Parenting, Perseverance and Porn

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If there is one virtue parents need when they decide to help their children pursue a lifestyle of purity, it is perseverance.

Recently a parent confided that despite her best efforts to keep her child away from pornography (teaching about the harmful effects, installing filtering software, being careful with media choices, etc.), she discovered her child had in fact searched for it. Thankfully, this parent had monitoring software installed on her child’s device, so she was able to tell quickly after the incident happened, what had actually happened. (For a good monitoring software, please check out our top pick: Covenant Eyes)

This parent was wise in her reaction. She didn’t respond in anger or shock, but waited a little while until she could calmly talk to her child about it. As she recounted the story, she was visibly upset. And rightfully so. It’s so traumatizing to know your child has searched out porn. It is shocking and very sad. It can make you feel like you have failed. Especially if you were taking steps to prevent this occurrence.

The temptation is to throw in the towel and say “well, I guess it didn’t work”. Please don’t do this, mom and dad. This would essentially be communicating to your son or daughter that he or she is not worth fighting for. It would also reinforce the myth that pornography addiction is not something you can overcome. Your kids need you to fight for them. They need you to roll with the punches and get back up when failure comes. They need you to remind them that there is nothing Christ has not forgiven and there is nothing that He did not overcome. And this ability to overcome He gives to us, too. Your kids need you to have relentless hope for them. They need you to pray for them and believe the best for them even when they can’t believe it themselves.

Perseverance is an essential element of relentless hope. When you hope for the very best for your kids, you start thinking that despite all the circumstances, despite what I see, despite all the evidence stacked up against me and my children, I choose to believe that we can pursue God’s holiness. We can seek to be like Him. We can overcome everything that is causing us to stumble. We can do this because of the blood of Christ and the power of the Holy Spirit.

There is a promise in scripture I encourage you to pray over your situation if you find yourself struggling to persevere. Galatians 6:9 says “And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.”

I pray the Lord blesses you and keeps you and helps you to persevere as you raise your children. I am convinced you will reap a very great harvest if you don’t give up.

– Megan Briggs

Megan joined the Generations of Virtue team to become the Product Manager, a position which keeps her busy researching, reading resources, managing inventory and speaking to young people.

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4 Steps To Equip Your Tween Against Bullying

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Recently our team conducted a session for 11-14 year olds and spent a section specifically addressing online bullying. Unfortunately this issue has become even more rampant since the wave of seemingly “consequentless anonymizers” like Snapchat have taken center stage.

In today’s anonymous world youth are encouraged to dissociate themselves with negative behavior and instead cling to their anonymous label that grants them access to the “waves of culture”. Instead of strength of character we see a growing epidemic of mean behavior amongst those that should be brothers and sisters. We’d like to share a few practical steps you can share with your tween to help them in bullying situations.

Step In

Oftentimes adults are somewhat in the dark about how prevalent this issue is in their tween or teen’s world. Step one to combat this is to step in to their world. The easiest way into the world of tweens is by connecting with your child in familiar non-threatening conversations. These conversations can be started with simple questions like “Who is your favorite person at school?” or “Who is the most popular?” Make an effort as these conversations progress to take note of your child’s reactions and responses. Even jot down the names they mention on your phone. It will mean a lot to your child when you are able to follow up and ask how their peers are by name and not just description.

Parents’ reactions to difficult situations will shape the way our kids relate their world to us. Kids often feel that they exist within two or more “worlds” and do their best to maintain a positive atmosphere in all of them. There is the school world, home world, and various game or online worlds that add to this. As a parent you need to be willing to step out into their other worlds. That may mean sitting in on a gaming session, asking for a tour of their Facebook or WhatsApp, or visiting them for lunch at school (if appropriate). Do whatever you need to in order to better understand where they live day to day.

Step Back

Try to always remember the old saying “hurt people hurt people”. It seems simple enough, but it is imperative to remember that the one hurting others is usually trying to cover their own wounds. By jumping into a situation too quickly you can re-victimize the participants and thus get yourself excommunicated from their world quite quickly. Remember to keep your cool in these situations and make a concentrated effort to examine the situation from an unbiased perspective. Lastly, be sure to involve leadership that knows both parties well in the conflict resolution stage.

