Good Pictures, Bad Pictures & I Said No!: Books to Help Keep Kids Safe

Among all the other reading I’ve done with the boys this week–for school, for devotions, for fun–I also included this book:

good-pictures-bad-pictures

The title {obviously} is Good Pictures, Bad Pictures:  Porn-Proofing Today’s Young Kids. 

It came recommended by a fellow mom, and I am now recommending it, too. This book goes far beyond just introducing the topic. The authors discuss our feeling brain vs. our thinking brain, the concept of addiction, and they give a practical plan of what to do when a person sees pornography. The authors’ approach to this overwhelming issue is very non-shaming, and although the main character is a boy, I think the book would work just as well in explaining this to girls.

Realistically, it’s not a matter of if but when our children will be exposed to porn. I was around my older son’s age–10 and a half–when a friend took me into her big brother’s room (ostensibly to play the piano, as we told her mother) and brought out a magazine hidden below a stack of blankets in a trunk. We took turns flipping pages while the other banged on piano keys, and–as you can imagine–at least one of those images is in my head probably forever.  For our children, the risk is higher with greater and more available technology.

We read most of Good Pictures, Bad Pictures aloud together as a family and decided on a short prayer we could say if we see pornography (God, help me keep my thoughts pure.) I wrote down the CAN DO plan put forth by the book’s authors so we can refer to that in the future. Hopefully, your public library has a copy available–if not, it might be worth purchasing. Personally, I think this is one base I really need to have covered when it comes to parenting. I can’t teach my boys to drive a stick shift or tie a necktie, but I CAN help prepare them to reject the allure of porn.

Another helpful, easy-to-read book for children is I Said No! A Kid-to-Kid Guide to Keeping Private Parts Private. From this book, our boys learned to use the phrase “red flag” if something scary, confusing, or bad happens that feels hard to explain. Sometimes I check in with them about this–after a camp out with Scouts, for example, when they’ve spent lots of time away from us and with other boys. On the way home, I usually ask if “anything red flag happened.” So far they’ve always said no. But I think there may be times in the future when they might hesitate to bring this up, so for me, it’s worth it to initiate the topic once in a while. I’m a parent–it’s my job to pursue my children. 

Because of these 2 books, I feel more confident that my children have some basic language to talk to me about something frightening, abusive, or confusing happening to them. And that’s what I so very much want–for my children to feel they can come to me at any time, to tell me anything, and receive love in response.

 

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