February 5, 2011
Viewing pornography has skyrocketed with the internet. No longer does one have to walk up to a counter and purchase an adult magazine or video with a real, live human being, all the while worrying about being seen. The internet has made it easy.
In 2003, a conference of Matrimonial Lawyers cited pornography addiction as one of the primary causes in 2 out of 3 divorces.
The first step in healing is willingness. The willingness to look at oneself honestly makes it possible to begin the journey to freedom.
Take five minutes to answer the following questions.
- Do you think about sex more often than you would like?
- Do sexual thoughts interfere with your ability to concentrate at work or at school?
- Have you ever promised yourself that you would never again view pornography?
- Would you rather masturbate than be sexual with your partner?
- Has an important relationship in your life ended because you wouldn’t stop viewing pornography?
If you answered yes to at least two of the questions, it is likely that you would benefit from individual or group therapy to stop your pornography viewing. So now what?
The next step requires the courage to take action. It is time to come out of the shadows of pornography addiction. You are not alone. There is help.
Escape the bondage of your pornography habit with at least one of these three effective solutions:
- Support Groups such as Sex Addicts Anonymous
- Spiritual direction with a priest or minister
- Individual or Group Psychotherapy in-office or tele-counseling. We are one of the few Sexual Addiction programs in the Piedmont of North Carolina that address this devastating problem from a Christian-based perspective. This perspective is a compassionate one and one in which sexual drive and desire is valued as a vital part of who we are and who God created us to be.
Click here for more information about our Treasure in Earthen Vessels Freedom from Sexual Addiction program.
Or, Contact us for more information about our Treasure in Earthen Vessels services.
919.380.100 or click here to email us.
Taking the first step in recovery is never easy. But, the rewards will outweigh the cost. Take back your life, your family, your marriage. Experience the love and forgiveness the journey of sexual addiction recovery brings.
Patti M. Zordich, Ph.D. is a licensed psychologist and Founder of Triangle Psychological Services in Cary, NC. The Treasure in Earthen Vessels: Freedom from Pornography program is loosely based on the My Father’s House Initiative in the Archdiocese of Kansas City, Kansas.
919.380.1000 www.trypsych.com @drpattiz Facebook.com/TrianglePsychologicalServices
November 27, 2009
Plan family activities that do not involve media.
Have a family story time reading time-tested classics like Charlotte’s Web, My Side of the Mountain, The Chronicles of Narnia, and The Swiss Family Robinson, to name a few (no matter what ages your children are). Play together such as catch football, frisbee, card games, board games. Choose a community outreach outing once per month to participate in as a family and take time to share your thoughts and feelings about the experience together. Attend church activities, read scripture and stories about the lives of great servants of God (e.g. Mother Teresa, Maximillian Kolbe, etc.) and pray as a family.
I CHALLENGE YOU TO EXPERIMENT WITH A MEDIA PLAN for one month. I believe you will begin to enjoy your family relationships to a greater degree. The quality of relationships between your children will improve. Adhering to your media plan will require loving firmness and consistency on your part. Expect your children to resist at first and even be more grumpy for a while. This is normal. However, you will begin to see some positive changes as your family spends more enjoyable time together. At the end of the one month, if you have seen any positive changes, no matter how small, commit to it for one more month.
We’d love to hear your success stories and your struggles implementing your media plan with your family. I’m sure you will have ideas that help other families. If you would like to share them, please post them on our Triangle Psychological Services page on facebook under ‘Discussions,” or email them to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Let me know if you agree to have your ideas and/or comments shared in a future blog post on this website in order to help others. Be sure to include a sentence giving us your permission to post along with your name (i.e., I, Patti Zordich, give Triangle Psychological Services permission to post this comment on their website and to use the comment in our educational presentations about media planning and families).
I look forward to reading about your experiences! We will determine two most helpful entries and these contributors will win a copy of the book, 30 Ways in 30 Days to Save Your Family, by Rebecca Hagelin, which will be shipped at no cost. The winners will be announced on our facebook page on Dec. 11th.
So get started and let us know how you’re doing!
Dr. Patti Zordich, 919.342.3458, email@example.com
November 6, 2009
Tip #3: Make a media plan and schedule.
