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Media Savvy Moms is a podcast by Parents Aware, your go-to for information on how to talk to kids and teens about pornography and healthy sexuality.

Who knew honest conversations about parenting and pornography could be so laid-back and fun? Join Melody and Marilyn for a series of chats and interviews on their journey to help fellow parents tackle this challenging topic with their kids.

Jan 29, 2020

We’re parenting in a porn-saturated world. So, how do we avoid the paralyzing fear that sometimes comes with protecting our kids? How do we know what we can and can’t control? Let’s BE IN THE NOW and figure it out together!


“Mindfulness” is a big buzzword these days. And it’s no wonder. Our lives are jam-packed with To-Do lists, social media, jobs, family responsibilities, stress, goals, lunch dates, financial worries, planning for the future, doctor’s appointments, Siri and Alexa ... And—oh yeah—pornography! 


Does it ever feel like a thousand voices are screaming at you at the same time, all the time? 


This is life in our modern world. 


To counter all of this noise, we’ve begun seeking strategies to calm ourselves and listen to one thing at a time—to find peace, and “be in the now.” 


When it comes to parenting and pornography, this is an essential skill. It’s much too easy to look at the big picture, at the big bad porn industry threatening to swallow up our children, and to get overwhelmed and paralyzed with fear. 


So today, we’re giving you permission to stop. Take a breath. Let’s talk about what we can control and what we can’t. Let’s learn what it means to “be in the now” when it comes to porn and parenting.

Stop stressing about the future 

Anxiety stems from dwelling on the future and worrying about things that haven’t happened yet. (Things we can’t control.)


We don’t need to waste time and energy living in the future. That’s why we want to “be in the now!”


As parents, we may experience anxiety because we worry: 

  • What if my child is exposed to pornography?
  • What if my child has already seen pornography?
  • What if I’m scared to talk to my kids about pornography?
  • How will exposure to pornography affect their future?


A little concern about dangerous things (like pornography) can be good, because it keeps us (and our children) alert, aware, and safe. But too much can paralyze us and make us too afraid to act.


Melody’s mom always said, “Worry is like a rocking chair. You expend so much time and energy rocking and rocking. But in the end you haven’t gone anywhere.”


“Worrying is carrying tomorrow's load with today's strength- carrying two days at once. It is moving into tomorrow ahead of time. Worrying doesn't empty tomorrow of its sorrow, it empties today of its strength.” ― Corrie Ten Boom


We can help eliminate anxiety/excessive fear when we are talking to our kids about pornography by:


Related: Ep. #1.18, I Panicked When My Child Confided in Me About Porn, Now What?

Stop dwelling on the past 

Depression stems from dwelling on the past and worrying about things that have already happened. (Things we can’t change.)


We’ve mentioned this before, but … in addiction recovery we have an analogy: If you get a flat tire, you don’t throw away the whole car. You fix the flat and keep moving forward.  


Let’s stop for a minute and talk about the difference between guilt and shame. These are NOT the same thing.

  • Guilt = I made a mistake (externalize, fixable)
  • Shame = I am a mistake (internalize, permanent, unfixable)

Guilt can actually be a good thing, if we focus it in the right direction. It’s okay to feel sorry when we’ve done something wrong. That makes us want to make changes and do better in the future. But shame and depression happen when we get stuck in a spiral, dwelling on the past and beating ourselves up for mistakes we have made.


“Shame corrodes the very part of us that believes we are capable of change.” ― Brene Brown 


We can help eliminate shame and depression when we are dealing with porn exposure in our families by: 

  • Showing love, patience, and forgiveness with each other and ourselves
  • Avoiding perfectionism—just doing our best
  • Reinforcing that safe place! (Ep. #1.4, Construction Site)
  • Focusing on self-care, for ourselves and our children (Ep. #1.3, Oxygen Mask)


Related: Ep. #1. My Child Saw Porn, Now What? A S.M.A.R.T. Plan for Parents

Be in the now

As we mentioned, “mindfulness” is a popular term these days. It’s not just for yoga and meditation anymore (although these are great practices that we highly recommend!). There are books and courses and coaches out there to help us practice mindfulness in the corporate world, in the classroom, in our homes, and even for kids.


Here is some practical advice we can apply specifically to parenting. Listen to the podcast for more details on these strategies! 

  • Find meditative practices, mantras (or even Yoga) to help you focus and relax. This is healthy for the body and mind, but also a parenting strategy too!
  • “Soften.” In parenting we’re working hard. We might even be tensing shoulders or sending off other stressful physical cues. Take note of these habits. Breathe. Soften.
  • Learn to help your kids without losing yourself. Our kids are important, but self-care is important too! 
  • Focus on what you can control
    • Focus on what your kids enjoy
    • Let kids be kids
    • Don’t harp on the negative all the time
    • Don’t “parent to your fears”
    • Ask yourself, “What can I do in this moment that can help?”
    • LISTEN - be still (Remember: You have TWO ears and ONE mouth! Use them accordingly.) 


Related: Ep. #1.3, My Child Needs Help! 6 Practical Ways to Put Your Oxygen Mask on First

Episode challenge

Are you stressed? Take a moment right now and bring awareness to your body. Are you tense? What do you have in your tool kit to bring you into the NOW? What makes you soften your edges? Is it a deep breath? Is it counting to 10? Is it removing yourself from the room and taking a 2-minute meditation? Do that NOW! Practice right NOW. Remember, ”You get what you repeat.”


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