Computer Safety

Talking to your children about pornography

Get to know and use the wonderful church resources for talking about pornography in your family and with your children.

This lesson was a timely blessing for our family. Within one week of this family home evening lesson, the things we learned were put into action by our kids.

Preparation:
Review LDS.org Family Home Evening help “What should I do if I see pornography? Our lesson closely follows this resource.

Review the story of Joseph and his master’s wife Genesis 7:1-21.

Review For the Strength of Youth: Entertainment and Media

Review Keeping safe and balanced in a technological world for ideas and resources to keep your home environment safe. Learn more about family and internet safety from http://tech.lds.org/wiki/Family_Safety

If you know your loved ones are exposed to pornography, consider these additional resources: Recovering from the trap of pornography offers a better understanding of someone’s level of involvement with pornography. Check out overcomingpornography.org for additional information and especially check out the resources page. Let Virtue Garnish Thy Thoughts is also a helpful pamphlet.

Lesson:
Begin the lesson by reviewing the story of Joseph and Potipher’s wife in Genesis 39. Ask someone to summarize the story. Then read carefully verses 7-12. Notice how Potipher’s wife continually tried to entice Joseph to lay with her. We’ve talked about sex in our family and we made it clear it meant she wanted to have sex with him. Eventually she entrapped Joseph. Discuss some reasons why Joseph ran away.

Talk about the host of media designed to entice and entrap us. It is designed to appeal to our natural attractions. Discuss the several types of pornography and the different levels of severity. At one time pornography was easily the #1 use of the internet and may still be. It is also one the of #1 sellers in books (romance novels).

Ask the kids to identify where they might run into pornography in their lives. If you’ve never talked about this before and kids are very young, you may need to offer some ideas of your own. It is very easy to accidentally find things while searching on Google or having a friend share something on a phone. It is also seen on billboards, in movies, and on magazine covers at the checkout counter.

We have a gift to help us avoid pornography in all it’s forms. It will prompt us to avoid looking at or to look away from pornography. Ask “What happens if you do not follow the spirit in these situations?” and follow up with the question after the video clip that follows.

Watch “What should I do when I see pornography?” embedded below

What Should I Do When I See Pornography?

Imagine the discussion with our children that will happen after watching the new video “What Should I Do When I See Pornography?” http://bit.ly/1Kk7iU3

Posted by Rosemary M. Wixom on Thursday, September 17, 2015

(The video was originally posted on an official Church website, but I can’t find it anymore. This video is embedded from Rosemary Wixom’s Facebook page. The video may also be found on YouTube, but we learned searching for this video by title returned some unpleasant search results and recommended videos.)

We emphasized three things from the video.
First was the three steps for responding to pornography identified in the video. Go over the steps several times and ask what they were until everyone has them memorized.

  1. Call it what it is.
  2. Turn it off and get away.
  3. Talk to your parents or other trusted adult to confirm what you know to be true.

In Joseph’s story, he clearly identified the sin and when he was entrapped, he got away. He followed these same steps and ultimately escaped from temptations power.

Second, we followed up with the earlier question “What happens if you do not follow the spirit in these situations?”. In the video a young boy describes how he learned about the hazards of the ocean. At one point he falls in the water and his father reaches down into the water to help him out. What did the boy do? He reached up for his father’s hand. If the boy did not reach up for help, he would continue to sink and eventually drown. When we are faced with the spirit’s prompting to look away, if we ignore the prompting, we continue to sink in dangerous waters.

Third, we discussed the power of thinking. If we are honest with ourselves and call pornography what it is when we see it, we are likely to make the right choice. Our thinking brain can also have the power to rationalize and convince us things are not as they seem. We watched the sting of the scorpion video to emphasize the point.

Last, we talked about some of the family rules we have in place to foster the spirit in our home and strengthen righteous decisions. It would be a big mistake to believe we can create an environment where someone is unable to access pornography. President Faust once explained,

“As the traffic on the communications highway becomes a parking lot, we must depend more and more on our own personal moral filters to separate the good from the bad.”

These family rules help protect from accidental exposure and encourage righteous decisions. If you have never discussed or established these rules before, review Keeping safe and balanced in a technological world for some great ideas. We also recommend K9 Web Protection for your computers and mobile devices. It is a free, simple, and recommended resource. We use it and it works well to protect for accidental exposure to pornography and many other malicious internet activities.

Some of our family rules include:

  • Use of K9 Web Protection on all internet connected devices.
  • Computers and electronic devices are used in a publicly view-able places in the home. No use in bedrooms, bathrooms, or behind closed doors.
  • Electronic devices and phones are stored in public place in the home. This even applies to friends on the rare occasions they stay over (we have a “no sleepover unless necessary” policy).
  • We agreed on an appropriate amount of daily media to include television, computers, tablets, video games, ipods, and even listening to music with earphones. Anything that takes us away from interacting with each other, we try to limit to a good balance.

Be sure to summarize the important points learned as you end the lesson. Ask again “What should you do if you see pornography?”

  1. Call it what it is.
  2. Turn it off and get away.
  3. Talk to your parents or other trusted adult to confirm what you know to be true.

Share your ideas or how you used ours