What are your family values? Do you know? It is vital that you are clear about the values that are important to you. These will guide the rules you will make a part of your media plan which will, in turn, guide media choices for your family. Will you permit your children to view PG 13 rated movies? Will you allow them to play T rated games? Or, will you use one of the many movie/game/music guides available for families and make decisions on a case by case basis? Two helpful media review resources for families are pluggedin.com and familymoviereview.com. Bookmark these so that you can easily review material. This will assist you in making a decision as to whether or not this fits into your media plan (hence your family values).
Adolescents spend 6 1/2 hours per day in front of some sort of screen.
The average 3 year old is watching TV or videos (or is in viewing range of them) 7 hours per day!
It is also vital that you make a conscious decision about how much total media time your child will have per day and what will constitute acceptable content. Will the time limit be one movie, a one hour TV program, 30 minutes on a video game, media for homework only during the week, etc.? Take time to consider the activities your child is missing by spending so much time on media: reading (they won’t ever like it if they can always play video games instead!), playing outside, sports, drawing, chores, helping you, helping a neighbor, taking care of your pet, cooking, playing games with you, talking with you, walking with you, etc.
After you have clarified your family values and you have made conscious decisions about media time and content, involve your children in conversations about these rules and values. This is not to change them, but to insure they understand them! Write down your rules. Write down your values. So, your children might not like these new limits. They might not like going to the doctors but, you make them go anyway because you are the parent. Engage the children in discussions about specific movies, games, videos that you find objectionable as well as media you find acceptable. Ask for their evaluation. Then, have fun exploring programs, games, music, etc. together.
You can do this! Remember, these decisions are vital to the emotional, spiritual, and physical well-being of your whole family and each individual, including you.
October 28, 2009
Tip #2: Try a rule such as “no television-during-the school/work week” and/or “cell phones and ipods off during dinner and homework.”
Let your family life be led by the family’s needs as opposed to TV program schedules, ear buds, and text messages. Children can complete homework without the pressure of needing to be done in time to watch their favorite TV shows. Family members can enjoy dinner together inviting conversation about their day without being interrupted by text messages or phone calls. Discuss a time during your day when your faith helped you or talk about something new you learned. Use reflective listening when individual family members share their ideas, experiences, opinions by responding with comments that elicit more sharing such as, “It sounds like that was a difficult situation for you,” or “That must have been exciting.” Reflective listening encourages communication and helps build trust and closeness. Plan an outreach project that you would like to do together as a family. Plan your schedules for the weekend, including family chores, individual pleasure time and family time. Our lives are so busy we have to work hard to find time to keep family relationships strong. So, pull the plug on technology and plug into each other!
October 21, 2009
Ever wonder why your children don’t talk to you, or why they are so irritable, argumentative and disrespectful? Have you wished they would enjoy reading for pleasure? Do you have to force them to spend any time outside?
There is an abundance of research evidence that too much media, just like dessert, is harmful to our children’s development. Several years ago, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommended no TV or videos for children under 2 because of the impact on the developing brain and no more than 2 hours of screen per day for children over 2. Jane Healy, in her book Endangered Minds: Why Children Don’t Think and What We Can Do About It, emphasizes the negative impact of media on the brain and neurological functioning. Many studies have associated children’s viewing of aggression and sexualized images with higher rates of aggression and sexual behavior.
But you don’t need experts to convince you; you see it right in front of you. You know that when you tell your child to turn off the video game or TV, they often become irritable and resistant. When they aren’t engaged in media, you find that they are often bored, grouchy, irritable, and give one word answers in response to your attempts at conversation. Perhaps they have trouble concentrating on schoolwork or have difficulty waking up in the morning. Or, perhaps you’re just not happy with the lack of interaction between family members. It is possible that your kids, and maybe you as well, are spending too much time with media!
The blessing is that you can make a difference. You can begin with an experiment of your own. Each of the next 5 weeks , starting now, I will post one of my 5 TIPS FOR IMPROVING FAMILY RELATIONSHIPS WITH A MEDIA PLAN. Try it out for the week keeping a positive attitude and prayer. See the blessings begin to grow in your family.
TIP #1: Take media out of the children’s bedrooms.
