoughts.

Fixed Mindset

Sombre futureMany of us grow up with what Dweck would call a “fixed mindset,” the idea that a person’s intelligence is an unchangeable part of who they are. People with a fixed mindset might see themselves as good at math, but not creative. Or, they may think of themselves as a writer, but not mechanical. People with this type of mindset see their strengths and weaknesses as a fixed part of their character.

In addition, those with a fixed mindset tend to focus on tasks they are good at, consistently proving their view of themselves to others. People with this mindset become easily discouraged when their performance does not line up with their self-beliefs. Or in other words, when they “fail.”

Growth Mindset

Ayla and her grammy make brownies.  The best part is eating th batter.In contrast, people with a “growth mindset” believe that through perseverance they can improve their abilities in any area. (This is also a key tenant of porn-proofing! Kids can improve at keeping their thinking brain in charge!) Rather than seeing themselves as inept at drawing, they might see art as hobby that they have not chosen to spend much time learning.

Growth mindset people have confidence that if they practice a new skill, in time, they will become better at it. (This doesn’t mean they think they will become the next Rembrandt; they just acknowledge that they have no idea what type of artist they may become if they try.)

Less likely to perceive mistakes as failure, those with a “growth mindset” are

  • more resilient,
  • work harder, and
  • find more joy in learning.

Ultimately, those with this type of mindset are able to achieve more than those who maintain a fixed mindset.

3 Secrets to a Growth Mindset

So what can parents do to help their kids take on a growth mindset?

Father Helping Son With Homework In Kitchen1. Praise effort rather than intelligence or results. When we praise children for “strategies, focus, effort, persistence, and improvement,” we help them recognize their own growth. On the other hand, when we tell kids they’re smart, we create an environment where they’re afraid of stretching because any type of “failure” would contradict their self-beliefs. To encourage a growth mindset, try statements like this:

  • “I was impressed with your determination during the basketball game today. Even though your team was behind, you never lost focus.”
  • “I admire your willingness to redo that math problem when you didn’t get the right answer the first time. It’s hard to start over, but I’m sure your perseverance will pay off.”
  • “The second draft of your essay includes so much more evidence than your first draft. I can tell you understand that writing is a process which takes time and practice.”

2. Model the growth mindset by sharing stories of your own growth experiences. Here’s one I’ve shared with my kids:

When I didn’t pass the driving test for my driver’s license because I backed into a telephone pole during parallel parking, I was painfully disappointed. I also felt guilty (I damaged my parent’s car) and embarrassed (I was worried about what my friends would think).

There was a part of me that wanted to give up trying to learn to drive altogether. I didn’t know if I could find the confidence to ever take the test again. I had to learn to shut off the voices in my head that said I should give up.

Then I realized I had learned some important lessons from my first attempt at the test and when I tried again, I succeeded. Years ago, I met someone who failed the test at least five times before passing. That person is my hero for not giving up!

Besides sharing your own stories, you can also teach your children about famous people who endured major setbacks before finding their niche at success.

thinking boy cropped3. Teach your children to reflect on their experiences in ways that encourage growth. How? Help your kids to ask questions like these:

  • What can I learn from this?
  • How can I do this better the next time?
  • How can I improve?

Redefining Failure

With these strategies, we essentially redefine the concept of failure for our kids.  We help them see that all people, including themselves, are a work in progress.

Each of us has the potential to learn, to improve, and to become someone different tomorrow than we are today.

When it comes to pornography, most of our kids will at some point wrestle with the decision to view it. To help them become porn-immune, It’s important that they learn that past mistakes or slips do not define their future.

When parents encourage a growth mindset, kids know they can become increasingly in control of their thoughts and behavior—not just in relation to porn, but in all areas of their lives.

Was this post helpful? Share it with your friends!

Subscribe to PornProof Kids and get this FREE Downloadable Poster

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The Amazon best-selling book Good Pictures Bad Pictures 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 needClick here to subscribe.

 Good Pictures Bad Pictures now available on Kindle.

If you’ve purchased a print copy from Amazon, you can get a Kindle version for only $0.99!

GPBP_Cover_3

Click on cover to purchase

 

Playing Offense Against Porn (to Protect Kids Online)

by Kristen A. Jenson

kids soccerWhich is better, offense or defense?

When you’re playing offense, you’re trying to move the ball down the field to score points. A team that is revved up and on the offense is more likely to win as long as they can also defend their goal line.

We need to help our kids win against porn!

