Talking to Kids About Online Porn

Values & Beliefs
by Beccastone Editorial

Harsh Words FFTThe Internet has most everything to satisfy the curiosity of our children, but this also includes pornography and sexually graphic materials, which can sometimes appear just from using certain search terms.   So it’s important to give kids early the tools to understand online porn: that some of what is on the Internet is just noise and not for everyone. Related to pornography is “sexting”, where kids send texts of sexually suggestive images of themselves. With prom, graduation and the summer season upon us, the urge to engage in this type of activity likely gets stronger.  And moms are reporting that it can start very early—like in elementary school.

Although some studies suggest that exposure to pornography does no lasting harm to teens, we as parents should have a way to discuss human sexuality with our kids that is informative, while imparting our value system and personal feelings about intimacy as best we can. Some experts suggest packaging the “porn talk” with the “sex talk”. Others suggest finding out what our children know, and tailoring the tone of the discussion to them by asking question and answering them.  You should have the “talk” with your kids more than once, since things change so fast and the discussion will change as kids get older.  Here are a few topics to consider as you think about how to discuss this subject with your kids.

  • Intimacy is a gift best shared in a loving relationship.
  • Pornography is not intimacy — it’s just sex, without feeling.
  • Pornography exploits people;  the viewer is “using” other people’s bodies for entertainment.
  •  There is no reason to film yourself having sex or show your body in a way that suggests you want to have sex. That’s just allowing others to use your body for entertainment.
  • There are people looking to have sex with children online. Don’t give out any information about yourself to anyone whom you meet online.
  • Porn sites can infect computers.

If you have had the “porn talk” with your kids, how did it go?  Any advice to share?

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