I created an acronym we will be using to teach our children what to do when they encounter pornography. I am not going to bury my head in the sand. I expect that my children will be exposed to pornography in one degree or another. I want to take a proactive approach and teach them an easy way to remember how to deal with it when it happens. Of course, first they have to know what pornography is. I've already touched on what pornography is in another post. To sum it up quickly here, young children need to know what modesty is to be able to know what is immodest/pornographic. We don't look at or watch people with immodest clothing or no clothing. Then, as they grow you add the component of people's actions, like lying on top of one another or rubbing one another in inappropriate areas (even with clothes on). When they understand sexual desire, you add the component that anything that is intended to stimulate sexual arousal is pornographic. In all of this, the difficult and most vital part is helping your child understand that sex is not bad. Sex is amazing in the right context. It should be a private and beautiful thing that is not paraded around for all to see. Pornography cheapens the relationship between a husband and wife, which is why we want to avoid.We want to keep that part of a relationship private and magnificent for its intended purpose.
I use a foot stomping on pornography as a visual for a couple of reasons. First, the weight of the foot will cover the object being stomped on (usually a spider at my house). Also, when you stomp on something, the object is still under your foot. You have to leave your foot on the object to keep it out of your view. Because the brain is wired to remember visual images, any pornographic imagine will remain in the brain for later retrieval. The remnants of pornography will still be in your mind, but you can effectively keep it "covered" if you have something else to focus on. If your child knows STOMP, they can go through the different ideas and choose the one they think will work for them. If it doesn't work, they can try another one. Teach them the acronym and what each of letter stand for. Then, when they encounter pornography, they will have a tool to help them STOMP it Out!
Sing a Primary Song
Think of a scripture (we're working on memorizing a couple scriptures and the articles of faith with our children)
Open up with mom and dad (Your child may not understand what they've really seen and need help processing why they were uncomfortable seeing or hearing something. Also, you want them to know they can come to you at any time with a concern about pornography. Even if your child was actively seeking out pornography and not just accidentally viewing it, if they know they can come to you for help, they are more likely to do it. Then, you can help them beat the pornography plague. It's important to not expect your children to seek out pornography, but to not be surprised if they do. They will need your help, not your lectures or punishment.)
Make a change (You need to let your child know that they are in control of their environment. We are working on this with our children. If they don't like the way their sibling eats, they need to find a different place to sit, or not watch. They need to be the one to fix whatever is bothering them. If your child sees something on the computer or television, they need to get up and walk away, or turn it off, or call home for a ride. They can be in control.)
Pray for help