When it comes to parenthood, there are a lot of things that bring us joy. Running around outside with the fam, making our kids laugh, or even snuggling up for a movie night. But, parenting wouldn’t be parenting without, well, parenting. What do I mean by that? Parenthood involves having those difficult, but crucial, conversations and teaching moments that make our children grow up to be better human beings.
One of those conversations that we need to have, involves us teaching our children about pornography. This is an important topic as pornography has taken the world by storm with the evolution of technology. When my parents were growing up, one had to sneak out of a store with a dirty magazine or VHS (that’s an old device movies were played on for you pre 2000 folk). When I was younger, one had to find a computer with a dial-up internet connection. While my son grows up, one can simply make a couple taps on a screen.
I won’t go into detail about the negative effects of pornography on the brain, relationships, or society at this time; but, how do we teach these things to our kids? How do we even bring up the topic of porn? Yeah… it’s uncomfortable.
Even though Eli is still a couple of years away from understanding such a conversation, I was having these very thoughts. One day while I was driving to work I was listening to a podcast where the guest speaker (Kristen Jenson) brought up the same question. She, after months of looking, found there wasn’t a good solution to talk to kids about pornography; so she wrote one herself! Good Pictures, Bad Pictures is a children’s picture book, and needless to say I order it (and the Jr. version) right away!
Reading both books took me less than 15-20 minutes and they were phenomenal. The Jr. version is a simple book for kids ages 3-6. The book begins by saying good pictures are pictures of family members, buildings, and landscapes. Then it teaches bad pictures are pictures showing the parts of the body that are covered by a swimsuit. Short, simple, and to the point. The book concludes with a simple action plan to help children know what to do when they encounter “bad pictures”.
The original version of Good Pictures, Bad Pictures is aimed towards children 6 and older. This version is written as a narrative where a mother sits her son down to discuss pornography just as any parent would with their own child. It goes into more detail about the negatives of pornography and how it can lead to addiction. At the end, the book then provides a more enhanced action plan for when older kids see something pornographic.
Like I said earlier… parenting is difficult, but there are tools out there from other parents (like Kristen A. Jenson, MA) that help make it easier. For more information about how to protect and teach your kids about pornography, visit Jenson’s website athttps://protectyoungminds.org/