In 1970, approximately 6% of sixth graders had a TV in their bedroom. In 2000, approximately 80% of sixth graders had a TV in their bedroom. Bedrooms need to be for sleeping to insure healthy sleep habits. Children’s media usage cannot be monitored by parents when it is in their bedrooms. Doing this is like leaving your child alone with a stranger. Although media is a wonderful gift, it also brings with it the possibility of harm either through viewing inappropriate content such as violence or sex, or, through the presence of online predators.
Find a more place in your home where there is some traffic, or where you can see what your child is doing. If your older adolescent demands privacy, calmy and lovingly state that just as you wouldn’t let them go to someone’s home without knowing where, when, who, what, the same goes for computer usage in the home. Insure them you won’t make a habit of reading over their shoulder, unless of course they give you a reason to do so. Your child will probably argue with you and say you’re the worst parent in the world, but just say a prayer thanking God for imparting his wisdom and courage to raise this beautiful child he has put into your care.
October 21, 2009
Tip #4: Use media usage as an opportunity for family fun.
Have a family night watching a video or TV program that fits with your media plan and share popcorn and lemonade. Have a family Wii night or video game competition among family members. Have fun listening to your children’s thoughts, impressions and feelings about it and share yours with them. Have a dinner and a movie night. Plan a dinner that fits with the theme of the movie and have everyone prepare dinner together. Play music and dance with your children. Have each family member share with the rest of the family music they are enjoying. Rent cartoons from the “good ole days” like Tom and Jerry, Popeye, and Sylvester and Tweety Bird and watch them together in your PJ’s on Saturday morning. Watch the Marx Brothers or the Three Stooges.
Remember what was discussed in the introduction to this series on media and the family. By now you have a media plan, or you are at least discussing this with spouse. This will depend on your family values and the ages of your children. Your media plan serves as a guide for determining which movies, video games, computer games you allow your family to view. Ask yourself if viewing this will help you to raise children who will be charitable, chaste, faithful, respectful, etc.
What sorts of content might you need to make decisions about? Ask yourself what is the overall message. Does good overcome evil? Consider how sexuality, love, male and female identity, father and mother role models, etc. are portrayed. How much and what extent of violence and/or horror is there?
In terms of sexuality there is research that has found that what the Bible, the Catholic Church, the Baptist Church, as well as many other faiths know to be true. Healthy adults and successful marriages depend on a view of sex as something to be honoured between a husband and a wife. Chastity is important; premarital sex has been associated with depression, promiscuity, poor relationships, and unhappy and/or failed marriages, and abortion. Unwanted pregnancies will cease to be a national crisis when sex is viewed as a gift of love between a husband and a wife, and as a gift of life.
Many TV programs and videos present a father as a bumbling, incompetent, weak, ineffective father and husband. Is that the view of men, fathers, and husbands you want to reinforce in your children? Oftentimes, girls and women are dressed in a sexually provocative manner and are presented as gossipy, flirty, sexual, manipulative, and superficial. Is this the view you want your daughters to have of themselves? Is this the view that you want boys to have toward your daughters?
How are marriage, parenthood, and family relationships portrayed? Usually marriage is presented as something each in which the goal is for each individual spouse is responsible for making the other spouse feel happy and fulfilled. It is usually presented as something that does not require a life commitment. Do the children respect the parents? How are the children treated?
Research has demonstrated over and over that the most effective way that learning occurs is by observing others. Children, up to the teen years are emotionally effected by excessive violence and horror. Children who view such content often have problems with anxiety, fear at bedtime or in general, and difficulty managing anger.
These are some of the important issues that you, as parents, need to consider as you develop your media plan and when you are making those decisions one video, one TV program, one computer game at a time. You will have to say no to your children. They will tell you that you are the only parents they know who say they can’t watch such and such. You probably are. They might say they hate you. They probably do in the moment but this to shall pass. It is important that you have a discussion with your children about the reasons for your media plan. Occasionally it will be important to discuss why these rules are important. However, most of the time you will just have to say yes or no and which part of your media plan and/or values guided your decision. You do not need to give a long explanation each time, or ask your children for a long detailed explanation of how that particular media choice does not fit with your plan.
Every time, however, it will be helpful to say a prayer for strength and ask the Lord to help you be the parent he knows your child needs. Then find something to do in that moment that brings you pleasure. This will take your mind off your child’s anger. This awful, difficult moment will pass. Remember, God never gives you anything that He and you can’t handle together.