Purity Guide for Your Eyes – Navigating Our Sexually Saturated World

picmonkey_imageTelevision, Video, Music and Movie Helps

  • Screen It  Would you like to know more about movies before heading to the theater or renting them? Find Out Exactly What’s in the Movies Your Kids are Watching,  Screen It is  $7.95/month or $47/year
  • Family TV  Family movies that teach family values/character.
  • Family Safe Media Providing parental control solutions for families concerned about the profanity, promiscuity and violence in today’s media and entertainment.
  • Kids In Mind  Provides parents and other adults with objective and complete information about a film’s content so that they can decide, based on their own value system, whether they should watch a movie with or without their kids. Cost $25 /year
  • Spiritual Cinema Circle A monthly DVD club dedicated to bringing you and your loved ones inspiring, heart-felt films.
  • Christian Answers  Reviews and ratings are from a strictly biblical perspective, with emphasis on the Ten Commandments.
  • Plugged In  is a Focus on the Family Reviews current and new movies, television shows, games, videos, and music. Colossians 2:8. “See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ.
  • Common Sense Media Seeking to know the scoop on the latest entertainment and tech so YOU can make informed decisions on what’s right for YOUR child?  As an independent, nonpartisan, nonprofit organization, Common Sense Media seeks to provided helpful info. Be sure to check out their SHOCKING FACTS page.
  • Raising Media-Wise Teenagers PDF by Bob Waliszewski

Internet Filter Providers

  • Covenant Eyes Monitors all websites, newsgroups, and most file sharing visited on your computer.  Reports are always stored on our servers so they cannot be erased Pricing starts at $8.99/month for the first Accountability user, with additional services at a greatly discounted price.
  • Bsecure Online (tamper-proof, reporting of usage/history): $49.95
  • Accountable2you: $4.99 / month is software that monitors all computer activity allowing you to be fully accountable to your partner(s). Accountable2You is specifically designed for people who want to be accountable.
  • K9 Web Protection: FREE Internet filter and parental control software for your home Windows or Mac computer. K9 puts YOU in control of the Internet so you can protect your kids.
  • Safe Eyes: software that protects your family from harmful content and other dangers on the internet.  $49.95 or $69.95
  • X3Watch: $7/month records questionable sites and sends to accountability partner.
  • Net Nanny: $39.99  is the #1-rated parental controls software that protects your family from pornography, online predators, cyberbullying, and much more.
  • Safe Kids and Safe Teens-Digital citizenship, online safety & civilityDigital citizenship, online safety & civility
  • PC’s N Dreams Protection against predators, scams, sexual content, etc.$99.95

Wireless Providers

  • Sprint offers a free Parental Controls service to block websites deemed inappropriate for minors.
  • AT&T offers a $4.99/month Smart Limits service to control access to inappropriate content. Or, request all Internet access to be blocked for free by calling 611.
  • Verizon Wireless offers a $4.99/month Usage Controls service to control what content can be accessed from the phone. Or, request all Internet access to be blocked for free by calling *611.

Additional Resources

  • Parent Television Council A non-partisan education organization advocating responsible entertainment. what’s happening in the fight to improve entertainment
  • Safe Kids and Safe Teens-Digital citizenship, online safety & civilityDigital citizenship, online safety & civility
  • Parent Further provides insightful information to help parents become wise media consumers.

Internet Lingo & Text Messaging Shorthand

prayerpurity

 



Let’s Talk Sex – With Our 8-11 Year Olds

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Late Elementary marks the homestretch before the onset of puberty. As such, this time is an important time to truly foster and nurture your child’s heart. This means continuing to open up and listen to your child. It also requires preparing your child for the physical and emotional changes that are about to occur.

On a practical level, it would be wise for mothers to connect with their daughters and share about the adolescent changes ahead. Some girls begin menstruation as young as 9, but the average age is 12.5. To help this transition, it would be beneficial to share what your personal experience was like if you can remember 🙂 and simply give them some practical examples of what to be aware of. Keep this talk lighthearted by taking your daughter on a weekend trip to eat out, shop, laugh, have fun, and connect. Establishing connection needs to be the primary goal of the weekend. Your young daughters need and want both your time and support. This is especially true for females, because they are wired more emotionally and will need emotional support as things begin to change. When this is intentionally developed at a young age, it is easier for this connection to transfer over into the teen years.

Cayley currently is 12.5 and since I’ve been preparing these posts, she and I have had many discussions to prepare her for her first menstrual period.  She has had several good questions which needed to be answered to dispel fear and confusion. My older daughters had a 9 month crash course as I taught about sex in the context of my pregnancy with Cayley when they were 9.5 and 12.  Being in the delivery room for the birth of Cayley was memorable for them.  I have always been open and honest with questions they had but wish I had done more.

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The Gift Basket I’ve Put Together For Cayley

Another idea, and one I’ve prepared for my daughter, is a “coming of age” basket. Today you can order these on-line but it was super fun making the one pictured.  You might include a journal, sanitary napkins, chocolate, encouraging books, candle, and your favorite movie when you were her age. You could also write a little card letting her know that you support her during this transition. I can almost guarantee that she won’t forget this unusual, but useful and thoughtful gift. At the right time, your daughter will have everything she needs to have a more enjoyable first period. Recently, Cayley and I came across the idea of having a “Menarche Party” where you decorate with red streamers, balloons, tablecloths,  etc. and serve red punch, cake and strawberries.  Hilarious, I know, memorable to say the least.  Whatever you do, keep it fun.

