Talking to your kids?

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SeekingChange
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Talking to your kids?

Postby SeekingChange » Wed Mar 29, 2017 9:25 am

How do you, as a parent, talk to your kids and handle the exposure, or potential exposure, to porn?

Here is one mom's experience.

I know from personal experience that not all kids will respond as her son did, even though there has been intentional training. I have one who is so sensitive to others and doesn't want to hurt them or offend them, she doesn't speak out as much in the moment.

I have a son who WILL NOT ask questions, so if we waited for him to make the first move as a gauge to when he's ready for a talk, he'll never be talked to.

It's sad that this is a topic that we must discuss with our early grade schooled aged kids, and that it's not if they will be exposed to this, but when. The truth is too, we can try to do all the right things, and things will still happen. A random friend showing them something. An innocent internet search. Or, they learn ways to get around the filters and precautions set in place.

I am hoping and encouraging the parents here to be proactive. Not only have a plan in place to try to prevent, but also a plan in place on what you will do when your child is exposed, or sneered into this trap.

I would love to hear about others' experience in this area. When I first dealt with a son 2 years ago, there was very little experience and support on here for that. Just wondering if there's anything new happening.
God can change what people do, behavioral patterns that have been in play for decades. He can change what we do to cope, find comfort, survive conflict, to count. Rahab had done a same old thing for years...then she did something new.

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Paul B
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Re: Talking to your kids?

Postby Paul B » Wed Mar 29, 2017 1:50 pm

Our son made adulthood before every kid had a smart-phone, so I know it's even worse now than then. But even then we knew he would see porn - and far more than a couple of naked pictures.

The hard part is you want to discuss it before they see it, which is way before you want them to know such things exist. It feels almost wrong to discuss such a thing with an eight-year-old.

We talked as openly and honestly as we could. When he hit puberty we discussed the fact he would be curious and tempted. We also talked about it being wrong with God and harmful to his sex life when he got married.

As he got older he would from time to time come to me and ask me to pray for him because he had looked at something and didn't want to keep doing it. It was his way of confessing and being accountable. I never told him he was bad or shamed him, he already knew it was wrong.

I know from a discussion we had recently (He's 26 and married three years now) that his exposure was very small compared to most his age. He struggled, but for the most part, he won.
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Re: Talking to your kids?

Postby SeekingChange » Thu Mar 30, 2017 6:15 am

Thanks Paul. Hearing the statistics that come out, and reading and seeing the effects around us, is very disheartening. It seems like a lot of parents have the attitude of "not my kid".

Just heard this on the radio the other day: the average age for a kid to get a smart phone is 10 yrs, but they expect it to drop in age significantly soon. Why? Because parents are tired of sharing their phones so their kids can play games.

Our experience, a neighbor girl got a phone when she was 6. By 8, she was showing make out videos, with nudity, to my 11 yo, and to a kindergartner neighbor. All girls.
God can change what people do, behavioral patterns that have been in play for decades. He can change what we do to cope, find comfort, survive conflict, to count. Rahab had done a same old thing for years...then she did something new.

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Re: Talking to your kids?

Postby Paul B » Thu Mar 30, 2017 11:53 am

Which brings us to sexting. Kids are being arrested for showing images of their own bodies. So I guess we have to teach our kids to never, ever, take a picture of any sexual part of their body.

Sigh.
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Re: Talking to your kids?

Postby SeekingChange » Thu Mar 30, 2017 12:03 pm

We've had to have that talk because we had a teen in our church a few years back who was facing federal charges because things were sent over state lines, but they seem dismissive like "Mom and dad have no clue what they are talking about. They are making too big of a deal out of this." It's hard to work around that invincible attitude they have. That's when I started praying for God to be merciful, but to break them, so they can see their need for a Savior on a daily basis.
God can change what people do, behavioral patterns that have been in play for decades. He can change what we do to cope, find comfort, survive conflict, to count. Rahab had done a same old thing for years...then she did something new.

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Re: Talking to your kids?