Both offense and defense are needed to win, but in the game against porn, let’s play an offensive game in order to protect kids online.

Playing an Offensive Game against Porn

What does playing offense look like? It’s all about being proactive and deliberate. It means:

  • Not waiting until your child (hopefully) comes to you to report exposure to porn (which most kids won’t do unless you’ve asked them to);
  • Getting out in front of the problem and setting your child’s attitude and expectations before the porn industry does it for you;
  • Knowing the enemy and how predatory the porn industry is when it comes to hooking more kids;
  • Not (totally) relying on the defensive strategy of filters to keep kids safe;
  • Giving your kids a game plan for winning against pornography!

Don’t Leave it to the Porn “Professionals”

Educate Empower Kids recently released a new video. It portrays a mom who is uncomfortable answering an innocent question from her young son: “What is sex?” Instead, she turns off the TV news and sends him up to his room with his tablet.

Bad move.

Now who is he going to ask about sex? You guessed it! The Internet search engine.

After he types in the question, a team of four adults representing the porn industry appear and assure the mom that they’ll “take it from here.” Which is exactly what is happening to kids day in and day out.

If you don’t tell your kids about sex and it’s counterfeit, pornography, they’ll definitely learn it from the Internet porn  “professionals.”

Risks versus Benefits

dad son stairsAre there potential risks for bringing up the subject too soon?

I hear this question all the time and it’s a valid one. But maybe parents should consider early talks about pornography like an inoculation

Introducing your child to pornography in a safe and controlled way so that they can be prepared to defend themselves against it when they encounter the real thing.

Wouldn’t you prefer your child learn about pornography from you rather than from a peer (or a peer’s older sibling) with a mobile device?

Real Parents Choose to Play Offense

Many parents have become convinced that it’s better to be your child’s first introduction to what pornography is, rather than have to play catch up later when a child’s curiosity and attitudes have already led them into viewing porn.

  • A father, Nick, told me that his 9 year old daughter had done searches on their old iPhone that they let the kids to play with. He regretted that he and his wife had not been the first one to teach her about the purpose of sex–pornography had gotten to their daughter first.
  • A mom, Karen, said that she has become more proactive with her younger kids and wishes she had begun talking to her oldest son sooner about why and how to reject pornography.
  • Another father, Evan, is trying to help get the “porn-proofing” message out to other parents so that someday when his little girls grow up, they’ll find boys to marry who haven’t fallen prey to the porn industry.

Out of the Dark, Into the Light

Happy boy with lifted handsLet’s bring pornography out of the dark, where it has power, and into the light where our kids have power. Do we have another choice if we are going to protect our kids online?

Subscribe to PornProof Kids and get this FREE Downloadable Poster

Click on image to subscribe to blog.

Click on image to subscribe to blog.

The Amazon best-selling book Good Pictures Bad Pictures 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 needClick here to subscribe.

 Good Pictures Bad Pictures now available on Kindle.

If you’ve purchased a print copy from Amazon, you can get a Kindle version for only $0.99!

GPBP_Cover_3

Click on cover to purchase

 

Good News from Google: Increasing Internet Safety for Kids

by Kristen A. Jenson, M.A.

Thank you GoogleIn a world where 50 Shades of Grey inspires young men to act out sexual violence, let’s be grateful for the victories that increase Internet safety for kids. Parents, let’s all give a shout out to Google for these historic actions:

The new YouTube Kids App

YouTubeKidsFinally Google has come out with a safe way for your kids to watch their favorite shows on YouTube. The app is for both Android and iOS mobile devices and features a timer built-in to help manage screen time. Read more here.

Google’s new policy banning porn from public Blogger accounts.

Beginning March 23rd any Blogger blogs containing pornography will be made private so only the administrators and specific people invited to the site can see it. Read more here.

Thank you, Google!

UPDATE: Sad day. Just days after announcing this new policy, Google has reversed its decision about allowing Blogger blogs to publicly share pornography. Read more here.

Google changed their advertising policy, cutting out a lot of porn ads.

Last summer Google announced that they would no longer allow porn sites to use the Google Adwords program to advertise their services online. A big step in the right direction!

And here’s some more good news that Google had absolutely nothing to do with:

Brain MRIGround-breaking research. We need a lot more of it, but let’s celebrate what we have:

  • A Texas Tech study showed a positive ucorrelation between talking to kids about porn and less use of it as they become young adults.
  • A study done by German researchers which verified that porn addicts show evidence of brain shrinkage in their pre-frontal cortex. Brain shrinkage has been documented in people with substance addictions and in pedophiles, but this was the first study to show brain shrinkage in porn addicts. Why is this important? It continues to confirm that pornography can become a real addiction. (Something that is still disputed by some academics–but not by porn addicts and the therapists who treat them. They know it’s real.)

