3 Way To Help Porn Proof Your Kids

Thom DickFeatured, Parenting2 Comments

A few years ago a friend of mine told me how he and his wife had noticed that their 2nd grade son had been a little “off” at home. (Actually in the name of honesty, his wife noticed their son was off and he agreed when she informed him!) Although it took a little bit of gentle prodding their son suddenly exclaimed “A saw a picture of a girl without clothes on!” At this point, also in the name of honesty, dad took over while mom composed herself. It turns out that this precious boy had seen something while looking at The Guinness Book of World Records, while in class. It was likely not full nudity, but perhaps a picture of “The World’s Most Tattooed Woman” wearing very little to show her tattoos to the world.

What an interesting response from their son though. I know many kids who would have shrugged it right off and moved on with life, but not their little guy, this bothered him, and rightly so. Exposure to pornography, whether it is hard-core or soft-core, should stir our children’s conscience. So how to we help them in a world where if they don’t look for porn themselves, porn comes looking for them?

1. Jesus. Help them to know Jesus.

Ultimately, there isn’t any way for parents to protect their children from our hyper-sexualized culture. We can snip the cable cords. We can turn off WiFi. We can cover our house in copper wires to try to keep the signals from beaming in. (I’m not entirely sure this is scientific.) We can even move our family to the sticks, go off the grid, home school and create our own culture… but that will only be replacing one issue with another. The reality is that we can’t protect our kids from a predatorial culture. But we can introduce them to Jesus. We can help them have an authentic relationship with the One who is very much in control and will one day rule and reign on earth. Jesus is my friend, the Holy Spirit is my closet companion and my Heavenly Father is my protective daddy. This is literally the most important thing! Even if you live off the grid in the sticks, if you don’t introduce your kids to Jesus and teach them how to have an authentic relationship with Him, they will only find themselves in the pit of a different sin.

2. Talk to your children.

Ok mom’s and dad’s, its time to get a little rosy-cheeked and have that blessed conversation with our kids. Honestly, as a pastor I find it way easier to talk to other people’s kids about these sensitive issues than my own kids. So I get it, this isn’t exactly easy, and I can see why you dump your kids into my ministry hoping they will get educated there – and they will! But there is no substitute for a parent having a talk about purity with their children. I’ve written a number of times on the topic of speaking to our kids about sex, but we need to add talking to them about pornography as well! If you need a GREAT new resource, I would highly recommend Good Pictures, Bad Pictures by Kristen A. Jenson and Gail A. Poyner. (Click here to view at Amazon.ca.) Pastor Kris recently read it with his kids and strongly endorsed it on Facebook. It’s interesting, informative and kids will get it!

I can promise you one thing, if you don’t educate your kids on the topic, their friends will!

A couple of helpful link:

Where Do Babies Come From? Teaching Little Kids about Sex

Speaking With Your Kids About Sex: Middle School Version

Speaking With Your Kids About Sex

3. Monitor their internet usage.

I can’t believe how many parents still don’t know how to monitor their children’s devices. This is easy to do. There are tons of apps (paid and free) that give parents control over internet usage, in fact many, if not most, WiFi routers come with apps that allow you to set up parental controls or even a “kids” WiFi signal that has schedule times when it is active. That’s awesome! Tara and I have a much simpler way of controlling our kids usage, we don’t even turn on the internet. Half the time, we just say, “NO.” And our kids know that if they do have internet access that they use their devices in the living room and that mom and dad have 100% access to see their browsing history and we make a point of talking to them about any potentially dangerous sites.

It really isn’t that hard to monitor our kids internet usage, at least at home. Unfortunately I know of many, many kids who were exposed to porn via their friends’ devices and we simply can’t keep tabs on our kids plus their friends at all times, which is, again, why they need a vibrant relationship with Christ modeled for them at home. But don’t discount prayer either. We are fighting a spiritual battle far more than a cultural or even biological battle. I pray that our kids consciences will be very sensitive. I want them to feel disgust when confronted with the kind of garbage that is out there, and I want them to feel a sense of guilt and shame if they give in to temptation.

It seems that we have outlawed guilt, shame and disgust these days and that is too bad because guilt is to our spiritual selves what pain is to our physical bodies. When we begin to feel the pain of heat from the stove we know to withdraw our hands. That feeling of guilt that we start to feel when tempted should help us to close our eyes. It’s not bad for your kids to have an acute sense of right and wrong, and to even feel guilt and disgust over things that God has said we should feel guilt and disgust over! Our job as parents is to help them deal with these powerful emotions in a healthy way, not shut them down altogether!

Be proactive! Porn is a deadly force and there are many things that we can do to protect our kids!

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About the Author
Thom Dick

Thom Dick

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Thom is an Associate Pastor at Southland Church in Steinbach, Manitoba and has worked with children and youth for 17 years. He and his wife, Tara, have 5 kids; 4 boys, and a daughter. The kids are spread across 20 years too, so that gives him plenty of experimental material to write about! They have also welcomed 27 foster children into their home over the past number of years. He's on Instagram as @thomaswdick.

2 Comments on “3 Way To Help Porn Proof Your Kids”

    1. The Renewed Family

      You know, Sheryl, there aren’t tons of good iOS apps out there that work really well honestly (for iOS devices – Android devices have much better options). A couple that would be worth looking into are ‘Net Nanny,’ ‘Netsanity,’ and ‘Qustodio’ PLEASE let me know if you find something that works well. In our house we simply turn the wifi off our kids devices after they are done. And I check the history regularly. -Thom

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