Should I Tell My Child About Pornography?

Should I Tell My Child About Pornography?

Part 1

by Kristen Jenson, MA

I get this question all the time: "Won't I make my child more curious about pornography if I start talking about it too early?"

Let's think about that.

Isn't it safer for kids to have their questions answered about pornography with a parent by their side than for them to be curious when they're alone on the Internet or with a friend?

In fact, you want to make them curious so you can answer their questions—proactively, on your own terms.

Here are five benefits to being the first one to introduce and warn your kids about pornography:
  1. You can set yourself up as the best source of information and invite your kids to come and tell you if they ever see it. You can explain your attitudes and feelings about pornography, as well as all the reasons to avoid it. (Highly addictive, objectifying, hurts relationships, linked to human trafficking, etc.)
  2. You can create an environment of safety around this topic and assure your child that you will answer all of their questions.
  3. You can assure them that their curiosity is normal, but warn them that following their curiosity about pornography is dangerous and can lead to addiction. Let them know that they won't get into trouble when they come and tell you they've been exposed to it. This is one of the best ways they can prevent themselves from developing an addiction!
  4. You can lessen the shame and shock associated with pornography exposure by defining what pornography is so kids recognize it when they are first exposed. (For many people, shame and shock fuel the addictive nature of pornography by increasing the amount of dopamine released in the brain.)
  5. You can increase the trust in your relationship when you help them to know what to do in an often frightening situation. By giving them a PLAN for dealing with it they will feel that you are helping to protect them.

Success Story: "I knew exactly what to do."

One mom shared her experience with teaching her 9 year old son the CAN DO Plan, from Good Pictures, Bad Pictures. Three days later he came home from school and told her that another student had shown him pornography at school. He said, "I knew exactly what to do. I was scared but I knew what to do."

Instead of facing this troubling exposure alone, this young boy knew his parents were there to help him. He recognized what he saw and already knew several good reasons why he should not look at it. He had no fear of talking to his mom about it because she had talked with him first.

Read more in Part 2
Posted: Dec 1, 2015,
Categories: Parents,
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