Apr 10, 2019
"Mom and Dad are kissing?! Ew, gross!" Learn how modeling healthy relationships can actually help protect your kids from pornography.
The other day I was kissing my husband and my son came around the corner and said “Ewwww! Mom! That’s gross!” and hid his face. But it’s actually a good thing for our kids to see us being affectionate! Our kids might throw a fuss. But they also do that when we ask them to eat their vegetables!
Today we’ll be be talking about the contrast between healthy relationships and pornography--and teaching our kids to recognize the difference.
Three reasons to model healthy relationships in our home are:
I. “SMOOCHING” TEACHES KIDS ABOUT HEALTHY SEXUALITY
-The saying ”Do as I say, not as I do” is a farce! Kids learn by example.
-Laura Brotherson, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist, Certified Sex Therapist, says: ”While kids may sometimes act “grossed out” by the love and affection you have for each other it actually creates a safe and secure environment for your children to know that their [parents] love each other… Children also develop a healthier sense of their own sexuality when they see love and appropriate affection displayed in the home.”
(On her website, StrengtheningMarriage.com, they actually had a “Gross Out Your Kids” Photo Contest. Pretty cute!)
-It’s also more than just embarrassing your kids. Love (and sex) in their healthy pure form are about safety, security, bonding with another human being that you know will always be there.
-Try to stay engaged with your kids on this topic in their sphere too. Be interested in their relationships and the relationships their friends are having at school. Know what’s going on.
[Wondering how to talk about healthy intimacy with your kids? Check out the books, 30 Days of Sex Talks for Ages 3 to 7; 30 Days of Sex Talks for Ages 8 to 11; and 30 Days of Sex Talks for Ages 12+ from Educate and Empower Kids.*]
II. “SMOOCHING” TEACHES KIDS TO REJECT PORNOGRAPHY
-If we don’t give our kids sex ed, they are going to get it elsewhere--everywhere!
-Porn focuses on physical appearance, risky behaviour and exaggerated aspects of sex. All the ingredients one might look for in a healthy relationship are purposely left out of the script. Love, intimacy, kindness, etc. are replaced with violence and aggression.
-According to Dr. John Foubert, porn contains the perfect recipe for rape. He’s not suggesting that everyone who views porn will commit rape. But he is concerned that easy access to pornography is teaching young people that sex and violence go together.
-If our kids’ only exposure to relationships (affection) is pornography, they will only have one model to relate to and one example to follow. One horrific example was a juvenile recently arrested for strangling girlfriend in car--exposure to porn had taught him that’s what she wanted.
-It’s ok to tell our kids we have sex. Dr. Jill Manning, a psychologist, says “Teaching healthy sexual intimacy and relationships in the home is one of the most important value-based areas of teaching in today’s world.”
-Healthy relationships = respect (love, connection, protecting each other)
Pornography = disrespect (lust, objectification, exploitation, abuse)
-Teach your kids the difference between healthy and unhealthy relationships so that when they encounter the opposite (confusing and titillating as it may be) they will know the difference.
III. “SMOOCHING” TEACHES KIDS ABOUT THE COMPLEXITY OF RELATIONSHIPS
-It’s important for us to be REAL around our kids
-In reality, relationships are messy, unfiltered and different in every home
-Affection in the home helps to create a safe, secure environment for our kids
-Listen to the podcast as we describe the different types of relationships in our families of origin and our marriages! Some are more demonstrative, and some are more reserved. And that’s ok! Whatever works!
-Every relationship is different and beautiful in its own way. We don’t actually have to literally “smooch” in front of our kids to have the great benefits we’ve talked about. What we’re really talking about is demonstrating healthy relationships in the home--whatever that might look like for you!
CHALLENGE: Find a way to talk about healthy relationships with your kids week. Find teaching moments in your own relationship with your spouse or in the media. Just start talking!
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