Families, communities, and nations are strengthened when parents humbly and prayerfully teach their children about the “sacred and human nature of sex, bodies, and procreation.” Most parents and children find the transition period between childhood and adulthood to be challenging. Loving parents want to keep their children safe while at the same time prepare them to go out into the world. Just as most parents do not allow their children to go wandering around in a strange place by themselves, parents must also teach their children about the dangers of pornography and how to have loving and respectful intimate relationships in marriage.
N. Beth Cavanaugh posted a very helpful and interesting article that should help many parents deal with the growing interest of their child in their physical body and sexual activities. It is titled “The Perfect Thing My Husband Did When He Discovered Pornography on Our Child’s Device.” She discusses how her husband found evidence of interest on their son’s electronic device and how the father, mother, and son handled the situation.
Cavanaugh lists the steps her husband took in dealing with the problem of their 11-year-old son being interested in pornography. The steps are: (1) Take time to breathe. Do not re-act to the situation but wait until you are prepared to act properly. (2) Find any humor in the situation that you can and “laugh a little and pray a lot.”
(3) “Shun shame” because no parent wants their child to feel “unlovable or unworthy of redemption.” It also shuts down communication. (4) “Ask questions and listen.” Ask open-ended questions and actively listen to the answers.
(5) “Set boundaries and follow up with trust.” Agree to discuss the problem openly. Institute rules with accountability. Allow the child to have ownership in the rules and consequences. (6) Be sure that your child knows that your goal is to keep him/her happy and protected.
With pornography so readily available to our children and youth, parents must prepare themselves to act lovingly and prayerfully in teaching the dangers of sit to their children. I know that parents can help their children learn about sex in safe and responsible ways, keep their family relationships strong, and thus strengthen their families, communities, and nations.