One of my sons was first exposed to hard core pornography by a friend on a play-date. He was eight years old. His brother was horrified to run across it while channel surfing on a weekend when “premium” channels were free. He was eleven. While one was immediately disgusted and turned away, the other has been open with us as he has struggled and battled the porn addiction which came from such early exposure.
When we looked for help, we were met with a cultural attitude that said “boys would be boys,” and watching porn could be a healthy part of a robust sexuality. We looked at the turmoil and destruction it has caused in our son’s life and knew that this was a bald-faced lie.
With a culture so resolutely turned against Truth, it can seem as though there is nowhere parents can turn for solid, common-sense advice about how to raise our boys in a culture which seems determined to consume their souls. How can we protect their virtue and innocence as we help them on the road towards becoming men?
I may not have all the answers, and it’s something we are still working out in our own family, but I do have a good place to start.
Leila Miller, of Little Catholic Bubble fame, has written a new book of real-world advice on how to raise sons who are in the world, but not of it. Raising Chaste Catholic Men is the book I wish I had years ago, before my sons first encountered pornography, and the book I needed to have afterwards.
She offers honest talk about what’s going on in our culture, and then gives solid advice on how to push back against it. She’s a straight-talker who isn’t afraid to tell the truth about:
• Three basic rules for parenting
• What to do when boys are little
• Answering the culture’s accusations
• Straight talk about masturbation
• Navigating pop culture
• What to do when things go wrong
•Advice from chaste young men themselves
…and so much more.
Told in the reassuring voice of a girlfriend who’s there to help and not to judge, Miller gives parents the tools they need to begin tackling these thorny issues, and the confidence to stand firm in what they know is right.
It’s our call as Catholic parents to raise these boys to be light and salt to the world, and goodness knows the world needs them to be!
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