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Biblical Counseling Coalition: Grace & Truth

Porn-Free Home: 3 Proven Tactics for Proactive Parents

Porn-Free Home - 3 Proven Tactics for Proactive Parents

Paul Fishbein, founder of the trade magazine of the adult industry, says, “Porn doesn’t have a demographic—it goes across all demographics.” He’s right. Young and old, men and women, Christian and non-Christian—all types of people regularly view pornography.

Unfortunately, by the time our kids turn 18, more than 90% of boys and more than 60% of girls have seen pornography online. What can you do to reverse this trend in your home?

Tactic # 1: Be Involved with Technology

Parents can fall prey to one of two unhealthy mentalities when it comes to technology.

Some parents are inexperienced. They buy technology or let their children buy technology that they know very little about. These gadgets have free access to the Internet without any parental oversight. These parents simply don’t know how their kids are getting online—through iPods, game consoles, smartphones, tablets, not to mention laptops and desktop computers—and as a result, they wrongly assume everything is fine and do almost nothing to put proper protections in place.

Other parents are immersed. These parents know and use technology proficiently, but they are themselves absorbed in their online world. Unfortunately, this sets a precedent in the home, and it models for kids an “always plugged in” lifestyle. This sets children up for bad Internet habits, limiting their face-to-face relationships with parents and peers, and reinforcing an instant-gratification mindset.

Instead, parents should be involved. They should have a grasp of the technology in their home and know about the benefits and the potential dangers.

  • Inexperienced parents need to take a technology inventory of their homes and do the work of learning how to lock down, filter, and monitor all their devices. Can it be confusing? Yes. But your kids are worth it. (You can download this free guide to help: Protecting Your Family Online.)
  • Immersed parents need to take a personal inventory of their hearts when it comes to technology. They should think about how their own habits have led to an imbalanced use of the Internet in the home. They should set new personal guidelines for balancing online and offline life.

Tactic # 2: Be an Authoritative Parent

Parents can also find themselves ascribing to one of two unhealthy parenting styles.

Some parents are authoritarian. These parents believe strongly in the importance of molding the character of their children, but they do this primarily through high demands, more rules, and very little personal interaction and warmth. These parents might be effective when it comes to setting rules about sexualized media in the home, but they constantly exasperate their children and provoke them to resentment (Ephesians 6:4; Colossians 3:21).

Other parents are approving. These parents are permissive, believing the best way to shape a child’s character is through fewer rules and more familial love. These parents might be effective when it comes to communicating tenderness and compassion in the face of temptations online, but they neglect the importance of training through discipline (Proverbs 19:18; Hebrews 12:9-11).

Instead, parents should be authoritative. Biblical parenting is always a blend of compassion and correction, tenderness and training, enjoyment and engagement, love and law. Paul says in 1 Thessalonians 2:11-12 that godly parenting involves three key ingredients:

  • Exhortation: This means to summon your children to your side to admonish them, strengthening them with words of instruction.
  • Comfort: This means to console, calm, and encourage.
  • Charge: This is more than a command. This means to solemnly charge, implore and urge your children to live up to the high calling of the gospel.

When it comes to pornography, children need to know you are serious about your household rules around technology and sexual media, but children should also feel comfortable conversing with you about their online temptations because they know you will respond with compassion and acceptance.

As an important side note: It should go without saying that if you create rules about the Internet in the home, you should monitor your devices and hold your kids accountable to those standards.

The following diagram provides a map for any parent when it comes to creating a porn-free home. Where do you fall on the grid? What do you need to do to move towards the center?

Gilkerson - Technology Parenting Styles

Tactic # 3: Be the Source About Godly Sexuality

Ideally, children need to grow up in a home where parents are the primary source of information about godly sexuality. If parents do not speak early and often, the world is more than happy to fill the void.

Use tools that help you teach your kids:

Whether your child has been exposed to porn or not, the allure of pornography is not just that it promises to satisfy adolescent curiosities about sex, but that it promises a fantasy experience.

Porn promises the illusion of respect; it promises fantasy of risk-free intimacy; it promises a pleasurable refuge and escape; it promises reward for our boring lives and underappreciated egos. Knowing some of these false promises of porn helps parents to know how celebrate the gospel in the presence of their kids in a way that shows them that God is better than porn.

Join the Conversation

What do you think? What are necessary steps parents should take to protect their home from porn and prepare the hearts of their kids for our sexualized world?

This entry was posted in Parenting, People in Need of Care, People Who Offer Care, People Who Train Caregivers, Pornography, Sexual Purity and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.
 
  • hanne

    Why is it necessary to “prepare the hearts of… kids for our sexualized world”?

    What about making sexism unacceptable, teaching one’s children to treat person as ends rather than means, and treating truly loving sexuality as beautiful?

    • LukeGilkerson

      I don’t think it’s an either-or. Absolutely, we should teach children the truth about sexuality, gender, and not treating others as objects. This is part of good sex education. But just because I teach my children this doesn’t mean they will enter a world as an adult that has received the same training.

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