Want to help make more victories?

  • Sign the petition championed by Enough is Enough to take porn out of McDonald’s and Starbucks where it can be viewed using their free WiFi.
  • Check out the PornHarms Action Center for other simple actions you can take in seconds. Some actions are very positive, like thanking companies for making anti-porn policy changes. An easy way to speak up!
  • Share what you know with your friends and family. Hey, share this blog post and spread the good news! That’s a cool idea! (See the buttons below.)

 Subscribe to PornProof Kids and get this FREE Downloadable Poster

Click on image to subscribe to blog.

Click on image to subscribe to blog.

The Amazon best-selling book Good Pictures Bad Pictures 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 needClick here to subscribe.

Post a Customer Review on Amazon (and become our new BFF!)

If you purchased a copy of Good Pictures Bad Pictures (or read it anywhere), please post a customer review on Amazon! You’ll be helping even more families find this valuable resource! (Seriously, those reviews make a huge difference!) Scroll down to the bottom of the first page of reviews and click on the Write a Customer Review button. As of this morning, we’ve got 149 reviews, who will post the 150th? Thank you!

601 Ranking on amazon

Do Porn Talks Work? New Study Gives Hope to Parents

by Kristen A. Jenson

do porn talks workDo regular talks about pornography really make a difference?

Do you ever wonder if anything you say is really influencing your kids? Are they even listening? Turns out a new study shows that parents who talk to their kids about avoiding porn are making a difference! In fact, these talks also improve their kids’ self-esteem.

Study results are impressive

Here’s a quick run-down on the ground-breaking study which was done by Texas Tech University and will soon be published in the Journal of Children’s Media.

  • Children of parents who regularly talked about their dislike for pornography expressed more negative attitudes about pornography as college students.
  • These negative attitudes correlated to less porn use.
  • Kids who were caught looking at pornography and consequently received more porn talks also developed a greater degree of emotional resiliency. Specifically, they were less likely to report lowered self-esteem when they discovered that their romantic partner used pornography.

Researcher and author Eric Rasmussen doesn’t know exactly what is causing this increased emotional resiliency.

However, others note that it just makes sense. As reported in the Deseret News article The porn talk works: If parents dislike porn, kids will too, Washington State University associate professor Stacey Hust explains that parents who can talk to their teens about the hard topics enjoy a more open communication with them.

Hust explains that these adolescents benefit in more ways than one. They “tend to have stronger self-esteem and be higher critical thinkers and be…more aware of the media’s role in their life.”

mom and daughter blurredTalk early, talk often

I’ve always assured parents that talking to their kids about pornography will only increase the trust their kids have in them as well as increase their ability to talk openly. I mean, if you can talk with your kids about pornography, you can talk about anything!

One mom of four recently shared this great advice with me:

“It’s so important to get out in front of the game—to talk to your kids about pornography before they get exposed or interested. Otherwise, you will be playing catch up. With our first child, we figured we’d just wait for him to ask us questions. That was a mistake. Now we realize we need to be the ones being proactive and asking our kids questions about what they have seen online.”

 

It’s either you or them

iStock_000032640694SmallIt’s true. Either you can set your kids’ attitudes about pornography or you can let the media do it for you.

As quoted by Deseret News, Rasmussen reasons:

“Our kids are going to learn about sex and pornography from the media, whether their parents are involved or not. So if parents have any ounce of concern about how their kids approach media and pornography, this research shows that parents’ influence can be stronger than the media influence. Parents are in the best position to influence their kids’ media habits.”

I’m so excited that this research has come out! I hope many more studies will be done to show that talking early and talking often does make a difference.

Make a difference

If you want to make a difference in the lives of your friends and family, please share PornProof Kids with them!

Have you ever wondered if talking to your kids about pornography will prevent them from getting hooked? Does this study give you more assurance? Please leave us a comment–we enjoy reading them!

We’d love you to like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter @PornProofKids. Be sure to check out our Pinterest boards, too!

 Subscribe to PornProof Kids and get this FREE Downloadable Poster

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The Amazon best-selling Good Pictures Bad Pictures 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 needClick here to subscribe.

