The tips below are activities, tools, and resources my husband used with our sons to further encourage the truths found in Conversation #2. Feel free to pass them along to your husband and in turn, if he has something valuable to add to the list, please comment and share the idea with the rest of our 5 Conversations blog community.
Dad:2:Dad tips (by Keith Courtney)
Ways I emphasized principles of self-control:
- Taught them “Act your way into a feeling”, i.e., do not let your feelings dictate your actions, but do the right things regardless of whether you feel like doing so.
- Vicki and I were particular about our sons’ peer groups and employed the “weekday friends/weekend friend” principle Vicki discusses in her book.
- Vicki and I made it clear that phones, computers, and the like were bought and paid for by us and therefore, would be spot-checked or monitored until we felt they had earned the trust to use the devices responsibly.
- Our sons did not have access to the internet through their phones (a smart phone) until late into high school for our youngest and college for our oldest. In turn, they were required to pay for their data plans/unlimited text messaging.
- We did not allow our sons to have unlimited text messaging until the latter high school years. We took a “training wheels” approach to technology, making sure our sons had earned trust at each level before being given another privilege.
Resources I used to discuss the dangers of porn:
- Read Every Young Man’s Battle (for teens) and Preparing Your Son for Every Young Man’s Battle (for tweens), both by Stephen Arterburn and Fred Stoeker and emphasized the principle of “bouncing your eyes.”
- I went over Chapter 7 from 5 Conversations You Must Have With Your Son with my youngest son during his senior year of high school.
- Both Vicki and I asked our sons on a fairly consistent basis how they were doing regarding the temptation to view porn and reminded them of the long-term fallout. We also let them know that they could come to us should they find themselves caving into the temptation and that we would not react in shock or shame them.
As Vicki was researching for the book, she passed along articles and books that had been especially helpful in outlining her chapter on the temptations of porn (Chapter 7 of the book) and I went over them with our youngest son.
Here are some links to our favorite articles:
Hijacking the Brain — How Pornography Works by: Albert Mohler
This Is Your Brain on Porn: Virtual Sex and Brain Chemistry by: William M. Struthers
Unexpected Lessons from Porn Users by: Marnia Robinson (Note: While I do not endorse the author’s views on evolution, I felt there was great value in sharing some of her findings among porn users with my sons. Content may not be suitable for boys younger than high school.)
Here are links to a few of our favorite books:
Hooked: New Science on How Casual Sex is Affecting Our Children by: M.D. Joe S. McIlhaney Jr and M.D. Freda McKissic Bush
Wired for Intimacy: How Pornography Hijacks the Male Brain by: William M. Struthers