Continuing the Conversation Blog
How You Can Help Protect Your Son's Innocence By Talking About Pornography
Thursday, April 06, 2017
Your child’s innocence, it’s important to you. And if you’re like me, you want to protect it with everything you have.
Some of us remember the carefree days of childhood. We want that for our kids. And if we’re honest, there are moments in our lives when we’d all like to return to those days. Carefree. Untainted. Guiltless. Worry-free. Oh, where do I sign up? Sigh.
But far too many adults can’t remember carefree innocence.
“I love watching my daughter,” my friend, a survivor of sexual abuse said. “She’s so carefree. Innocent. I can’t remember ever feeling that way as a child.”
Carefree. Innocent. It’s the way childhood should be. And our movement exists to help you protect your child’s innocence—to help you give your sons and daughters a childhood filled with imagination and play.
So, what’s our best defense? It’s a good offense. But, to create a good offense, we need to know what our child’s opponent is?
Because ignorance is the enemy of innocence. Ignorance is deceptive. It insinuates, “What you don’t know can’t hurt you.” And in the case of sexual abuse—nothing could be further from the truth. (← tweet this)
So, if porn is what perpetrators often use in the grooming process to violate boys, your son needs to know what it is, what to look for.
But he doesn’t need to see the opponent to know he has one. Think of it this way, he doesn’t need to cross the street to know it’s dangerous. He doesn’t need to smoke weed to know it exists.
But we react differently to porn, don’t we? But why? Streets, drugs, and porn, they’re all dangerous. I know what my two opponents are, why I react differently...
My parents never talked about porn. They never said, “Hey kiddo, if anyone shows you pictures of naked people,” (We didn’t have video in my day.) “I want you to come right away and talk with me about it.” And in defense of my parents, normalizing difficult conversations wasn’t even touted as a good parenting strategy, back in the day.
But I did see porn. At a girlfriend’s house. In eighth grade. Old by today’s standards. (The average age a child is exposed to internet pornography is eleven.) Which leads to my second opponent...
It whispers to me, “If you tell your son that porn exists, he’s going to feel every emotion you felt when you saw it and his innocence will be gone.” Cue the maniacal laughter.
Shame, a one syllable word that can render me incapacitated and mute. And it can keep me from protecting the ones I hold most dear. My children. (← tweet this)
But here’s something I continue to learn as a parent --
My kids, our kids don’t carry our shame. Repeat this with me: Our kids don’t carry our shame. Freeing, isn’t it?
I’ve resisted writing this blog post. I’d rather think about other things, write about other things. You’d rather read about other things. I get it.
But I also know that you’re like me. You want to protect your child’s innocence. You want your son to be free to swing on the swings, fly jet planes, or whatever else he can imagine. Carefree. Innocent.
Prevention begins with knowledge of the issues and understanding our opponents (← tweet this).
What’s your opponent?
What keeps you from talking with your son about pornography and sexual abuse?
Next week on our blog... How do we begin difficult conversations? Normalize them?
3 Ways to Get the Conversation Started with Your Sons. Sign up now. You won’t want to miss it!
Carolyn Byers Ruch is the founder of Rise and Shine Movement and author of the children’s books, Ana’s Song (formerly 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.
Would your child keep a
secret from you?
Get our FREE video:
What If? Conversation Starters
or never miss a post!
We're moms, just like you, who want to help parents protect their kids from childhood sexual abuse.
You may also like...
Processing the Larry Nassar Childhood Sexual Abuse Case
Thursday, January 25, 2018
Confident Parenting In A "Me, Too" World
Wednesday, January 24, 2018
Are You and Your Children Free To Be?
Tuesday, January 23, 2018
Three Questions Matt Lauer Should Ask His Children
Wednesday, December 13, 2017
When You Catch Your Child “Playing Doctor”
Wednesday, October 25, 2017
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
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
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
Why Should I Talk To My Kids About Porn?
Friday, January 22, 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