Warn Your Children

Exercising the virtue of self-control and purity should never be downplayed.

50 Shades Darker opens in movie theaters across the country next week. This movie, based on the 50 Shades of Grey book trilogy, tells the story of fictional lovers Anastasia Steele and Christian Grey.

Parents be aware; this is not your typical fairy-tale romance. The film 50 Shades Darker paints a distorted, dangerous image of love. Not only does the movie endorse sadism, masochism and sexual bondage, it also endorses pornographic messages in an attempt to normalize an unhealthy view of love.

Regardless of whether or not your child would feel tempted to see the film, he or she does need to be educated on how to reject these harmful and dysfunctional messages about sex. Here are two ways you can be pro-active as a parent:

1. Be the first to talk to your child about sex and pornography. 

It is essential that parents be the first to bring up conversations involving sex and pornography. Using examples of how your spouse loves you and emphasizing that abusive behavior is not a part of love can help debunk the belief that abusive love equates to real love in the mind of a child.

In a recent post, author and speaker Jessica Harris wrote, "common mistake parents make is thinking that talking to their children about something will rob them of their innocence or make them more curious. It's important to remember that the first person to tell your children about sex will often be the person they listen to."

2. Affirm your daughters value as a woman. 

Your daughter has a voice. Encourage her to express her opinion and desires for future relationships. For example, it is ok to say no to sexual contact with a future boyfriend. Exercising the virtue of self-control and purity should never be downplayed.