Postby Paul B » Fri Mar 31, 2017 11:10 am

SeekingChange,It doesn't help that our laws are so twisted in this area. In most states, it's legal for two 16 year-olds to have sex. But if either takes a naked picture of the other that's a crime. I don't know the solution, but when the laws are crazy it's hard to get kids to understand or care.
Paul
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Re: Talking to your kids?

Postby MayDayGirl » Fri Mar 31, 2017 2:09 pm

Paul B wrote:Which brings us to sexting. Kids are being arrested for showing images of their own bodies. So I guess we have to teach our kids to never, ever, take a picture of any sexual part of their body.

Sigh.


What would be a reason for a kid to ever take a picture like that? With iCloud, etc. these photos are out there for all perpetuity.

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Re: Talking to your kids?

Postby SeekingChange » Fri Mar 31, 2017 2:15 pm

MDG, I am trying to understand, are you truly asking why a kid would take pictures of themselves and send them to someone?
God can change what people do, behavioral patterns that have been in play for decades. He can change what we do to cope, find comfort, survive conflict, to count. Rahab had done a same old thing for years...then she did something new.

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Re: Talking to your kids?

Postby MayDayGirl » Fri Mar 31, 2017 4:16 pm

No, I was asking Paul what would be an acceptable (good) reason for doing it. I didn't understand why he would imply that teaching kids to never, ever take a picture of a sexual body part was overkill (implied by his sigh)?

Maybe I'm reading his tone wrong, but I don't understand why two 16 year olds (or any unmarried age) taking naked photos of each other or themselves is not a very, very bad idea.

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Re: Talking to your kids?

Postby poetess » Fri Mar 31, 2017 5:36 pm

MDG, I think you are younger than some of us and grew up in a different time period. The idea that one would need to tell one's children that boggles the mind. Teenage sexting is so completely outside the box it's hard to comprehend having to tell someone "This is stupid" (like having to tell anyone "Don't text and drive--you might kill someone").
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Re: Talking to your kids?

Postby SeekingChange » Sat Apr 01, 2017 4:42 am

Thanks MDG, I took his "sigh" as the opposite, like it's a really sad thing that this is something we've come down to, one more thing we have to teach our kids about, that we shouldn't, just like it feels so wrong to have to teach a 6 or 8 year old about porn. That's why I was so confused, but you cleared it up.

Poetess, maybe I am confused on what you are saying as well. Do you really think teenagers automatically think, through the ramifications of their choices of following through with the lust of their flesh? If so, why do we teach them sex is for marriage, or as the world does about "safe sex" or not to do drugs? Shouldn't they know it's stupid to do because they could get pregnant or get an STD, or with drugs, get addicted, ruin their lives or even die?
God can change what people do, behavioral patterns that have been in play for decades. He can change what we do to cope, find comfort, survive conflict, to count. Rahab had done a same old thing for years...then she did something new.

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Re: Talking to your kids?

Postby poetess » Sat Apr 01, 2017 7:11 am

Do you really think teenagers automatically think, through the ramifications of their choices of following through with the lust of their flesh?


No. They "should," but we know that many times they don't. But such temptations weren't available when we were growing up, not even imagined. When you have a house phone attached to the wall (or plugged in by a jack) and cameras have film, you don't take a photo of your genitals, take the roll to Kmart and hope they develop every photo on it, and then mail the resulting photo to your boy/girlfriend. I'm sure some kids did, but it would be a tiny number, and Kmart would probably refuse to develop the photo in most cases. (Plus it probably wouldn't have been a clear photo anyway, since you wouldn't get a good view through the viewfinder when you took it and you wouldn't have known how good it was, and the detail wouldn't have been as sharp as today's digital cameras.) So we have something brand new and incomprehensible to "need" to warn our kids about--the idea that your kid can take a quick, foolish photo and with the same instrument she used to take the photo, send it to a guy you've never met.

It's also something I wouldn't have even thought of doing--girls are generally shy about showing their bodies--so from that aspect, too, it seems amazing to have to tell Christian kids that.

PS I also personally find it ridiculous when you can say, "For adults, this action is legal, but for a child it's a crime." We hold children to a higher standard of behavior than we hold adults? We have lots of areas in which we do this, but sexting is a good example.
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Re: Talking to your kids?

