Family Issues Today: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly
- Before the U.S. Supreme Court’s season ended on Monday, they unanimously struck down the 35-foot “buffer zone” around abortion clinics, restoring free speech to pro-life advocates.
- The Supreme Court also granted a landmark victory for religious liberty in the Hobby Lobby case, ruling that family-owned businesses do not have to offer their employees contraceptive insurance coverage that conflicts with the owners’ religious beliefs.
- The Supreme Court refused to hear the case challenging a California law that prohibits “reparative therapy” for children struggling with same-sex attraction.
- The U.S. 10th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a previous Federal Judge’s ruling that Utah’s marriage amendment is unconstitutional.
- A Federal Judge ruled that Kentucky’s marriage amendment is unconstitutional.
There is an ugly problem that may be closer to home than we realize during the summer months: children’s exposure to pornography.
Science shows that pornography “actually shrinks the frontal lobes of the brain, similar to the brain damage caused by car accidents and drug abuse.” We use car seats and seat belts to protect our children from traffic injuries, and we warn them about the dangers of drugs. But what can we do to protect them from exposure to pornography?
As our friends at “PornProofKids” advise us, “A study out of Europe documents what I believe it true the world over–parents simply underestimate their kids’ online exposure to pornography. They underestimate the enticing pull of these images–especially for kids who don’t know how to deal with the shocking memories they create.”
The good news is that parents can help empower kids to reject pornography. They can give them “good information and a plan.” Teaching children about the dangers of pornography online and in the media is a good first step. But PornProofKids suggest that that we don’t stop there. They offer these “three super simple, but super powerful, media defense skills to help kids supercharge their immunity to porn.”
- Help children use their “thinking brain.“You’ve got TWO brains! Teaching kids they have two brains–the feeling brain and the thinking brain–is empowering for all kinds of growing up skills. The feeling brain is all about instinct, appetites and desires, and all of these are critical to survival. Pornography activates the feeling brain and, over time, can give it power to hijack the thinking brain—that part of the brain that understands consequences and puts the brake on our appetites. It may be helpful for kids to see their thinking brain as a super hero that needs to triumph over their feeling brain.
- Name it when you see it. “That’s pornography!” is a powerful phrase because it activates the pre-frontal cortex and revs up the thinking brain to take charge. If kids are trained to say, “That’s pornography!” (and can practice saying it with their family), it wakes them up to the danger of what they’re seeing and the importance of rejecting it immediately.
- Practice the art of distraction. Pornographic images are extremely memorable. Especially for kids whose mirror neurons make the images feel all the more real. So when kids see anything that arouses their interest, those images are hard to forget. They keep popping up and enticing a child to look for more. Kids need to know this will happen and be prepared to distract themselves (or to get you to help them) every time the images reappear. It’s especially helpful to engage in something physical that requires their mind’s full attention. As they practice the art of distraction, those images will begin to fade as the neural pathway to that image erodes and weakens.
We appreciate the dedicated efforts of “PornProofKids”, and hope these resources help strengthen your family. We also encourage you to read UFI Intern Samantha Anderson’s article “Stink-Bug Fudge.” Learn why it is so important to carefully monitor the media that your children bite into today!
United Families International President
Stink-Bug Fudge: Now Approved for all Appropriate Audiences
When my grandpa, Leland, was 10 years-old, sugar was hard to come by, so sweets were particularly special. On one occasion, Leland was left alone while his parents were preparing to entertain company. Seizing this opportunity, he decided to make fudge in order to surprise his parents when they came back. So he gathered all the ingredients, whipped them together, and hid the fudge in the basement. After dinner that night, Leland proudly brought up his chocolate fudge and presented it to his parents and guests. His aunt was the first to try a piece. As she bit into the fudge, she exclaimed, “Why, Bertha (Leland’s mother), this is simply marvelous! But wherever did you get the nuts?” Upon investigation it was discovered that Leland had not included nuts in his recipe. . . Click here to read more.