Thursday, August 4, 2016

The Trouble With Porn

Sometimes my life speaks to me in themes.  For instance, one week I'll get these thoughts about improving my prayers and I'll see a ton of post on Facebook or memes on Instagram that really speak to the part of my soul that is looking to improve.  It's happened with so many different ideas: scripture reading, compassion, self confidence, patience, service, etc.

Well this week the thing that keeps slapping me in the face is pornography. Nope, don't worry, I'm not struggling with pornography, but lately there have been many signs pointing me to discuss pornography and it's harms with my children.  My husband and I have had discussions with our children before and our kids are pretty open with their questions and honest with images they see and can easily call out pornography in lines at the store or with commercials on TV.  We also do not shame our children for asking questions or feeling curious about things.  We want them to know we love them no matter what and that we are here to help them stay strong.

It all started Sunday after church, Michael was on his way to California so the kids and I watched some uplifting church videos from the LDS church's YouTube Channel. One video called What should I do when I see porn? is catered to children, we've seen it before but this time more information stood out to me like how porn can distort someone's view of what love is and for a child to be exposed to porn at a young age, it will make it harder for them to know what a healthy loving relationship is.  So it's very crucial and important to teach them that any images they see (it's no longer a matter of if they see it, it's a matter of when because our children WILL see some form of pornography in their childhood) is bad and not what real love is.  A lot of the information in the video is from this book which we own Good pictures Bad pictures.

Since Sunday, so many different things have popped up in my newsfeed on Facebook regarding pornography and it's harmfulness.  Yes, I follow a lot of anti-porn pages so naturally my newsfeed would include some of those posts but, either I've not noticed them lately or this week has been heavy posting for these sites.  Here are the ones that have popped up this week:

Penthouse Attacks LDS church in latest issue
Hey, Cosmopolitan! Stop telling Snapchatters That Watching Porn isn't cheating (which is why I left snapchat)
Ozzy Osbourne in therapy for sex addiction
And this blog post I wrote three years ago popped up on my Facebook memories (I share a situation in which I found a pornographic book within a child's arm reach at Barnes and Noble and how I took it to their corporate office)

I even shared a status update on my reason for leaving Snapchat, and it started a small conversation (another trigger for me feeling the need to talk to my children about porn)

My point of this blog post is to say pornography is harmful, it's addictive, and it ruins families.  I've yet to know of anyone who has praise for pornography strengthening their marriage.  In fact, I've seen the opposite,  I've known of women who watched pornography with their husbands to "spice up their marriages", and none are still married now.  But hey, even if there was that one couple that swore pornography saved their marriage, I'd still rather not take that road.

One thing I've learned this week, is that having the talk about pornography with my children isn't a one time thing, it's a constant need to remind them of the difference between good pictures and bad pictures and how they make us feel, and that they can always come to us, their parents who love them and who care for their well being more than anyone else in this world.