Kids, Fantasy & Emotions

Kids, Fantasy & Emotions
by John W Fort

Sexual fantasy is one thing I don't see a lot of parents addressing with their children. It's almost as if we've come to accept there's not a lot we can do to help them, so we stay silent on the issue. My wife and I dared to press into this concern with our children, and we found one tool to be particularly helpful to them.

We started early teaching our children to understand their emotions. Negative emotions are often the reason we want to escape into fantasy—teenagers included. If we can help our kids identify which emotions cause them to want to escape the most, we can discover together healthier ways for them to deal with such feelings.

Lucas Fort (at age 16): My dad and I were having our weekly check-in, and I told him how I noticed that the time where I had the greatest urge to want to fantasize was when I was walking home from school. My dad was curious about this, and he asked me some questions like: "Who do you walk home with? What happens at school right before you come home? What do you do once you get home?" I told him that I had no one to walk home with, but that was the time that I felt the most tempted (not to mention that I have a very long walk to school).

He suggested that perhaps my feeling lonely for that long might be what's making me want to escape; pornography and fantasy are excellent ways to make our brains forget about being alone. That may have been the problem, but what was a solution? I asked if I could call my dad on the way home from school. My dad said he was not too busy that time of day at work, so he said yes. After that, I called him every day on the way home from school. If he didn't pick up his phone, I would text him. I would text him about my day, telling him what happened, how it went, etc. I knew that even if he didn't respond right away, he would eventually see my text and talk about it with me later on. By doing this, though it was very simple, I still felt connected.

Negative emotions often spring out of unmet needs—usually relational needs. Teaching my children to be aware of their emotions, then how to meet them when they come up, has proven a powerful method for them to battle sexual fantasy and pornography. In fact, it has been the most effective tool for my kids.

After all, sexual fantasy and pornography use are merely symptoms of a deeper problem. Doesn't it make sense to start with the problem itself?

Father-Son Accountability John Fort and his son, Lucas, are the authors of Father-Son Accountability: Integrity Through Relationship and Parenting for Purity in the 21st Century

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Posted: Apr 16, 2016,
Categories: Parents,
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Author: John Fort
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