A guest post from Sexual Health Educator, Amy Lang, MA
You’ve barely got a grip on the sex talk and Holy Cats! You need to have a porn talk too? Ugh. The reason to talk to your kids about pornography is probably pretty obvious — your kids are online and so is porn and chances are…the two will eventually collide.
The sad story is this: every child will see pornography by the time they get through puberty – probably sooner. Whether they access it themselves, a kid on the bus shares it from a smartphone, or it pops up on a computer screen – unfortunately, your kids will see pornography. Children need to be prepared so they know what to do when they see pornography. And guess what? YOU are the best person for the job. Yay! #ParentingRocks #Not
I think it’s helpful (and motivating) to know the average age kids see pornography is around 10 years old. This means you need to start talking about it before they see it and help them to understand:
- what they might see, and
- what to do if and when they encounter porn.
The following scripts will give you a game plan for having this discussion. Adapt the scripts to suit your values and the ages of your kids. This means the younger your kids, the less detail; the older, the more detail.
Script Part 1: Explain the Concern
Sometimes people look at videos of naked people or of people having sex on the internet. This is called “pornography or porn” and it can be scary and confusing to see. It is definitely not for kids. Their hearts and minds aren’t ready to see this kind of thing because kids aren’t ready for sex.
As kids get older, they have more and more interest in sex. Wanting to learn more about sex is totally natural and normal. Sometimes kids will look at porn on the internet because they are curious or find it exciting. Porn is not real sex — it’s someone’s fantasy about what sex could be like.
Script Part 2: Establish Family Rule/Values
The rule in our family is porn is off-limits. I want you to know you can tell me if you’ve looked at porn. I won’t be mad but it’s something we’ll definitely need to talk about.
If you see porn, you need to turn off the computer or get off the website and come and let me know. You won’t be in trouble. I need to make sure you are okay and that we can stop it from happening again.
Script Part 3: Explore “What if’s…”
What can you do if you see pornography on the internet?
What is your plan if someone shows you porn on their phone or computer? What could you say? Who would you tell?
You will want to address this issue regularly throughout childhood. As your kids get older and more interested in sex, it’s important to make sure they are relying on safe sources for their information about sexuality.
One of the best things you can do for your kids is to make sure they are well informed about sexuality and relationships. This means having open and regular conversations about the birds and the bees. When children know about sex (the real thing), have trustworthy resources (and books) and a caring adult who talks to them about this part of life, they do better and make healthier choices. Their curiosity is lessened because they are full of your values about sex and factual, age appropriate information.
Learn more…Learn more about HOW and WHEN to have the sex talk on Amy Lang’s FREE webinar – The 21st Century Sex Talks — 3 Tips Every Parent Needs to Take The STING Out of the Birds & Bees Talks.