Step Up

Tweens especially are in a time of transition. Amongst their peers many social roles are established simply by who is willing to step up. Encourage your children in leadership roles that compliment their personality. One of the slogans we use with the teens is “Don’t be afraid – be a friend”. This may be a good memory verse to share with your child if they find themselves involved in a bullying situation where they need to step up:

Deuteronomy 31:6 ESV

“Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the Lord your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you.”

Step Over (not on)

Once I saw a video on a nature channel about a mother bear and her cubs. I vividly remember the look in the mother’s eyes and body language when she realized the camera crew was stepping closer to her cubs. She had been grazing behind them comfortably, but seeing the possible danger she moved to step over her cubs and re-situate herself between them and the camera man. If you notice your child is the target of bullies, don’t be afraid to step between them and the bully to bring balance and protection to the situation.

“Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”

This definition by Albert Einstein of insanity could easily be applied in this arena as well. We cannot continue moving in the same direction and stay in the same patterns but expect things to change. Sit down with your spouse and then with your tween and figure out as a team what steps you all need to take regarding your specific situation. Step one should always be to our knees in prayer as we seek first the Kingdom.

-Courtney Alberson

Courtney is Generation of Virtue’s lead solutions specialist. Which is a fancy way of saying she handles the team’s many IT needs and spends a lot of time in Photoshop. When she’s not finding solutions to problems, Courtney enjoys communicating God’s truth about love and relationships to teenagers and…drinking coffee.

 

 

SEX ED FOR SINGLE MOMS

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I recently received this testimony about Passport 2 Purity (P2P) from a mom who attended one of my parenting sessions. It was so good I had to share! I sincerely admire this mom who is determined to share the truth with her son, despite the difficulties of being a single mom. Way to go, mom!

I came across the P2P kit when I attended a Generations of Virtue parenting talk in March 2014.  As a single mom, I was fretting about how to have The Conversation with my son (then 14 years old), and thought that P2P would be a good tool.

When I opened the kit, I was overwhelmed by the planning and preparation that was required! I thought to myself – “it’s too much work.  I don’t think I can find a suitable destination or a fun activity that would fit the purpose.”

Nonetheless, I took time to read through the notes not once, not twice, but several times – digesting it, thinking about it.  Specifically, I prayed to God to help me plan for this, to show me how to do this, and to prepare our hearts for this.  Slowly, a plan took form.

I decided not to follow strictly to the schedule recommended.  Instead, I planned it into our family vacation to Gold Coast, Australia in June 2014.  It was significant as it was the first time he and I were going on a vacation, just the two of us. Until then, vacations were always with friends or the extended family. It was also his 14th birthday present.

I gathered the materials needed for the activities and packed them into the luggage, without him knowing.  The audio tracks were downloaded into my phone for easy playback, along with headphones.

We did our first session on the flight out to Gold Coast.  The rest of sessions in the evenings were spread out over the next six days – usually in the evenings, when we are back from the day’s activities.  Being away really helped as it took us away from our daily routines and distractions.  Both of us were relaxed, enjoying ourselves tremendously and not worrying about chores/schoolwork.

There were some awkward moments (at least for me), when instructions were given to “talk with your dad” and during topics of physical changes/masturbation.  However, these moments passed quickly.  The main benefit of P2P was that it provided a clear, structured framework to discuss the various issues relating to puberty, sexual purity and dating.  The questions provided a great start to otherwise awkward conversations.

At the end of it, it was not just my son who benefited from it.  I too gained a deeper understanding of my teenage son. I feel P2P has also brought us closer. My son is not shy to come to me with issues or concerns he is having about his growing up, how he relates to his peers, even how to start a conversation with a girl!

 In fact, I’m planning to do a “refresher” course with him this year, focusing on setting boundaries, and dating. 

Julie Hiramine

Julie Hiramine is a mom, author, and the founder and executive director of the ministry Generations of Virtue. As an internationally noted speaker, she has ministered in many nations to thousands of parents, teens, and young people. Julie believes the key to turning the tide of an immoral culture is to equip parents to empower their children to be pure.

One of Julie’s main inspirations (besides the Lord’s calling, of course!) is her own children. In fact, the ministry of Generations of Virtue came about largely through Julie’s prayers for a strategy she could use with her own children. Julie and Kay have 5 children, whom they have homeschooled and taken along on numerous ministry trips around the U.S. and overseas. When not ministering, one of Kay and Julie’s favorite activities is cooking gourmet meals (much to the delight of the Generations of Virtue team). The Hiramine family lives in Colorado and western New York when they are not on the road.