Jo Langford is a therapist and sex educator from Seattle, WA. Our conversation today will cover porn, social media ediquette, and sexting (yikes!). In a culture that is becoming ever more sexualized, how do we keep our kids safe and smart about what is out there? Joe and I have a very candid conversation about conversations to have with our children, while still maintaining relationship and family values…
Jo has two kids, a middle schooler and an almost middle schooler. He is living his work!
He’s been changing the world and making it better since high school.
Joe trains parents, teachers and staff of organizations such as the YMCA and the Boys and Girls Club.
Harder for kids to NOT see porn, than it is to be ABLE to see it.
Families are getting in touch with Joe because their 10-16 year old is looking at a lot of porn parents talk about it and child continues to engage in it.
What conversations you can have with your kids when they are noticing all of the opportunities to see/look at porn.
When you see porn you can never “un-see” it.
Instead of “how do I keep my child from being exposed to porn?” today, we need to be asking, “how do I handle it when my child sees porn?” – this is the reality based on statistic
Open conversations are key… Keep them talking, by practicing your neutral face and manage your own stuff when they come to you to have tough conversations. The message becomes “I can handle what you bring me, no matter what.”
What happens in the brain? Kicks up the pleasure centers, big hit of dopamine… If they continue to watch, the brain gets desensitized and wants to get to the next level.
Talk to kids about building boundaries around tech. Encourage them to have real relationships, how to unplug, how to manage friends/people who sext. Rules/guidelines around where the phone/screen lives at night… Don’t wait until you NEED the guidelines – put them into place now.
“Monitoring” software that Joe recommends – builds muscles of restraint and self control when kids have some access while also knowing that parents will see where they go – “we are trying to raise good grown ups”
Qustidio – controlled through wifi – put the browser on kids devices. Controls, time limits, helpful.
Disney’s Circle – easy to use, hooks up to wifi, all devices get put into categories (grown ups, teens, kids) and put time limits on use, also over 3G. AWESOME!
Best strategy is to put most of the ownership and responsibility on the kids.
“Not about me trusting you, it’s about you showing that you are trustworthy.”
Joe has amazingly helpful PDFs on his website
Making agreements together is key to our kids follow through.
The internet is forever! You leave a trail….
Grown ups are the models of what is appropriate/inappropriate – be good role models!
SM challenges Joe sees with parents – Snapchat, no way to monitor because it all disappears… “Deeper end of pool” – super popular. Starting out with Snapchat is a huge mistake – kids need to start with FB or IG, and wade into social networking pool to learn how to interact online. Snapchat is more for later/older teens.
Roll out the SM access, rather than giving kids full access from the beginning. Let them flex and develop their muscles.
Get on the apps they want to use with them, let them teach you, normalize communicating with each other through this media.
How do we help our kids deal with sexting? Statistically 20% - 30% of teens send pics, doubles when it is only “words” Girls sometimes start the behavior because they know the boys will respond. Joe advises the boys to respond with “this isn’t something you need to do… here are three things I like about you besides your boobs” – our girls are getting the wrong message about how to connect/get attention.
Joe has a PDF about sexting – great prompts for powerful conversation.
Kids have less hangups about sex and seem to be more comfortable with their bodies, but there is an abyss they can tumble into – we want them to be more discerning and thoughtful about who they share that with.
Musical.ly – lip synch app. Conversations about song choice and messages they are sending to the world. Others make meaning/assessments of you (kids) based on what you put out there….
Developing a discerning mind… All about practice.
Where to find Joe:
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