Continuing the Conversation Blog

Why Should I Talk To My Kids About Porn? Friday, January 22, 2016

 

“When should I read your book to my son? He’s eight,” the mama asked. Then she leaned in, “You know, the part about the pornography?”

It was and is a good question, from a wise and concerned mama, and one that I expected when I wrote Bobby Gilliam, Brave and Strong. I’m glad she asked. I understood her fear.

Will telling my child that pornography exists take away his innocence?

I didn’t plan to introduce the concept of pornography in Bobby Gilliam, but my understanding of sexual abuse demanded it. I couldn’t ignore the voices of so many male survivors who shared that their perpetrators used pornography (visual sexual abuse) to groom them for physical sexual abuse.

I know the word pornography is loaded. And for most adults, it conjures up all sorts of memories and images in our minds. We’ve lived many years. We’ve seen many images. We are jaded. Our children aren’t.

Yet.

But they will be. One day the images they see and their hormones will collide. And that’s hard for a mama or daddy to think about. We want to believe that sweet baby of ours will never be curious, never see porn, and for heaven sakes, never, ever lust. Right?

Wrong.

If our children have eyes, a brain, live in our culture, and have pituitary glands, our illusions of Neverland are just that--illusions.

I know this because I lived there once. I was going to make sure my kids didn’t see the stuff, want to see the stuff, and lust, oh my, that surely wouldn’t happen until they were adults.

I was wrong. And my husband and I had to decide if we were going to let them navigate the road of inappropriate images alone or with support. Knowing isolation breeds shame, we chose to leave Neverland behind. We knew we had to build a bridge of communication with them regarding pornography, as well as sexual abuse.

That was over twenty years ago.

Fast forward. 2016.

We have a new set of kids. Our older four (our Guinea pigs), now adults, are in their twenties. With more than a decade between our firstborn, in our first set of kids, and our firstborn, in our last set, times and technology have changed. And we’ve been given no choice but to step up our conversations and ignore the enticement of Neverland.

Because our children don’t have to look for inappropriate images or stumble upon them, it’s in their faces.

And we have to decide:

Are we going to wait until they see inappropriate images, or tell them that pornography exists?

Do we want them to know what they should do when they see it?

Do we want them to know they can talk to us about it?

Do we want to take the opportunity to instill our values, or leave them alone, or with another child, to discern what is healthy and what is not?  

Because Neverland doesn’t exist.

 

 

I can’t tell you exactly when your child is ready for you to build the bridge of communication regarding sexual abuse and porn. I can tell you that the average age for molestation is seven and the average age a child sees inappropriate images is the last time you took them to the grocery store.

Knowledge and healthy communication do not destroy innocence. But sexual abuse and images left to be processed in secret and shame will. (click HERE to tweet this)

 

 

Learn more about our children’s book,

Bobby Gilliam, Brave and Strong:

A Tool for the Prevention of Childhood Sexual Abuse.

 

A video version of the story will be available to view for free

on our website this Fall 2016!

 

 


 

Carolyn Byers Ruch is the founder of Rise and Shine Movement and author of the children’s books, Ana’s Song (Rise And Shine) and Bobby Gilliam Brave and Strong, both tools for the prevention of childhood sexual abuse. She has spent the past ten years championing the issue of childhood sexual abuse and has received training certificates from some of the leading organizations dedicated to protecting children. A former teacher and mother of seven, her life has been enriched through adoption and foster care.

 

 


 

Share This Blog:

Would your child keep a
secret from you?

FIND OUT

Get our FREE video:
What If? Conversation Starters 
or never miss a post!

 

Contributors

We're moms, just like you, who want to help parents protect their kids from childhood sexual abuse.


You may also like...



Blush-free Family Movie Nights
Friday, July 14, 2017



How You Can Build a Relationship with Your Son by Talking about Porn
Thursday, April 27, 2017



The Day an Innocent Search Turned Up an Image My Son Can’t Erase: 5 Tips to Keep Your Kids Safe
Thursday, April 20, 2017



How to Speak about Porn and Strengthen Your Relationship with Your Child
Thursday, April 13, 2017



How You Can Help Protect Your Son's Innocence By Talking About Pornography
Thursday, April 06, 2017



Will Your Son Know What To Do When Someone Shows Him Porn?
Friday, March 31, 2017



Do Your Children Love Our Stories?
Wednesday, February 01, 2017



Why It’s Good for Your Child to Hurt: A Lesson from a Sexual Abuse Survivor
Saturday, January 07, 2017



A New Website, A New Video -- Our gifts to you!
Wednesday, December 07, 2016



Two Fearless Questions to Ask Your Child After a Playdate
Thursday, June 23, 2016



4 Things Perpetrators Don't Want Fathers to Know
Monday, June 13, 2016



April Awareness Month Wrap Up
Wednesday, May 11, 2016



Tip Four for Protecting Your Kids from Sexual Abuse (April 2016 Sexual Abuse Awareness Campaign)
Monday, April 25, 2016



Tip Three for Protecting Your Kids from Sexual Abuse (April 2016 Sexual Abuse Awareness Campaign)
Monday, April 18, 2016



Tip Two for Protecting Your Kids from Sexual Abuse (April 2016 Sexual Abuse Awareness Campaign)
Monday, April 11, 2016



Tip One for Protecting Your Kids from Sexual Abuse (April 2016 Sexual Abuse Awareness Campaign)
Monday, April 04, 2016



2016 Stuffed Animal Drive Underway!
Thursday, March 31, 2016



The Winner Is (Our Bobby Gilliam Book Giveaway)
Monday, February 01, 2016



It's a Bobby Gilliam Book Giveaway!
Monday, January 25, 2016



Prevention Strategies Around the Holidays
Tuesday, November 24, 2015



Your Best Defense Against Childhood Sexual Abuse
Friday, September 18, 2015



Could Josh Duggar Be Your Son? Four Things You Need to Know
Friday, May 22, 2015



Measuring Success for CSA Awareness
Thursday, May 21, 2015



Is Your Child's Summer Camp Safe? Three Questions You Should Ask
Tuesday, May 19, 2015



What If Question Four
Monday, April 27, 2015



Bear Drive Huge Success in 2014
Wednesday, April 22, 2015



What If Question Three
Monday, April 20, 2015



What If Question Two
Monday, April 13, 2015



Protecting Our Kids from Sexual Abuse
Thursday, April 09, 2015



What If Question One
Monday, April 06, 2015



What If Conversation Starters
Wednesday, April 01, 2015



How Moms Can Make A Difference
Wednesday, April 01, 2015



Children Don't Tell Because They Protect
Thursday, October 16, 2014



Children Don't Tell Because They Trust
Thursday, October 02, 2014



Children Don't Tell Because They Love
Monday, September 29, 2014



When a Story and a Calling Converge
Thursday, September 25, 2014