Just For Dads - The Third Talk
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“It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men.”
- Frederick Douglass

Dads I invite you to please stand up, turn your hats around backwards, and follow me into the battle to keep our young children from watching online pornography.

 

It will be a little uncomfortable for a moment, but it is important and necessary. 

 

The sexual media that our young people see today is not the Playboy magazine we stole from our dads when we were growing up. This pornography is dangerous to their developing minds, hurts their physical brains, disrupts the mechanisms necessary to develop relationship skills, and takes all the wonder and fun out of exploring this part of their personalities gradually. It rushes them through what should be a fun and exciting time, ripe with its own challenges. Now, with an ocean of explicit adult videos available at the click of a button to act as "guidance" for this part of their lives, our children's sexual instruction comes externally from the family, and on every device they use.  

 

Trying to navigate this sensitive time in their young lives with such a solid and ever-present outside influence is nearly impossible for a child. It's even worse when no one is talking to them about it, and maybe worse yet that their dad, their protector, defender, and guardian, may be silent on the topic. From my experience, if do not shame your kids in the conversation, they'll talk with you about it. They want to discuss pornography and have you set the rules. It's us, me, you, all the dads, that pull back.

 

 

Parents constantly tell me how scary it is to talk about this topic with their kids, and that sometimes fear is why they don't talk about it. Grown-ups (especially dads) have a responsibility to protect their children at all costs. We owe them that obligation no matter how difficult or frightening it may be to offer it. If a lion charged our family, we would not stop, wait, or weigh the potential outcomes between teeth and claws. We would throw ourselves in between the lion and our children no matter what the cost. "I'm not good at fighting lions" or "I don't have any experience with that" would seem cold comfort as you stood beside your child in a hospital bed without a scratch on you.

 

We would never send our children hiking in the Mojave Desert to study flora and fauna and forget to mention rattlesnakes, heatstroke, and dehydration. The internet is a wild place, a wilderness full of good and bad, and our kids will find hardcore online pornography by themselves, or together in a youth group, girls scout troop, or middle school class.

 

We can't see the hurt. It can look like normal "teenage angst." I'm fond of saying that if children would just turn green from watching online pornography, the CDC would put helicopters in the air. Until then, dads, you are in the very best place to speak with your kids about avoiding this content. You may be the only ones who can.

 

Parent's Guide

If you got home after work, and grabbed a beer from the fridge, sat on your couch in your house and drank a beer, you're not breaking any rules. If your 11 year old came in and grabbed a beer however, you would have something to say. That does not make you a hypocrite regarding beer. You're the dad, you make the rules. You pay for the fridge and the electricity to keep it running. You wouldn't let your children knowingly absorb an addictive substance like alcohol or cocaine, and yet online pornography fires all the same receptors in their brains.

 

The solution is for all dads to agree right now, that it is socially acceptable, encouraged even, to speak with young people about avoiding online pornography. Let's all break like we're coming out of a football huddle and just do this! 'Ready? 1…2…3!' BREAK! After that, you talk to you kids, I'll talk to my kids, and we'll all talk together as parents. I know we can do this dads, and we have to. It's not getting better.

 

If however you cannot have the conversation with your kids, would you please make an anonymous $5 donation? Your gift will allow The Third Talk™ to cause this message to resonate loudly so that many people will hear it, and maybe even your little ones. I am asking you to be brave here, dads. I am asking you for your help.

 

Thank you.

 

John

"Let not any one person pacify his conscience by the delusion that he can do no harm if he takes no part, and forms no opinion." John Stuart Mill, 1867