Mar 13, 2019
Learn how to create a safe place where you can talk to your kids about anything--even pornography!
At Media Savvy Moms, we have 8 boys between the two of us, and at one time or another our kids have been obsessed with all things construction: trucks, videos, books, birthday parties, even a construction-truck theme park in New Jersey!
When we think about difficult talks, we like to compare our “safe place” to a construction site. (This analogy actually came from Melody’s psychologist during her divorce!) This figurative “construction site” is a place where we can throw out ideas, dig deep, bring out heavy equipment, demolish stuff--even bust out the dynamite if needed! Nothing is off limits! What a great environment for open chats about pornography!
Here are 3 steps to help you create a safe place--a “construction site”--for difficult discussions with your kids:
I. Build a Foundation of Trust
-An awesome relationship with our kids is better/stronger/more reliable than any filter we can install.
-If your child comes to you with an issue, pause your instincts to react, lecture, scold, or jump to conclusions.
-”We have two ears and one mouth” so listen more than you talk!
-Kids will go where they feel safe: Be the safe place and the first source of information when it comes to tough topics like pornography.
-If you don’t teach your kids about pornography then who will? Kids on the bus/playground! Remember … we want the “Construction Site” to be in our HOME, not somewhere else--like a friend’s house or school or the playground.
-Create bonding experiences through both positive and negative moments.
-Use everyday opportunities like doing chores, driving, and bath time to teach.
-The “Construction Site” can be physical place or just an attitude of openness in your family.
-It’s never too early or too late--start NOW! [We talk about this in “Beware of the Rattlesnakes!”]
II. Make Your Child the Foreman
-Put on your hard hat! It may get messy! But that’s ok. It’s a construction site.
**Most important thing: No matter what your child brings up, Don’t panic!
-Be aware of your body language and both verbal/nonverbal cues.
-Practice saying uncomfortable sex/pornography/anatomy words [We talk about this in “Get off the Fence.”] We are going to say those words in our construction site, and we’re going to be ok with it!
-Something to consider: What if our kids are shy? We may need to introduce hard topics.
-In our construction site we can: bring up hard topics & receive hard topics they bring to us
III. Keep on Truckin’
-This “safe place” is a perpetual construction site--never finished. The “porn talk” is never finished!
-Put up the “under construction” sign and leave it up, so that kids know they can come and go anytime!
-Build, dig, demolish, and rebuild--all ok! Remember the work crews in the Lego Movie that build all day and then demolish at the end of the day, give three cheers, and then start again the next day. Just go for it! Keep on truckin’.
-We’re not aiming for a perfect building; there’s not a perfect master plan.
-Maybe blueprints (great article, book, advice) will come and go.
-Don’t get stressed--be flexible.
-Just keep working together. Remember to be a team.
CHALLENGE: Pick a tough topic. Look for an opportunity in the next 3 days to tackle a subject that is challenging for you — and start building. If one doesn’t naturally come up, it’s time think outside the box and “create a moment.”
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Social Media: @MediaSavvyMoms