Are you a dad who uses pornography? (Part Two)
In last week’s post, we discussed ways to open a conversation with your child/teenager about pornography, how to make a game plan for situations that they may face, and things you can do to hold them accountable. This week, we’ll look at further ways to protect them and the rest of your family.
1- Hold yourself accountable. You can’t be truly motivated to help someone else improve unless you are also willing to make the same changes. Get a good accountability partner with whom you can be open and honest. If you’ve ever struggled with pornography use from your phone, then install an accountability app to strengthen you during those challenging moments. I think that Ever Accountable is the best one (yeah, I’m biased), but whichever app you choose, put it in place and leave it running. Be open with your accountability partner if you ever struggle with pornography from a source other than your phone. Your kids will see the difference these changes will make in you, it will build or re-build trust with your loved ones, and it will bring peace of mind to you knowing that you are doing the best you can to safeguard your family against harm.
2- Practice self-talk when you’re feeling particularly vulnerable to viewing pornographic material. Remind yourself of how you feel after you’ve viewed porn. Let yourself remember the shame, disgust, and exhaustion that follow each episode, and then change your physical location to help diffuse the temptation. Go outside for a walk, or do a few minutes of intense exercise.
3- Use the time and energy you’ve been wasting on pornography to fulfill your dreams! Be a better dad, a better son, a better brother, a better spouse. Reach out to another person who is struggling. Go to college, try hard at work to win that promotion, get back into that hobby, adopt an exercise routine, or do whatever else gets you excited to wake up and make something of yourself. Many times we become so consumed by our daily tasks that we do not strive to discover things that truly make us come alive.
Finally, do whatever it takes to get away from and stay away from pornography. No one can MAKE you stay away from porn it’s a choice you have to make for yourself. There are a lot of people who can and want to help you. Although it won’t be easy, you have greatness in you, and you can fight, and you can win! The fight might take a long time, but what better thing could you be doing with that time?!
I believe deeply that if you fight with everything you have, withholding nothing, you will win, and the impact on your kids will be worth every effort.
– Tyler Patterson, Founder and President
Disclaimer: I am not a licensed therapist, and these views are entirely my own. I do not claim to have all of the answers. The steps presented in these articles are meant to be helpful and encouraging to parents wanting to take preventative measures with their children regarding the harms of pornography as well as to provide real tools that might help families gain the peace that comes from accountability and trust. I’ve spoken specifically to fathers in this article, but the same things apply to women and men who aren’t fathers too because our actions always impact those we love.