EPISODE 7: Five things you can do to overcome pornographyDec 04, 2019
I was having a conversation with a fellow coach friend of mine
She had walked in on her 16-year-old son using pornography
We got to talking about how she reacted and how finally she said to him ”I can’t keep you safe”
The truth is that we can’t keep our loved ones from doing any of the buffering that they choose to engage in.
In fact, I had a dear friend who for the last decade and a half have a weekly habit of Viewing pornography.
He is an extraordinarily smart person who has all of the filters that you can imagine set up to keep him safe. And for a period of time his wife was the only one with access to the passwords required to get past those safeguards
I have never seen so much security or safeguards set up to keep someone from viewing pornography. It was elaborate, comprehensive and cumbersome.
Except my friend was, as he would say, “constantly checking to see if I was safe by testing the limits of all the blockers on all the devices in the house.”
As someone who is somewhat technically savvy I felt blocked at every turn just to use certain websites that would normally be allowed, like google.
This master planned internet access security would likely keep almost anyone safe.
Not my friend. And for that matter, not anyone who really wanted to choose pornography.
The reality is that, regardless of what buffer we choose, food, porn, drugs, alcohol, social media, no one can keep us safe is we choose to seek it out.
This was true for me as well.
My wife was the gate keeper of my phone’s access to pornography for a long time.
I asked her to block the internet on my phone so I couldn’t get on at all. She was the only one with the password.
It wasn’t able to keep pornography out of my life. It was only a temporary barrier to immediate access.
Until I found a way. Until my friend found a way. Until my friend’s son found a way.
Each of the stories has the same thread of reality running through it.
In each version there are ample blocks to immediate access.
There are hurdles to be overcome and access is monitored by a central figure, a trusted wife or mother.
In each version, there are individuals who, morally, believe that looking at pornography is contrary to their overall happiness.
In each version, the pornography users are trying to lead a life as clean as possible.
And in each version, they are able to surpass the barriers to entry in an effort to satisfy their urge to view pornography.
Why is that?
Before we get into the why, I want to say something about these roadblocks that we construct to keep our families safe. They are good, they are necessary and they need to be built and maintained. But, as you will understand as we discuss the rest of the podcast, they will never be enough to keep your family 100% free of pornography.
So why? Why is it that we will go to such great lengths to access our drug of choice? Whether it is pornography or food or social media or video games?
Lower brain = eons of evolution = survival
So that is the challenge. That is what you are up against.
So what can you do? As a wife, husband, father, mother, individual, child, grandparent faced with a world where you can no longer just shut out the influences of the outside world and there are an ever increasing number of ways to bring them in and have them at the dinner table.
- First, you need to define what it means to be safe.
- Ask yourself what you are shooting to achieve .
- Create a plan and execute on it.
- Involve experts
- Be flexible and prepared to adjust
- Decide that any failures of the system are opportunities to learn
- Learn from those opportunities
- Second, understand what the people you want to help want
- Ask your kids what they are aiming for in their world.
- Be willing to lose a battle.
- Be capable of responding rather than reacting
- Keep consequences natural and maintainable.
- Third, have consistent and persistent conversations
- Discuss expectations
- Ask pointed questions
- Be able to hear the truth without losing your cool
- Discuss your learning opportunities with those in your circle.
- Seek mentors that have been where you are and heed their advice as much as you can and is meaningful for your situation
- Fourth, be open about your own struggles.
- Each of us has burdens to bear – share yours with your family
- Fifth, Trust in agency.
- Believe that you are doing your best and so are all those around you.
- Believe that whoever is using is not doing it to hurt you or themselves.
- Also, believe that the user has agency and they are the only person who can exercise that agency
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