A Challenge to Parents

A Challenge to Parents
by John Fort
from Pure Community

I have noticed a marked difference in the willingness of mothers and fathers in addressing sexual purity with their children. I should clarify that I mean a willingness to start addressing sexual purity. Once they start, both seem quite willing to actively participate. Who is more willing to take on this challenge? In my experience, it is the women.

My son and I wrote a book called Father-Son Accountability several years ago. I bring copies to sell any time I am at a conference. When I attend conferences for men, even those focused specifically on sexual purity, I sell very few books. When I attend a women’s conference I sell five times as many Father-Son books. That didn’t seem to make sense until I tried to sell them at a couple's conference. In nearly 100% of the cases, a woman would come to my booth, buy the book, and I’d watch her take it to her husband and say something like, “You’re doing this with our son.” I have also done some parent coaching, particularly for fathers working with their sons. In every single case it has always been the wife who called me to initiate getting their husband to help their son.

I began to ask myself why mothers appear less afraid than fathers to tackle these issues. I assumed that mothers would be more squeamish about talking with their children about sexual matters. I was apparently incorrect.

I used to think the reason men were afraid to begin talking with their children about things like pornography was because so many men are still struggling with pornography themselves. If a father still struggles in this way, especially if his wife does not know, he would naturally be reluctant to discuss such a topic with anyone in his own home. However, I’ve discovered that this is not the reason most men are afraid to talk to their kids. The most common reason fathers don’t want to talk to their kids about sexual issues is, they don’t know how.

I have been teaching parenting classes this last year for couples who want to learn how to discuss healthy sexuality with their kids and prevent the development of compulsive pornography use. Again, it was always the wives who signed the couple up to attend, never the husband. One of the first things discussed in these parent groups is, “what were you taught as a child about sexuality and pornography?” The answer has always been, other than maybe a “birds and the bees” talk, they were told nothing. Of course, we are afraid to teach something no one taught us! But that doesn’t let men off the hook, as their wives are in the same boat.

But, once in the group I found the men quickly lost their fear and opened up. In fact, by the end of the six-week group, men are sharing openly and boldly, in front of a coed group, their opinions, thoughts and even experiences that they hope to use to guide their children. One father put it this way, “I’ve never talked to anyone about sex in my life. I thought this would be hard. It’s not hard at all!”

Here is my challenge to parents. Fathers, stop being afraid to talk to your kids because no one taught you what to say. Buy a book, take a class, or just dive in and do the best you can. Mothers, if your husband is not taking action, buy them a book, sign them up for a class, or sit them down with the family and start the conversation yourself. You won’t be perfect, but you don’t have to be. This is too important to ignore.

For a list of parenting resources, visit our Parent Resource Page.

Learn more about John Fort
Posted: Oct 30, 2017,
Categories: Parents,
Comments: 0,
Author: John Fort
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