Chapter 5: Go Protect Your Family

“…Remember the Lord, who is great and awesome, and fight for your families, your sons and your daughters, your wives and your homes.” Nehemiah 4:14

Fight trafficking and be intentional in your home! Preparation and protection come in all forms from social media monitoring, to education, to empowerment. It is important that our sons and daughters learn to be discerning in dangerous situations and around negative influences.

Even if you do not have children of your own, we all have some influence over younger children in our lives. If you have nieces, nephews, grandchildren, friends with children, a mentee through a program, or child you babysit, you play an important part in shaping their perspective of the world and influencing their development.

Be aware, alert and wise by learning about and recognizing trafficking signs, discussing difficult topics with your family, empowering the younger generation, praying over the children in your life, and extending our protective reach to those without families.

Take the Next Step

Discuss with your kids

Tell your kids about the GoBox. Discussion with your kids is the first step you need to take, and is fundamental before you start to look at the other steps of family protection and preparation such as computer monitoring, tech plan, etc. Sit down with your family and start a conversation about sex trafficking, according to what you think is most appropriate and relevant for your kids right now. This needn’t and shouldn’t be an embarrassing and difficult “talk”, but rather an opening to future conversations where your children can feel safe and secure bringing up these topics. Sometimes it can be hard to know where to start, but you can use the GoBox as an opening to the conversation.  Tell them why you bought it and what you’ve learned. Have a look through the “take it further” section below for some suggestions on age-appropriate resources and topics to help lead the conversation further.

Take it Further

Fix these words of mine in your hearts and minds; tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Teach them to your children, talking about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.” Deut. 11:18-19

Talk about the dangers of the internet and social media with your family.  Agree to create a family media and technology plan. Take time to research how to protect your children, before giving them a phone.

Be intentional about setting aside time as a family to talk about what it really means for us to find our identity in Christ.  Discuss what it looks like to apply His Word to our lives amid peer pressure and a desire to conform. Pray together as a family. Remember that the best way to fortify your family is through the truth of God’s word.

 

To protect children ages 5-8 consider the following resources:

God’s Design for Sex by Carolyn Nystrom is a series of books that are a great introduction to a Christ centered view of our bodies and sex. Book 2 for this age group is called “Before I was Born.”

Good Pictures, Bad Pictures by Kristen A. Jensen and Gail Poyner guides the reader on how to speak to young children about the dangers of porn.

Many kids are first introduced to porn from ages 7-12. Because of this, it is a good idea to start having conversations on these topics when your kids are at a young age.

Watch this short video explaining why co-author Kristen A. Jenson decided to write this book.

Visit Kristen’s blog and website to find out more.

Safely Ever After provides up-to-date information and prevention education programs to help empower families against child predators.

Also, read How Talking to My Sons About “Tricky People”—Not Just “Strangers”—Saved Their Lives

To protect children ages 9-12 consider the following resources:

At this age, kids start using the Internet more frequently for school work and social media. Install Internet accountability and filter software onto your computers at home and church in order to keep everyone (including yourself!) accountable. There is a vast number of monitoring and accountability apps for computers, tablets, and phones so pick which app best suits your needs.

Keep in mind that filtering and monitoring apps have limited capabilities. The most effective tool is open discussion with your children, so make sure to continue these conversations with them during this age range as well.

If you decide to give a cellphone to your kid(s), take precautionary steps so that they know how to appropriately use their phone. Guide your children in the proper direction.

Develop a safety plan together. Make a list of trusted peers and adults that your child can talk to in an uncomfortable situation. Additionally, come up with a code word your kids can text to you in a situation where they need you to come and pick them up right away, no questions asked.

To protect children ages 13+ consider the following resources:

  • Love146 educates on safeguarding your children and others in your community with a “Guide for Parents and Caregivers”.
  • Houston Texas Can provides support and alternative opportunities to reach out to your child.
  • Brain Buddy is a phone app rewires your brain, creating healthy new synaptic pathways to free you from porn forever.
  • Parents, please watch this video and at your discretion,share with your kids.
  • Fight The New Drug provides access to Fortify,  a web-based program (free for teens) of short video lessons and activities designed to educate and empower individuals seeking to find freedom from pornography — developed by a team of professionals including psychologists, neurologists, therapists and other mental health experts.

As kids enter their teenage years, it is important to maintain a healthy relationship with open communication between you and your children. Talks about topics such as sex education and the dangers of pornography need to evolve as they get older. Along with open dialogue between parents and their children, there are other avenues of communication that can keep your teens accountable and educated. As teens get older, some of them may withdraw and become less open to talking with their parents about these topics. Encourage your children to have discussions with youth group leaders, trustworthy mentors, and support groups.

If you feel like you have lost that relationship where you can influence or speak into your child’s life, don’t give up hope. Keep praying. Reach out to a counselor or youth leader for guidance.

An Identity Founded in Christ

For years the media has pressured females to sexualize themselves. The allure of photoshopped perfect women in music videos, magazines and movies manipulates females to believe that their worth, power and identity come from the sexuality of their bodies. This pressure surrounds and threatens to suffocate us. We need to prepare the hearts and minds of our youth to face these challenges. Encourage girls to value their God-given passions, talents and abilities.

Follow this link to see an example of harmful media aimed at girls.

Family Devotional Resources

Heart Connex provides free, printable Devotionals for busy parents and teens. Study and prepare in about five minutes. In most cases families can complete the studies in 20 minutes.

Focus On The Family provides an online resource of family devotionals for the spiritual growth of kids.

The Family Project Devotional by Ray Seldomridge

Once at the Table by Christopher D. Hudson

Extend your protective reach. Sponsor a child through Compassion International.

What About Children With No Family?

Click here to read an inspiring story from Bishop W.C. Martin. Bishop Martin and his wife knew God was leading them to adopt children from the foster care system. That spark spread through their congregation and 23 families adopted 79 children.