003: Dr. Harl Hargett Talks Labeling the Human Experience and Why Pornography is not the Enemy

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Dr. Harl Hargett is a forensic psychologist who is an expert in addictions and brain trauma. He has been working with kids for over 30 years primarily focusing on those dealing with mental health, difficulty adjusting to foster care and social connectivity.  In this episode, Dr. Hargett and Emily talk about the three major things that are impacting kids today and their families (3:28), the importance of kids not labeling themselves (8:17), and when kids start being skeptical of you as a parent (19:37).


Dr. Harl Hargett Show Notes

(1:23) – Dr. Hargett’s website is Alpha Forensic Psychological Services.

(2:03) – Dr. Hargett has had a practice working with kids that have severe issues for over 30 years. Most of those years were spent as the founder and director of a ministry called Lost and Found Incorporated, a treatment agency that provided care for young men and women caught up in the system.

(3:28) – He mentions that three major upheavals are having a massive impact on kids and their families.

(5:00) – Dr. Hargett says our brainwave patterns today are completely different than they were 15 years ago. We were not so quickly stimulated by the overindulgence of violence pornography or intense imagery that just whammies into us today and this has profoundly changed our brainwaves.

(7:23) – He says technology has created a safer, brighter future overall but the doomsayers get their word and the rest of it is just stuff and nonsense.

(8:17) – Hargett says that our society has to categorize and label everything which causes kids today in their primary self-exploration phase to quickly try to find a name that fits them rather than natural progression.

(9:27) – If we rush these labels on them, then they buy into these labels without knowing what the labels mean and if applies to them. This wrecks the human experience and takes many years of therapy to undo this.

(10:53) – Labeling implies ripping off the innocence I believe children should be entitled to safety and security this level of exploration.

(12:11) – If the Church taught more that the family has an obligation and tools, resources to provide their children a level of safety and dignity without overbearing parenting, more children would speak freely about the self-exploration.

(12:57) – The best age to talk to children about sex

(13:42) – By 7, they will be exposed to pornography, and by age 12, they will be able to bypass all your filters.

(13:56) – How do you talk to your kids about pornography?

(15:57) – When we’re talking about pornography, we’re talking about two issues; accessibility and the unlimited stimulation that is involved.

(16:33) – There is no such thing as soft core porn anymore. All the pornography is hard.

(18:48) – When talking to your children about sex, the questions are more important than the answers. Some things to ask are “What are you seeing? What do you feel about what you are seeing? How did you perceive it to be?”

(19:12) – You should also tell them you want to talk about the questions. The answers they have already heard from their friendship groups. Kids already don’t believe what you’re saying anyway so your job is to ask the right questions.

(19:39) – Age 7 is when they are skeptical of you as a parent. That haven’t stopped listening to you, but they are skeptical of your role as the parent, the rule setter and boundary maker.

(20:37) Most of the stuff about adolescence rebellion was made up during the 60’s. We didn’t have rebellion for centuries. We went to work, school, we didn’t even have adolescence because kids were getting married at 14, 15 years old.

(21:20) – If you are looking to instill morals and values into your kids, you were better off doing it at the age of 2 to 3, so they can trust in the parent system. By the time they are 7 or 8, they are going to be skeptical.

(21:40) – We should be rewarding more than we should be punishing.

(23:23) – The age should children stop seeing their parents naked.

(24:19) – The issue is as a parent,  are you making lewd commentary in front of your children when there is nudity?

(24:29) – Every person has their sense of dignity when they are naked. Being naked is transparent and vulnerable.

(25:19) – Recommended Video: Your Brain on Porn Video

(25:40) – Recommended Book:  Pornified: How Pornography us Damaging Our Lives, Our Relationships, and Our Families by Pamela Paul

(26:00) – How to instill in a child the importance of not labeling them daily

(26:44) – Stay away from the behavior labels. The character reinforcement intensifies the personhood.

(27:05) – Also, stay away from name calling like Tomboy etc, in general, is not helpful. Focus on the positive behavior.

(27:35) – Adults should challenge the assumption that kids present. Kids look and appear to be rebellious, and it helps when adults challenge their image of rebellion.

(28:15) – Any kids you are seeing, any interaction with them is not just the parent's responsibility, but it's a community responsibility.

Links and Resources


 Pornified: How Pornography us Damaging Our Lives, Our Relationships, and Our Families by Pamela Paul

Your Brain on Porn Video