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10 Steps to Nurturing a Porn-Free Family Life


I attended a college session last week with Jonathon van Maren where we learned about the scourge of porn in our society. It was highlighted that the average age at which boys are introduced to porn is between 9-10 years of age. The average age for girls is between 11-12. Over 80% of all men in Canada look at porn regularly. It is also the assumption that all young men entering the seminary are actively looking at porn, and that 53% of clergy regularly look at porn.


Last year, one of the five major porn sites logged 575,000 years-worth of hours—in just the past year! There are 8760 hours in a year. Now multiply this by 575,000 and you’ll have how many hours of porn were watched on just one of the five sites last year.


Porn companies have spent millions of dollars in the last ten years researching how to get women addicted to porn the way men are. They have succeeded. If you are not looking at porn, as our speaker said, you are an aberration in this society because everybody is doing it.


The goal of this article is to help your family be that aberration.

Living an authentic family life is half the battle to living porn-free.

The following are the steps we are taking as a family to make sure we stay porn-free.


One

Not surprisingly, it begins with the parents. After the session, Jonathon read out a number of questions and answered them. One question kept coming up over and over again: “My father looks at porn. What should I do?” If we as parents are not porn-free, how can we keep our children from it? If you are looking at pornography, there is help. We know that porn actually rewires the brain, but we also know that the brain can heal itself within six-months to a year. Get help. You cannot win this battle on your own.


Two

Get protection on every device in the home. Gone, really, are the days by which one would look at porn in a magazine. Almost all porn is accessed online. To quote Jonathon, “If you think you do not need protection on your device, you are stronger than Samson, wiser than Solomon, and closer to God than David.”


Practically, what does this look like? Our children have phones without sim cards by which they listen to audio books. However, each of those devices still has the capability for internet access so I’ve blocked that access. Our personal phones, which the children end up using as well, as well as laptops and desktop, are still in the process of being protected. We are going to use either Qustodio or Covenant Eyes for them. We as parents also control access to the Wi-Fi. We turn off the Wi-Fi completely from about 9pm onwards. When we leave the house, we turn off the Wi-Fi as well.


Three

Practice makes perfect. We are teaching our children two main strategies to protect themselves: a) turn your head when you see something you shouldn’t and b) tell mom and dad. We practice this with the older children specifically. There was a tv series that came out ten years ago called Lost. My wife and I really enjoyed the series. We knew there were a couple make-out scenes and one plot line that was inappropriate. So we watched the series with the older kids, and as these parts arose in the story, we would jump up, have everyone turn their head and we’d fast-forward. The goal is to create a habit. And it is working. I was scrolling through Youtube videos the other night and a scantily clad picture came up. My son, who was beside me watching, quickly turned his head while I quickly scrolled it off the screen.


Four

Frank conversations. Don’t be afraid to ask the hard questions. My wife asks my daughters and I ask my sons: “How is your fight for purity? Have you looked at porn or sexual type pictures this week? If so, what led to that? Where did you see them? Are you masturbating? Do you need to go to confession? Trust me, it is hard to ask these questions, but my kids appreciate it. My son brought to me some pictures in his Starwars book that had scantily clad ladies so we decided to cut out the pictures.


Five

Be Romantic. Our children need to witness what real love actually looks like. They need to see their parents embrace, flirt, kiss. Our children also need to know that mom and dad need alone time too, so we put aside one night per week where we get the evening to ourselves. If the aim of Satan is to normalize porn in our families, then we must counter the attack by normalizing marital love. Marital love is romantic, committed, enduring, deep, friendship, protected at all costs, and fruitful.


Six

Protect Beauty. One thing we don’t want is for our children to grow up paranoid about nakedness. The human body is beautiful. Men are called by God to protect that which is beautiful. Women, being the most beautiful of all creation, are to be protected. What does this look like? Manners, politeness, respect to their mother, courtesy, chivalry, and so forth. As fathers, model it, teach it, and expect it of the children. And teach them the difference, as they get older, between art (nude sculptures or paintings in classical art)) and naked images with the intent to arouse.


Seven

Cut out Youtube unless it is specifically used to look up instructions for something (ie. recipes, DIY’s). Cancel Netflix. One night, my wife and I were trying to watch a movie on Netflix. The first movie had a violent sex scene. We immediately shut it off and picked another. The second, within the first ten minutes, also had one. We shut it off and went for a third. That too. There ended our movie night and our subscription to Netflix. Almost all pornography is violent and platforms like Netflix are mainstreaming and normalizing porn. Be done with it. Get VidAngel to help you filter out garbage from movies.


Eight

Don’t allow sleepovers unless you are absolutely 100% positive of the position you are placing your child into and that it will be porn-free.


Nine

Access Fight The New Drug. They have two exceptional videos called “Head” and “Heart.” Watch them first and then watch them with your youth.


Ten

Pray. A lot. Pray prayers of protection over your children every single day without fail.


I’m sure there are more strategies as well. Try to develop a culture in your family that includes a love of books, developing hobbies, tactile skills, spending time outdoors, and so forth. Be a family of great faith and piety, where you pray together, attend Holy Mass together, and discuss deep issues around the dinner table.


Living an authentic family life is half the battle to living porn-free.




Semper Fidelis,


Kenton E. Biffert

 

Kenton is a writer and speaker, and works at Our Lady Seat of Wisdom College as an adjunct professor and the Dean of Students. Together with his wife, they homeschool their 8 children, explore the wilds of Ontario in the canoe, and read voraciously. To learn more about the art of fatherhood, visit Kenton's personal page.

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