 

 

 

3 Things Your Kids Need to Know about Fifty Shades of Grey

by Kristen A. Jenson

50 shades of grey

Fifty Shades of Avoidance

I have a confession. I have never wanted to read the pornographic, record-breaking, best-selling book Fifty Shades of Grey.

Never. Even. Been. Curious. So I’m pretty sure that puts me in some kind of weird minority. (And yet, on most days I still manage to be happy. How strange.)

But today I am weary of the hype, the promotions and the products (thank you, Target!). As many of you know, the movie Fifty Shades of Grey is being unleashed this weekend—just in time for Valentines’ Day. Oh the irony!

Here’s the plot

50ShadesOfGrey_DSM-says-BDSM-is-mental-disorderBillionaire Christian Grey seduces naïve and virginal Anastasia Steele; stalking her and manipulating her until she accepts his sexual fantasies, which include bondage and inflicting pain (BDSM).

Sounds like true love to me!

The movie glamorizes what I can only call a sexually abusive relationship. But how this fantasy plays out in the real world is very different, as author and expert Dr. Gail Dines points out:

The most likely real-world ending of Fifty Shades of Grey is fifty shades of black and blue. The awful truth in the real world is that women who partner with a Christian Grey often end up hightailing it to a battered women’s shelter with traumatized kids in tow. The less fortunate end up in graveyards.”

I’ve done work for a domestic violence non-profit, and I can tell you this is true.

One outraged mom asked:

50ShadesOfGrey_600x_AnastasiaSteele_2“Do we want our daughters to believe submission to any perversion should not only be tolerated but celebrated? Even more dangerous, do we want our sons to believe women are objects to be used, abused and manipulated for their every whim?”

Definitely not.

What 3 things do your kids need to know about this movie?

Recently I spoke to Karen, a mom who has talked with her three children ages 11, 14 and 16 about Fifty Shades of Grey. What did she share with her kids? Three simple but powerful messages:

1. Do what I do. “I’m not going to see this movie because I don’t vote for entertainment that goes against my values.” (This is called modeling. Talk with your kids about your values and why you believe in them. Your example is more powerful than you think.)

50ShadesOfGrey_600x_truelove_22. Get savvy about media messages. “The main character acts just like a sexual predator. He looks for a young woman who is an easy target, and then he manipulates and grooms her to use and abuse for his own selfish purposes.” (This helps kids cut through the hype and see what the main character is really all about. It’s so important for kids to become media savvy—peeling away the glitz and pyrotechnics to analyze the values and messages portrayed by protagonists. By the way, Karen’s oldest son had heard that the book was about a woman who liked to be tied up during sex and the book showed guys how to do that. Wow! That’s completely opposite of the truth.)

3. Remember what creates true love. “The glamour of a super wealthy lifestyle is used in this movie to make what is twisted and demeaning appear acceptable and even desirable. It portrays sexual violence and calls it love. It’s not love; it’s the opposite of love.” (This helps kids understand sexual integrity. Define clearly how sex can be healthy and beautiful and your kids stand a chance of rejecting the poison peddled by popular culture. Check out this post on sexual integrity.)

What would this proactive mom of four tell her six-year old about the movie?

Karen says that she and her husband have spent a lot of time talking to their kids about showing respect for their own bodies as well as for the bodies of others.

“I would tell him that the movie teaches people to be disrespectful to each other and that showing disrespect can never make people feel happy or loved.”

Can porn-proofing help kids find true romance as adults?

GPBP_Cover_3

Click on cover to purchase

 

I think so! One evening I was signing books at a local bookstore. Another author was there signing copies of her (clean) romance novel. I grabbed a copy and set it at my table, explaining that for kids to grow up and experience true romance, they’ll need the messages of Good Pictures Bad Pictures. Turns out, porn-proofing and romance go hand in hand! (Read what one romance author thinks of Fifty Shades of Grey here.)

Ultimately we need to teach our kids that long-term romantic love is centered in the heart and the mind more than in the body. Because in the end, that’s where true love lives or dies.

What have you told your kids about Fifty Shades of Grey? What have they heard about the movie?

More resources

Because the issues mainstreamed by Fifty Shades of Grey are not going away anytime soon, here are a list of articles that will help parents prepare their kids to reject the 50+ lies about romance in Fifty Shades of Grey (and throughout popular culture).

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The Amazon best selling Good Pictures Bad Pictures 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 needClick here to subscribe.

