Lila Spencer flowersThis past weekend my daughter got married! And everything went off without a hitch! It was even sunny in Seattle…in March! Now, that was a gift!

As I watched my daughter flash her gorgeous smile and admired how stunning she looked in her wedding dress, it felt like a huge payday. Seeing my daughter start a new chapter in her life was one of those times when I knew all the years of parenting were worth it.

So what does this have to do with porn-proofing your kids? A lot. I’ve taught my daughter to value, care for and protect her body. And I guess the lesson here is to start young if you want paydays when your kids hit their 20’s.

Some of the most foundational concepts we can teach our kids have to do with their bodies. Here are three concepts that will help kids avoid all kinds of problems as they mature.

happy kid with magnifying glassMy body is the most amazing thing on earth. Imbue your kids with a sense of wonder, gratitude and respect for their bodies. The human body is the most amazing life form on our planet. Nothing else is more complex or can do more than a man or woman can. Think about it. As much as you love dolphins or are amazed by their sonar hearing abilities, humans can build sonar machines.

Happy carrot chomping girlI must learn to care for my amazing body. Most parents teach their kids how to brush their teeth, bathe their bodies and comb their hair. You get extra points if you teach them the benefits of exercise, getting enough sleep, and eating fresh fruits and vegetables.

But teaching them that it’s their responsibility to care for their own bodies is the key. I’m convinced that a major precursor of addiction is not caring for our physical bodies and the emotions those bodies generate.

I must protect my body. We only get one body, so teach your kids to protect their amazing bodies by being safe and using good hygiene. But go further. Teach your kids to protect their brains. The mind is like a garden (not a dumping ground!) and your child can choose which seeds to plant. Teach them to keep the ugly weeds of bad pictures and bad videos out.  two-boys-are-playing-by-digging-the-ground_w480_h725

At any age, these messages will help kids to value, care for and protect their bodies. These attitudes form a foundation for steering clear of addictions of all kinds.

So what do you think? Can positive attitudes about the body impact whether a child will end up with an addiction?

Kristen Jenson
Kristen A. Jenson is the founder of Protect Young Minds and author of Good Pictures Bad Pictures: Porn-Proofing Today's Young Kids. Kristen enjoys speaking, writing and anything else that will help empower kids to reject pornography. Kristen earned a bachelor’s degree in English Literature, and a master’s degree in Organizational Communication. Kristen currently lives with her husband in Washington State, where she enjoys growing a vegetable garden, watching Masterpiece Theater, and taking long walks with friends who tolerate her incessant talking about you know what. Above all else, her husband and three children are her greatest treasures.