What should you do when your child sees images or watches videos that are not appropriate? How can we help kids learn what healthy relationships are? During this episode, Barb Winters joins me for an honest conversation about kids and relationships. We can help children turn away from inappropriate images and cultivate healthy relationships.
Kids and Relationship
Some kids willingly visit sites that aren’t good for them out of natural curiosity. Sometimes, they are shown images from a friend or others. But, mom and dad, there is a way to guide your child, teach them why they need to avoid future exposure, and how to help them be accountable because they know you love them.
Barb mentions a few steps during our conversation: Pray. Pause. Think. Talk.
It’s okay to take time to process your emotions and feelings so you can think logically about the information that is presented to you.
Affirm to your child you love them.
Be patient with your child and yourself.
Explain to them that you want to safeguard them from something that isn’t healthy for them.
Remember, working through topics that deal with sexuality takes time.
What Can Help
Use parental controls. Parental controls can’t stop a child, but it will make accessing online sites more difficult.
We need to sit down with our kids and talk about what they saw and how they gained access to the images or videos. This takes a degree of honesty and transparency between you and your child.
Listen without interrupting. It shows children you do care about what they see and how it can negatively impact their future. Your child needs to be heard and it will help you understand their thinking. But that doesn’t mean it will be easy; it will take effort not to hear them out. If it’s too much information or you don’t feel it is wise to hash through all the details, then don’t. The point is to gain understanding so you know how to proceed.
Kids often don’t think about the fallout of looking at graphic images or videos that are sexual in nature. That’s where you come in. We teach our children about all manner of topics, and we know it takes more than one conversation. But if we don’t discuss healthy relationships on a regular basis our kids will suffer.
Here are a few ways our kids can be impacted:
~A compulsion to keep watching or looking at images that are detrimental to their well-being.
~From a bond with screens instead of with humans.
~ Struggle to bond with others in intimate relationships.
~Behavior and beliefs are negatively shaped by societal and peer pressure.
We want our kids to understand God designed humans and His creation is beautiful. They also need to know how to protect themselves from damaging future relationships because they didn’t know better.
I encourage you to check out Barb’s book to learn more.
About Barb Winters
Barb Winters is the mom of a recovered pornography addict, a certified Sexual Risk Avoidance Specialist, and founder of Hopeful Mom: Supporting Parents in an Online World, where she offers encouragement and practical advice to parents and leaders. Barb equips students to make healthy choices and empowers parents to aid their children.
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