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For the past several years I have worked with those affected by pornography.
Allow me, then, from my experience, to offer three strategies that you as a parent can implement in parenting the porn generation.

1. Affirm the goodness of their sexuality.

Sometimes Catholic parents, especially when they themselves were brought up with a standard of chastity that focused on a list of sins and temptations to be avoided, may feel unprepared to provide their kids with an affirmative view of sex and the body.
But raising them to value their sexuality as something good and holy is essential to protecting them from exposure to porn and to inculcating in them a positive desire for purity generally.
They will be trained to see clearly the great difference between the lies of porn and unchastity and the great truths of God’s plan for human sexuality.
It is also useful when it comes to teaching modesty and self-control, even at a young age. It is precisely because your child’s body is good and wonderful that he is not to treat it like a toy; it is precisely because your child’s body is sacred that she should veil what demands the reverence.
Even when our children are very young, my wife and I make it a priority to affirm their sexuality daily—teaching them that God created them male or female so that they can become a gift in self-donating love.
Each night before bed I lay my hands on them and offer this prayer:
Dear heavenly Father, I thank you that you have created [name] to be a strong boy/ beautiful girl. I ask that he/she would grow up to be a strong man/beautiful and strong woman to give his/her life away as a priest or a husband/nun or a wife. 

2. Be a parent, not a buddy.

I know that you know this—or that you think you know this, but it bears repeating. Your child needs you to parent him. And a large part of parenting means saying no. In fact, if your child hasn’t gotten angry at you over the past week because you would not let him have his way, you’re probably not doing a very good job parenting him.
In the sphere of chastity, saying no is the flip side of affirming your children’s sexuality. It doesn’t mean to shelter kids from every possible bad influence in the world; rather, it’s about exercising prudent vigilance.
There never was a teenager who couldn’t survive without a smart phone, but there are countless thousands whose Internet-connected phones become personal porn terminals. Laptops behind locked bedroom doors might help a little with homework, but they’re also inviters of temptation. Your child was invited to a sleepover: Do you know what kind of supervision the host family exercises over the computer or cable box? If you’re not prepared to say no, you might find all your vigilance undone by another family’s carelessness.

3. Use filters and accountability software.

We have talked first about giving kids a foundation that affirms God’s gift of their bodies, then about circumstances in which we must be prepared to say no in order to protect that gift.
As a supplement to rather than a replacement for our work of forming and parenting our kids, Internet filters and other content-blocking tools can be useful, especially when your children are young. As they grow older, however, it’s important that you not simply block them but continue to teach them.
This is how accountability software differs from filtering. Instead of blocking websites, it monitors all the sites that your child visits and then sends a report to an accountability partner (you). This changes the mentality of the child surfing the Internet. Rather than him wondering how he could get around a filter to visit some forbidden-fruit website, he will know that he could visit the website but that he will have to answer for it.
When you think about it, isn’t this how the heavenly Father acts toward us? He could “block” us from turning our backs on him and from the pain our sins bring, but he does not. Rather he teaches us right from wrong, and implores us to do what’s right (while giving us the grace necessary to do it). He does not censor our every thought and action because he desires us to grow up to be responsible moral agents: sons and daughters who freely choose what is good. We parents ought to follow his example.
In my opinion, the best accountability software can be found at  www.covenanteyes.org.
We as parents have a grave responsibility to protect the purity of our children.
We will be answerable to almighty God if we fail to protect and guide them, particularly in the face of the unprecedented evils that porn poses to their minds, hearts, and souls. “Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin,” Jesus said, “it would be better for him to have a great millstone fastened round his neck and to be drowned in the depth of the sea” (Matt. 18:6). As Peter Kreeft once noted, there are no Styrofoam millstones.
By Matt Fradd

Raphael Benedict

Raphael Benedict

Raphael Benedict is a Catholic who wants nothing but to spread the catholic faith to reach the ends of the world. Make this possible by always sharing any article or prayers posted on your social media platforms. Remain blessed

3 Comments

  • Alan says:

    The Oxford English Dictionary (online):
    1. Complete trust or confidence in someone or something
    2. Strong belief in God or in the doctrines of a religion, based on spiritual apprehension rather than proof.
    Gotquestions.com:
    Hebrews 11:1: “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” Simply put, the biblical definition of faith is “trusting in something you cannot explicitly prove.”
    This definition of faith contains two aspects: intellectual assent and trust. Intellectual assent is believing something to be true. Trust is actually relying on the fact that the something is true. A chair is often used to help illustrate this. Intellectual assent is recognizing that a chair is a chair and agreeing that it is designed to support a person who sits on it. Trust is actually sitting in the chair.
    Patrick, somebody may very logically intellectually assent to something without “proof” as some supposedly intellectual people think of proof- observable, replicable,etc.
    You seem to be almost atheistic in your need for God, Jesus, etc. to be “proven,” and your apparent disdain for faith. Is that correct?

  • Just a Guy says:

    Seeking truth and endeavoring to live a good life, i wouldn’t think hell would be on your postmortal gps. But if I may share one last point, don’t forget the biblical evidence of Mary’s sinlessness:
    John 8:2-7 1/2—
    The teachers of the law and the Pharisees brought in a woman caught in adultery. … “Let the one among you who is without sin cast the first stone. ” A large stone flew from the back of the crowd, striking the woman and dropping her to the ground. Jesus called out, “Do you mind, Mom? I’m trying to make a point here! “

  • Pam says:

    The controversy surrounds the translation of Isaiah 7:14 “Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Emmanuel.” This Old Testament prophecy is quoted in the gospel of Matthew (Mt 1:23) and specifically applied to the virginal conception of Christ.
    Christians have always cherished this prophecy of Isaiah and its miraculous fulfillment in the virgin birth of Jesus the Messiah. Likewise, non-believers have attacked this prophecy in an attempt to discredit Christ and his Church; the attack is a weak one that is easily refuted.
    The Hebrew word translated as virgin, almah, can also be translated as “young woman” but as Strong’s Hebrew Lexicon notes “there is no instance where it can be proved that almah designates a young woman who is not a virgin.”
    Additional evidence that the correct translation is “virgin” is supplied by the Septuagint version of the Bible, a Greek translation of the Old Testament made several centuries before Christ. It was translated by Jewish scholars for use by Greek-speaking Jews, mainly in Alexandria.
    The Septuagint translates the Hebrew almah into Greek as parthenos. This Greek term has the precise meaning of “virgin.” So several centuries before the birth of Christ, before there was any reason to attack his Church, the meaning of Isaiah 7:14 was clear: almah = parthenos = virgin.

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