Be Careful Little Eyes What You See

original-logos-2016-Apr-6009-570bf016c0995I do apologize for the lack of posting.  My husband and I celebrated our 20th wedding anniversary by taking our kids on a road trip to California.  Against our better judgement, we overnighted in Las Vegas but landed in the happiest place on earth…Disneyland.  Three days in Disney and a day in Universal Studios had our adrenaline rushing and walking over 35 miles!  Throw in a hiking day at Zion National Park on the way home and we logged in over 45 miles of walking.  We made some serious memories!

I haven’t been to Las Vegas in over 15 years so call me ignorant, naive, or just plain stupid, but we chose to walk our kids from our hotel, which was off the strip, down to the New York, New York casino so the kids could ride their roller coaster.  We prepped them ahead of time for the inebriated people we may encounter as well as homeless people on the sidewalk.  We even warned them about the strangers  flicking cards of women skantily dressed that we would be ignoring.   What I did not anticipate were the women wearing only stickers! (Yes you read that correctly.)  Thankfully, there was not very many of them, but when did clothing become optional?? While the replica of the Eiffel Tower was pretty cool and the Bellagio fountains, were entertaining, I nearly had throw up in my mouth when we passed the women wearing only 3 or 4 stickers placed strategically.  Quickly, we dashed into a mall with our kids to get off the strip.  I had a mixture of emotions.  Anger, that my kids were exposed.  Shame, that I had taken them there. Sadness, for the women in that lifestyle.  BUT, there was some silver lining.  My son, while in the mall, turned to me and said, “Mom, I don’t think this is a good place for a  little boy.  There is a lot of pornography here.”  I stopped, stooped down so that I could be eye to eye and said, “You are exactly right.  This is not the place for a little boy.  I am sorry that you had to see what you saw.  We will do our best to prevent it.  But you always listen to that still small voice inside of your heart that told you this was not the place for you. That was the Holy Spirit speaking.”   For  probably the first time in his life, he was confronted hard core with right and wrong. Clearly, his heart knew the difference.  I was thankful that he recognized what he saw and named it outloud.  I was greatful that I was with him and relieved when he walked closely with his Dad after that and avoided exposure.  You can’t protect your kids all the time, but you can train them what to do should they encounter pornography.  For starters, get comfortable saying the word yourself so that you can have a conversation with your kids about it.  Am I proud that we took our kids on the strip…No.  Not my best parenting moment. It wasn’t the best choice….but I chose to turn it into a teachable moment.  No shame parenting here.  You can do the same. Turn a failed parenting moment into a valuable lesson.

TIP- Don’t take your kids to the Vegas strip at night!  But if you do have a lack of judgement in your parenting, turn it into a lesson.  For everyone.

Posted by Amy in Sex Education, Pornography

Talking to Your Sons About Porn…

KaaI took my kids to the movies and we saw Jungle Book at the cheapie theatre.  The snake, Kaa presents a great illustration to use when talking to your kids about “bad pictures”.  Kaa wraps herself around Mowgli so slowly, so cunning, so sneakily, conning him into looking into her eyes so that he is mesmerized and then, while Mowgli is getting drowsy, she nearly devours him whole! Saved by Baloo, Mowgli is thrust into freedom without even hardly understanding that he was almost Kaa’s next meal.  The porn industry is out to devour our sons.  Obviously, you can’t talk about porn with your 9-year-old son, like you can with your 16-year-old son, but you better be talking about it.  When your 9-year-old is playing video games on your computer, ask him if he has seen any bad pictures pop up.  Explain to him that looking at bad pictures can cause our brains to be changed.   (check out the pornography category of this blog to learn more).  Teach him what to do when he encounters it. (Again, check out posts in the porn category).  More importantly, teach your son to value woman.  Practice it in your home.  I take my son on dates where he has to open doors for me.  I require him to help me around the house.  He is not allowed to hit his sister or any other girl for any reason.  He volunteers at our church so that he has opportunities to treat girls with respect, kindness and politeness.  He has been taught to look his sister in the eye and apologize and ask for forgiveness when needed.  He is learning how to honor and protect women.   The porn industry would like nothing more than for their patrons to see woman as objects….beings without souls or spirits…just bodies, but those ladies were once some one’s little girl.  ( Only 13% of women in the porn industry are there by choice. You don’t have to let your mind wander very far to figure out how the rest got there.)  Be selective about who your son’s friends are for as long as you can.  More importantly, be selective about what other adults speak into your son’s life as well.  Limit the violence that he is exposed to while he is young. One of my college besties tells her son that women are delicate flowers that need to be treated with respect and kindness.  The porn industry can and will shred your son, devour him from limb to limb.  It’s a cycle of shame, bitterness, fear,  and addiction that alters the neuropathways of the brain….An addiction that you want your son to avoid at all costs. But there is loads of hope…teach and train your boys about valuing women.  Teach them to honor, respect, and be kind to the women in their life (teachers, neighbors, siblings, family members).  Make him help you bring in the groceries and require him to look people in the eye.  (My son certainly hasn’t arrived but we are working on it.)  Teach your son to be a warrior.  A hero.  An advocate.  The world could use a few more gentlemen, don’t you think?

TIP: Take your son out on a date this week.  Let him practice being a gentleman.

Posted by Amy in Pornography and Sex Education