While girls may need a fun weekend with their mom, young boys need their father to assure them that wet dreams, hair growth, and voice changes are a natural part of the transition. Fathers can prepare their sons by spending a weekend away doing fun activities such as camping, fishing, or hiking. The important part is that the Father is connecting with their son and communicating what to expect. Late Elementary is a good time to start discussing these changes, because hormones begin to move men towards manhood around the ages of 10-13.

In addition to preparing your children for the changes ahead, it is important to continue dialoguing with them about their media intake. Teach them how to be mindful about the things that they choose to see and listen to and encourage them to make wise choices. While it might not be as fun for you as the parent, it is important to set an example for your children by the movies that you choose to watch as a family and the music you listen to. The media has a powerful influence on your thoughts, feelings, and actions. This continues to be true, especially during adolescence when new emotions enter the scene.

While it might not be wise to share every detail with your younger elementary aged children, it is helpful to at least prepare them for the changes that are about to occur and let them know that you are there to support them. Chances are, if your child does not begin to experience these changes early, one of their friends will. In order to relay accurate information and be transparent with your child, it would benefit you to have at least started to address some of these things with them so that they are prepared.

Recommended Resources for ages 8-11

 



Let’s Talk Sex, Before They Head Off To School

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As children transition from home to a school setting, it becomes increasingly important to keep the communication lines open. It is during this transition that your child gains an increase of both positive and negative influences. When my eldest daughter went to school she started coming home with some very interesting ideas about sexuality. I soon discovered that my daughter was hearing secondhand information from the girl that sat next to her in class.

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With an increase in external influences, it is often a good idea to start giving your children a few more details about sex. Before freaking out, I encourage you to just take a breath. I realize that this may seem like an extremely young age to talk about sex, but if you don’t share with your children who will? Remember our children are like sponges, if you don’t give them accurate information, chances are that they will begin to soak up misguided information from peers, a personal experience, or the Internet. When parents are a safe source of information, however, children are more likely to direct questions to this source versus looking it up on their own or asking others.

Something else to be aware of at this age is pornography. What? MY child looking at… Porn? No way! Well, I understand your sentiments, but according to Focus on the Family, some researchers state that many kids with access to computers have their first exposure to pornography around the age of eight.  It starts out innocent enough, but often becomes a silent addiction. Most often, kids will simply search Google to find out what sex is or other unknown words and will innocently stumble upon pornographic sites. Kids will even show other kids pornography around this age. Many children do not have parents that they can truly talk to about these sorts of things, because their parents either get mad at them, are not a safe place to actually asks questions, or are embarrassed to answer openly and honestly. This is why it is of upmost importance for parents to truly have a grasp on what they are going to share, when they are going to share, and how they are going to share. A plan of action is important. Parents, make sure that you are talking amongst yourselves about this topic!

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Before delving into the sex talk, I would suggest focusing on teaching your younger children godly morals. This might consist of talking to your children about modesty, appropriate entertainment choices, and music. As a family, you could memorize Philippians 4:8 together. This verse helps instill an understanding of seeking what is true, pure, lovely, and admirable. Actions are more important than words. I would encourage you to not only talk about modesty, but also model it for your daughters. While my daughters were young, I would help them navigate through appropriate choices at the store. When we got home, my daughters would model their clothes for my husband. This was a fun way to talk about modesty and make sure that both parents felt comfortable with the fashion choices. Sometimes this meant that we would return a shirt or skirt, but it was all a learning process for our family. When my husband would go shopping with my girls, he would encourage a conversation about modesty by talking to them about how many of the girls on the magazine covers needed more clothing.   He would explain that he wanted to protect our girls from unsafe people by helping them make wise and modest choices. This taught our daughters that modest is a way to honor themselves and those around them.

Some things to consider regarding media choices:

  • Help your children navigate media choices by looking over “Purity Guide for Your Eyes: Navigating our Sexually Saturated World.”
  • Limit your children’s TV and video exposure. According to a recent study by KFF, the average program features five or more sexual references per hour. In addition, only 9 percent of these widely watched shows ever mention responsible behavior, such as abstinence or using contraception.
  • Don’t allow laziness and pride to prevent you from changing an inappropriate movie. The kids may complain but it’s a great teachable moment.  (Phil 4:8)
  • Just because a movie is rated PG it doesn’t mean that it is appropriate for your children.
  • Be sure to explain the whys behind your decisions.
  • When at a friend’s house, have your children call for permission about movie choices.

While modesty is a huge topic for young girls, it is helpful to begin to talk to boys about what it means to be a gentleman. Fathers, model this for your sons by opening the door for your wife and being respectful of other women. Once again, children learn best from example. Talk to your boys about appropriate language and use appropriate language yourself. Our family would allow our daughters to use whatever words we used. This held us to a higher standard. Sometimes, we would use an inappropriate word and our daughters would catch us. It was humbling at times, but we would apologize to our daughters, and by doing so, once again raise the standard. In addition to using appropriate language, talk to your boys about pornography. This is prevalent amongst young men and is a wise thing to begin to discuss at a young age. It is impossible to avoid seeing sexually stimulating material, but you can teach your sons how to properly view women and honor them with their minds. Obviously this will be a topic addressed as your children continue to grow up, but it is good to dialogue with your children about it from an early age and show them what to do with the things that they see and how to make wise choices.

I am sure your head is spinning. The idea of talking to your young child about sex is probably a bit daunting. Let me remind you that this is just a suggestion. If your child is being homeschooled you might consider teaching them a bit later, but it is important for you to be aware of the risk of waiting to give the talk or simply avoiding it all together. When parents are silent, children learn from another source. Oftentimes, this source is inaccurate or leads to unnecessary experimentation.

Recommended Resources for ages 5-8