Being a parent means a lot of different things in this day and age. We have so much more to think about and protect our children from than I think our parents had to worry about with us. When I was growing up, the basic concerns were: Are they doing their homework? Are they getting good grades? What about teen pregnancy? Drugs? Sure these were worries that kept a lot of parents up at night. And of course we all still have those same worries. But I feel like everything is now squared to the power of three.
As a mom in 2012, I now have to add addictions to the top of that list. There's addiction to cell phones, Xbox, Facebook, and on and on. But the one that is the most damaging is pornography. Moms need to know about this. We have to educate ourselves about it because it's not going away. According to recent statistics, it's not just hooking our sons. Girls are getting addicted to pornography at an alarming rate. Within a few years, the numbers will be the same for both genders.
The fact is pornography is here. It's been here and it's wreaking havoc. What do we do about it? One great website, Fight the New Drug, is a great resource for mothers wanting to learn more about how they can protect their children.
This is a great website. It doesn't preach to you. It's not awkward or embarrassing. It deals with the subject in a scientific but realistic way that is easy to understand. I had my kids sit down one evening a few weeks ago, and we went over the information on the site together. One of my kids said: "I've heard this a million times Mom. Seriously? Do we have to hear this again?" But after going over the information and playing the video, he was stunned. He didn't realize that pornography reacts in your brain the same way drugs do. My daughter was surprised at how a simple thing like viewing pornography statistically ruins lives. It was a real eye-opener.
There was a recent news segment on Nightline about Nathan Haug's story. He comes from an active and faithful Christian family. He's a Scout, a great student, etc. etc., and he was addicted to pornography. If it can happen to him and his family, it can happen to anyone.
Pornography is an epidemic. It can destroy the happiness and peace of the people we love the most. We have to educate ourselves and then educate our kids. Taking precautions is the first place to start. Here are some steps you can take to protect those you care about:
1.) Protect your computers and phones. K-9 is a free and effective filtering software. It has apps for Androids and iPhones. Cell phones are becoming one of the top ways to view pornography.
If you don't have a computer filter, then someone in your home might be watching pornography. Open DNS is almost fool-proof and it's free as well.
2.) The second step should be talking to your kids. If you have an open and trusting relationship with your kids, then it's easier to tell them about this danger. Don't be embarrassed. If you're embarrassed, then they'll be embarrassed. This is a crucial conversation that needs to happen in every home.
Do your homework and then do what moms do best: protect our kids.
Shannon grew up all across the United States but has finally found her home in Utah, where she lives with her four children and her husband, Matt. She enjoys the mountains, gardening, being with her family, and, of course, writing.