Ditch the Dread! 5 Tips to Help Parents Start the Conversation about Porn

by Kristen A. Jenson

Making Conversations about Porn More Comfortable

5 Tips to Help Parents StartYou know it’s the right thing to do. You may even have a book to help you. You want to help your kids safely navigate the dangers of their digital world. But you just can’t bring yourself to start talking with them about (YIKES!) pornography.

Some parents are comfortable speaking right up about online safety and the brain dangers of porn. But others are not. It’s anxiety-producing! And easy to put off.

Recently I spoke to a mom who attended one of my PornProof Kids 101 presentations. She told me that she had already purchased our book Good Pictures Bad Pictures, but was hoping for a little “hand-holding” to help her get started.

So that’s what we’ll do today—a little hand-holding! Here are five tips, plus some bonus advice from a mom of four who overcame her fear to finally start the discussion.

Young dad and son5 Steps to Ditch the Dread

1. Remind yourself that the more you do something the easier it becomes. Think about all of your firsts: Your first day at a new school. That first week on the job. Your first time attending an exercise class (pretty scary for me!). All of these firsts get easier as you repeat them. I was sweating bullets when I did my first radio interview! But now that I’ve done a few, it’s easier. I’m not nearly as freaked out. (Just a little freaked out…)

It may take a big dose of courage the first time you talk to your kids about pornography. You might be nervous, but I promise you—it will get easier.

2. Try a role-play rehearsal. Sounds a little weird, but it works! If you’re uncomfortable talking with your kids, practice role-playing with your spouse, a close friend or family member. I do this before interviews and it really helps! The more you hear yourself say the words out loud, the more comfortable you become using them.

If you decide to purchase Good Pictures Bad Pictures, read it out loud to yourself or with your spouse/friend/family member. Rehearsing really works! Just ask any Broadway actor!

3. Focus on the why. Why do you want to warn them about pornography? Review these 21+ reasons to warn your kids about porn. Think about how pornography could impact your child’s future ability to form intimate relationships and enjoy a happy marriage.

Lila Spencer flowers(Did you know that a poll of family law attorneys revealed that 56% of all divorces in this country name a spouse’s porn addiction as a major factor in the break-up of the marriage? That is a mind-blowing number and no one is talking about it!!!)

4. Recruit your friends. Ask them! They may have some great ideas. And if they haven’t yet broached the subject with their own kids, you might give each other courage to get started!

I remember the time when my walking partner encouraged me to finally have a difficult conversation that I’d been putting off. (She was probably tired of hearing me obsess about it!) She gave me a pep talk and then challenged me to do it within that week. It worked! And she was right; afterwards I felt a lot better! (So there’s another idea–give yourself a week to do it and tell someone about your goal.)

Parents tell me how relieved they were to finally get this dark topic out into the light–like a burden had been lifted from their shoulders. I believe you’ll feel the same way!

5. Name it when you see it. Our cultural environment is littered with overtly sexualized and pornographic images, lyrics and words. So use them as natural conversation-starters! When you see or hear something, point it out and ask your kids what they think: “Why do you think advertisers use scantily dressed women in their ads? What kind of a reaction are they trying to get from you?”

GPBP_23SmlHelp your kids develop awareness by pointing out examples of sexualized media, “Hey, to me that looks like pornography!” Here’s the story of a 5-year old who did that in a grocery store; what happened afterwards was amazing!

cute-kidJeanette’s Words of Wisdom

I recently spoke with Jeanette, a concerned mom of four children ages 6 to 16, about overcoming the fear of talking with her kids about porn. Read her valuable insights:

“My parents never told us anything about sex or pornography, so when it came time to talk to my kids, I felt awkward. But I know a few people who are caught in a pornography addiction, and I DON’T want my kids to go through that. I guess it’s my fear motivates me to talk with them.

“My husband and I read Good Pictures Bad Pictures to our kids, and from time to time we take it out and review some of the concepts with them during our weekly family night. We probably bring it up about once a month.

“We also pray for help in knowing when and what we should discuss with them. My husband and I talk about this on a fairly regular basis.

“I check their phones intermittently (while they’re using them), and of course, no computers in bedrooms.

“In the end, I think the more casually I can bring it up, the less awkward it will be to talk about.”

Thanks, Jeanette! Do you have ideas to share that would help other parents? Leave us a comment!

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Check out this latest Amazon review of Good Pictures Bad Pictures by FranklinJJones:

“So clear and comfortable. Talks about porn in a way I wouldn’t have been able to on my own. Worth every penny. I can’t say enough about this book. Had a great conversation with my 9 year old while we read. While it is written for very young kids,… it would be informative and clear for any age!”

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