I interact with many Catholic parents throughout my week. As a father I interact with other parents in our Catholic school. As a parishioner I interact with parents in our parish and religious education program. I also interact with parents through our Teaching the Way of Love program for Catholic parents and through my work in the Office for Marriage and Family Life. All of these parents have quite a bit in common. They may differ in their knowledge of the Faith. They may differ in how much they focus on the worldly culture versus how much they focus on the Kingdom of God. But all of these parents – every single one – wants what is best for their children.
When the topic of pornography comes up, Catholic parents are united in their desire to protect their children. They know that pornography is damaging to healthy sexuality and relationships.
Catholic parents as a whole also feel powerless at times to offer that protection. Pornography is so easy to access these days. Parents can’t possibly watch everything their children do at every moment, nor do they want to.
But there is good news. There are a few steps that parents can take that dramatically reduce the chance that children will seek out pornography. In previous articles this month we talked about
- Creating a family media plan that makes media consumption a family activity rather than a private activity.
- Using an Internet filter to protect your family from the worst that the Internet can expose us to, and to spark conversations about how each family member uses the media.
Here is another piece of advice: be very careful about the freedom you give your children with smartphones. The folks at Covenant Eyes share a survey given to highschool students asking them about their use of pornography. Go read about the survey and the conclusions. This is a powerful tool to empower Catholic parents who want to provide the best for their children.
by Jeff Arrowood