When we compromise, we often tell ourselves this little “white” lie: I’ll just do it this one time. And then sometime later, we start telling ourselves a variation of the lie: I’ll just do it one more time. I had this lie run through my head just this morning as I thought about following my super nutritious spinach egg scramble with some ice cream and fudge sauce: I’ll give up sugar tomorrow.
For many of our site’s readers, this lie is all-too familiar. “I’ll just look at pornography one more time. I’ll just masturbate this once. I’ll stop watching that show tomorrow.”
There’s no doubt that compromise hurts us during our free and single years, but when we become parents, the compromises we make can have a big impact on our kids.
There’s the father who decides to look at pornography one more time… only this time, his nine-year-old son walks in, discovering his father’s habit and being exposed to graphic pornographic content that he will never forget.
There’s the hurried mother who tells herself it won’t hurt for her daughter to play on the iPad just one more time before getting parental controls who discovers that her six-year-old was accessing hard-core porn sites through the device.
There are the parents who thought they would give their baby the smartphone just once to keep him preoccupied, but who now, a year later, use the device as a babysitter.
Or, there’s the single mom who tells herself she will stop having sex with her boyfriend tomorrow, but whose fourteen-year-old daughter catches her in the act and starts running down a road towards risky behaviors.
As parents, are you compromising your kids for the sake of your own compromises? If you’re a parent that’s looking at pornography, recognize that your habit isn’t just between you and your screen. You’re likely losing sleep, productivity, time with your kids and your emotional, spiritual and sexual connection with your spouse, and you’re also placing your children at risk of early exposure. (If you haven’t already, you may want to consider taking our sex addiction test).
If you’re developing a habit of dumping your kids in front of the TV screen, laptop or smartphone when you’re feeling stressed, recognize that their early experiences in front of a screen can have long-term consequences to their psychological health and brain development. If you’ve been “too busy” to get parental controls on your computers and Internet-enabled devices, it’s highly likely that your son or daughter will accidentally encounter hardcore pornography and may even develop a dependency and desire for Internet porn. As parents, do you want to leave your children with a lifestyle legacy of compromises?