Keeping Kids Safe
 
 
  Breaking Free Chizuk #1509  
 
 
In Today's Issue
   
Image of the Day: Demand Kids' Safety
Editor’s Note: Keeping Our Children Safe
Prevention: Keeping Kids Safe
Links: How to Talk to Kids
Links: Five-Step Guide to Protecting Kids from Abuse
 
 
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Image of the Day
 
Demand Kids' Safety
 
Demand Kids' Safety
Editor’s Note
 
Keeping Our Children Safe

Dear GYE,

July is Kids' Safety month in the US and GYE joins in bringing you information and resources to keep your children safe.

The informative article by Cath Hakanson is quite long and you need to follow the link to our website to read the full copy (as always, you can email me if you have no internet access and I will send the article to you by email). The article covers prevention of porn exposure as well as tools for dealing with it should your child has already been exposed. 

Her guide to talking to children about internet pornography follows as a link, too. These conversation scripts are tailored to various ages and simple to follow.

Finally, we bring you a five-step guide to keeping children safe from sexual abuse. During this season of time-away-from-home, this may be most invaluable.

We hope that by providing you with these materials we can help reassure you that no matter your own history, your kids can fare much better in this dangerous world.

Best wishes for continued sobriety,

Mottel.

P.S. It goes without saying that if you fear you may be in danger of harming a child, GYE encourages you to seek professional help immediately. 

Prevention
 
Keeping Kids Safe
 
Part 1/3
 
Protecting children from pornography exposure
 
By Cath Hakanson

When to start talking.

When do we start talking? A lot sooner than most parents are comfortable with.

Research suggests that children as young as 10-11 years of age have viewed pornography, with some suggesting that it may be as young as 5 to 6 years of age.

Basically, as soon as your child is able to use a search engine, or is watching videos on YouTube, there is a good chance that they will stumble across porn. Which means that you need to start talking age-appropriately to kids from as young as five or six. (And yes, you can talk age appropriately to a five a year old without scarring them (or you) for life.)

Even if you are a technology free household or restrict your child’s access to the internet, your child is still at risk as they may still stumble across sexually explicit material outside the family home.

Kids and porn – know the signs.

There are a few warning signs that may signal that your child has been accessing sexually explicit material:

  • Find evidence of pornography in your browser history (older kids will be smarter and may delete any history).
  • Discover that the browser history has been cleared on the family computer.
  • You notice an increase in pop-ups, spam messages, viruses or other inappropriate content on the family computer.
  • Unexplained charges on your credit card, mobile, tv or internet service bill.
  • Your child lies about their computer use.
  • Your child is spending large amounts of time online, especially at night.
  • Your child locks the door when on the computer in their bedroom.
  • Your child quickly changes the monitor screen, hiding what they were looking at, when you enter the room.
  • An unusual curiosity about sexuality.
  • You overhear your child talking about sexually explicit material.
  • Your child talks about women and/or sex in a disrespectful, physical and highly sexualised way.
  • Your child starts displaying inappropriate sexual behaviour.
  • Your child appears depressed and withdraws from everyday family life.

My child has already seen porn. What now?

Sometimes we go to start our first conversation about pornography with our child, to discover that we are too late and that our child has already viewed it. For kids today, the reality is that it is harder to avoid pornography than to find it.

If your child has already stumbled across pornographic material, it is important to stay calm. Let them know that you aren’t angry with them, and reassure them that you are glad that they have told you, so that you can help them to make sense of what they saw.

Ask them how they came across it, what they saw, and how it made them feel. It is important to not embarrass or shame them during the conversation.

If they were shown it by a friend, let them explain what happened, talk about how it made them feel and how they can respond if it happens again.

If they went looking for it, let them explain why they went looking for the material, talk about how it made them feel and discuss better ways for them to find out about sexuality in the future.

If your child has been viewing pornography frequently, you may be wondering if you need to seek professional help. This is a difficult question to answer as it depends on the severity of the material that the child was viewing: were the images limited to just body parts or did it include graphic sexual acts, violence or animals? Has the child acted out in a way that is sexually inappropriate or acted out what they saw with another child?

If your child is clearly traumatised by the material viewed, regularly views pornography, or later ‘acts out’ sexually with against another child, then you will want to consider seeking the help of a health professional with expertise in the area of pornography. True Relationships & Reproductive Health have created an app, The Traffic Lights®, that can help with identifying and managing sexual behaviours in children and adolescents.

If your child is viewing pornographic material frequently, you may be wondering if your child has an addiction. Sometimes it can be hard to determine the difference between a habit of watching porn and an addiction where you try to stop but just can’t. Whichever it is, there are some things that you can do as a parent to help your child. And keep in the back of your mind, that sometimes viewing pornography is a sign that something else is going on. Sometimes kids become sexualised before they are ready, and seek our pornography because of this.

To be continued...
Links
 

These conversations scipts are tailored for various ages. Parents shoud exercise discretion and use an appropriate script for their child, not solely based on age but also on  level of maturity. A five-year-old may be better served if addressed based on an older age level, whereas some teenagers may benefit from a less mature conversation.

How to Talk to Kids
Links
 

The most important thing you can tell a child who reports having been abused is "IT'S NOT YOUR FAULT."

See this booklet to find out about prevention measures, learn about the signs, and help children heal should the abuse have already taken place, G-d forbid. 

Five-Step Guide to Protecting Kids from Abuse

Do you think you may have a porn addiction?
 

Do you have a problem with obsessive and compulsive porn use? Have you seriously tried the tools on GYE and feel that you are not getting better? Maybe it’s time to consider joining a 12-Step program.

Porn Anonymous (PA)
If you’re compulsively acting-out with pornography and masturbation we suggest you explore joining Porn Anonymous (PA). If you need help deciding whether to join PA, call Michael at 347-699-2368, or email help@pornanonymous.org to schedule a time to talk. For more information visit pornanonymous.org (Hebrew: p-a.org.il / Yiddish: pa-yid.org).

Sexaholics Anonymous (SA)
If your compulsive acting-out has progressed beyond the screen (with other people, paid sexual services, etc.) we suggest you explore joining Sexaholics Anonymous (SA). To figure out if SA is for you, call Dov at 917-414-8205, or email Dov at dov@guardyoureyes.org to schedule a time to talk. For more information visit www.sa.org.

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