Latter-day Saint Life

4 Tips for Parents to Help Children Avoid Pornography


Pornography is more prevalent than ever before, and LDS leaders have been unequivocal in their denunciation of its usage. In a recent Mormon Channel episode, Charlotte Keniepp said that pornography "can threaten the unity and spirituality of your family."

"Sexualized media is . . . so damaging on so many levels," she said. "It can hinder our healthy relationships and our expectations for love, it can negatively affect intimacy in marriage, and it can trigger an addiction cycle in your brain."

Keniepp pointed to a recent article by Nate Sharp in the Deseret News which gave four tips to parents who wish to help their children avoid pornography.

1) "Children aren't only viewing porn on home computers or in magazines anymore," Keniepp said. According to Sharp's article, "parents need to realize that with the proliferation of personal mobile devices (e.g., smart phones, tablets, iPods), these mobile devices have become ground zero in the fight against pornography." Keniepp suggests that parents know the passwords on their children's devices, and that children leave their devices with parents overnight.

2) Make sure you know who your children follow on social media and what apps they have. "Parents must understand that social media apps are also a Trojan horse in the battle against pornography because they provide a virtually unlimited source of pornography to our children’s devices," Sharp said.

3) "Second only to your love," said Elder Jeffrey R. Holland, "[your children] need your limits." Though they may not always act like it, children need and crave structure in their hectic lives. "When you express your love for your children," Keniepp said, "also tell them what kind of behavior you expect from them, and they will actually feel safer and more cared for."

4) Perhaps the most important thing parents can do to help their children avoid pornography is to leave the door wide open for conversations to take place. "Welcome the conversation when it’s needed," Sharp said. "Do not get angry with your children if they confess challenges or struggles with pornography. Praise them for being willing to talk with you. Then use the opportunity to teach." Keniepp adds that it's immensely valuable for parents to let children know they're willing to discuss the issue with an open and loving heart.

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