Postby SeekingChange » Sat Apr 01, 2017 7:48 am

Ok, I get it. New things, much easier access, and the fact it seems secret and "no one will ever know", makes the temptation to take the risk all the stronger.

My husband really freaks at the idea of what our chidren are walking into and what they will have at there fingertips. He only has to imagine how much worse he would have been if he had that same kind of scenario as an immature boy/teen/man.
God can change what people do, behavioral patterns that have been in play for decades. He can change what we do to cope, find comfort, survive conflict, to count. Rahab had done a same old thing for years...then she did something new.

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Re: Talking to your kids?

Postby SeekingChange » Sat Apr 01, 2017 11:20 am

Today I took the opportunity to talk to Son#1, my 18 year old. He just purchased his first smart phone and service. As I hinted above, my husband is having a very hard time with this, and we both have a reason for concern because this son does have a history. And with my sons job, he will have days where he's sitting in a tractor for 12-14 hours. Or he'll be in the middle of the country with no one around but elk and snakes. A lot of prime opportunity for temptation.

In our talk, I did not focus on porn, per se, but I shared with him that in his hand is a world of temptation, from looking at things he shouldn't, to choosing to disrespect those in his presence by focusing on the phone, to being tempted to be up late into the night chatting with a girl. I tried to stress that he needs to make choices now to be intentional on how to handle things and with boundaries.

My biggest point I wanted him to get, is that more than likely he will stumble, and when he does, not to hide it, but to confess it to God and others, to repent and then to walk in the grace and forgiveness that is his. I told him to get help as soon as he feels his foot slipping rather than waiting until he falls completely in the pit. I tried to make him see that it's easier (though not necessarily easy) to stay free, rather than to get bound into chains and then to try to free himself. I shared the where and the how to walk victoriously.

What I intended to be a quick word, turned into a 30 minute or so conversation. I pray that he remembers that dad and mom are a safe place to come when he needs help, whether he's just tempted or has fallen, and that we are on his side, who will fight this battle with him and walk beside him, come what may.
God can change what people do, behavioral patterns that have been in play for decades. He can change what we do to cope, find comfort, survive conflict, to count. Rahab had done a same old thing for years...then she did something new.

My Story

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Paul B
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Re: Talking to your kids?

Postby Paul B » Sat Apr 01, 2017 11:36 am

MayDayGirl wrote:No, I was asking Paul what would be an acceptable (good) reason for doing it. I didn't understand why he would imply that teaching kids to never, ever take a picture of a sexual body part was overkill (implied by his sigh)?

Maybe I'm reading his tone wrong, but I don't understand why two 16-year-olds (or any unmarried age) taking naked photos of each other or themselves is not a very, very bad idea.

The sigh was for needing to discuss it. It absolutely does need to be brought up, but who wants to do that?

Yes, taking such pictures is a very bad idea. So is those same kids having sex. But one is legal and the other is not. Kids know they can have sex legally, so why would it be illegal to take pictures of it? I was just pointing out the bizarre mish-mash of conflicting laws makes it seem like a joke to kids, which makes it more difficult to get them to take it seriously.

As for a good reason, there's no good reason for plenty of what teens do because stupid and spontaneous are common at that age.
Paul
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Re: Talking to your kids?

Postby Paul B » Sat Apr 01, 2017 11:42 am

poetess wrote:It's also something I wouldn't have even thought of doing--girls are generally shy about showing their bodies--so from that aspect, too, it seems amazing to have to tell Christian kids that.

Part of what makes this so difficult is the difference in how boys and girls think. She thinks sending him a sex picture is giving him a very private gift, and she can't image he would show anyone else. But he sees it as a trophy and he shares it with friends, who share it with others, and pretty soon half the school has seen her "private gift".
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Re: Talking to your kids?

Postby MayDayGirl » Sat Apr 01, 2017 12:54 pm

Ok, thanks for clarifying, Paul. As always, it's sometimes difficult to read tone or intent online.

I think the time to talk about sexting and naked pics is the same time you talk about stranger danger and touching. Naked pictures of yourself or anyone else under the age of 18 is equal to kiddie porn. The sooner kids understand that, the better. Sadly, as they get older, we need to talk about sex trafficking, as well.


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