EVERY PARENT’S BATTLE: A Family Guide to Resisting Pornography by Dan S. Spencer III. Our Sunday Visitor Publishing (Huntington, Indiana, 2017). 175 pp., $14.95. Reviewed by DANIEL MULHALL.
Once a problem that was generally ignored, online porn has become such a risk that parents must now take aggressive steps to protect their children from it. That is the message behind Dan S. Spencer’s informative and helpful new book, Every Parent’s Battle: A Family Guide to Resisting Pornography.
While the focus of Spencer’s work is to tell parents what they can do to protect their children against the evils of pornography — which he does well — he also provides an insightful parenting guide for creating a healthy and wholesome family life, although he doesn’t make that claim himself.
The steps Spencer offers about protecting children from porn are spot-on; the advice he offers about how to be a great parent may be even more valuable.
In the 28 pages of the first section, Spencer provides basic information concerning the porn industry, how it affects our brains and how it shapes our attitudes about healthy sexual behaviour, especially the degrading of women and girls and he introduces the concept that parents can and must do everything they can to protect their children from it.
In the second section, Spencer offers six strategies parents can use in their fight against porn. This section is the core of the book and provides the guidance on being a great parent. His recommendations to parents that they should show affection through words and physical touch, that they need to establish boundaries and enforce them and that they should speak with their children from the youngest ages to establish communication networks that will be used throughout life are excellent.
Chapter 7 on Internet and digital safety provides simple steps parents can take to keep porn out of their home. Each of these six chapters ends with personal reflection and discussion questions, along with action steps which are very helpful.
The final section offers one brief chapter that provides a checklist based upon the ages of children of things parents can do related to mentoring, modeling, and the use of technology. These are valuable ideas. More would have been appreciated. Of the five appendices, the resources are of the most value, although limited in scope.
There are also some small errors and omissions that should be corrected in a future edition.
Daniel Mulhall speaks and writes on the topic of creating healthy, wholesome and holy families from his home in Louisville, Kentucky.